Last Updated on September 18, 2023
Nestled in the southern reaches of South America, Argentina is a land of breathtaking contrasts, where nature offers a myriad of awe-inspiring landscapes. From the windswept plains of Patagonia to the lush jungles of the northeast, Argentina is a treasure trove of natural beauty waiting to be explored.
In this article, discover Argentina’s most beautiful natural attractions and landmarks, with some of the best places in the country to enjoy the outdoors.
Whether you’re looking to challenge yourself with a trekking expedition through mountains and arid landscapes, take a scenic cruise to see glaciers and marine life, or just enjoy seeing some of the natural marvels of this world, Argentina offers a plethora of outdoor destinations for nature lovers.
Keep on reading to discover the most beautiful natural attractions in Argentina and embark on a journey into the wilderness.
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This article at a glance – Argentina’s most beautiful natural landmarks:
- Iguazu Falls: Located in the subtropical rainforest, these stunning waterfalls are one of the largest and most impressive waterfall systems in the world.
- Perito Moreno Glacier: Witness the dramatic ice calving at this glacier in Los Glaciares National Park, which is one of the few glaciers in the world that is still advancing.
- Patagonian Andes: Explore the rugged beauty of the Patagonian Andes, including iconic peaks like Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, which attract hikers and climbers from around the globe.
- Talampaya National Park: Known for its unique red rock formations and ancient petroglyphs, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a glimpse into Argentina’s geological history.
- Quebrada del Humahuaca: This colorful canyon in the northwest of Argentina is famous for its striking landscapes and indigenous culture.
- Tierra del Fuego National Park: Located at the southernmost tip of Argentina, this park offers hiking trails, dramatic fjords, and a chance to explore the end of the world.
- Valdes Peninsula: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this peninsula is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise with its diverse marine life, including whales, penguins, and seals.
- Bariloche and the Lake District: Known for its pristine lakes and snow-capped mountains, this region is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and water sports.
- Salinas Grandes: These vast salt flats in the northwest create a surreal and otherworldly landscape.
- Ischigualasto Provincial Park: Explore the stunning lunar-like landscapes, which have earned this park the nickname “Valley of the Moon.”
- Nahuel Huapi National Park: Home to the picturesque Lake Nahuel Huapi and lush forests, this park offers numerous hiking and camping opportunities.
- Sierra de las Quijadas National Park: Discover the colorful canyons and unique rock formations in this lesser-known national park.
- Esteros del Ibera: This vast wetland ecosystem in northeastern Argentina is a haven for birdwatching and wildlife enthusiasts.
- Lanin National Park: Explore the Andean-Patagonian forests, pristine lakes, and the Lanin Volcano in this stunning national park.
When it comes to awe-inspiring natural wonders, the Iguazu Falls is a must-see destination for any travel enthusiast. Nestled within the lush subtropical rainforest of Argentina’s Misiones Province, hiking in the national park and seeing the fall are some of the best activities to do in Argentina.
To reach the falls, most travelers fly into Cataratas del Iguazu International Airport (IGR) in Puerto Iguazu, a charming town located just a stone’s throw from the falls. From the airport, it’s a short drive to the entrance of Iguazu National Park.
Iguazu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers approximately 550 square kilometers, making it a haven for biodiversity. The park offers well-maintained trails and walkways that lead you to various viewpoints and experiences. Here are some highlights:
- The Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo): This is the most iconic section of the falls. A series of walkways take you right to the edge of the thundering cascade, allowing you to feel the mist on your face and hear the roar of the water.
- Upper and Lower Circuits: These well-marked trails provide different perspectives of the falls. The Upper Circuit offers panoramic views, while the Lower Circuit brings you closer to the base of several falls.
- Macuco Trail: For a more immersive rainforest experience, take the Macuco Trail. It leads you through the jungle, and you can even opt for a boat ride up the river to see the falls from a unique angle.
Try to visit early in the morning to avoid crowds (and the heat) and get the best photos. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes for walking and make sure to protect your belongings from the mist using waterproof bags or covers.
A visit to Iguazu Falls is a journey into the heart of the rainforest, where the sheer power and beauty of these waterfalls will leave you breathless. It’s a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list, offering an unforgettable connection with nature in all its splendor.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Nestled in the rugged landscapes of Los Glaciares National Park in southern Argentina, the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in the country. This awe-inspiring glacier is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking to see one of the world’s most iconic ice formations.
The gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier is the town of El Calafate. Most travelers arrive at Comandante Armando Tola International Airport (FTE) and then drive or take a bus to the glacier. It’s approximately an 80-kilometer journey, surrounded by Patagonia’s stunning vistas.
