Cities in Argentina

20 Best Cities in Argentina to Visit (in 2024)

If you’re thinking of the most important and impressive cities in Argentina, Buenos Aires is sure to come to mind – in fact, it might be the only city to come to mind. However, the city of tango along the Río de la Plata is just the start of the cosmopolitan towns and cities you’ll want to add to your Argentina itinerary

From small towns and villages nestled among the mountains of Patagonia to outposts perched along desert dunes, Argentina cities are as diverse and interesting as they come. These are the best cities in Argentina that travelers just won’t want to miss!

best things to do in buenos aires
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Best Cities in Argentina

Packed with the best of Argentina’s cultural, artistic, and historic monuments and attractions, Buenos Aires is an absolutely must-visit destination among the cities of Argentina and among the most beloved cities in Latin America for travelers.

But what are the others that stand out for travelers? These are the best Argentina cities for every style of travel:

  • Best Major City in Argentina: Buenos Aires
  • Best Small City in Argentina: Mendoza
  • Best Off-The-Beaten-Path City in Argentina: Salta

Consider Buenos Aires just the starting point. From here, you’ll find buses and flights across this sprawling country, towards Mendoza in the heart of one of the best wine regions in the world, or even ferries to neighboring Uruguay. This way, you can explore some of the more hidden gems of the country, to the north and south—there are plenty!

Keep reading for even more of the best places to visit in Argentina on your trip.

La Boca Neighborhood Buenos Aires
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Argentina Cities to Visit

1. Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a vibrant, cosmopolitan, and passionate city. As the capital of Argentina and its largest urban center, Buenos Aires is packed with history, culture, and life.

Several landmarks are must-visit stops in Buenos Aires, including the iconic Obelisk, the colorful La Boca neighborhood, Plaza de Mayo, and the historic Recoleta Cemetery. Also, if you find yourself there on a Sunday, the city’s oldest neighborhood, San Telmo, and its famous street fair that takes over several blocks of cobblestone streets.

But there are plenty of other ways to savor the city! Take some time to wander through the beautiful tree-lined streets of Palermo, sip a glass of wine on a sidewalk patio, or enjoy one of the city’s many parks. You can even catch a quick flight for a day trip to Iguazú Falls, the world’s largest waterfall network—and immerse yourself in the country’s natural wonder by trekking through the rainforest or taking a boat ride down the Iguazú River.

Finally, there are two things Buenos Aires is known for: food and tango. While spending time in the city, you’ll discover some of the best restaurants in the country and experience a vibrant culture of late-night dining, top-quality produce, generous portions, and exceptional wine. Like the rest of Argentina, the must-try meal is parrilla (grilled meat), and trust us, it won’t disappoint. Similarly, no visit to Buenos Aires would be complete without catching a tango show!

Salta Argentina Tren a las nubes
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2. Salta

Salta is one of the most interesting cities in Argentina, offering a gateway to the unique Quebradas region—the country’s second-largest wine-producing area. The city, not nearly as popular as others in Argentina, has much to offer regarding colonial charm, archaeological interest, and natural beauty!

Its must-visits include Plaza 9 de Julio, where you will find Salta’s beautiful Cathedral, built between 1856 and 1882; the Museo Arqueológico de Alta Montana MAAM (Archeological Museum of Alta Montana), which houses several Inca artifacts; and Cerro San Bernado, for breathtaking views of the city. We highly recommend a ride on the Tren de las Nubes (Train to the Clouds), as Salta is one of the few places in the country where trains are used for tourist purposes.

You can also embark on many incredible day trips from Salta to explore the Quebradas region’s natural treasures and wine culture. One of the most enjoyable day trips is rafting on Juramento River, and for this adventure, Salta Rafting is the most reliable company. They organize expeditions that not only include a fantastic asado lunch but also offer optional zip-lining across the canyon.

3. Mendoza

Well known as one of South America’s most famous wine regions, Mendoza is a popular addition to any Argentina itinerary. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway spent sipping wine or an adventure-packed trip, Mendoza is an excellent place for it. Among the mountainous landscapes and gorgeous views, you are going to fall in love with it!

