Last Updated on September 15, 2023
Nestled amidst the sweeping landscapes of Argentina, beyond the bustling cityscapes and tourist-packed hotspots, lies a world of hidden gems – Argentina’s charming small towns and villages, where authenticity thrives and the country’s traditional culture is at its best.
From the lush vineyards of Cafayate to the vibrant indigenous traditions of Tilcara, from the surreal landscapes of Purmamarca to the celestial wonders of San Francisco de Alfarcito, these towns and villages are some of the best places to visit in Argentina.
Discover quaint villages and charming small towns to visit during your trip to Argentina and explore a different side of the country, beyond the popular tourist spots.
Keep on reading to find out all there is to know about the best small towns in Argentina to add to your itinerary!
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This article at a glance – The best small towns to visit in Argentina:
- Villa de la Quebrada, San Luis: Known for its picturesque landscapes, this village is surrounded by hills and offers great hiking opportunities. The famous Christ the Redeemer statue is a must-visit attraction here.
- Tilcara, Jujuy: Located in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, Tilcara is a beautiful village with a strong indigenous influence. Explore its archaeological sites and enjoy the vibrant arts and crafts scene.
- Villa General Belgrano, Córdoba: Famous for its Oktoberfest celebrations, this charming village has a strong German heritage. You can enjoy traditional German cuisine and explore the beautiful countryside.
- Purmamarca, Jujuy: Known for the stunning Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colors), Purmamarca is a visually striking village in the Andes. It’s a fantastic place for hiking and photography.
- Colón, Entre Ríos: Located on the banks of the Uruguay River, Colón is a peaceful town known for its hot springs and scenic beauty. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy nature.
- Villa La Angostura, Neuquén: Nestled in the Andes near Nahuel Huapi Lake, this village offers outdoor enthusiasts a wide range of activities, from hiking and skiing to kayaking.
- El Chaltén, Santa Cruz: Often called the trekking capital of Argentina, El Chaltén is a gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. It’s perfect for those seeking adventure in a stunning natural setting.
- Barreal, San Juan: A quiet village surrounded by mountains, Barreal is a great place for stargazing and enjoying the tranquility of the Andean foothills.
- La Cumbrecita, Córdoba: A pedestrian-only village nestled in the Sierras Grandes, it offers beautiful hiking trails through lush forests and waterfalls.
- Cholila, Chubut: Known for its stunning lakes and forests, Cholila is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go hiking, kayaking, or simply relax by the water.
- La Falda, Córdoba: Nestled in the Sierras de Córdoba, La Falda is known for its beautiful gardens and the historic Eden Hotel. Explore the lush landscapes and enjoy a tranquil atmosphere.
- Susques, Jujuy: A small Andean village, Susques is surrounded by breathtaking mountain landscapes. It’s a serene destination for those seeking natural beauty and tranquility.
- Cafayate, Salta: Famous for its vineyards and the production of high-quality Torrontés wine, Cafayate is a delightful town in the Calchaquí Valleys. Don’t miss the stunning rock formations of Quebrada de las Conchas nearby.
Villa de la Quebrada, San Luis
Villa de la Quebrada, located in the heart of Argentina, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This tranquil village offers unique landscapes and a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture.
The nearest major airport is San Luis Airport (Aeropuerto Brigadier Mayor D. César Raúl Ojeda). Otherwise, it’s a 10-hour drive from Buenos Aires, the journey offers stunning views of the Argentine countryside.
Villa de la Quebrada is famous for its iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro. The statue sits atop a hill, and the short hike to reach it offers stunning panoramic views of the village and the surrounding landscapes. On the way there, there are actually 14 statues leading to the main one. It’s an important pilgrimage site.
The village is surrounded by hills, rivers, and lakes, offering fantastic opportunities for hiking and nature exploration.
Tilcara, nestled in the rugged landscapes of Jujuy in Northern Argentina, is a place where history, culture, and natural beauty converge. This small mountain village offers a captivating blend of indigenous traditions and stunning scenery, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic experience.
The nearest airport to Tilcara is the Gobernador Horacio Guzmán International Airport in Jujuy. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use public transportation to reach Tilcara, which is approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.
If you’re coming from larger cities like Salta or Buenos Aires, you can take a long-distance bus to Tilcara.
There, explore Pucará de Tilcara, a pre-Inca fortress that offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s history and one of the most important historic sites in Argentina. Wander through the well-preserved ruins and learn about the indigenous cultures that once inhabited the area.
