Best Places to Visit in Argentina for First-Time Visitors Who Love Cuisine and Adventure

cerro campanario
Credit: Phillip Anderson

Argentina is the second-largest country in South America, right behind Brazil. It’s a magical country with a ton to offer to all travelers. 

From the far north region to the capital of Buenos Aires and down to Patagonia, adventure isn’t far. 

Seeing the entire country in one trip is impossible unless you’re here for months. That said, getting a good feel for the country in a few weeks is still possible. 

Below are some of the best spots to visit in Argentina for first-time visitors who love cuisine and adventure! 

Image credit to Phillip Anderson

Reasons to Visit Argentina

Argentina’s cuisine is among the best in the world. It is known for its amazing steaks or asada. 

Interested in wine? The vineyards all throughout the country are impeccable, especially in the region of Mendoza. 

They are known for their Malbecs, which were brought over originally from France in the late 19th century. Malbecs pair perfectly with a steak dinner! 

Different regions are also known for different types of food. A fan favorite is the cuisine in the Salta/Jujuy region. 

Patagonia is world-renowned and is often the main reason travelers flock to Argentina yearly. From the towns of Bariloche to El Chalten, there’s always an adventure waiting to happen. 

The Best Places to Visit in Argentina


Jujuy is the most Northwestern region of Argentina. Its desert vibe makes it so different from the rest of the country. This is a popular tourist area for local Argentinians, and it’s easy to see why! 

This region is known for its beautiful landscapes and food! Some of the favorite cuisines here are empanadas and tortilla santiagueña. 

Salta is a bit larger and directly south of Jujuy. Its major city is Salta. This region is also home to another famous wine region called Cafayate. 

There are many adventures to be had here and some of the best in the country! Some of the top activities are:

  • Salinas Grandes
  • Hornocal: The 14 Colors Mountain
  • Cafayate Wineries
  • Hike La Garganta del Diablo Waterfall
  • Explore the markets of Turmamarca & Humahuaca
  • Hike El Cerro de los Siete Colores
  • Quebrada De Las Conchas
Image credit to Phillip Anderson

Buenos Aires

Some people only travel to cities, while others avoid them. Buenos Aires is different, though. It’s one of the best cities in the world, and for good reason. There’s so much to do here! 

It is home to some of the best restaurants in the country and maybe even the world! That’s how good the food is here. 

But there’s more to do here than just eat. 

  • Explore the district of Palermo by going to its popular restaurants and bars. 
  • Go to a tango show at La Ventana
  • Take a day trip to Colonia de Sacramento in Uruguay by ferry
  • Visit the many markets throughout the city
  • Explore the famous neighborhood of La Boca


Bariloche is considered the beginning of Patagonia in Argentina. There are plenty of hikes for all fitness levels, but there’s more to do here than hike! 

This is another popular travel destination for locals and travelers alike. The main street in town called Mitre has a ton of restaurants and many chocolate shops!

The architecture in Bariloche is similar to that of Germany. This is largely due to the increase in migration of Germans in the 1800s and after WWII. 

There’s nothing like going on a hike during the day and having a good dinner plus dessert afterward! 

This town is great because the hikes are easily accessible by public transport. Go to any Kisoko store, purchase a SUBE card, add funds and that’s it! 

Some of the best hikes in town are:

  • Cerro Campanario
  • Refugio Frey
  • Cerro Llao Llao

All of these can be accessed by taking the bus, which is extremely affordable! 

El Chalten Argentina
Image credit to Phillip Anderson

El Chalten

El Chalten is a favorite amongst the backpacking community. It’s a small town just a few hours north of El Calafate. Here, there are hikes within walking distance of the town. 

When driving into town, Mount Fitz Roy instantly greets you. This is the town’s trademark and the reason many people travel from around the world to visit. 

What truly makes El Chalten magical is the community that you’re around. Everyone is here to do the same thing; many stories will be told here.

There isn’t much wifi throughout town, but that’s how it should be. Hike, drink coffee, eat good food and drink wine! 

Here are some of the top hikes to do for first-time visitors coming to Argentina to see the beauty of Patagonia: 

  1. Mirador de los Condores
  2. Laguna Torre
  3. Chorrillo del Salto Waterfall
Image credit to Phillip Anderson

El Calafate

El Calafate is located a few hours south of El Chalten and is where most people fly into when visiting Patagonia in Argentina. 

It’s also a bigger town than El Chalten but one of the main reasons people come here is to visit Perito Moreno Glacier. 

The most popular activity here is to do mini trekking on the glacier. This involves putting on crampons and hiking along the glacier. 

It’s an amazing experience and a once-in-a-lifetime experience! The cost can be expensive for some at around $250 to $300 but it’s well worth the price tag. 

Image credit to Phillip Anderson

Best Regions for Cuisine in Argentina

Argentina is full of good cuisine, found almost everywhere in the country. Most restaurants have good steaks and wine, but which region is the best? 

This is up for debate, but some of the most unique food is found in the northern regions of Argentina, in Jujuy and Salta. 

Almost any restaurant you visit will also have amazing food at a good price! There are many more restaurants in cities like Buenos Aires but sometimes the quality doesn’t match the price. 

Below are some of the unique dishes located in the northern Argentina:

  • Locro
  • Empanadas
  • Tortilla Santiagueña
  • Milanesa
  • Tamales
  • Humita
  • Tamales Saltenos

Many travelers love Locro, a vegetable and meat soup that re-energizes them after a long hike! 

When walking around the small town of Jujuy, many street vendors will sell tortilla santiaguenas. These are around $1 USD and are a flatbread filled with cheese and your choice of meat. 

Empanadas are also a fan favorite up here and are some of the best in the world! It’s common to go to dinner solely for empanadas or buy some to-go for a hike! 

Image credit to Phillip Anderson

Is Argentina a Good Travel Destination for Families?

Absolutely! Argentina is safe and a great place to take the family on vacation. When traveling through Patagonia, you’ll feel extremely safe! 

Every big city in the world has dangerous parts that you should avoid and Argentina is no different. 

Stick to the touristy locations, and everything will be fine. A lot of places, especially in the north, only speak Spanish. So it’s a good idea to brush up on your restaurant words and you’ll be set. 

Everyone here is very helpful and will try their best to understand you. 

Final Thoughts

Argentina should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list. There is so much to do here that seeing it all in one trip is impossible, but there’s something here for every type of traveler. 

If time isn’t an issue, road-tripping is a popular way to get around the country, but the bus system is also easy and reliable. 

There’s truly nothing bad to say about Argentina. It’s an affordable country with amazing cuisine and adventure the whole family will love! 

Previous articleThe Secret Recipe Behind the Yucatán’s Famous Huevos Motuleños
Next articleDeck of Cards, Endless Fun: Creative Ways to Enjoy Card Games with Friends
Phillip Anderson
Phillip Anderson is a freelance travel writer, personal trainer, and adventure enthusiast from Virginia Beach. Growing up, he spent most of his days either hiking in the Shenandoah, going to the beach, or working out. He has traveled to 32 countries and embarked on various challenging multi-day treks in diverse terrains worldwide–most notably, in Peru, Ecuador, and the US. These treks have taken him through some of the most pristine landscapes in the world.