The city is surrounded by vineyards – called bodegas – and you’ll have plenty of opportunities while in Mendoza to visit as many as you can add to your itinerary. One popular way to visit includes embarking on a bike ride from vineyard to vineyard.

But there are plenty of opportunities to join a small-group or private excursion – with transportation included! – to visit one or many wineries. If your interest in wines goes a bit deeper than just tasting, head to the National Museum of Wines in Maipu to learn even more!

For a tranquil day in this Andean city, we recommend relaxing at the Cacheuta Thermal Baths, taking a stroll around Plaza Independencia, or sampling some Argentine food and wines at Fogón by Bodega Lagarde. But if you feel the call to adventure, we suggest embarking on a hiking, biking, or horseback riding tour through its mountains or foothills, going river rafting on the Mendoza River, or participating in a zip-lining experience.

Read More: 20+ Best Things To Do in Mendoza, Argentina

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Bariloche Lago Nahuel Huapi Argentina
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4. Bariloche

The small lakeside city of San Carlos de Bariloche is undoubtedly one of the best places to enjoy the Argentine Andes. Located in the heart of the country’s spectacular lake district, it is a major hub for all things outdoors.

During the summer months, Bariloche is an excellent place for kayaking, river rafting, kitesurfing, and other water sports. And from July to September, it ranks among South America’s top destinations for skiing and snowboarding. The surrounding mountains of Nahuel Huapi National Park are also popular with rock climbers, mountain bikers, and trekkers. And many of Bariloche’s most beautiful hikes are just a short bus ride away from the city center!

Yet, adventure sports are far from the only way to appreciate the city’s natural beauty. Its lakeshore is packed with pebble beaches, and visitors can take cable cars to numerous observation decks overlooking the lake.

Bariloche’s town center also offers excellent restaurants and a growing number of craft breweries. Calle Mitre is a must-visit for those with a sweet tooth, where dozens of excellent chocolate shops have earned Bariloche its title as the “Argentine Capital of Chocolate.”

5. Córdoba

Córdoba, Argentina’s largest and second-most-populated city, is renowned for its colonial architectural heritage and stunning location amidst the mountains of Sierras de Córdoba. It holds a significant place in the country’s history, dating back to 1613, when Argentina’s first university was founded there.

Like its Spanish namesake, Córdoba is known for its beautiful churches and impressive Catholic architecture. You can explore the city’s rich history and culture by visiting landmarks such as the Iglesia de Los Capuchinos, constructed from different-colored stones with a beautiful starry ceiling; the Cathedral of Córdoba, located in Plaza San Martín, which features exquisite carvings and paintings on its inside; or the Manzana Jesuítica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of magnificent Jesuit architecture.

Córdoba is nestled between the Andes and the grasslands of Argentina, in a region renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, and rich cultural traditions. If you’re a nature lover, you can explore the Sierras Chicas, a mountain range just north of the city.

Ushuaia Argentina
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6. Ushuaia

Ushuaia, often referred to as the “End of the World,” is a magical city located at the southernmost tip of South America. It features some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and dense forests. Offering visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural experiences, Ushuaia ensures an exciting array of things to do.

For adventure enthusiasts, Ushuaia is an ideal playground. The city is renowned for its opportunities for trekking, skiing, and even Antarctic cruises, making it a hub for outdoor activities all year round. The Beagle Channel provides a chance to explore the waters and observe diverse marine wildlife.

A short hike to Mirador Wallner frames a beautiful view of the city and mountains. And just a stone’s throw away, the Tierra del Fuego National Park offers hiking trails that reveal the area’s stunning scenery.

Ushuaia’s culture is equally fascinating. Its history as a former penal colony is reflected in the Museo Marítimo y del Presidio, a museum that provides great insight into its past. You can even take a ride on the train that prisoners built to Tierra del Fuego National Park. 

Meanwhile, the bustling downtown area offers a taste of Argentine cuisine, from succulent Patagonian lamb to local seafood dishes. Don’t forget to indulge in a homemade churro!

Read More: 24+ Best Things To Do in Argentina

7. San Miguel de Tucumán

San Miguel de Tucumán is the largest city in the province of Tucumán. Combining a rich historic past with a cosmopolitan vibe, this northern outpost is full of charming boutiques, colorful street art, and museums.

