10 Days in Argentina Itinerary: 7 Itineraries to Explore Argentina

Writing a full on, detailed Argentina itinerary has been something I’ve avoided doing since founding this blog over five years ago.

I could never decide what to include, how long to make it, what destinations… basically anything!

So, I’ve decided to write not just one itinerary for Argentina here, but SEVEN.

Choose your own adventure.

This post includes seven Argentina 10 day itinerary options with transportation information, hotels, logistics, tour choices I recommend, and up-to-date travel advice for 2022.

Two condors fly in front of a mountain

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The Perfect 10 Day Argentina Itinerary

First off, why 10 days in Argentina?

I’m starting with this question because it’s one I spent an embarrassing amount of time agonizing over.

I could easily spend months exploring this country and still have places I want to see left unseen.

My ideal trip here if visiting from abroad is minimum two weeks, but I do recognize (albeit begrudgingly) that paid time off is a limited resource.

Argentina in 10 days in much more feasible when you add in one M-F work week with the two weekends on either side.

That said, I’ll include some optional adjustments to each itinerary here that allow you to extend beyond 10 days.

Jump Straight to It: The Argentina Itinerary List

This article is VERY long and very detailed with 7 detailed itineraries to choose from, modify, and make your own.

If you want to skip ahead to one in particular that best suits your interests, click on it below:

Want more personalized itinerary help? This post contains multiple ten day Argentina itineraries to choose from and build off of, but if that’s more overwhelming than helpful, book a call with me for a personalized travel consultation. I’ve lived in Argentina for 12 years and am a destination expert eager to help you plan the best trip possible for you. Click for more information.

Things to Know Before Planning Your Argentina Itinerary

Here are a few things to know before planning your Argentina vacation.

How Long to Stay in Buenos Aires

It’s nearly guaranteed that your flight into Argentina will arrive and depart from Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires.

So, how long should you spend here and is it really worth seeing? YES.

I know a lot of people use the city only as a jumping off point, particularly if going to Patagonia. But if you can swing the time, there is a lot to see in and around Buenos Aires.

I recommend 3 days minimum, but understand when that’s not possible (and it’s not on all itineraries in this article).

International & Domestic Airports

Another reason to stop over in Buenos Aires?

Domestic flights in Buenos Aires depart mainly from Aeroparque in Palermo. International flights depart from Ezeiza, 45 minutes to over an hour outside of town (depending on traffic).

I’ve seen countless people book their flight into Ezeiza and then a flight out of Aeroparque in the same day, sometimes with as little as a few hours between them. This is asking for capital lettered STRESS.

Staying at least one night/day in Buenos Aires upon arrival gives you time to get to your connection seamlessly. Don’t be cruel to yourself with a same day airport transfer. It isn’t worth it.

Related: How to Get into Buenos Aires from Ezeiza Airport

Are there domestic flights that leave from Ezeiza? Yes, but options are very limited. Also, I’ve known airlines to change the departure airport without much advance notice (it’s been done to me). I wouldn’t rely on it unless you absolutely have to.

How to Get Around Argentina

Flying is the best way to get around Argentina, especially with only ten days.

Overnight and long distance buses used to be the most economical option but that’s not the case anymore.

The main airlines are Aerolíneas Argentinas and FlyBondi, the latter being a budget airline in the style of Ryan Air.

It can be hard to find flights to connect cities in Argentina that don’t involve a layover in Buenos Aires. It can take some creativity and work arounds to make a long itinerary work, logistically.

Read more in this guide about getting around Argentina to help plan the logistics of your Argentina itinerary.

Do you need to rent a car in Argentina?

You definitely don’t have to rent a car. With guided tours, taxis and private drivers you can do just about everything.

That said, this IS a beautiful country for a road trip. There are countless scenic drives and the beauty here is in Argentina’s natural wonders, not in its cities. Hitting the road is the best way to see Argentina.

If you’re interested in renting a car, read my guide all about driving in Argentina.

10 Days in Argentina: 7 Options for the Best Argentina Itinerary

It was far too difficult to write one “best Argentina itinerary,” so I wrote 7. Given the time and energy, I could honestly keep going.

Argentina is a huge country with multiple regions that greatly differ from each other. There’s something for everyone here.

The Argentina itineraries in the article each highlight a specific region or focus ranging from Patagonia to Wildlife, from Wine to Culture.

Pick one and customize it to make it your own.

1. The Highlights Itinerary: Buenos Aires + Iguazu + Mendoza

This Argentina 10 day itinerary hits up three major highlights: Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, and Mendoza.

  • Days 1-3: Buenos Aires – City, Steak, & Tango
  • Day 4: Flight to Iguazu, time permitting view the falls
  • Day 5: Explore the Argentine side of the falls
  • Day 6: Day trip to Brazil’s side of the falls
  • Day 7: Flight to Mendoza from Iguazu
  • Day 8: Full day wine tour of the Uco Valley
  • Day 9: Alta Montaña Tour into the Andes
  • Day 10: Fly home via Buenos Aires or direct from Mendoza

The Highlights Itinerary Details

What follows is a day by day breakdown of this Argentina in 10 days itinerary.

Of course, it’s meant a suggestion or framework for you to build your own activities off of (as we all have very unique taste!)

Maybe you want more wine and less mountains in Mendoza. Maybe you want less time in Iguazu and an extra day in the city. Take what follows and make it your own.

As it is, though, I know it’s a great Argentina itinerary.

Bueno, vamos!

3 Days in Buenos Aires

All major international flights arrive and depart from Buenos Aires, so once you land, stay a while!

This itinerary starts with three days (four nights) in Buenos Aires. For a more detailed itinerary, here’s my 3 days in Buenos Aires itinerary, exactly as I did it with my best friend when she visited.