You can also take a day trip to the stunning Quebrada de Humahuaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its dramatic landscapes, colorful mountains, and charming villages, or visit Cerro Hornocal, also known as the Fourteen Colored Mountain. It’s a short drive from Tilcara and offers breathtaking views of one of the most colorful mountain ranges in the world.
While you’re there, don’t miss the local markets, where you can find traditional handicrafts, textiles, and regional products. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs and interact with local artisans.
Villa General Belgrano, Córdoba
Nestled in the heart of Córdoba, Argentina, Villa General Belgrano is a charming village known for its German heritage, picturesque landscapes, and warm hospitality. If you’re looking for a unique and cultural getaway, this village offers a delightful blend of cultural experiences and natural beauty.
The nearest major airport to Villa General Belgrano is Cordoba International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Ingeniero Aeronáutico Ambrosio L.V. Taravella). From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the village, approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.
Villa General Belgrano is famous for hosting Argentina’s largest Oktoberfest celebration. If your visit coincides with this annual event in October, don’t miss the opportunity to experience traditional German music, food, and beer.
Explore the village’s German heritage by strolling through the streets lined with Bavarian-style architecture. You’ll find charming timbered buildings, craft shops, and bakeries serving delicious strudel and pretzels.
Make sure to sample local craft beers and enjoy the serene atmosphere of beer gardens scattered throughout the village. Villa General Belgrano is known for its beer culture, so trying the local brews is a must.
While there, check out if there are any cultural performances, showcasing traditional German music and dance, going on.
Surrounding Villa General Belgrano, you’ll find scenic landscapes perfect for hiking and outdoor activities. Take a leisurely walk along the Los Reartes River or explore the nearby mountain range.
Nestled in the captivating Quebrada de Humahuaca in the Jujuy province of Argentina, Purmamarca is a village that radiates natural beauty and indigenous charm. If you’re in search of breathtaking landscapes and a taste of local culture, this picturesque village is the perfect destination.
The nearest airport to Purmamarca is Gobernador Horacio Guzmán International Airport in Jujuy. There are also several long-distance buses heading there. You can then rent a car or take a bus for the approximately 100-kilometer (62-mile) journey to Purmamarca.
Purmamarca is renowned for Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colors), where the mountainside showcases a striking array of vibrant colors. It’s a must-see sight that’s especially breathtaking during sunrise and sunset.
If you like hiking, the Paseo de los Colorados Trail allows you to get up close to the Cerro de los Siete Colores. You’ll find plenty more trails in the area, from easy strolls to adventurous treks.
In town, explore the local crafts market, where you can find unique textiles, ceramics, and handicrafts created by indigenous artisans. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs and support the local community.
Don’t miss the village’s charming church, Iglesia de Santa Rosa de Lima. This historic church, made of adobe, is a testament to the region’s cultural heritage.
Purmamarca is a place where nature and culture harmoniously coexist. Whether you’re marveling at the kaleidoscope of colors on Cerro de los Siete Colores, immersing yourself in the local crafts scene, or savoring the flavors of Andean cuisine, this village promises an unforgettable and authentic Argentine experience.
Colón, Entre Ríos
Colón, situated on the banks of the Uruguay River in the Entre Ríos province of Argentina, is a peaceful town known for its therapeutic hot springs, lush green landscapes, and tranquil atmosphere. If you’re seeking relaxation and small-town charm, Colón is the perfect destination.
The nearest major airport is General Justo José de Urquiza Airport in nearby Parana, Entre Ríos. From there, you can take a bus or rent a car for the approximately 320-kilometer (200-mile) journey to Colón. Colón is also well-connected by long-distance buses from major cities in Argentina.
Colón is renowned for its hot springs, known as Termas de Colón. These thermal baths are rich in minerals and are believed to have therapeutic properties. Relax in the warm, soothing waters and rejuvenate your senses.
Enjoy the beaches along the Uruguay River, particularly Playa Norte. It’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The river’s gentle waters are perfect for a refreshing dip.
If you like hiking and/or birdwatching, take a day trip to El Palmar National Park, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Colón. This park is home to mesmerizing palm forests and diverse wildlife.
You can also rent a bike and explore the town and its surroundings on two wheels. Colón offers scenic cycling routes along the riverfront and through the lush countryside.
Villa La Angostura, Neuquén
Nestled in the Argentine Patagonia, Villa La Angostura is a captivating village surrounded by stunning natural landscapes and nestled along the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. This charming destination offers a perfect blend of outdoor adventures, serene lakeside beauty, and a warm mountain town atmosphere.
The nearest major airport is San Carlos de Bariloche Airport, approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from Villa La Angostura. From the airport, you can reach the village by taxi, bus, or rental car.