Its proximity to Route 40 makes it an ideal starting point for a journey south into Chilean Patagonia, one of Chile’s main highlights filled with some of South America’s most famous natural landmarks.

While in town, a visit to Casa Tucumán is a must—an iconic place where Argentina was officially dubbed free from the Spanish crown in 1816. Additionally, on the city’s outskirts, you can stroll through archaeological sites where fights between indigenous tribes and Spanish colonizers unfolded in the 1560s.

Tucumán also has incredible historical museums, beautiful neighborhoods with colonial architecture, and lush parks. When hunger strikes, head to the “Ruta de la Empanada Tucumana” for some of the best empanadas in the area!

Given that the city is surrounded by incredible nature, make sure to allocate some extra time to hike through national parks like Campo de los Alisos, explore archaeological sites such as the Quilmes Ruins, and chase waterfalls along the Noque River.

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Rosario Argentina
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8. Rosario

Rosario, renowned globally as the hometown of soccer superstar Lionel Messi and revolutionary icon “Che” Guevara, is one of the most important cities in Argentina. Situated on the banks of the mighty Paraná River, it’s the perfect city to explore the country’s history, admire 20th-century architecture, partake in river adventures, or engage in soccer and cultural experiences!

The city hosts significant national landmarks like the Monumento a la Bandera—the birthplace of the Argentine flag—the Cathedral “Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Rosario”, Plaza San Martín, and Plaza 25 de Mayo. If historical landmarks pique your interest, these places are a must-visit during your time in Rosario.

Equally, this port city showcases architectural treasures like Parque España, Pasaje Monroe—with houses in the art-deco style—and the Ruta Modernista, highlighting art nouveau-modernist architecture. his route takes you past the Remonda Monserrat Palace, the Spanish Association building, the Transatlántica building, La Europea bakery, the Cabanellas Palace, and the dazzling Club Español on Rioja Street.

Whether strolling through the city center or along the riverbank, you’ll encounter gems of both historical and modern architecture. But you can always immerse yourself in river activities, relax on beaches like La Florida, explore islands by kayak, or venture to neighboring cities.

In any case, we recommend that amid your activities, you take time to enjoy the city’s rich cultural scene, try its restaurants and bars, and seize the chance to witness a live Argentine soccer match!

9. El Calafate

El Calafate is the ultimate Patagonian tourist hub and the perfect introduction point to the rugged southern area of the country. With an international airport, it allows easy access for both domestic and international visitors. And it is a must-stop for all nature and glacier lovers!

In town, you’ll find everything you need, from restaurants and banks to accommodation. You can even grab a local Argentine SIM card while visiting. However, as much as the urban center is pleasant—especially in the main tourist area, it can seem a bit bland and uninspiring compared to its surrounding landscapes. As convenient as El Calafate is, the real reason to visit lies just outside town!

Just 2 hours away from El Calafate is the unbelievable National Park “Los Glaciares” and its iconic Perito Moreno Glacier—one of the prime attractions in Patagonia and Argentina. Unlike many glaciers, Perito Moreno is not receding and is easily accessible. Exploring the glacier is possible by hiking along an extensive network of exceptionally picturesque trails. You can reach the glacier by taking a shuttle, taxi, or a guided tour from El Calafate.

But there is much more to discover in Los Glaciares National Park, with its exceptional trails around Laguna de Los Tres and Laguna Torre, two of Patagonia’s best hikes. Additionally, it’s relatively straightforward to venture into Chile from this point and visit the wonderful Torres del Paine National Park.

Puerto Iguazú Cataratas Argentina
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10. Puerto Iguazú

Most visitors head to the small city of Puerto Iguazú on the Argentina/Brazil border to see the Iguazú Falls, only 18 km outside the city. While the falls rightfully take center stage, there are other worthwhile locations to explore in the city.

An easy walk from the center of Puerto Iguazú takes you to “The Three Frontiers” scenic viewpoint and obelisk, where the Paraná and Iguazú rivers converge, offering a panoramic view of the borders of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil.