Your flight most likely lands mid-morning and your transfer from Ezeiza will get you to your hotel just in time for a late lunch.

I always recommend spending this first afternoon relaxing in Palermo Soho. You’ll be tired from the overnight flight so go for a late lunch and people watch from the charming cafes, see the street art, and window (or really) shop. You can also hop in a taxi and head over the Bosques de Palermo parks to unwind in the city’s version of Central Park.

A wall of patchwork colors and a cobblestone path covered by trees
Explore Buenos Aires on this Argentina itinerary

On day 2, your first full day, take a tour like one of these bike tours or a walking tour to get acquainted with the city. Choose your own adventure in the afternoon: visit the Recoleta Cemetery, wander La Boca, or see Puerto Madero. At night, go to a tango show.

On day 3, you can re-visit one of the neighborhoods you loved best from yesterday or go on a walking tour of the best parrillas for lunch. If you’re visiting on a weekend, make sure you save Sunday for the San Telmo Market.

From here you can either stay one more night in Buenos Aires (and eat at one of the best steakhouses or try my favorite cooking class) or get a late flight into Iguazu for your next stop.

A waterfall in the jungle
Iguazu is a must-see on any 10 days in Argentina highlights itinerary

3 days in Iguazu

Day four and you’re in Iguazu! Whether you flew in last night or this morning, welcome to the jungle! (I hope you’re singing).

This is Argentina’s rainforest.

Some itineraries include a fly-by one day stop here. That is simply not enough time to see this natural wonder.

For more information, read my complete guide to Iguazu Falls.

What you do on day one will depend on when you arrive. If you have enough daylight (at least half a day), I recommend heading straight to falls.

BUDGET TIP | If you plan on coming back, make sure you return on the next consecutive day to get 50% off your second entrance.

Spend your second day on Argentina’s side of the falls. You can easily spend two full days on this side of the park.

Spend a third day in Brazil seeing Iguazu Falls from their perspective. The views from Brazil’s national park are panoramic and vastly different than Argentina’s side. You can take a guided tour or hire a private driver.

If you’d prefer to skip Brazil’s side of the falls and stay in Argentina, take this day trip to the Wanda Mines and San Ignacio Mini ruins.

3 Days in Mendoza

On day 7, fly from Iguazu to Mendoza.

Spend your first day settling in. If you’re staying in the city, walk through the plazas and Parque San Martin. If you’re staying on a vineyard (my favorite option), then welcome to paradise.

Spend your first full day in Mendoza on day of wine tastings in the region’s famous vineyards. I highly recommend a private driver in the Uco Valley. This region is closest the Andes and produces the highest quality wines and offers the most stunning vistas. If you’re traveling solo and would prefer a tour group, I recommend this small group tour.

A circular concrete building surrounding by a vineyard
SuperUCo, one of my favorite wineries in Mendoza

With your second and last full day in Mendoza, head into the mountains to see one of the world’s tallest peaks, Aconcagua. This guided tour is one of the most popular (non-wine) excursions in Mendoza. If you’d rather relax, spend another day wine tasting (I definitely could) or relax in the Cachueta Hot Springs.

And that’s a wrap.

Unfortunately, your ten days in Argentina exploring the country’s highlights have come to an end.

On your last day, do whatever you can to enjoy your final morning in Mendoza then make your way back to Buenos Aires for the flight home.

To plan better, here are my guides on Mendoza:

The Highlights Itinerary Logistics

Where to Stay: Hotels for This Itinerary

Buenos Aires Hotels

Iguazu Hotels

  • The Gran Meliá Iguazú – This is a splurge but worth it if you can swing it. It’s located INSIDE the national park allowing you to see the falls without crowds and come and go from the park throughout the day.
  • Iguazu Loi Suites – Tree house vibes near town for a unique jungle experience
  • Iguazu Falls Hostel

Mendoza Hotels

  • Casa de Huéspedes La Azul – If you want to stay on a vineyard, this is the guesthouse of my favorite family-owned bodega in the Uco Valley
  • B&B Plaza Italia – Comfortable B&B in town if you prefer to stay in the city, we stayed here once and it’s great for couples
  • Lares de Chacras – Split the difference of the Uco Valley and downtown by staying in charming Chacras de Coria in the Lujan de Cuyo wine region, just twenty minutes from downtown (easy to reach without a car, but still close to wine).
What time of year is best to do this itinerary?

This Argentina itinerary is great year-round. All three destinations are great in summer (albeit hot). Expect humidity in the summer in Buenos Aires and Iguazu, but enjoy the dry desert heat in Mendoza.

Winters are mild and ideal in Iguazu, and cold but sunny in Mendoza.

Spring and summer is perfect for all three destinations.

What to pack for this itinerary?

Buenos Aires is a casual city and you don’t need to pack particularly nice clothes just to go out here. Jeans and a nice top will be enough for a night out.

Comfortable, flexible shoes like a nice pair of sandals in summer or boots for winter will go a long way in Buenos Aires and Mendoza. Allbird sneakers are great year round because they’re stylish enough while allowing you to walk for miles.

For Iguazu, dress in clothes than can dry quickly like my favorite hiking pants. They’re great for the outdoors but also do well in the city. Wear non-slip shoes in Iguazu for the metal pathways, like these Teva sandals and don’t forget sunscreen, bug spray, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

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2. Southern Patagonia: Perito Moreno + El Chalten + Ushuaia

This 10 days in Patagonia itinerary follows a very popular route used by local and foreign tourists alike.

