Backpacking Argentina

Argentina is a country of superlatives. Here you will find one of the widest roads in the world, the highest mountain in South America, the best tango, the longest mountain range on earth, the strongest wine, the widest river and the southernmost city on earth. Have fun exploring our ideal backpacking itinerary for Argentina.


Important Basics

Official language : Spanish
EnglishSpanish
HelloHola
GoodbyeCiao
Thank youGracias
Yes
NoNo
Capital City

Buenos Aires

Form of government

Presidential Republic (Federal Republic)

Best time to travel

March, April, October, but any month is a good time to travel here

Currency

Argentinian Peso

Phone Country Code

+54

Fun facts
  • In the rainforests in Argentina, there are howler monkeys that can be heard from a distance of 4.8 kilometres.
  • When there was unrest in 2001, there were 5 different presidents within 10 days.
  • The tango originated in Argentina.

Cities

Buenos Aires

Your first stop is Buenos Aires, which alone is worth the long flight. Even though there are only a few traditional sights here, you’ll still be enchanted by the colourful, lively metropolis. This famous city has a captivating art scene, a vibrant nightlife and fantastic restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Argentinian steak – among other things.

Watch a tango show in the San Telmo district, walk along the Avenida del Libertador and visit the impressive 20-lane Avenida 9 de Julio. The Puerto Madero and the football stadium in La Boca are also worth seeing.

Stay overnight in a hostel in a six-bed dorm for €14 per night.

Iguazú

From Buenos Aires, catch a flight for around €70 to Iguazú, which means “big water” in the Tupi or Guarani languages.

Check out some of the world’s largest waterfalls, the Iguazú Falls, where Brazil and Argentina meet. Comprised of some 275 separate waterfalls and cataracts, the falls extend over more than 2.5 kilometres.

You can get closest to the waterfalls on the Argentinean side and have the opportunity to explore the Iguazú National Park on various circular walks. Don’t miss the main attraction, Garganta del Diablo (the Devil's Throat), and the incredible power of this 80-metre-high natural spectacle.

Watch coatis and many other indigenous species in the thick jungle or take a refreshing swim in one of the many smaller waterfalls along the way.

Stay in a hostel near the national park in a six-bed dorm for €12 per night.

Salta

Continue your trip into the northwest of the country by bus for about €80 to Salta.

The city is embedded in the Andes Mountains, making it an ideal starting point for excursions into the breathtaking mountain landscape.

Purmamarca, a picturesque mountain village at the foot of Cerro de los Siete Colores (Seven Colours Hill), is a popular destination in the area, and is particularly known for its arts and crafts. The hill gets its name from the different coloured layers formed over centuries by geological processes, which makes it one of Argentina’s most popular sights.

Be sure to visit Salinas Grandes, one of the world’s largest salt deserts, stretching over 200 square kilometres. Stop and admire the beautiful, endless white landscape – you won’t regret it.

A tour of the area around Salta, visits to the handicraft market in Purmamarca, the seven-coloured hill and Salinas Grandes also includes hostel pick up/drop off in Salta, transport and entrance fees, for only cost €60 per person.

Salta's charming old town offers great accommodation for €10 per night in a four-bed dorm

Córdoba

For around €70, you can take the bus from Salta to Córdoba, located a little further inland.

With 1.3 million inhabitants, Córdoba is the second largest city in Argentina. Located east of the Sierras de Córdoba mountain range, it attracts travellers from all around the world with its rich history and culture.

Colonial buildings from the 17th and 18th century characterize this student city, which is full of educational institutions. Visit the lively central district of Nueva Córdoba, plunge into the nightlife and dance to traditional Cuarteto music. Plaza San Martín, Iglesia Sagrado Corazón and Las Tejas Park are also worth seeing.

Sleep at a centrally located hostel in an eight-bed dorm for €11 per night.

El Calafate

Jump on a flight (starting from €180) from Córdoba to El Calafate – the starting point for excursions to Los Glaciares National Park.

The park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the “liveliest” ice surfaces in the world. An excursion to the glacier is best done on a guided tour and is sure to be a trip highlight.

The 30-kilometre long and five-kilometre-wide glacier is one of the few glaciers on our planet that is growing – up to two meters per day! Under a tour guide’s supervision, you can even walk on the glacier and take in the magnificent view of the surrounding landscape from a height of up to 60 metres. The day tour includes hostel pick up/drop off, transfer and guide from €50 per person.