It’s an ideal spot for daytime enjoyment of stunning views or an evening visit to witness the atmospheric light show over the river. You’ll also find an artisan market showcasing locally crafted items from the Guaraní people.

If you enjoy wildlife encounters, a visit to Güirá Oga Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center is a must. A 1.5-hour small group guided tour will take you 1 km into the jungle to meet some of the animals living there. It is a perfect experience for wildlife lovers and conservationists, adding another layer to the experience with one of the best cities in Argentina for travelers.

11. Tigre

Tigre is a small town located north of Buenos Aires alongside the vast Tigre Delta. The town’s tranquil atmosphere and beautiful natural surroundings make it the perfect day trip from Buenos Aires.

A popular activity for visitors is to embark on a boat trip along the delta’s numerous rivers. At Tigre’s boat station’s dock, you’ll find various options for boat tours and water sports activities. Additionally, you can reach Uruguay from the boat station while experiencing the delta. The company Buquebus operates ferries from Tigre directly to Carmelo and Montevideo!

Tigre also has plenty to offer for those who prefer to stay on the ground. Top activities in Tigre include savoring local cuisine at the restaurants and cafes along Boulevard Saenz Peña, exploring the Tigre Art Museum, shopping for handcrafted goods at Puerto de Frutos, and having fun at the amusement park Parque de la Costa. 

Getting from Buenos Aires to Tigre is quick and easy. The regional train departing from Buenos Aires, accessible at Retiro train station, will take you there in just an hour.

Purmamarca Quebradas Humahuaca Argentina
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12. Purmamarca

Purmamarca is a hidden gem nestled in the Andes Mountains of northern Argentina. With its enchanting blend of natural beauty and vibrant culture, there is no shortage of captivating things to do in this quaint town. As it’s off the beaten path, be sure to plan ahead and pack the necessary travel essentials!

At the heart of Purmamarca is the renowned Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colors), a geological masterpiece that showcases the vivid hues of the region’s mineral-rich mountainside. Witnessing its ever-changing colors during sunrise and sunset is a mesmerizing spectacle.

You can also explore the town’s vibrant market, offering a unique glimpse into the region’s rich Quechua heritage, and purchase handcrafted textiles, ceramics, and jewelry from indigenous artisans. Or venture to The Salinas Grandes for a surreal expanse of salt and blinding white, The Tilcara Ruins—a fascinating archaeological site that provides opportunities for adventure and historical immersion—and Trópico de Capricornio, an iconic latitude marker.

Purmamarca’s stunning landscapes and rich indigenous traditions make it a must-visit destination for those in search of an authentic South American experience.

13. Esquel

For a taste of a smaller Argentine city that retains a town-like charm, consider visiting Esquel at the foot of the Andes Mountains. Particularly if your journey leads you to northern Patagonia, this destination is worth including in your itinerary!

One of the best things to do in Esquel is to ride the Old Patagonian Express, a historic narrow-gauge train whose original route extended 402 kilometers from the United States to Patagonia. Today, you can only travel short segments, one of them being from Esquel to Nahuel Pan, offering a splendid way to immerse yourself in the breathtaking Patagonian landscapes.

Other attractions in Esquel include Laguna La Zeta, a mountaintop lagoon perfect for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or horseback riding. And Cerro La Cruz, which, after a somewhat steep trek, provides incredible panoramic views of the city.

From Esquel, you can also embark on numerous day trips. In Los Alerces National Park, take a boat tour to witness hanging glaciers, hike through the Valdivian forest, and stand at the foot of a 2,600-year-old Alerce tree. At Piedra Parada, you’ll encounter a giant rock that rises 240 meters from the middle of the Patagonian steppe, creating an otherworldly landscape.

In the neighboring town of Trevelin, founded by Welsh settlers, you can enjoy afternoon tea, learn about the life of the early settlers at the Andean Mill Museum, and visit the wineries on the outskirts of town.

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14. Mar del Plata

Mar del Plata stands out as Argentina’s most frequented beach city, attracting over 2 million visitors each year between December and February. This popular destination offers a quintessential southern summer experience, featuring leisurely days on beautiful beaches and lively, tourist-filled streets.

