Argentina, often known as “The Land of Silver,” is a place famous for its dances, delectable cuisine, and stunning scenery.
It is the second largest nation in South America (Brazil being #1), stretching over various natural landscapes and climates. The home of dulce de leche and tango has a lot to offer and should definitely be on your travel wish list.
The country is bordered to the South and West by Chile, to the North by Bolivia and Paraguay, and to the East by Brazil, Uruguay, and the Atlantic Ocean. The fact that Argentina has a total of 35 national parks says more about the country’s beauty. The most well-known locations are also found in massive Patagonia.
3 weeks in Argentina are filled with adventures, learning about its history and culture, and exploring the gateway to Antarctica. Each city and region in Argentina offers different kinds of activities that will ensure that you have a great time during your visit.
MUST-READ: 5 different itineraries for 3 weeks in South America
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO ARGENTINA
If you’re arranging a trip to Argentina, you’re definitely looking for the best spots to go and figuring out how to include all the country’s attractions in your itinerary.
There is so much to see and do in Argentina it’s easy to get overwhelmed when visiting. Before touring here, there are a few things to consider that would help plan your trip.
Find out more about the most convenient transportation, the best time to visit, the language spoken here, the widely used mode of payment, and a lot more. With the aid of this guide, your 20 days in Argentina will certainly be memorable.
When is the best time to go to Argentina
Overall, the best time to travel to Argentina is November or April when it’s neither too crowded nor too rainy. Here’s a bit more information about the weather in Argentina for vacation:
- Peak Season: December to February (summer) attracts most tourists, especially in Patagonia, Buenos Aires, and other southern regions.
- Shoulder Season: March to May (fall) and September to November (spring) offer milder weather and fewer tourists, ideal for Buenos Aires and wine regions like Mendoza.
- Rainy Season: In the northwest, such as Salta and Jujuy, rains predominantly occur from December to March.
- Winter season (June – August) is an ideal time to experience skiing and snowboarding, which is perfect for fans of winter sports.
What to pack
If you are spending 3 weeks in Argentina and plan to visit cities and the Patagonia region, your packing list might look different, especially if you plan to travel during winter. The most important thing to remember is to pack clothes for layering instead of bringing bulky and heavy winter jackets.
For people visiting during summer months, bring shawl or scarf that you can use to cover your head and shoulders when entering churches.
For those travelling from the US and Canada, remember that Argentina uses 220V supply voltage. This means that using a power adapter is vital if you don’t want the wall socket to fry up your gadgets.
Some things are cheaper to buy in Argentina than to bring home, especially if you want to travel with carry-on luggage only. Check out our packing list for a 3-week trip, it comes with a free printable. We also have a packing list for summer and winter packing list.
How to get around
The most common and affordable mode of transportation in the country is the bus. They are referred to as “micros” and are often modern, pleasant, and efficient, with reclining seats, air conditioning, and restrooms.
Since public transportation is scarce or nonexistent in places like Patagonia, Northwest, Tierra del Fuego, and Argentina’s magnificent national parks, renting a car provides you greater freedom to explore freely and venture off the beaten path.
There are a few long-distance trains that travel to cities like Córdoba, and they are typically slower and less regular than buses. During rush hour, trains can become uncomfortably crowded, and during the summer, they can become unbearably hot.
In Buenos Aires and other large cities, taxis are prevalent, and if you catch one on the street, be sure the driver utilizes the meter. On the other hand, you can use ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Cabify, and Beat.
Language and currency
The main language in Argentina is Spanish. In major cities like Buenos Aires, and popular tourist destinations, many people, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industries, can communicate in English.
Approximately 15% of Argentines are considered to speak basic English, and 6% are estimated to speak the language well. The most central and tourist areas of the country’s capital, Buenos Aires, are reported to be adequate for using English.
Argentina’s official currency is the Argentine Peso (ARS). While credit cards are accepted in many hotels, restaurants, and shops, cash is often preferred, especially in smaller establishments and rural areas.