You can find good accommodation in El Calafate for €22 per night in a four-bed dorm.

Puerto Natales

Continue by bus (for about €30) to get to Puerto Natales. This city in the western part of Patagonia is actually located in Chile and is the starting point for excursions to the Torres del Paine National Park.

The park, which is the most famous in the region, has everything imaginable – from crystal clear rivers, granite rocks, grasslands, and glaciers to mountain lakes and swamps. Take a guided day hike and explore its incredible nature.

The most popular route leads up to the foot of the Torres del Paine. It also passes El Chileno Mountain Lodge, where you have a fantastic view of Nordenskjöld Lake and Almirante Nieto. The ascent to Torres del Paine, which means “Blue Towers,” begins through the Millennial Lenga forest.

This hike is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and leads to the most beautiful places in the huge national park. This guided experience includes hostel pickup/drop-off, trekking equipment and lunch from €128 per person.

An overnight stay at a hostel in Puerto Natales in a four-bed dorm is just €19 per night.

Ushuaia

Catch a bus for around €43 and travel even further to the south of Argentina. Ushuaia is located on the Beagle Channel and is considered the southernmost city in the world.

The city is surrounded by snow-covered mountains and is a popular winter sports area. However, the region’s highlight is not ski slopes, but the nearby Tierra del Fuego Park. The best way to get there is by boat from Ushuaia’s port.

Tierra del Fuego, the country’s only coastal national park, is home to quite an impressive landscape and feels like New Zealand or Norway with its icy glaciers, snow-covered mountains, turquoise-blue lakes, deep canyons and dense forests landscapes.

So why not go to Tierra del Fuego and experience the unique end-of-the-earth feeling at South America’s southernmost tip – the last stop before Antarctica?

Stay overnight in Ushuaia in a six-bed dorm for €21.

Buenos Aires

From Ushuaia, return to Buenos Aires. Domestic flights to the capital start from €180.

There is no better place to end your trip than in the country’s industrial and cultural centre. Visit the markets and shopping malls to buy some last-minute souvenirs, take a stroll through the colourful streets, enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere and end your trip with a relaxed restaurant visit or a wild night on the town.

Stay in a six-bed dorm at a hostel in Palermo for €14 per night. From Buenos Aires, fly back home with your luggage full to the brim with memories of your adventures in South America.


Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

Your first stop is Buenos Aires, which alone is worth the long flight. Even though there are only a few traditional sights here, you’ll still be enchanted by the colourful, lively metropolis. This famous city has a captivating art scene, a vibrant nightlife and fantastic restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Argentinian steak – among other things.

Watch a tango show in the San Telmo district, walk along the Avenida del Libertador and visit the impressive 20-lane Avenida 9 de Julio. The Puerto Madero and the football stadium in La Boca are also worth seeing.

Stay overnight in a hostel in a six-bed dorm for €14 per night.

Iguazú

Iguazú

From Buenos Aires, catch a flight for around €70 to Iguazú, which means “big water” in the Tupi or Guarani languages.

Check out some of the world’s largest waterfalls, the Iguazú Falls, where Brazil and Argentina meet. Comprised of some 275 separate waterfalls and cataracts, the falls extend over more than 2.5 kilometres.

You can get closest to the waterfalls on the Argentinean side and have the opportunity to explore the Iguazú National Park on various circular walks. Don’t miss the main attraction, Garganta del Diablo (the Devil's Throat), and the incredible power of this 80-metre-high natural spectacle.

Watch coatis and many other indigenous species in the thick jungle or take a refreshing swim in one of the many smaller waterfalls along the way.

Stay in a hostel near the national park in a six-bed dorm for €12 per night.

Salta

Salta

Continue your trip into the northwest of the country by bus for about €80 to Salta.

The city is embedded in the Andes Mountains, making it an ideal starting point for excursions into the breathtaking mountain landscape.

Purmamarca, a picturesque mountain village at the foot of Cerro de los Siete Colores (Seven Colours Hill), is a popular destination in the area, and is particularly known for its arts and crafts. The hill gets its name from the different coloured layers formed over centuries by geological processes, which makes it one of Argentina’s most popular sights.