As the primary hub in the tourist corridor of the Province of Buenos Aires, along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Mar del Plata boasts renowned beaches like Punta Magotes, Playa Varese, and Playa Escondida. The city is known for its coastal landmarks, including its iconic port, the marine park Aquarium, and the Torreón del Monje—crafted as an observation point overlooking the sea.

The city’s popularity during the summer season ensures an extensive and diverse array of accommodations, restaurants, and shopping streets. Güemes Shopping Center stands out as a premium destination for both commerce and gastronomy.

San Martín, a classic and lively pedestrian street, is a vibrant hub featuring shops, markets, restaurants, and budget-friendly establishments. Meanwhile, the Patricio Peralta Ramos Maritime Boulevard, with 47 kilometers of breathtaking sea views and shops, is perfect for all kinds of tourists!

In this city, you can tailor your activities to suit your interests and lifestyle. However, we highly recommend visiting the Torre Tanque, which provides stunning panoramic views of the city and unforgettable sunsets over the sea.

Read More: 8 Best Beaches in Argentina

15. El Bolson

El Bolsón is a paradise for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience to explore the quieter, more authentic side of Patagonia. With unparalleled natural beauty and a vibrant hippie culture, El Bolsón is a must-visit.

While visiting, you can spend a morning exploring its artisan markets, swimming in Lago Puelo, or simply soaking in its laid-back atmosphere. Cajon De Azul offers El Bolsón’s most spectacular trek!

The small town also offers a more budget-friendly getaway compared to its Patagonian neighbors, with suggested costs being about ¾ of Bariloche or El Chaltén. It’s even a destination where it’s possible to travel for less than rent!

Often considered Bariloche’s little brother – as it is only a 2-hour drive south of this among the most famous cities in Argentina – we believe that this untouched natural gem deserves much more recognition than it gets.

Tucuman Argentina
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16. San Martín de los Andes

Among a string of cities in Argentina’s Northern Patagonia Lake District, a favorite for many locals is the charming San Martín de los Andes. The town is strategically located at the top of the famous 7 Lakes District and possesses all the charm that is becoming harder to find in its big brother to the south, Bariloche.

The town itself is situated on the shores of the expansive Lago Lacar in Lanin National Park, and the beauty along the 7 Lakes scenic drive is just a stone’s throw away. In the national park, you can relax on the beaches at Playa Yuco and Hua Hum on the northern shores. There are hikes in the park for all skill levels, a ski resort for snow enthusiasts, and restaurants offering the best Patagonian fare.

Transport to this small Argentina city is relatively easy – San Martín has its own airport, with direct flights from Buenos Aires.

17. La Plata

La Plata serves as the capital city of the Buenos Aires Province and stands out as one of Argentina’s major hubs for urban life, academia, and high culture. It holds the distinction of being the first planned city in South America, evident in its meticulously laid-out streets that seem to have been drawn with precision from an aerial perspective.

During your stay, you can visit the city’s remarkable architectural landmarks, including the Metropolitan Cathedral of La Plata, the Municipal Palace, Plaza Moreno, and the Curutchet House. Immerse yourself in its rich cultural scene at iconic venues like the La Plata Museum, Paseo del Bosque, the Argentinian Theater, and its art museums.

For a taste of the local soccer fervor, visit the Ciudad de La Plata Stadium or experience the city’s classic match between Estudiantes de La Plata and Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata! If you happen to be in the city on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, be sure to allocate some time to explore the vibrant and diverse Feria Artesanal de Plaza Italia market.

Thanks to its cultural and academic prowess, La Plata reveals a gastronomic scene that is both rooted in tradition and forward-thinking. The city also offers a constant flow of incredible night shows.

Read More: 19+ Best Cities for Travelers in South America

Puerto Madryn Argentina
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18. Puerto Madryn

The beautiful coastal city of Puerto Madryn is renowned for providing unparalleled opportunities in Argentina for observing marine life. So, if you dream of adventurous days filled with encounters with whales, sea lions, elephant seals, penguins, and migratory birds, this city is tailor-made for you!