During your stay, spend time by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi. Enjoy swimming, kayaking, or simply relaxing on the shores. The lake’s beauty is mesmerizing, and it’s a perfect spot for water activities.
For some hiking and outdoor adventures, head to Cerro Bayo. The mountain offers a range of trails for varying skill levels. In the winter, it’s a popular ski destination.
You can also go for a hike at the Bosque de Arrayanes (Arrayanes Forest) on the Quetrihué Peninsula. The unique cinnamon-colored arrayán trees are a sight to behold.
In town, don’t miss the daily artisans’ fair, where you can find handmade crafts, textiles, and artisanal products. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs and support local artists.
If you’re up for a road trip, drive along the breathtaking Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes) Road, which takes you through stunning Patagonian landscapes. Each lake along the route has its own unique charm.
El Chaltén, Santa Cruz
El Chaltén, nestled within Los Glaciares National Park in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina, is a renowned trekking and outdoor adventure hub. This charming town serves as a gateway to some of Patagonia’s and even Argentina’s most iconic natural wonders, making it a paradise for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking to explore the stunning landscapes of the region.
The nearest major airport to El Chaltén is Comandante Armando Tola International Airport in El Calafate, approximately 220 kilometers (137 miles) away. From El Calafate, you can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach El Chaltén.
El Chaltén is often referred to as the “Trekking Capital of Argentina” for a reason. There are numerous hiking trails that cater to different skill levels, from short day hikes to multi-day adventures. Some of the most popular treks include those to Laguna de los Tres, Laguna Capri, and Cerro Fitz Roy.
From the visitor center in town, hike to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre.
There are several more hikes that will lead you to viewpoints that offer stunning vistas of Cerro Fitz Roy. The landscapes are especially enchanting at sunrise and sunset.
Another popular hike is the trek to Laguna Torre to witness the majestic Cerro Torre and its glacial lake. The hike provides an opportunity to observe Patagonia’s unique flora and fauna.
For a more relaxing option, consider taking a boat trip to explore the Viedma Glacier, a massive glacier located nearby. You can even opt for ice trekking on the glacier. And of course, don’t miss seeing the Perito Moreno glacier, a must-do in Argentina!
Barreal, San Juan
Barreal, nestled in the foothills of the Andes in the San Juan province of Argentina, is a tranquil and picturesque village that offers a peaceful escape for travelers seeking natural beauty and outdoor adventures. With its stunning mountain vistas, clear night skies, and laid-back atmosphere, Barreal is an ideal destination for relaxation and exploration.
The nearest major airport is Domingo Faustino Sarmiento Airport in San Juan, approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Barreal. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to reach the village. There are also buses from Mendoza.
Barreal is renowned for its clear night skies, making it an excellent destination for stargazing. You can take guided astronomy tours or simply lay back and enjoy the celestial display.
Take a day trip to Parque Provincial Ischigualasto, also known as Valle de la Luna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located nearby. This otherworldly landscape features striking rock formations and offers insight into Earth’s geological history.
Barreal is surrounded by mountainous terrain, providing ample opportunities for hiking and trekking. Explore trails that offer panoramic views of the Andes. If you’re up for a challenge, hike to Arroyo Turquesa, known for its beautiful blue stream.
Nearby, visit Rio de los Patos, a river popular for white-water rafting and kayaking. Enjoy a thrilling adventure on the rapids surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
La Cumbrecita, Córdoba
La Cumbrecita, a charming alpine-style village tucked away in the Sierras Grandes of Córdoba, is a hidden gem known for its lush forests, pristine waterfalls, and pedestrian-only streets. This unique destination offers a tranquil escape from city life and a chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Argentine countryside.
The nearest major airport is Ingeniero Aeronáutico Ambrosio L.V. Taravella International Airport in Córdoba. From there, you can take a bus or rent a car for the approximately 130-kilometer (81-mile) journey to La Cumbrecita.
La Cumbrecita is a pedestrian-only village, adding to its peaceful atmosphere. Stroll along cobblestone streets, admiring the alpine-style architecture and colorful gardens, and shop for crafts and fresh produce at the local market.
The village has a Bavarian influence, and you can find Bavarian-style cuisine and beer at local restaurants and pubs. Make sure to drop by one of the teahouses, sip on traditional Argentine tea, and indulge in homemade pastries while taking in the serene surroundings.
Outside of town, explore the network of hiking trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls in the surrounding forests. Cascada Grande and Cascada Escondida are two must-visit spots for nature enthusiasts.
There are also several hikes leading to stunning viewpoints (miradores) offering panoramic vistas of the Sierras Grandes.
