|Chacras de Coria||$1135|
|Pilar (Buenos Aires)||$1115|
Tango and soccer – they’re good with their feet, the Argentines, and this year presents a great opportunity to take cheap flights to Argentina. It is marking its 200th birthday with a slew of celebrations, of which one of the highlights will be the reopening of the “Teatro Colon”, the iconic opera house in Buenos Aires.
The capital city pulsates with a New-York type energy but a European feel; parts of Buenos Aires will put you in mind of Barcelona, Paris or Madrid.
Cordoba is Argentina’s second city, located between Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires. It’s one of the most culturally rich cities and has a thriving literary heritage.
Without doubt, one of Argentina’s biggest drawcards are the Iguaçú Falls, a two-hour flight north of Buenos Aires. The Falls border Brazil, and consist of 275 waterfalls along almost 3km of the Iguaçú River.
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, in the south west of Santa Cruz on the Chile border, is another wonder. It’s a Unesco World Heritage Site, home to the Perito Moreno Glacier, which has a front 5km long and a height of more than 60 metres above the level of the water.
The Iberá wetlands in Corrientes Province, in the northeast, are an under-visited destination. Here, you’ll spot caiman, a crocodilian reptile, capybara, the world’s largest rodent, and the elusive maned wolf, a fox-like animal that is a provincial natural monument.
There are four climate types in Argentina. The provinces of Misiones and Corrientes, the northern area of Entre Ríos and the eastern section of the Chaco region – north-eastern Argentina – have a subtropical climate – high temperatures and lots of rain year-round.Part of Salta, the west of Formosa and Chaco, the eastern plains of Tucumán, nearly the whole of Santiago del Estero and the NW Santa Fe – northwestern Chile – has a dry season during the first half of the year.Buenos Aires, most of Entre Rios, the centre and south of Santa Fe, the eastern strip of Cordoba and a part to the north east of La Pampa has a moderate climate.An arid climate holds sway over La Puna, Catamarca’s Andes, La Rioja and San Juan, the neighbouring pre–andean area and Patagonia extra–andean.Patagonia has, in general, a cold climate. Temperatures are low, rainfall is low and in winter there is lots of snowfall.
The high season in Argentina is the summer (November to March), which takes in Christmas and New Year. Easter (March/April) is also peak season. Independence Day is celebrated on July 9.
Buenos Aires can be visited at any time of the year, although spring (September through November) and autumn (March-May) are the most beautiful and temperate times.
The north of Argentina is best visited in spring, winter and autumn – summer temperatures can be extremely high.
Iguaçú Falls should be seen in either winter or spring. Patagonia, in the south, should be visited during the summer months. Winter is, obviously, high season for the ski resorts, of which Las Leñas and San Carlos de Bariloche are very popular.
In general, the low season in Argentina is July and August, the coldest months. However, this is high season for skiing.
Driving in Buenos Aires is best left to the locals (portenos). Lots of the city can be enjoyed on foot and there is the metro (subte), remise (a taxi, the price of the trip is settled before starting off) and radio-taxi (radio-dispatched taxis, safer than street taxis).
Colectivos or micro omnibus (bus) are other transport options.
Flights – Aerolineas Argentinas and LAN Argentina both offer domestic flights.
Train – The rail network is limited but cheap. If you’re not on a strict schedule, it’s a great way to see the countryside. The Tren a las nubes (Train to the Clouds) in the province of Salta, is one train journey worth taking. It runs within the Andes, a journey of 434km that takes 15 hours (round trip) across 29 bridges, 21 tunnels and 13 viaducts.
Buses – travelling by bus is comfortable and economical. Some long-distance bus routes even have a meal service.
(prices quotes are from London)