The park offers a network of well-maintained walkways and viewing platforms that provide unparalleled views of the glacier. Marvel at the electric blue ice, listen to the occasional rumble of calving ice, and watch as massive icebergs break away and crash into Lake Argentino.
Get even closer to the glacier by taking a boat tour. These excursions allow you to sail right up to the towering ice walls, providing a unique perspective and the chance to witness ice falling into the lake.
For the adventurous, consider a guided mini-trekking tour on the glacier itself. Equipped with crampons, you can walk on the glacier’s surface, exploring its crevasses and pristine ice formations.
Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including condors, eagles, and guanacos, as well as unique Patagonian flora.
If you can, try to go on a sunny day for the best views and make sure to be prepared for cold and sun, dress warmly and pack sunscreen and sunglasses.
The Patagonian Andes, a sprawling mountain range that stretches across Argentina and Chile, are a paradise for adventurers and nature lovers alike. This remote region is known for its dramatic landscapes, towering peaks, and pristine wilderness.
The gateway to the Patagonian Andes on the Argentinian side is usually through the towns of Bariloche, El Calafate, or El Chaltén, depending on your desired destination. These towns are accessible by domestic flights or long-distance buses.
Some of the natural highlights of the Patagonian Andes include:
- Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre: El Chaltén, often called the “Trekking Capital of Argentina,” is the starting point for some of Patagonia’s most famous hikes. The trails here lead you to stunning vistas of the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre peaks. These challenging hikes reward you with breathtaking views of jagged mountain spires.
- Bariloche and the Lake District: In the northern Patagonian Andes, the town of Bariloche sits amid a network of pristine lakes and snow-capped peaks. Explore hiking trails, go skiing in the winter, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views.
- Perito Moreno Glacier: While technically not part of the Andes, the glacier is a must-visit when exploring this region. Its immense size and dramatic ice formations are awe-inspiring.
- Carretera Austral (Chile): If you’re open to crossing into Chile, the Carretera Austral offers a stunning route through the Patagonian Andes, passing glaciers, fjords, and lush forests.
Exploring the Patagonian Andes is a journey into the heart of wild, untamed nature. It’s an opportunity to connect with the Earth’s natural beauty and experience the thrill of adventure. Whether you’re hiking, skiing, or simply soaking in the breathtaking views, this region promises an unforgettable travel experience.
Talampaya National Park
Talampaya National Park, situated in the arid heart of Argentina, is a geological marvel that invites travelers to step back in time and witness the Earth’s ancient history. Considered one of the seven natural wonders of Argentina, it fulfills all the requirements for inclusion in the list: spectacular landscape, geological originality, biodiversity, sustainability, accessibility, and potential.
The starting point for exploring Talampaya National Park is typically the town of Villa Unión, located in the La Rioja province of Argentina. You can reach Villa Unión by bus or car from major cities like La Rioja or San Juan. Most people stay in La Rioja and visit the park from there.
The easiest way to visit the park is to book a tour from La Rioja. If you go on your own, note that you’ll need to hire a guide, visitors are not allowed to visit the park by themselves. The park also organizes tours with a shuttle taking you to the main sights.
Begin your journey with a visit to the imposing Garganta del Diablo, a narrow canyon carved by the passage of time. The towering red rock walls create a dramatic and photogenic backdrop.
Hike to the summit of Cerro de los Colorados, a rust-red hill that offers panoramic views of the desert landscape. This vantage point provides an ideal spot for capturing the unique beauty of the park.
Make sure to explore the park’s archaeological sites as well, which include petroglyphs and rock engravings made by the region’s indigenous people hundreds of years ago.
For a unique experience, spend the night there. There’s a campground and the night sky is just breathtaking.
Make sure to bring plenty of water, as the desert climate can be very dry, protect yourself from the intense sun, and try to plan your visit during the cooler hours of the day, as temperatures can be extreme.
Quebrada del Humahuaca
Quebrada del Humahuaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a hidden gem in the north of Argentina. This narrow mountain valley boasts a rich history, stunning geological formations, and a vibrant culture that will captivate any traveler.
The starting point for exploring Quebrada del Humahuaca is often the town of Humahuaca itself. You can reach Humahuaca by bus from cities like Salta or Jujuy. The region is well-connected, making it relatively easy to access.
One of the natural wonders of the region is the iconic Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colors). Located in one of the best towns to visit in Argentina: Purmamarca, it showcases vivid mineral pigments that create a mesmerizing rainbow effect. It’s a fantastic spot for photography and short hikes.
Make sure to explore the picturesque village of Tilcara, known for its archaeological site, Pucará de Tilcara, an ancient fortress and a must-see historical site in Argentina, surrounded by stunning scenery.
Both towns are great starting points for hikes through dramatic rock formations and hills, with hidden waterfalls and ancient ruins at every corner.