ATMs are widely available, but it’s advisable to carry cash as a backup. Tourists can sometimes pay with USD in tourist-heavy areas, but it’s not universal. For the best rates and to ensure acceptance, it’s wise to use pesos for transactions.
Argentina’s visa policy is quite easy. If your passport is from South America, you have freedom of movement.
While foreign visitors holding passports from North and Central America, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Russia, Mongolia, and Kazhakstan, you can enter and stay in Argentina for up to 90 days.
Other travel tips
To make your travel planning and arrangement less hassle, check out these sites I use when booking my hotel, flights, tours, car rental, and even travel insurance. A lot of these services have free cancellation and offer a wide range of choices according to your budget.
MUST-SEE PLACES IN ARGENTINA (pinned map)
Click the enlarge button on the top right corner. Credit: map data: Google
3 WEEKS IN ARGENTINA ITINERARY
These in-depth tours of Argentina will take you to some of South America’s most breathtaking locations. In just three weeks, you could cover practically all of Argentina, including its most picturesque cities and natural wonders, and partake in a variety of activities.
Buenos Aires for 3 days
Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is a good starting point on your trip since it is throbbing with stylish and alluring energy. This enormous South American city is made up of distinctively flavorful neighbourhoods that blend South American style with European design.
As the “Paris of the South,” Buenos Aires is home to renowned architecture, top-notch food, exciting entertainment, world-class shopping, historical sites, and more.
Tango is a major component of Argentine culture, and in Buenos Aires, it dominates the scene. The city of Buenos Aires is known for its incredible nightlife, which includes everything from neighbourhood pubs to cocktail bars, from large clubs to secret gig venues, down to underground bars that cater to every taste.
You can also book an airport to hotel transfer to make your trip more convenient.
Things to do in Buenos Aires
- Explore the city – hop-on, hop-off bus tour or this one with an audio or a 3-hour sightseeing tour or a private city tour with a local guide or a half-day bike tour or a walking tour
- Day Trip to Tigre Delta
- Colonia Ferry – read the reviews
- Day Trip to San Antonio de Areco
- Tango Show – with optional dinner or a Piazzolla Tango Show
- Visit Teatro Colon
- Northern Buenos Aires – the famous Tigre River Delta tour
- Visit Puerto Madero
- Gaucho Day Tour – to San Antonio de Areco
- Explore Bosques de Palermo
- Explore Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
- Join an empanada and steak making – see the price
- Stroll Around Palermo Soho
- Book a Sherpa food tour
- Take Polo Lessons at Estancia Puesto Viejo
Accommodations in Buenos Aires
- Affordable: Reina Madre Hostel or BA STOP Hostel
- Mid-range: Circus Hostel or America Del Sur Hostel
- Luxury: Palladio Hotel or Modern & New Apartment in Palermo or Luxury Apartments in Palermo or Carles Hotel
Cordoba for 3 days
Cordoba, which is Argentina’s second-largest city, has a distinct character from the capital, Buenos Aires. The people of Cordoba are known throughout the nation as being joyful people who like rally car racing, cuarteto music, and the beverages Fernet and Coke.
This city is worth the journey for its blend of old and new. With Jesuit ruins combined with modern art galleries and an increasing student population, make the city hip and fun.
While most tourists to the country will undoubtedly explore the capital city, the oldest surviving institution in the nation is located here, and its unspoiled surroundings are a great place to go horseback riding and parasailing.
The flight from Buenos Aires to Cordoba takes around 1 hr 25 min. Alternatively, the direct drive from Buenos Aires to Cordoba takes around 7 hr 28 min, covering a distance of 696 km via RN9 and Au 9/Au Cordoba – Rosario.