Be sure to visit Salinas Grandes, one of the world’s largest salt deserts, stretching over 200 square kilometres. Stop and admire the beautiful, endless white landscape – you won’t regret it.

A tour of the area around Salta, visits to the handicraft market in Purmamarca, the seven-coloured hill and Salinas Grandes also includes hostel pick up/drop off in Salta, transport and entrance fees, for only cost €60 per person.

Salta's charming old town offers great accommodation for €10 per night in a four-bed dorm

Córdoba

Córdoba

For around €70, you can take the bus from Salta to Córdoba, located a little further inland.

With 1.3 million inhabitants, Córdoba is the second largest city in Argentina. Located east of the Sierras de Córdoba mountain range, it attracts travellers from all around the world with its rich history and culture.

Colonial buildings from the 17th and 18th century characterize this student city, which is full of educational institutions. Visit the lively central district of Nueva Córdoba, plunge into the nightlife and dance to traditional Cuarteto music. Plaza San Martín, Iglesia Sagrado Corazón and Las Tejas Park are also worth seeing.

Sleep at a centrally located hostel in an eight-bed dorm for €11 per night.

El Calafate

El Calafate

Jump on a flight (starting from €180) from Córdoba to El Calafate – the starting point for excursions to Los Glaciares National Park.

The park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the “liveliest” ice surfaces in the world. An excursion to the glacier is best done on a guided tour and is sure to be a trip highlight.

The 30-kilometre long and five-kilometre-wide glacier is one of the few glaciers on our planet that is growing – up to two meters per day! Under a tour guide’s supervision, you can even walk on the glacier and take in the magnificent view of the surrounding landscape from a height of up to 60 metres. The day tour includes hostel pick up/drop off, transfer and guide from €50 per person.

You can find good accommodation in El Calafate for €22 per night in a four-bed dorm.

Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales

Continue by bus (for about €30) to get to Puerto Natales. This city in the western part of Patagonia is actually located in Chile and is the starting point for excursions to the Torres del Paine National Park.

The park, which is the most famous in the region, has everything imaginable – from crystal clear rivers, granite rocks, grasslands, and glaciers to mountain lakes and swamps. Take a guided day hike and explore its incredible nature.

The most popular route leads up to the foot of the Torres del Paine. It also passes El Chileno Mountain Lodge, where you have a fantastic view of Nordenskjöld Lake and Almirante Nieto. The ascent to Torres del Paine, which means “Blue Towers,” begins through the Millennial Lenga forest.

This hike is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and leads to the most beautiful places in the huge national park. This guided experience includes hostel pickup/drop-off, trekking equipment and lunch from €128 per person.

An overnight stay at a hostel in Puerto Natales in a four-bed dorm is just €19 per night.

Ushuaia

Ushuaia

Catch a bus for around €43 and travel even further to the south of Argentina. Ushuaia is located on the Beagle Channel and is considered the southernmost city in the world.

The city is surrounded by snow-covered mountains and is a popular winter sports area. However, the region’s highlight is not ski slopes, but the nearby Tierra del Fuego Park. The best way to get there is by boat from Ushuaia’s port.

Tierra del Fuego, the country’s only coastal national park, is home to quite an impressive landscape and feels like New Zealand or Norway with its icy glaciers, snow-covered mountains, turquoise-blue lakes, deep canyons and dense forests landscapes.

So why not go to Tierra del Fuego and experience the unique end-of-the-earth feeling at South America’s southernmost tip – the last stop before Antarctica?

Stay overnight in Ushuaia in a six-bed dorm for €21.

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

From Ushuaia, return to Buenos Aires. Domestic flights to the capital start from €180.

There is no better place to end your trip than in the country’s industrial and cultural centre. Visit the markets and shopping malls to buy some last-minute souvenirs, take a stroll through the colourful streets, enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere and end your trip with a relaxed restaurant visit or a wild night on the town.

Stay in a six-bed dorm at a hostel in Palermo for €14 per night. From Buenos Aires, fly back home with your luggage full to the brim with memories of your adventures in South America.