Buenos Aires to El Calafate to Ushuaia, then back to Buenos Aires is a regularly used flight package offered by Aerolíneas Argentinas and makes for a comprehensive southern Patagonia itinerary.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, go on afternoon tour
  • Day 2: Fly to El Calafate, See Laguna Nimez, Eat Patagonian Lamb
  • Day 3: See Perito Moreno
  • Day 4: Transfer to El Chalten, Go on short hike
  • Day 5: Hike
  • Day 6: Hike
  • Day 7: Transfer back to El Calafate, fly to Ushuaia
  • Day 8: Morning hike to Laguna Esmeralda, Afternoon Beagle Channel Excursion
  • Day 9: Explore Tierra del Fuego National Park (or, alternatively, choose excursion to see penguins & an estancia)
  • Day 10: Fly back to Buenos Aires to stay or transfer home

SOUTHERN PATAGONIA ITINERARY ALTERNATIVES/ADD-ONS | This itinerary covers a LOT of ground in southern Patagonia, leaving nearly no time for Buenos Aires. If you have more than ten days, I recommend adding on at at least one more day in Buenos Aires and then adding onto El Calafate and El Chalten (prioritizing El Chalten if you’re a hiking enthusiast).

Southern Patagonia Itinerary Details

Here’s a breakdown of this 10 days in Patagonia itinerary.

Arrival + 1 Night in Buenos Aires

Welcome to your ten days in Argentina!

You’ve arrived in Buenos Aires. I recommend staying at least a night in the city rather than rushing to a connecting flight to El Calafate.

It’s most likely that your flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate departs from Aeroparque, the domestic airport in Palermo. Transferring there from Ezeiza can be stressful if your connection time is short.

Also, Buenos Aires is beautiful. Give it a day, at least!

You’ll arrive to your hotel around mid-day. Spend the afternoon going on a city tour. Since your time is limited, hire a private customizable tour like this (which is much more affordable than you may expect).

For your only dinner in Buenos Aires, get steak at Don Julio, repeatedly named among the world’s best restaurants (reserve ahead of time online) or one of the other best steakhouses in Buenos Aires.

2 Days in El Calafate

On your second day, fly to El Calafate. If your flight is early enough, take full advantage of your first day here.

Spend the afternoon walking the trail in the Laguna Nimez Reserve. This beautiful nature reserve is right in town and you’ll see a lot of native birds (including flamingos!). I love it.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind to get here, with non-stop travel and touring since you left home, so take it easy today. Stroll through the nature reserve then eat all day!

Grab an afternoon ice cream at Acuarela, famous for their calafate berry ice cream, or get calafate berry alfajores at Dulce Lugar. Or… get both, they’re only a few blocks apart.

For your first Patagonian dinner, do it right with Patagonian Lamb.Don Pichon has the best lamb in town, so run, don’t walk, there for dinner.

A woman stands at a viewing deck against a handrail looking at a glacier
Admiring Perito Moreno on my southern Patagonia Itinerary

For your third day (and first full day in El Calafate), go see the star of the show: Perito Moreno.

There are a lot of ways to see it so I wrote a complete guide to Perito Moreno to help you out (very helpful if you want to go without a tour).

If you’d prefer a tour, here are the best:

  • Big Ice Trekking – The ultimate way to see the glacier? Hike across it. I did this on my first visit and it was incredible.
  • Minitrekking – A shorter version of the Big Ice Trek, better for those looking for a less intensive hike.
  • Kayak – You can kayak among the ice bergs and see Perito Moreno right from the water
  • Guided Tour – Or skip the sports activities and go on a guided tour of the park

EL CALAFATE ALTERNATIVES/ADD-ONS | If you have the time to spend a second full day in El Calafate, I recommend either going on the Todo Glaciares Excursion to see MORE stunning glaciers or spend a day at Nibepo Aike, a traditional Patagonian estancia.

3 Days in El Chalten

Get an early morning transfer to El Chalten. There’s also a bus you can take but the good thing about a transfer is being able to stop along the way, which is well worth it.

Half-way between the two cities is a rest stop called La Leona. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid stayed here for a while when in Patagonia (and the place is basically a museum for the outlaws).

After La Leona the views of the mountains as you approach El Chalten are breathtaking. You’ll want the opportunity to stop to gawk and take pictures.

A village in the valley surrounded by snowy mountains
The view of El Chalten from Los Condores trail

If you arrive in El Chalten with enough time, take an introductory hike to welcome yourself to Argentina’s hiking capital.

Los Condores/Aguilas is a short, easy hike offering a panoramic view of the city and mountains (great for sundown if the weather is nice).

This itinerary includes two full days for hiking in El Chalten. I recommend hiking Laguna de los Tres (Fitz Roy), first and foremost. It is the most iconic hike in the region (and possibly the country). Check the forecast and try to do it on a clear day so clouds don’t cover the mountain.

Laguna Torre is the other must-do full-day hike here. If you have the energy to do both (and it’s A LOT), I recommend those two hikes.

If you need a shorter hike, you can do Laguna Capri instead of Laguna de los Tres. It’s much shorter but still has views of Fitz Roy. Since we were there with a one year old on our backs, that’s what we did.

Read More: A Complete Guide to Hiking El Chalten

EL CHALTEN ALTERNATIVES/ADD-ONS | If you have any extra days to add on to this itinerary and you love hiking, ADD THEM HERE. There is no such thing as too much time in El Chalten. We were there for 6 days. I could have stayed for twice that.

4 Days in Ushuaia

In full honesty, your “first day in Ushuaia” on this Patagonia Itinerary is mainly a travel day.

Wake up early and transfer back to El Calafate for your flight to Ushuaia. If you arrive in Ushuaia with enough time to spare, walk around the water front and admire the cruises taking lucky passengers to Antarctica. Alternatively, if you have the time (and energy), visit the prison museum.

Have dinner at either Volver, Tia Elvira, or El Viejo Marino (all three are located directly on the waterfront) to try centolla (king crab), Ushuaia’s specialty.