Things to do in Cordoba
- Day Trip to Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba
- Day Trip to Jewish Quarter (Juderia)
- Day trip to both La Cumbrecita and Villa General Belgrano – read the reviews
- Stroll Around Patios de Cordoba
- Stroll Around Patio de los Naranjos
- Explore the Historic Centre of Cordoba
- Visit Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
- Explore Palacio de Viana
- Visit Roman Bridge
Accommodations in Cordoba
- Affordable: Hostel Alvear or 531 Hostel
- Mid-range: Bucanaan Hostel Boutique or Aldea Hostel
- Luxury: AT Suites or Olmos Suites or Holiday Inn Cordoba or Windsor Hotel
Patagonia: San Carlos de Bariloche/El Chalten 4 days
3 weeks in Argentina is not complete without visiting its stunning Patagonia region. San Carlos de Bariloche, a well-known tourist resort in Northern Patagonia, serves as the gateway to scenic landscapes, lots of trekking, and a ton of outdoor adventure sports.
Nicknamed the “Patagonia Light,” this town is undoubtedly a year-round tourism destination, and during winter, guests may go skiing at the neighbouring Cerro Catedral.
There is much to keep you occupied both inside the town of Bariloche and outside it. With its Swiss-inspired centre, Alpine architecture, and superb craft brewers, there is much to do in San Carlos de Bariloche.
The small mountaineering town of El Chalten was established in 1985 and is situated inside Patagonia’s Glaciers National Park. Although Chalten has been dubbed the “National Capital of Trekking,” tourists can also partake in other adventure pursuits.
This includes sailing, kayaking, and horseback riding, in addition to climbing routes and hiking trails. It would be a shame not to visit the area for the absolutely breathtaking jagged peaks towering over turquoise lakes.
The flight from Cordoba to San Carlos de Bariloche takes around 2 hr 10 min, covering a distance of 781 miles (1,257 km). You can choose from 3 airlines that operate these non-stop flights, including Air Labrador, Aerolineas Argentinas, and Felix Airways.
On the other hand, there is no direct flight from Cordoba to El Chalten. It is common to fly into El Calafate International Airport and drive the final 125 km to El Chaltén from there via rental car, taxi, or bus. Typically, there are 3 bus companies that each offer 2-5 departures every day.
Things to do in San Carlos de Bariloche/El Chalten
- Discover El Chalten – with this full-day trip
- Day Trip to Circuito Chico
- Day Trip to Cerro Tronador
- Laguna de los Tres and Mount Fitz Roy – book a full-day trekking or only Laguna de los Tres
- Explore Parque Nahuelito
- Explore Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi
- Multi-day Hikes (Los Condores, Laguna Capri, Laguna Torre)
- Rio de las Vueltas – go rafting
- Multi-day Hikes (Mirador De Los Condores, Las Aguas)
- Boat Tour to Glacial Lake
- Rafting in De Las Vueltas River Canyon
Accommodations in El Chalten
- Affordable: Rancho Aparte Hostel or Mistico Hostel 23 or Hostel Pioneros del Valle or Hostel Cerro Torres
- Mid-range to Luxury: Andino Aparts or Rancho Grande or Senderos Aparts and Suites or Hosteria Senderos
Patagonia El Calafate for 3 days
This tourist-heavy Patagonian town is full of outdoor activities, and the spectacular beauty of the adjacent Los Glaciares National Park will leave you speechless.
There are hiking routes, mountains, and lakes to explore. In the near vicinity of the town, you can visit icebergs, the native flora and fauna, caverns, and nature reserves.
If you want to travel farther afield, El Calafate is an excellent starting place for exploring the Torres del Paine National Park. Consider going on a walking tour to learn more about El Calafate and see the city from a unique angle.
Wander the town and its markets when you’re exhausted from sightseeing and travelling, or indulge in a craft beer at a nearby brewery. While you’re here, don’t forget to taste some of the iconic Patagonian lambs. You can also visit Patagonia if you plan to travel for 3 weeks in Chile.