Quebrada del Humahuaca is a great outdoor destination to immerse yourself in the beauty of Argentina’s northwest thanks to its unique blend of natural wonders and cultural richness.
Tierra del Fuego National Park
Tierra del Fuego National Park, located at the southernmost tip of Argentina, is a pristine wilderness area that offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers. It definitely is one of the best natural attractions in Argentina.
The gateway to Tierra del Fuego National Park is Ushuaia, often referred to as the “End of the World.” Ushuaia is accessible by air, sea, or land. From there, it’s a short drive to the park entrance.
There are plenty of things to do at the park, from hiking to taking a cruise. The park boasts a network of well-marked trails that take you along the rugged coastline of the Beagle Channel. These paths offer breathtaking views of the sea, forests, and surrounding mountains, don’t miss the day hike to Cerro Guanaco leading you to stunning views over the park.
Make sure to visit Lapataia Bay, the southernmost point in the park, where you can take in the iconic “End of the World” sign.
Tierra del Fuego is a haven for birdwatchers, with numerous species like Magellanic woodpeckers and southern caracaras. You might also be able to spot humpback whales, sea lions, and penguins.
In addition, the park’s rivers and lakes provide opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. Paddle through serene waters while surrounded by pristine landscapes. You can also go on a boat tour from Ushuaia to spot marine wildlife and enjoy the views of the coast from the water.
Make sure to dress in layers, as the weather in Tierra del Fuego can change rapidly, and bring a good pair of hiking boots, as some trails can be muddy and uneven.
Valdes Peninsula, located on the Atlantic coast of Argentina, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its extraordinary wildlife and pristine natural landscapes.
The journey to Valdes Peninsula typically begins in the city of Puerto Madryn, one of the best beach towns in Argentina. The city is well-connected by road and has an airport for domestic flights. From there, you can embark on tours or rent a car to explore the peninsula.
Valdes Peninsula is famous for its incredible marine wildlife. From June to December, you can witness the spectacular Southern Right Whale migration as they come to calve and mate in the sheltered waters of Golfo Nuevo. Whale-watching tours operate during this period.
The coastline of Valdes Peninsula is home to large colonies of South American sea lions and southern elephant seals. You can observe these fascinating creatures up close from designated viewpoints without disturbing them.
At Punta Tombo, a bit to the south, you’ll find one of the largest Magellanic penguin colonies in the world. Walk among the penguins on well-maintained paths while respecting their natural habitat.
The peninsula is a birdwatcher’s paradise as well, with various species of seabirds, including cormorants, petrels, and terns. Be sure to bring your binoculars.
Bariloche and the Lake District
Bariloche and the surrounding Lake District, nestled in the Andes in northern Patagonia, is a destination that seamlessly combines stunning natural beauty with charming alpine architecture.
Bariloche, the main hub of the Lake District, is easily accessible by air, with San Carlos de Bariloche Airport offering domestic and some international flights. Alternatively, you can reach Bariloche by bus from major cities like Buenos Aires.
The region is famous for its crystal-clear lakes, including Nahuel Huapi, Lake Moreno, and Lake Gutierrez. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, these lakes provide a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, and kayaking.
The Seven Lakes Route (Ruta de los Siete Lagos) takes you through seven pristine lakes, each with its unique charm. It’s a fantastic way to explore the region’s natural beauty with a road trip or bike ride. It’s often considered one of the most scenic drives in the country.
In winter, nearby Cerro Catedral becomes a ski haven. In the summer, it’s a great place for hiking and mountain biking, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Bariloche and the Lake District is a top outdoor destination, combining natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and a touch of European charm. There, you’ll find some of the most stunning natural attractions in Argentina.
Salinas Grandes, a vast salt flat located in the northwest of Argentina, is a mesmerizing natural wonder that invites travelers to explore its surreal landscapes and unique ecosystem.
Salinas Grandes can be accessed from several nearby towns, including Purmamarca and San Salvador de Jujuy. These towns serve as starting points for excursions to the salt flats, and you can reach them by car or tour
The salt flat stretches as far as the eye can see, creating a surreal, almost lunar-like landscape. The brilliant white salt crust contrasts beautifully with the surrounding mountains and blue waters.
This unique environment offers incredible photo opportunities. The interplay of light and shadow on the salt flats, especially during sunrise and sunset, creates stunning visual effects.
Salinas Grandes is a destination like no other, offering a peaceful escape into a surreal and almost otherworldly environment.
Ischigualasto Provincial Park
Ischigualasto Provincial Park, known as the “Valley of the Moon,” is an otherworldly UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled in the heart of Argentina. This remote park, located in the San Juan province, takes you on a journey through time, discovering striking rock formations and dinosaur fossils.