For some adventures, go ziplining at Peñón del Águila or caving with a local guide.
Cholila, a tranquil moutain town located in the Argentine Patagonia within the Chubut province, is a place of natural beauty, rich history, and outdoor adventures. Surrounded by pristine lakes, dense forests, and the Andes Mountains, Cholila offers a serene escape for nature enthusiasts and those seeking to explore Patagonia’s rugged landscapes.
The nearest major airport is Esquel Airport, approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) away from Cholila. From the airport, you can rent a car or take a bus to reach the village.
Spend time by the tranquil waters of Lago Cholila. The lake is perfect for swimming, kayaking, or picnicking. The nearby Lago Lezana is also a nice place to visit. On your way there, make sure to stop by the ruins of Butch Cassidy’s ranch.
Cholila is surrounded by hiking trails that lead to stunning viewpoints, dense forests, and hidden waterfalls. Take a day trip to Los Alerces National Park, known for its ancient Alerce trees and pristine lakes.
La Falda, Córdoba
La Falda, a charming mountain town located in the Sierras de Córdoba region, is renowned for its scenic beauty, mild climate, and historic landmarks. Surrounded by lush hills and nestled in a picturesque valley, La Falda offers a blend of natural attractions and cultural heritage.
The nearest major airport is Ingeniero Aeronáutico Ambrosio L.V. Taravella International Airport in Córdoba, which is approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from La Falda. From there, you can take a bus or rent a car to reach the town. There are also direct buses from Buenos Aires.
Explore the historic Edén Hotel, a symbol of La Falda’s glamour during the early 20th century. This grand hotel is known for its architecture, beautiful gardens, and panoramic views. One of the oldest colonial buildings still standing in South America, it has now been turned into a museum and tours are organized daily.
You can stroll around town and stop by historic monuments like the Capilla de Sagrado Corazón and the Parroquia Santísimo Sacrament, then hike to one of the many viewpoints surrounding the town. You can also tour the archaeological museum to see artifacts found in the region.
For something adventurous, go caving at the El Sauce Cave, the second-largest cave in the country.
Families can spend some time relaxing and playing in the water at the 7 Cascadas Water Park or climb trees at the Vidama Eden Park.
There are also several hiking trails leading to gorgeous waterfalls and views, some short and easy, others that will require a good fitness level.
Susques, a small town situated in the Puna region of Jujuy province in Argentina, is a remote and rugged destination known for its high-altitude landscapes, Andean culture, and proximity to natural wonders. Travelers seeking adventure and a unique cultural experience will find Susques to be a fascinating destination.
The nearest major airport is Gobernador Horacio Guzmán International Airport in San Salvador de Jujuy, which is approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles) away from Susques. From the airport, you can take a bus or rent a car to reach Susques.
While there, explore the nearby Salinas Grandes, a vast salt flat that stretches across the high-altitude plains. The stark, white landscape is otherworldly and offers great photo opportunities.
The town is surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges and offers excellent opportunities for trekking and hiking. Be prepared for high-altitude conditions and changing weather. Several guided day hikes and cultural excursions start from the village.
In town, don’t miss the Capilla Nuestra Señora de Belén, the oldest chapel in the province, and make sure to check the events calendar as the town is known for its many celebrations throughout the year.
Cafayate, a delightful town in the Salta province of Argentina, is renowned for its scenic vineyards, vibrant culture, and striking landscapes. Situated in the heart of the Calchaquí Valley, this charming destination is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, and those seeking a taste of authentic Argentine culture.
The nearest major airport is Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport in Salta City, which is approximately 190 kilometers (118 miles) away from Cafayate. From the airport, you can rent a car, take a bus, or hire a taxi to reach the town.
Cafayate is known for its wine production, particularly Torrontés, a white wine grape variety. Visit the local wineries and bodegas for wine tastings and tours. Some renowned wineries include Bodega El Esteco and Piattelli Vineyards.
Take a scenic drive along Road 68, stopping by the Quebrada de las Conchas, a picturesque canyon with striking rock formations, including the iconic “Amphitheatre”, taking a short hike through the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Gorge), and enjoying the many viewpoints along the way.
In town, explore Plaza Central, where you can find artisan shops, restaurants, and small markets. It’s an excellent place to soak in the local culture and buy handicrafts. You can also stop by the Cafayate Archaeological Museum to learn about the indigenous history and culture of the region.
For a challenging hike, head to Las Cascadas Del Rio Colorado. The trail will lead you through a series of waterfalls – you can hire a guide at the beginning of the trail and/or choose to do only one or two for an easier hike.
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