Argentina Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home- Buenos Aires
Home- Buenos Aires
Flight
350
Six-bed dorm
14
2. Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
-
3. Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
-
4. Buenos Aires - Iguazu
Buenos Aires - Iguazu
Flight
70
Six-bed dorm
12
5. Iguazú
Iguazú
-
6. Iguazú - Salta
Iguazú - Salta
Night bus
80
7. Salta
Salta
-
Five-bed dorm
10
8. Salta
Salta
-
9. Salta - Córdoba
Salta - Córdoba
Night bus
70
10. Córdoba
Córdoba
-
Eight-bed dorm
11
11. Córdoba - El Calafate
Córdoba - El Calafate
Flight
180
Four-bed dorm
22
12. El Calafate
El Calafate
-
13. El Calafate - Puerto Natales
El Calafate - Puerto Natales
Bus
30
Four-bed dorm
19
14. Puerto Natales
Puerto Natales
-
15. Puerto Natales
Puerto Natales
-
16. Puerto Natales - Ushuaia
Puerto Natales - Ushuaia
Bus
43
Six-bed dorm
21
17. Ushuaia
Ushuaia
-
18. Ushuaia
Ushuaia
-
19. Ushuaia - Buenos Aires
Ushuaia - Buenos Aires
Flight
180
Six-bed dorm
14
20. Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
-
21. Buenos Aires - home
Buenos Aires - home
Flight
350

Total price.

Flights 1130,00
Transportation 223,00
Tours 242,00
Accommodations 254,00
Total1849,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Choripan: This delicious street food is sausage in a piece of baguette. You can additionally choose between different sauces on top, like chimichurri.

Soups

Locro: A stew made from corn, tripe, meat and vegetables.

Fricase:   A spicy soup made with pork or chicken seasoned with cumin, garlic, onion, oregano, pepper and breadcrumbs to make the soup thicker. The soup is great for breakfast, especially if you have a hangover after a big night.

Main courses

Milanesa: An Italian tradition passed on by the many Italian immigrants that came to Argentina. This dish consists of a piece of beef or chicken soaked in breadcrumbs before being fried in a pan. It is served with several different side dishes.

Llama steak: A llama is a furry animal that belongs to the camel family, and its fur is used for warm clothing that is sold at craft markets. Argentinians love eating their meat, especially since it has a lower fat content than normal steaks, making it healthier. You can find llama meat in different dishes such as empanadas and stews.

Asado or barbecue:  Like in many other countries, Argentinians like to enjoy a good barbecue with friends. An Argentine barbecue is known for delicious high-quality meat.

Drinks

Wine: The perfect companion for a delicious Argentine barbecue is a good glass of local red wine. Argentine wines are very popular worldwide due to their great variety of grapes. Thanks to Argentina’s large size and different climates, there are many different types of wines, but Malbec is the most famous..

Yerba Mate: Yerba Mate is a bitter tasting herb with a lot of caffeine. It is served as tea. Locals enjoy drinking one or two cups of Yerba during the day, and many know it as the country’s most popular drink.

Argentina

The exchange rate for 100 Argentinian Pesos is around €1.49 (as of December 2019). See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of living 

Food

Free time

Dos

Be aware that locals kiss people on the cheek when saying hello or goodbye. It’s done regardless of gender or whether you’re a complete stranger.

Drink, Mate! Locals will proudly offer you a glass of their national drink, called Mate. Consider it a token of friendship and accept it to avoid hurting their feelings. 

Learn to tango – or at least watch someone do it. Nobody dances tango better than an Argentinian.

Always carry small coins with you. Shops and transportation systems have only grown a little over the years, so have small coins with you or you won’t be able to buy anything because they often don’t have change.

You can use the postal service to send letters and postcards. However, do it at the post office instead of the mailboxes and don't send anything too valuable since it might get lost.

Don'ts

Don’t be surprised if Argentines speak loudly. Don't take it personally, they aren’t yelling at you, that's just their way of speaking.

Don’t talk much about sports. Argentines are also very fond of football, especially the two famous Argentine football teams Boca Juniors and River Plate. Some fanatical supporters take their love for football too far, so be careful when you talk about sport. It's best to avoid talking about football, and especially avoid insulting either of the above-mentioned teams.

Don’t wear clothes or accessories relating to these football teams, especially if you are close to the stadium.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

No

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

No

Vaccine

Yes

Additional Remarks.

We recommend researching the travel document, visa and entry requirements for your home country before your departure. If you travel to Argentina, consult a health care provider before you leave to discuss vaccination requirements.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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