Nestled on the northern coast of Argentine Patagonia, Puerto Madryn holds the distinction of being one of the world’s premier destinations for whale watching. This awe-inspiring spectacle, available only between June and December, promises a truly transformative experience. In Puerto Madryn, a variety of observation tours are available, but we recommend choosing established agencies that offer travel insurance and are committed to environmental responsibility.

Some of the prime locations in Puerto Madryn for observing Patagonian marine fauna include Peninsula Valdés—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to unique activities such as diving with sea lions; El Doradillo Beach—a protected area of ecological and touristic significance, ideal for photography and trekking; and Punta Tombo—the largest Magellanic penguin reserve in South America.

For those keen on delving into the study of oceanic wonders, a visit to the National Museum of Natural and Oceanographic Sciences is recommended. Or explore the Paleontological Museum of Trelew and the Gem Museum of Geology for a deeper understanding of the region.

Travel Essential

Don’t head out on your adventure without comprehensive travel insurance! Good travel insurance may cover lost or stolen gear, medical emergencies, delayed or canceled flights, and more. Check out the policies available from SafetyWing or compare plans using Visitors Coverage.

19. Jujuy

San Salvador de Jujuy serves as the capital city of one of Argentina’s most beloved and unique provinces: Jujuy. Internationally renowned for its geographical wonders – colorful mountains, majestic valleys, and unique “Yungas,” where the Andean forest meets mountain jungles – the city becomes an ideal starting point for tours to these natural marvels and their surrounding, small traditional villages.

In the heart of San Salvador de Jujuy, several tourist sites are worth exploring: Plaza Belgrano, the Basilica of San Francisco, Belgrano Pedestrian Street, the Municipal Botanical Garden, and the Potrero de Yala Provincial Park.

Tourists passing through San Salvador de Jujuy typically venture towards the subregion of the Quebrada de Humahuaca – a string of small villages nestled amidst reddish mountains, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A definite must-visit!

Purmamarca and Tilcara stand out as the most frequented villages, offering insights into the rich indigenous culture of the region. Near them, you can explore remarkable places such as the Pucara de Tilcara, the Hill of Seven Colors, the Monument to the Heroes of Independence in Humahuaca, and the Serranía del Hornocal.

Furthermore, we recommend a visit to Calilegua National Park, particularly for those who appreciate hot springs or birdwatching.

From there, head north to Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats. They’re one of the most impressive bucket list destinations on the planet. Whether you catch them during the rainy season when they’re flooded and produce the legendary mirrored effect or in the dry season with incredible blue skies, you’ll be wowed.

El Chaltén Argentina
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20. El Chaltén

El Chaltén, a town with only 1500 inhabitants, situated in the vast Los Glaciares National Park, holds the title of Argentina’s Trekking Capital. There are plenty of spectacular hikes in El Chaltén for the appreciation of the most stunning Patagonian landscapes, making it a must-visit for those seeking to immerse themselves in the grandeur and diversity of the southern Argentine Andes.

Nestled at the base of Cerro Chaltén or Fitz Roy, this small tourist settlement already provides a beautiful mountain view from its city center. But short and easy walks, lasting no more than 3 hours, lead to precious spots like Chorillo del Salto—a breathtaking water spring, Mirador de la Torre—a natural viewpoint overlooking the icy peaks of Patagonia, and the ineffable Laguna Capri. You can also take a car or mountain bike to explore the Río de las Vueltas valley effortlessly!

For seasoned trekkers, extended excursions of 7 to 9 hours unveil natural wonders such as Pliegue Tumbado, Laguna Torre, and Laguna de Los Tres. And multi-day adventures lead them to the stunning glaciers in the area, like Glaciar Neumeyer and Glaciar Cagliero.

From this unique and active town, you can also partake in mountain sports like climbing, rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, and sport fishing. Moreover, it is a treat for those fascinated by the flora and fauna of this region of the world.

Mariana Piñeros is a bilingual writer and editor born in Colombia. Passionate about stories, she has dedicated her professional life to finding creative ways to share the heart of the projects she works with. When she's not creating content, she's traveling, folding books and zines with children, leading Intuitive Writing workshops, having a cup of cacao, or shedding tears in the halls of her favorite museums.