On your first full day in Ushuaia, explore Tierra del Fuego National Park. There are moderate hikes here like Senda La Costera or short treks around the Lapataia Bay area that offer breathtaking views for minimal effort.

To get to the park, you can take a taxi (it’s very close to the city) or take the famous End of the World Train.

If after El Chalten your legs are screaming at the idea of more nature and more hiking, you can instead take this tour to see penguins and a traditional estancia.

Have dinner at Ramos Generales El Almacén. We went for lunch one day and it was my favorite Ushuaia restaurant. It was affordable and the food was incredible.

You May Also Like: Where to See Penguins in Argentina

Small fishing boats and large cruise ships in the bay in Ushuaia
See the End of the World in Ushuaia on this 10 days in Patagonia itinerary

On your second full day in Ushuaia, put your hiking boots back on and leave early to hike Laguna Esmeralda. This is one of the most popular hikes in Ushuaia and I highly, highly recommend it!

It’s a moderate trek and around 4-5 hours total (or more if you want to spend more time relaxing at the laguna like I did).

Spend your afternoon on this Beagle Channel Excursion (no hiking required, finally!). You’ll see the famous red and white lighthouse and sea lions. The afternoon boat leaves at 3, allowing plenty of time for your morning hike.

On your fourth and final day in Ushuaia and Patagonia, say goodbye with a breakfast at Ramos Generales El Almacén (yes, go there again!). The baked goods here are spectacular and you’ll have a more peaceful experience than a busy lunch or dinner.

Catch your flight back to Buenos Aires to explore the city or transfer to your flight home.

Southern Patagonia Itinerary Logistics

Where to Stay: Hotels for This Itinerary

Buenos Aires Hotels

El Calafate Hotels

El Chalten Hotels

Ushuaia Hotels

  • La Posta Apart – Apart hotel, we stayed here to have a full apartment on a budget
  • Arakur – Luxury, best hotel in Ushuaia
What time of year is best to do this itinerary?

The best time of year to explore Southern Patagonia is in the summer for good weather and long days.

Summer is from Dec-Feb, but keep in mind that January is Argentina’s busiest month. If you travel then, book ALL hotels, tours, and rental cars as far in advance as possible.

Late Spring (late Oct-Nov) and early Fall (March-mid April) are great shoulder seasons.

Winters will be too harsh for Southern Patagonia unless you want winter sports. Ushuaia has its own ski resort and plenty of winter activities.

What to pack for this itinerary?

For hiking in Southern Patagonia, pack your best hiking boots and hiking poles (we have this cheap pair that work wonders). You definitely want poles in El Chalten and Ushuaia or your knees will hate you.

For clothing, pack layers. You’ll peel them off as the days get hot on the trail in El Chalten. Include a hat, a good jacket (this area is notoriously windy), sunglasses, plenty of sunscreen, and a light fleece.

Also, the weather in Ushuaia is volatile. It could snow at any time of the year. Pack layers just to be safe.

Basically, leave fashion aside for Patagonia and pack practically.

3. Northern Patagonia Itinerary: The Lake District

Another ten days in Patagonia itinerary, this time in Northern Patagonia’s lake district.

The main city here is Bariloche, with a number of small towns just a short drive away.

All of these towns and the scenic drives that connect them are littered with mountains, lakes and breathtaking natural beauty.

This Argentina itinerary is ideal for just about anyone: families, solo travelers, and couples. There’s something for everyone here!

  • Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, go on afternoon tour
  • Days 2-3: San Martin de los Andes
  • Day 4: 7 Lakes Route to Bariloche
  • Days 5-7: Bariloche
  • Day 8-9 El Bolson
  • Day 10: Drive back to Bariloche for return flight to Buenos Aires/Home

ALTERNATIVES/ADD-ONS | Just like the previous Patagonia itinerary, this one allows next to no time for Buenos Aires.

If you have any extra days to add onto this ten day Argentina itinerary, I’d add them first to Buenos Aires then to El Bolson. If you have a LOT of extra time to add, I’d continue even further south for up to another week in Trevelin.

Alternatively, you could simplify things and remove El Bolson or San Martin de los Andes and use those days for Buenos Aires.

NOTE: This Northern Patagonia in 10 days itinerary was the hardest for me to create. There are simply too many ways to do it! There are a lot of places to go and it’s so hard to choose because, honestly, you can’t go wrong anywhere here.

If you have specific interests (hiking? fly fishing? luxury relaxation?) then that could steer you in a different direction. If you want help customizing an itinerary, book a call with me.

Northern Patagonia Itinerary Details

To rent a car or not? This itinerary is ideal with your own car to move around. Check rental rates here but keep in mind that car rentals in Argentina (Patagonia especially) are pricey.

Get the best prices by renting a manual transmission and by reserving well in advance (do not wait!).

1 Day in Buenos Aires

For arrival in Buenos Aires, see day 1/arrival details in the previous Southern Patagonia itinerary above.

2 Days in San Martin de los Andes

Bariloche gets all the attention but San Martin de los Andes, just three hours further north, also deserves your attention.

On your second day in Argentina, get on a plane to San Martin de los Andes.

TIP | Aerolineas Argentinas has a direct route to SMdlA, so be sure to check which dates the flight operates when planning your travel dates.

Spend your first day taking it easy after the whirlwind two days of travel that brought you here.

If you have enough time after your flight, you can enjoy a beer at Playa Yuco or Quila Quina. If your flight is later in the day, relax in town.

Try Patagonia’s famous chocolate at my two favorite local San Martin chocolate shops Mamusia and La Vieja Aldea.

Grab some empanadas at Nonino Empanadas (they have Patagonian flavors like lamb, wild boar, and trout).