The gateway to Ischigualasto Provincial Park is the town of San Agustín del Valle Fértil, which can be reached by car or bus from major cities like San Juan or Mendoza. Once in San Agustín, guided tours are the primary means of exploring the park.
Ischigualasto’s striking landscape appears as though from another planet. Unique rock formations, surreal red soil, and a stark, arid terrain give the impression of being on the surface of the moon. The park’s most famous rock formation, the “Submarine,” appears like a fossilized aquatic creature.
The park is celebrated for its rich paleontological heritage, with fossils dating back as far as 250 million years. These fossils offer crucial insights into the evolution of life on Earth. The “Cancha de Bochas” is a highlight, where giant, perfectly round rock formations dot the landscape.
While today’s Ischigualasto may seem desolate, the park once teemed with diverse flora and fauna. Fossils and traces of ancient reptiles, including the famous “Eoraptor,” showcase the park’s prehistoric inhabitants.
Access to Ischigualasto Provincial Park is restricted, and visitors must join guided tours to explore its wonders. Knowledgeable guides lead you through the park’s highlights, explaining the geological and paleontological marvels that make Ischigualasto so exceptional. The park offers different driving circuits as well as the opportunity to explore the park on mountain bikes or go hiking.
Nahuel Huapi National Park
Nahuel Huapi National Park, nestled in the Argentine Andes, is a breathtaking natural wonder that seamlessly combines pristine wilderness with charming alpine towns.
The gateway to Nahuel Huapi National Park is the town of San Carlos de Bariloche. You can reach Bariloche by air, with San Carlos de Bariloche Airport offering domestic and some international flights. Alternatively, you can arrive by bus from major cities like Buenos Aires.
The park’s centerpiece is the crystal-clear Lake Nahuel Huapi, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and lush forests. Enjoy water activities like kayaking, sailing, or simply relaxing on its shores.
In winter, Cerro Catedral transforms into a ski paradise, while in the summer, it offers excellent hiking and mountain biking trails with panoramic views.
Located on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi, Villa La Angostura offers a tranquil atmosphere and opportunities for exploring the park and its surroundings.
Sierra de las Quijadas National Park
Sierra de las Quijadas National Park, nestled in the heart of Argentina, is a lesser-known gem that promises travelers a journey into a world of vibrant canyons, unique rock formations, and untouched wilderness.
San Luis, the provincial capital, is the nearest major city to Sierra de las Quijadas National Park. You can reach San Luis by bus or car from various cities in Argentina. From there, you can drive to the park or go through a tour.
The park’s most striking feature is its deep canyons, which reveal layers of vibrant red, orange, and purple rock formations. Hike to the viewpoints for breathtaking panoramic views.
Due to its remote location and low light pollution, the park offers excellent conditions for stargazing. Witness the Milky Way in all its glory on clear nights. There’s a campground there, just check if it’s open beforehand.
Note that some of the hikes require a guide. You can contact the park to arrange one.
Esteros del Ibera
Esteros del Iberá, located in the northeast of Argentina, is a hidden ecological treasure that invites travelers to explore one of South America’s largest freshwater wetland systems.
The main gateway to Esteros del Iberá is the town of Colonia Carlos Pellegrini. You can reach this remote destination by bus or car from cities like Posadas or Mercedes. From there, you can arrange for a guide to take you to the wetlands.
Esteros del Iberá is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. Embark on boat safaris and guided tours to spot caimans, capybaras, howler monkeys, and hundreds of bird species, including herons and kingfishers.
You can explore the wetlands by boat, meandering through narrow water channels and lagoons while observing the diverse flora and fauna. In addition, several hiking trails offer opportunities to explore the marshes and forests, offering a closer look at the unique ecosystems and wildlife habitats.
Lanin National Park
Lanin National Park, nestled in the Argentine Andes, is a natural haven that beckons adventurers to explore its rugged beauty and pristine landscapes.
San Martín de los Andes is the primary gateway to Lanin National Park and can be reached by bus or car from larger cities like Bariloche or Neuquén. The town itself is an enchanting starting point for exploring the park.
The park boasts a network of glacial lakes, including Lake Lacar, Lake Huechulafquen, and Lake Paimún, all surrounded by towering Andean peaks. Enjoy water sports like kayaking or kitesurfing, spending time at the beach, and exploring the extensive area – during the colder months, enjoy winter activities.
Lanin National Park offers a multitude of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks that require a few days and camping along the way. Explore dense forests, rushing rivers, and scenic viewpoints.
The park is named after the Lanin Volcano, a snow-capped giant that dominates the landscape. Adventurous travelers can attempt to climb it, while others can admire its beauty from afar.
Note that for some hikes, you’ll need to register first (you can do it online).
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