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We are considering visiting Argentina for up to ten days during mid-to-late December. What would be the top places to see / visit, especially during that time of year?

Secondly, what is the best way to get around in Argentina (e.g. public transport or car rental)?

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I agree with @user27478, you need to specify what kind of things you are interested in. I like southern Patagonia for hiking / trekking (in combination with Torres del Paine across the border from El Calafate in Chile). The Iguazu Falls are also great. And Buenos Aires itself of course (tango!). If you only have 10 days, I would definitely recommend flying as Argentina is huge. –  jeroen Jun 21 '11 at 21:18
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4 Answers 4

up vote 18 down vote accepted

In December at least it will be summer, so you can explore the entire country!

Suggested cities and activities below:

  1. El Calafate, Patagonia - use as a base to go see the Perito Moreno glacier - the 3rd largest in the world, and the general area - great for hiking, climbing and trekking. The Andes are spectacular down there.

  2. Ushuia - the end of the world, it's where the boats go to Antarctica, if you've got the cash - it's not cheap!

  3. Iguazu Falls - these spectacular falls are about 275 individual falls on the border between Argentina and Brazil. You CANNOT miss these.

  4. Buenos Aires - the home of Tango, you must see a show. I suggest Cafe Tortoni, on Avenida de Mayo - it's cheaper than the touristy meal+dinner+lesson ads you see everywhere, and is the oldest Tango hall in the city. Fantastic show! Recoleta cemetery is interesting, and La Boca district - and see a football match if at all possible!

  5. Puerto Madryn - Wildlife bonanza - where you can watch whales from your hostel balcony, swim with seals (one of only 3 places in the world), and see many more animals on the Valdez peninsula - we saw seals, sea lions, elephant seals, whales, guanacoes, rheas, mara, armadillo, foxes, a penguin and more!

  6. Mendoza - a wonderful place in western Argentina, it's wine country! I could retire there tomorrow. It has great weather, still enjoys a siesta, has some of the best wine in the world, and the steak restaurants were fantastic, as was the ice-cream!

As for getting around, bus is the easiest, safest, and most comfortable. Three major classes - semi-cama (chairs that tilt), cama (turns to bed) and cama-suite - unbelievable. Generally includes food (ham and cheese in semi-cama, it goes up to champagne and roasts in cama-suite), and quality depends a bit on company, but most in Argentina are fantastically comfortable, even for long distances.

I really would recommend AGAINST renting a car. The distances are so vast, better to just let the public transport take you there. Perhaps, you might rent one in El Calafate to go see some of the places around there, but there are cheap tours to the glaciers and so on anyway, it's really not necessary.

Have fun!

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I'm not sure if you count this as "public transport", but domestic plane travel is for sure more comfortable and safe than the bus, especially if you fly on a full-service airline like LAN, although it might be more expensive. For example, the trip from Buenos Aires to Usuhaia takes about 3.5 hours just by plane. Worth considering as an option, depending on where you are going and how compressed your schedule is like. –  Andrew Ferrier Jul 5 '12 at 13:14
    
Perito Moreno ! youtu.be/lwmEsPEmKnI –  Maxim Jan 26 at 17:28
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You don't mention what kind of trips you like, but if you like nature I would highly recommend Patagonia--specifically El Calafate and Ushuaia. December is a good season to go.

Distances inn Argentina are large--even if you're not going all the way to Patagonia. Bus service is excellent with luxury buses, reclining seats and meal service. Plane flights are also available, but can be expensive. I would only recommend a rental car for local trips once you've reached your final destination.

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December is summer time in Argentina. So I do not recommend you to try "winter stuff". Buenos Aires is Argentina's capital. You must go to a Tango show (some requires you to book in advance). You also must eat a typical barbecue (if you are not vegetarian). I love everything they do with milk and also their wines are very good (Malbec is the better grape). They have been considered as "small Europe in South America", and you should visit places like Caminito in Buenos Aires.

You should also visit Patagonia, maybe with a small boat trip to explore the views.

You can also try the Andine Lakes, between Argentina and Chile. In this case, I recommend you to start in one country and return home by the other.

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In addition to the above answers you should visit the burial place of Eva Peron -"Evita", first Lady of Argentina at El Cementerio de los Relojes.

The Sunday Fair in Mataderos is well worth a visit. Its quite a way out but for those who are interested in rural Argentina & Gauchos it makes a nice outing. (Don't forget to try Asado if you have the opportunity, a Gaucho Barbecue of giant proportions - hope you are not vegetarian)

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