A woman sits on a boulder over a lake with a pine tree and mountain in the background
Playa Yuco in San Martin de los Andes

On your next and only full day in San Martin de los Andes, explore Parque Nacional Lanín.

Visit Playa Yuco, Lago Nonthue, Hua Hum, and Cascada Chachin. Quila Quina is also beautiful but is on the opposite side of the lake.

If you have a car and are driving, plan to do it early in the morning and spend the afternoon at Playa Yuco/Cascada Chachin or vice/versa.

If you don’t have a car, this guided boat tour visits Hua Hum, Cascada Chachin, and Quila Quina.

Read More: The Best Things to do in San Martin de los Andes

San Martin de los Andes is a beautiful mountain town. There are plenty of outdoor activities (including hikes, horseback rides, mountain biking, and rafting) and I find the city center itself to be MUCH more beautiful than Bariloche.

Day 4: Ruta de los 7 Lagos

The stretch of the Ruta 40 highway that connects San Martin de los Andes and Bariloche is one of the most beautiful scenic drives in Argentina.

Use this scenic drive to move to this Argentina itinerary’s next destination: Bariloche.

While the drive itself only takes a few hours if you drove straight through, only a psychopath would do that.

Try to leave as early as possible to get the most out of your day. There are a LOT of beautiful pit stops to be made.

Read my complete guide to Ruta de los 7 Lagos to plan this day.

If you don’t have your own car, there is a guided tour departing from San Martin de los Andes. You could contact them about using the tour as a transfer or hire a private driver.

This itinerary has you sleeping in Bariloche tonight, but Villa La Angostura is also an option. Whether you stay there or not, stop for drinks or an early dinner with a view at the Mirador Social Club.

Villa La Angostura is TOO beautiful to skip altogether.

3 Days in Bariloche

On day 5 (half-way through this itinerary already!), wake up in beautiful Bariloche!

You have three days to enjoy here.

There is a LOT to see in Bariloche so I’ll list some of the best tours and things to do below to help you build your Bariloche itinerary:

  • Cerro Campanario: This viewpoint is a must-do. You can take the funicular to the top or hike the short (but steep) trail. It has stunning views! There’s a cafe serving delicious pastries and hot chocolate at the top.
  • Circuito Chico: You can drive, bike, or take a guided tour of this half-day route just outside of town. It hits up the areas most beautiful views.
  • Victoria Island & Arrayanes National Park: This boat excursion onto the lake is a great way to spend a day, I loved it on my first trip to Bariloche!
  • Visit the Breweries: Beer is big in Patagonia and there are plenty of breweries to visit, Cerveza Patagonia has the best beer and views!
  • Hike Refugio Frey: This is a full-day moderate hike and one of the most popular trails in Bariloche.
  • Colonia Suiza: A small village, easy to add on to a day touring the Circuito Chico
  • Try the chocolate! Mamushka and Rapa Nui are two of the best chocolate shops in town. You can even ice skate in Rapa Nui’s store.
Dark clouds hang over snowy mountains and lakes in Argentina's lake district
View from Cerro Campanario in Bariloche

A SUGGESTED 3 DAY ITINERARY: You could dedicate one day to hiking Refugio Frey with a reward of chocolate shops and Patagonia brewery beer upon your return. A second day, explore Circuito Chico, including a ride to the top of Cerro Campanario and an easy hike at Llao Llao. For a third day, take the boat excursion to Arrayanes National Park.

3 Days in El Bolson

Either at the end of day 7 or early on day 8, make your way south to El Bolson where you’ll have 2 full days to explore.

This smaller mountain town is much more laid back than Bariloche and is famous for its hippy friendly vibe.

Hike in Cajón Del Azul, visit the Bosque Tallado, or even spend a day driving a bit further to Lago Puelo National Park.

My favorite Argentine ice cream of them all, Jauja, originates from El Bolson so don’t miss your chance to try it here. They offer unique Patagonian flavors.

ITINERARY ALTERNATIVE | If you’d prefer to spend less time in El Bolson, spend these two days elsewhere and visit El Bolson on this day trip from Bariloche. You could choose to add these two days to San Martin de los Andes, Bariloche, or even along the 7 Lakes Route in tiny Villa Traful (a tiny village that’s very off the beaten path!).

On your final day of this 10 day Argentina itinerary, make your way back to Bariloche to fly back to Buenos Aires and/or home.

Northern Patagonia Itinerary Logistics

Where to Stay: Hotels for This Itinerary

Buenos Aires Hotels

San Martin de los Andes Hotels

Bariloche Hotels

El Bolson Hotels

What time of year is best to do this itinerary?

The best time of year to explore Patagonia is in the summer for good weather and long days.

Summer is from Dec-Feb, but keep in mind that January is Argentina’s busiest month. If you travel then, book ALL hotels, tours, and rental cars as far in advance as possible.

Late Spring (late Oct-Nov) and early Fall (March-mid April) are great shoulder seasons. Expect cold nights but warmer afternoons.

Winter is great for skiing in Bariloche, Villa La Angostura, and San Martin de los Andes but I wouldn’t plan on driving the 7 Lakes Route in winter.

What to pack for this itinerary?

Pack comfortable clothes and layers. Nights can be chillier, even in summer, so pack a light jacket and scarf.

If you plan on hiking, pack accordingly with either hiking boots or a good pair of sneakers.

For flexible clothes, I love my Outdoor Voices RecTrek pants. They are made for hiking but work for city activities as well (they don’t look overtly outdoorsy).