The direct drive from El Chalten to El Calafate takes around 3 hr 32 min, covering a distance of 213 km via RP23 and RN40. Alternatively, the bus ride from El Chalten to El Calafate takes around 3 hr and is operated by Chalten Travel 5 times a day.
Some reputable companies that offer private shuttle services include Las Lehengas, Via Patagonia, and Walk Patagonia. You can also book this door-to-door shuttle bus service.
Thigns to do in El Calafate
- Day Trip to Lago Argentino
- Day Trip to Rios de Hielo
- See the Balconies – via a 3-hour 4WD tour
- Day Trip to Upsala Glacier
- Explore Pasarelas Perito Moreno
- Day trip to El Chalten – see the tour price
- Explore Glaciarium Museum
- Horseback Riding at Estancia 25 de Mayo
- Visit Laguna Nimez Reserva Natural Municipal
- Stroll Around Avenida Libertador
Accommodations in El Calafate
- Affordable: Folk Hostel or Bla Guest House or Hosteria Patagonia
- Mid-range: Calafate Hostel or Folk Suites or Bla Lodge or Hosteria La Estapa
- Luxury: Mirador del Lago Hotel or America Del Sur or Hostería Los Gnomos
Ushuaia for 4 days
There are multiple reasons to travel to Argentina, but Ushuaia is arguably at the top of the list for those who love the outdoors. This remote region of South America, often known as “The End of the World,” is home to numerous attractions, such as a former prison, enchanting train journeys, incredible scenery, glaciers, and exceptional wildlife.
When penguins migrate to the area to breed. Between November and February is the ideal time to watch them in Ushuaia.
The highlight of visiting Ushuaia is taking a day trip to Martillo Island, where guests can stroll around for about an hour, which is the best way to see the penguins. The fact that various penguin species inhabit the island only adds to its attraction.
The fastest and most convenient way to arrive from El Calafate to Ushuaia is to book a flight from Aerolineas Argentinas, which takes around 1 hr 47 min to land. Alternatively, you can drive from El Calafate to Ushuaia, which takes around 11 hr 19 min, covering a distance of 877 km via RN3.
Bus service from El Calafate to Ushuaia is not direct. However, some services leave from El Calafate to Ushuaia via Ro Gallegos. The whole trip, including transfers, is about 17 hr 20 min.
Visiting Ushuaia during your 3 weeks in Argentina is a once-in-a-lifetime experience because this is the southern point of the world, the gateway to Antarctica.
Things to do in Ushuaia
- Day Trip to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego – via a train or this one or with canoe and trek or with Emerald Lagoon trek
- Day Trip to Isla Martillo
- Day Trip to Canal Beagle/Beagle Channel – boat with trekking or with Sea Wolves Island
- Visit Laguna Esmeralda
- Go Penguin Watching – by a Catamaran boat
- Visit Glacier Martial
- Visit Bahia Lapataia
- Book a Helicopter tour – fly over Ushuaia
- Explore Cerro Castor (Castor Mount)
- Explore Museo Maritimo & del Presidio de Ushuaia
Accommodations in Ushuaia
- Affordable: Anum Hostel or El Refugio Lodge Hostel or Antarctica Hostel
- Mid-range: Hosteria Kupanaka or Oikos or Posada Del Fin Del Mundo
- Luxury: Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa or Antarctica Hostel or Hosteria y Restaurante America or Pacífico Apartamentos
SUMMARY OF 3 WEEKS IN ARGENTINA ITINERARY
Argentina is a massive South American nation with plenty of exciting travel destinations. It offers a wide variety of activities and attractions, from glacier expeditions to picturesque sceneries to abundant wildlife. Whether you’re looking for relaxing pubs or challenging Antarctic treks, you’ll certainly enjoy your stay here.
Argentina is packed with once-in-a-lifetime experiences as it combines big city life with rich natural beauties, overflowing with breathtaking natural landscapes, and is filled with options for exploring it all. You’ll definitely have a blast in your 3 weeks in Argentina to fully acquaint yourself with its culture.