Argentina is home to the tango, world-class wine and some of the finest beef you'll ever taste. It's also where you'll find one the world’s greatest cities – Buenos Aires. Spanning across a vast chunk of South America, this country boasts some of the highest mountains in the Americas as well as stunning glaciers, beaches and jungles.
Argentina offers variety for the traveller with a great range of engaging options. Here are five top reasons you need to put it on your 2015 travel itinerary.
1. Buenos Aires
"I want to be a part of B.A., Buenos Aires, big apple!" sings Evita in the stage show of the same name and it's not hard to see why. One of South America's liveliest cities, Buenos Aires is a blend of European elegance and Latin culture with a great selection of delicious food, culture, fashion, sights and nightlife.
As the birthplace of the tango, the city is spiced with the sights and sounds of street dancing and numerous tango clubs, particularly in the barrio of La Boca.
For the sporty types, there are several stadiums across the city where you can catch a game of soccer. Even if you're not really into the sport, the atmosphere at these games is electric. They're a big part of the culture here, so it's great to go to get a feel for what the locals enjoy.
2. Iguazu Falls
The term 'Iguazú' means 'great waters' in the Guarani language and, when you see 275 different waterfalls crashing 80 metres down into the Rio Iguaçu, it sure is great. Located on the border of Argentina in the north, Iguazu Falls is a major tourist attraction for good reason. Its sheer size and power is jaw dropping.
In addition to awe-inspiring views, there are tours, treks and water sports at the base of the falls. If you're feeling adventurous you can also take a helicopter or boat ride to get closer to this natural wonder.
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Argentina is the fifth largest wine producing country in the world and has built itself an enviable reputation as a producer of fine wines. There are many Argentinian wineries offering exceptional tours and tastings. You can drive to these yourself or take one of the many tours available that will take you to some of the best vineyards Argentina has to offer.
You'll find a variety of wines to enjoy, from aromatic Torrontes and classic Cabernet Sauvignons in the north to a Mendoza Malbec in the central region of the country.
There are several places to see glaciers in southern Argentina, but the best is Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The glacial scenery in the park is mainly situated around two lakes, Argentino and Viedma, where you'll see spectacular displays of falling ice tumbling into the chilly waters. You can take boat tours, as well as those by foot, to see the glaciers and the wildlife that inhabit them.
If you're interested in educating yourself about the area, there is a Glaciarium, a museum devoted to the glaciers. You can also grab a drink at Glaciobar, where everything, including the walls, seats, bar and glasses, is made of ice.
If you're heading out for dinner in Argentina, there's an extremely high chance you'll find beef on the menu. Argentina has the world's highest consumption of beef, at 65 kilograms per person per year. The Argentinians love it and know how to cook it.
Why are Argentinian steaks so tasty? A large number of beef producers in Argentina still use traditional methods of pasture and grass feed their cows. This is a more expensive process, but apparently it produces the tender and delicious beef that many to be the finest in the world.