4. Wine Lovers Argentina Itinerary: Salta + Mendoza

Love wine? You’ll love this wine-centered ten days in Argentina itinerary.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, explore Palermo Soho, visit wine bar/wine tasting
  • Day 2: City tour by day, with evening at The Argentine Experience
  • Day 3: Fly to Mendoza
  • Day 4: Full day wine tour
  • Day 5: More vineyards or Alta Montaña Tour
  • Day 6: Fly to Salta, transfer to Cafayate
  • Day 7: Wine tour
  • Day 8: Quebrada de las Conchas, Hike, and/or more wine tours
  • Day 9: Transfer to Salta City early, Explore the city
  • Day 10: Fly home via Buenos Aires

2 Days in Buenos Aires

On day one, after settling into your hotel and freshening up, find a relaxing lunch spot in Palermo Soho. There are countless restaurants to choose from here and you can’t go wrong with any.

After lunch, window shop and people watch. This neighborhood has the best cafes, boutique shopping, and coolest Buenos Aires street art.

End the day with an organized wine tasting or simply get a bottle and relax at one of the area’s best wine bars. Pain et Vin in Palermo Soho was the first wine bar on the scene and remains a favorite of mine.

For your first dinner, make a reservation at either Don Julio or El Preferido de Palermo.

These two local staples offer classic dishes from steak to milanesa but with made with the best ingredients and, of course, wine lists (particularly Don Julio’s!).

Spend your first (and only) full day in Buenos Aires sight seeing. Take a bike tour of the city or this private guided tour.

I recommend the private tour because it’s customizable and with so little time to explore, this ensures that you’ll see everything you want in little time.

For your last night in the city, either take a cooking class (focusing on everything from yerba mate to empanadas) or go to one of these top Buenos Aires tango shows.

3 Days in Mendoza

On your third day of this Argentina itinerary, hop a flight to Mendoza, a.k.a. my happy place.

If you’re staying in the city, spend the afternoon exploring.

Go on a walking tour and visit the parks.

If you’re staying on a vineyard (my personal recommendation on where to stay in Mendoza, especially for wine lovers), get to know your bodega!

Attend your first wine tasting in Argentina’s wine paradise.

A woman sits on a swing in a pink t-shirt in front of a vineyard
Wine tastings in the Uco Valley are something special and a must for any wine lover’s Argentina vacation

Spend your first full day in Mendoza tasting Malbec at the region’s famous vineyards. I highly recommend a private driver in the Uco Valley.

This region is closest the Andes and produces the highest quality wines and offers the most stunning vistas. If you’re traveling solo and would prefer a tour group, I recommend this small group tour.

For your second day in Mendoza, if you want to tour more vineyards (which is practically ALL I do when I visit Mendoza), try visiting a different wine region than you did yesterday. If you saw the Uco Valley yesterday, hire a driver or tour of Lujan de Cuyo today.

Related: The Best Wineries in Mendoza & How to Tour Them

If you’d prefer to do something non-wine related on your second day, head into the mountains to see one of the world’s tallest peaks, Aconcagua.

This guided tour is one of the most popular excursions in Mendoza. If you’d rather relax, treat yourself in the Cachueta Hot Springs.

4 Days in Salta

On day 6 of this itinerary, tearfully bid adieu to the Uco Valley and fly to Salta in Argentina’s Northwest.

Wine lovers should keep Salta on their radar. This is where Argentina’s history of wine began centuries ago and it remains the country’s second largest wine region.

The variety to try here? The Crisp but sweet white varietal, Torrontes.

Upon arrival in Salta, either pick up your rental car or meet your transfer and go directly to Cafayate, Salta’s main wine region.

Check into your hotel and wander the city. You can try wine ice cream at Helados Miranda or even start visiting wineries with some of the bodegas that are located right downtown (Nani is my particular favorite!).

If you arrive early enough, schedule a sunset tour and tasting at Piatelli for an unforgettable experience.

A vineyard in front of the red mountains
Wineries in Cafayate are stunning

On your first full day here, tour the best wineries in Cafayate. Unlike Mendoza, the wineries here are all fairly close to town. You can either take taxis or rent a bike (many hotels offer free bikes for guests).

With your second day in Cafayate, you can either visit more wineries (not a bad choice!) or a hike.

If you picked hike, the Cascadas del Rio Colorado hike is the best in town. Take a taxi to the trailhead just outside of town and, optional, hire one of the guides there. We hired a guide and I was glad we did.

If you do this hike, visit Finca Las Nubes afterwards. It’s my favorite winery in Cafayate and is very close to the trailhead. They have an affordable menu and a panoramic view of town from their lawn (where you can lounge with wine and snacks).

Read More: The Best Things to do in Cafayate

A highway weaves along next to a red mountain in the desert
Quebrada de las Conchas & Ruta 68 to Salta

Alternatively, you could also wake up with the sun and tour the Quebrada de las Conchas by car or bike. I say get up with the sun because this allows you to beat any tour groups and have the stunning formations all to yourself (something well worth the early alarm).

For your final morning in Cafayate, wake up and make your way back to the city of Salta. If you didn’t see the Quebrada yesterday, do it today on your way to Salta. If you did it yesterday, skip it and go straight to the city.

Spend the afternoon exploring the city of Salta (read about what to see in my guide to Salta city).

Stay the night in Salta and fly back to Buenos Aires the following day to either spend more time there or connect onwards to home.

Wine Lovers Argentina Itinerary Logistics

Where to Stay: Hotels for This Itinerary

Buenos Aires Hotels

Mendoza Hotels

  • Casa de Huéspedes La Azul – If you want to stay on a vineyard, this is the guesthouse of my favorite family-owned bodega in the Uco Valley
  • B&B Plaza Italia – Comfortable B&B in town if you prefer to stay in the city, we stayed here once and it’s great for couples
  • Lares de Chacras – Split the difference of the Uco Valley and downtown by staying in charming Chacras de Coria in the Lujan de Cuyo wine region, just twenty minutes from downtown (easy to reach without a car, but still close to wine).

Cafayate Hotels

Salta Hotels

What time of year is best to do this itinerary?

