Backpacking Around Argentina
Argentina is becoming a more and more popular destination on the backpacker tourist trail. There are many reasons that make Argentina one of South America’s easiest and best countries to explore independently as a backpacker. You can get around the main places, and some of the lesser visited destinations, in Argentina comfortable in around a month, perhaps a little more. This includes travel time.
For many backpackers, one of the main factors is price. With really affordable prices, Argentina is a very realistic option for those who are carefully watching the budget. There are low price hostels and guest houses available in most major areas. Sleeping in a dormitory room or having a private room with a shared bathroom will keep costs low, but even other accommodation options are often significantly cheaper than back at home. An advantage of hostels though is that many have basic cooking facilities, where you can easily make a delicious and low cost meal rather than always eating out. Free camping is available in some national parks.
Taking local buses is also a great way to be careful with your funds; avoid taking taxis, except at night, walk around towns to sight-see and use the long bus rides, no matter how long, over flights. The buses are typically very comfortable, and some of the longer routes also have wifi available onboard. Arranging independent transport is usually easy. Whilst it is recommended to buy any tickets in advance, you can generally turn up at the bus station and buy a ticket for the next departing bus.
As South America’s second largest country, Argentina has a spectacular variety of things to see and do, and a wealth of experiences to be had. A vast array of landscapes, wildlife viewing hotspots, vibrant cities and rustic towns means you can discover so much, so easily. In the north there are the splendid heights of the Andes, in the east are magnificent jungles, teeming with wildlife, in the south you will find the dazzling Patagonian landscapes, and in the west there are mountains, lakes and fantastic vineyards and wine producing areas. Wild creatures include coatis, llamas, whales, seals, sea lions, penguins, and the giant soaring condors. You may see things that you have never even heard of before! There are fantastic national parks in Argentina, including the renowned haven of the Iguazu Falls National Park, the Glaciers National Park and the Valdes Peninsula.
The cities in Argentina are generally relatively safe to walk around and explore. Of course, the usual rules of common sense apply when in a new city, but when compared to other South American cities, Argentina poses fewer risks. Backpacking is also made easy by many people, especially the younger generations, speaking decent English.
A suggested itinerary is to start in Buenos Aires and spend a few days sight-seeing and partying. Soak up the local culture, delight in the local charms, and tango the night away in this bustling city. Make your next stop the wonderful area of Iguazu. A not to be missed part of the country, spend a few days exploring the jungles as well as gazing at the hypnotizing falls. You may also consider taking a day trip to the Brazilian side of the falls; arranging a visa is relatively easy and very expensive. Salta is a recommended next stop when backpacking around Brazil. Small Inca towns provide a totally different view of the country.
Cordoba makes for a pleasant couple of days, and is a renowned party hotspot, before continuing on to Rosario for a brief stop. Hit the beaches of Mar de Plato for a few days, and rest up in preparation for your ongoing adventures. See the wildlife in Puerto Madryn, and spend a few days being amazed by the antics of penguins, whales, sea lions and seals. Take a few days to see the plethora of sights in Ushuaia and perhaps try some glacier climbing. El Calafate is worthy of a few days. A growing glacier, you may even see parts of the giant glacier breaking away and drifting off into the waters. It is a fantastic hiking destination. In Bariloche you can spend even more time in the wild outdoors, cruising on the lakes, hiking in the mountains and paying a visit to the Tronador Glacier. Finally, sip some fine red wines and indulge in some of Argentina’s best steaks in Mendoza.
Whichever towns and cities you decide to visit on your backpacking journey around Argentina, you are guaranteed to take home a lifetime of memories and thousands of photographs. Friendly people, a good transport infrastructure, great food, diverse landscapes, an electric atmosphere, cheap prices and wonderful attractions will make Argentina a place you never want to leave.