Argentina lures travelers with its varied landscapes and great diversity of climates, from the lush rainforest surrounding Iguazú Falls and the grand glaciers of southern Patagonia to the culture and sophistication of its capital, Buenos Aires. But Argentina offers far more than these better-known destinations. Following are some alternative recommendations for those in search of untapped adventures. Here are our top 5 untapped destinations in Argentina:
Ischigualasto Provincial Park (Valley of the Moon), San Juan
Feel the mystery of a landscape that seems to be from another planet, declared a World Heritage Site. A mysterious experience. Lunar-looking soil. Unusual shapes that have been sculpted by the water, the sun and the wind for millions of years. Visit the Valley of the Moon in the Ischigualasto Provincial Park and watch the evolution of the Earth. Step on the same ways the dinosaurs did millions of years ago. Take your senses to the Triassic Period of the Mesozoic Era. Discover the secrets of a World Heritage Site.
Ischigualasto Provincial Park, more commonly referred to as Valley of the Moon because of its topography, is located in the northeastern province of San Juan and next door to Talampaya National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site, considered of great scientific importance, is very popular with paleontology lovers who come to admire the giant footprints of dinosaurs that used to live in this area up to 180 million years ago. The park is located about a four-hour drive from the city of San Juan and can be visited exclusively by car in about three hours. One of the most magical ways to explore Ischigualasto is on a full moon evening tour which must be booked several days in advance.
Talampaya National Park, La Rioja
Discover a mysterious red desert that emerged from deep inside the Earth when the Andes Mountains were formed. You will be surprised by its walls that merge into the skyline. Watch the rocks and the curious figures shaped by the water, the sun and the wind in millions of years. Enjoy a trip to our origins at the Talampaya National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Here you will discover one of the most appealing natural formations of Argentina: the Talampaya Canyon, where fossils of the Lagosuchus Talampayensis, one of the first dinosaurs on Earth, were found. Get a close look at its footprints, which have been marked on the rocks for 250 million years. See the petroglyphs that the Diaguita and Ciénaga cultures carved into the stones between the 3rd and the 9th century. A millenary adventure is waiting for you.
Neighboring Ishigualasto Provincial Park, Talampaya National Park provides great insight into one of the more important Triassic periods, housing a rich diversity of fossils. The park's impressive rock formations of red sandstone are the result of water erosion in a desert climate. It's only possible to visit the park on a guided tour. Like neighboring Ischigualasto, there are also full moon evening tours for a memorable experience.
In Córdoba adventure and folklore, tradition and universities, events and the region's typical food are waiting for you.
Discover a province that is also a region. An urban area with a busy commercial, cultural and university life. Charming valleys such as Traslasierra, Punilla and Calamuchita. Experiences that bring you close to nature in streams, rivers and dams. Sail on boats or practice water sports in either a peaceful atmosphere or with full adrenaline.
The spirit of the people from Córdoba is captivating. Locals will invite you to enjoy their land, taste food legends such as the Córdoba goat, cheeses and sausages, alfajores and craft beer. Enjoy the Cosquín Folklore Fest and the National Beer Fest [Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza] in Villa General Belgrano. Discover the cultural legacy in museums, churches and Jesuit ranches declared World Cultural Heritage by Unesco.
Located in central Argentina, the province of Córdoba is a land of lakes, rivers, and hills, making it a great destination for outdoor adventure lovers. Just under an hour's drive west of the city of Córdoba, the provincial capital and Argentina's second-largest city, lies the resort town of Villa Carlos Paz on the banks of San Roque Lake – a popular destination for amateurs of sailing and other water sports. Valle de Punilla, Capilla del Monte, La Cumbre, La Falda and the Quebrada del Condorito National Park are some of the other provincial destinations offering a wide range of activities including horseback riding, off-roading, mountain biking, lagoon diving and paragliding.
At the southernmost end of our planet, a legendary region is waiting for you with unique experiences and stunning landscapes. From the Pampean plains to Antarctica, and from the Andean mountains to the sea. Discover the region made up by the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, La Pampa, Chubut, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands. Explore places which are unique for an adventure and for relaxing. Glaciers and lakes. Forests and villages. Dream-like valleys and steppe fields. Volcanoes with geysers and thermal waters.
Patagonia is a destination that often tops the list of many visitors to Argentina. Its mythical landscapes, immensity, and the pristineness of its mountains, rivers and lakes provide the setting for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Repeat visitors can skip the region's classics and head to Trevelin with its unique cultural imprint. This charming town was founded by Welsh settlers – Trevelin means "Mill Town" in Welsh – and is located in a region rich in indigenous Mapuche traditions. Horseback riding, sports fishing, kayaking and mountain biking are only a few of the activities that are available here. Foodies can also delight in the area's rich culinary traditions, craft beers and locally produced wines.
Every year, during the month of October, about eight miles from the town center, an endless field of about two million tulips colors the landscape in a rainbow of bright hues all framed by the snow-capped peaks of the Andes.
Often considered one of Argentina's most beautiful national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Los Alerces National Park is less than a thirty minute drive away with its unique landscape molded by successive glaciations, emerald green lakes and forests of alerce trees – the second longest living tree species in the world.
Argentina is famous for its Pampas, the sprawling grassy plains that have shaped gaucho culture. La Pampa province provides travelers with the opportunity to experience the immensity of these plains and sierras that extend as far as the eye can see and immerse themselves in the traditions of Argentine gauchos, visit classic estancias and regale in an authentic asado (Argentine barbecue). Nature and wildlife enthusiasts can visit the Luro Park Reserve home to the endemic caldén tree and populations of red deer and rhea.
Additional information on Argentina is available at argentina.travel
INPROTUR, Argentina's National Institute for Tourism Promotion, also known as Visit Argentina, is a public-private entity responsible for promoting international travel to Argentina and for positioning Argentina as a global tourism destination. INPROTUR develops and executes promotional action plans in different global markets and conducts research and analysis of travel trends and market behavior in different source markets in order to position Argentina as a desirable destination in those markets.