This 10 days in Argentina itinerary is great year round.

Mendoza is beautiful all year. Summers are hot but dry. Winters are very cold at night but with sunny days. Harvest is in the fall with gorgeous, lush vines. You can’t go wrong.

Winters in Salta are gorgeous, expect cold nights but beautiful days. Summer can bring some rain but it’s the desert, so it’s never too much.

What to pack for this itinerary?

Buenos Aires is a casual city and you don’t need to pack particularly nice clothes just to go out here. Jeans and a nice top will be enough for a night out.

Comfortable, flexible shoes like a nice pair of sandals in summer or boots for winter will go a long way in Buenos Aires and Mendoza. Allbird sneakers are great year round because they’re stylish enough while allowing you to walk for miles.

Mendoza and Cafayate are both very casual. You don’t need to dress overly nice to tour the wineries. Jeans and a nice top is enough, but of course, go all out if that’s your style!

5. Wildlife Lovers #1: Whales & Penguins in Patagonia Itinerary

I’ll write the options for this itinerary a little differently than the previous Argentina itineraries in this article because it’s simply TOO hard to pick one single route for this rugged coastline.

If you’re sincerely interested in whale watching and exploring the Puerto Madryn area, please read this itinerary closely and examine all the options I mention.

Arrive and spend three days in Buenos Aires. For details on how to spend these three days, scroll up to the first itinerary in this article (The Highlights) or read my 3 Days in Buenos Aires Itinerary article.

On day 4, fly to Puerto Madryn on Patagonia’s Atlantic Coast for whales, sea lions, and penguins! I recommend spending four nights here.

Budget Tip: Trelew is another city with an airport less than an hour’s drive from Puerto Madryn. If prices or flight schedules in Puerto Madryn don’t work for you, also look at flights and rental cars in Trelew.

Once here, you have a couple options on how and where to spend your time.

If you are willing/able to rent a car, I recommend spending as many nights as possible in Puerto Piramides on Peninsula Valdes instead of spending all of your nights in Puerto Madryn.

Aside from being more beautiful, it’s closer to nature. Located on the peninsula inside the nature reserve, you are in the heart of the action.

We stayed at Oceano Patagonia Wild Coast Residence in Puerto Piramides and spent three full days exploring Valdes. I promise, you won’t be bored here if you’re here for the wildlife. We could even hear and watch the whales from our beds!

If you choose to go this route and stay on the peninsula, here’s my day by day Peninsula Valdes itinerary for how we spent our time there.

If you do not want to or cannot rent a car, base yourself in Puerto Madryn and take excursions from there. Here’s a guide to the best things to do in Puerto Madryn where I link to the best tours to take.

I’d spend 1-2 days on excursions into Peninsula Valdes, with one including a whale watching boat tour. Spend another day at Punta Tombo to see more penguins than you’ll know what to do with. Other possibilities include visiting a traditional estancia or snorkeling with sea lions.

For the final days of your itinerary, I’ll offer you two vastly different options to choose from.

Option one is for the intrepid traveler. If you rent a car, drive four hours south along the coast. I know, four hours sounds like a lot. Stay with me here, it’s worth it.

This is rugged, jaw-droppingly beautiful terrain and it does not get any more off the beaten path than this. The lodges here are remote and stunning.

If you have a budget to work with, stay at Bahia Bustamente. If you’re leaning more towards a backpacker’s budget, stay at Cabo Raso. Either way, you’ll have a wonderful time connecting with a remote corner of Argentina’s Patagonia most never see.

Option two brings us back to Buenos Aires. If you’re reading this and saying to yourself, you HAVE to be kidding me if you want me to rent a car and drive four hours into the middle of God knows where Patagonia. That’s fine. Get a flight back to Buenos Aires!

Once in Buenos Aires, get out of town. You’ll have already seen the city at the beginning of this itinerary. Spend a couple nights in the country discovering rural Buenos Aires.

First and foremost, I recommend staying at an estancia to see Argentina’s gaucho culture. Estancia La Bandada is a luxury estancia in San Miguel del Monte. It’s conveniently located for traveling to the airport (perfect for ending your trip). They have a beautiful property with top notch bird watching.

Alternatives to La Bandada are any estancia in San Antonio de Areco (the gaucho capital of Argentina!). My favorite estancia here is El Ombu.

Read More: The Best Estancias near Buenos Aires

Wherever you choose, Patagonia’s Wild Coast or an estancia near Buenos Aires, you’re trip will be wonderful.

This is a unique itinerary for Argentina that many foreign tourists don’t choose. But it’s also one of my favorites!

Whales in Patagonia Itinerary Logistics

Where to Stay: Hotels for This Itinerary

Buenos Aires Hotels

Puerto Madryn/Puerto Piramides Hotels

What time of year is best to do this itinerary?

To see wildlife the absolute best months to do this itinerary is from late September through November. This is when the highest number of whales are here to breed.

That said, June through April are all good months to visit. In June, the whales begin to arrive. Other animals like sea lions, penguins, and elephant seals stay in the area longer than the whales so you’d still be able to see them if visiting after November.

Click here for a complete wildlife calendar.

What to pack for this itinerary?

Buenos Aires is a casual city and you don’t need to pack particularly nice clothes just to go out here. Jeans and a nice top will be enough for a night out.

Patagonia, and the coast even more so, are extremely, extremely windy. Pack a nice wind/raincoat like this, a beanie, a scarf, etc. You’ll be thankful for the layers. Summer months can be very warm (with the beaches welcoming sunbathers) but it can be unpredictable, so layers, layers layers.

Bring your best camera and don’t forget binoculars to see the wildlife. This pair is a great pair of binoculars but I also have a buyer’s guide to the best Safari Binoculars to help you choose.

6. Wildlife Lovers #2: Iguazu & The Wetlands in the Northeast

This 10 day trip to Argentina is particularly special, visiting the jungle and wetlands of the Northeast. This region is seriously underappreciated by foreign visitors who tend to see only Iguazu.

  • 3 Days in Buenos Aires
  • 2 Days in Iguazu
  • 4 Days in the Esteros del Ibera Wetlands
  • 1-2 Days in Buenos Aires (option to extend with estancia or Tigre)

Arrive in Buenos Aires and spend 3 nights. For how to spend these days, refer back to the first itinerary in this article (The Highlights) or read my 3 days in Buenos Aires itinerary.

On your fourth morning catch a flight to Puerto Iguazu. Spend two days exploring the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls National Park.

After 2-3 nights here, make your way to Corrientes to explore Argentina’s largest wetland systems, los Esteros del Ibera.

It’s easiest to travel from Puerto Iguazu to Posadas by car via Ruta 12, check rental rates here. The drive is only 4 hours with worthy pit-stops along the way visiting the ruins of the Jesuit Missions and the Wanda Mines.

This region is very easy to drive, we spent a week on a road trip in Misiones and I recommend it if you’re up for it.

The head of an alligator peaks out of the water surrounded by leaves in the wetlands
Kayaking with caimans in the wetlands on a wildlife Argentina itinerary

Once you reach Posadas, you have a couple of options. If you want to stay closer to Posadas, allowing you to still drive yourself and spend less time on the road, book a room/package with Hotel Puerto Valle. This hotel is just one hour past Posadas, along the same Ruta 12.

If you’d like to go deeper into the wetlands, I’d recommend returning the rental car and reserving a room at one of the many lodges in/around the village Colonia Carlos Pelligrini.

Read More: Complete Guide to Visiting the Esteros del Ibera

The drive from Posadas to Carlos Pelligrini is dirt and not passable if muddy unless you rent a 4×4 (which is exorbitant). Arrange transport with your lodge. Sidenote that for the rest of Misiones you don’t need a big car or 4×4.

How you’ll spend your days here depends on your lodge. Packages tend to have set activities or they can arrange what you’re interested in, including but not limited to: horseback rides into the marsh, kayaking, nature walks, and boat rides.

After your time in Ibera is regretfully finished, travel back to Buenos Aires to either spend some more time or to catch your flight home.

If you want to continue with nature and wildlife experiences, extend your time in Buenos Aires by staying on an estancia (like La Bandada with its gorgeous property and bird watching) or rent a cabin in the tropical Tigre River Delta.

Wetlands Itinerary Logistics

Where to Stay: Hotels for This Itinerary

Buenos Aires Hotels

Iguazu Hotels

Esteros del Ibera Lodges

What time of year is best to do this itinerary?

Spring, from September-November, is the best time to for this Argentina holiday with little rain and mild temperatures. Winter follows (June-August) with colder nights and very little rainfall.

Autumn (March through May) brings the most rain, making excursions more difficult and the road from Posadas rougher to navigate. Summer is extremely hot and humid.

What to pack for this itinerary?

Buenos Aires is a casual city and you don’t need to pack particularly nice clothes just to go out here. Jeans and a nice top will be enough for a night out.

For Iguazu and the Wetlands, pack light comfortable clothing for the sun and humidity. Light blouses with a lot of skin coverage is ideal. For Iguazu, you’ll want clothes that dry quickly (avoid cotton).

Pack bug spray, a hat, and sunglasses. This isn’t a destination where you need to focus on fashion, put comfort first.

Bring your best camera and don’t forget binoculars to see the wildlife. This pair is a great pair of binoculars but I also have a buyer’s guide to the best Safari Binoculars to help you choose.

7. Culture: 10 Days in Argentina’s Northwest

Salta and Jujuy are two of the most stunning provinces in Argentina’s Northwestern desert.

They offer a rich indigenous culture, rainbow mountains, the country’s best cuisine, and charming villages.

You could easily spend 10 days in Jujuy, and another 10 in Salta. But I’ve also done a road trip where I toured both in 9 days.

I have very detailed articles and guides for this region to help you plan. Below I’ll offer three itinerary choices and link to posts that will help you flesh them out.

9 Days in Salta & Jujuy

For this route, read my detailed itinerary for 9 days in Salta and Jujuy. We did this trip in 2018 and I’ll be completely honest, it was a lot.

We had very early mornings and got back to our hotel very late every day. Our days were jam-packed. But we saw A LOT and it was gorgeous! If you can add more days to this itinerary, do it. If not, plan for busy but memorable days.

Adobe one story buildings go uphill in front of red mountains
Purmamarca in Jujuy is one of Argentina’s most beautiful villages

9 Days in Jujuy

This is a trip I haven’t done but would LOVE to as soon as humanly possible. We only spent 3 days in Jujuy but I could have spent 3 days each in each of the villages we visited.

I love using the town of Tilcara as my base because there is a lot of life here. Tilcara has great restaurants, hotels, and is centrally located in the quebrada.

Stay here 3-4 nights and from here visit: Purmamarca and the Salinas Grandes Salt Flats (can be done together in one day), wineries in Maimara, Tilcara itself, and hike the Quebrada de las Señoritas in Uquia.

Then move further north and spend a couple of nights in Humahuaca, where you can see the Hornocal (14 Colored Mountain).

After Humahuaca, head even further north (technically back into Salta), to Iruya. This village clings to the cliffsides and is said to be spectacular.

The drive back to Salta or Salvador de Jujuy for your flight back to Buenos Aires from Iruya is a long but gorgeous one. Take your time and enjoy the day.

Single story historic buildings in a Spanish colonial town in Argentina
Cachi in Salta

9 Days in Salta

For 9 days of exploring Salta, I have a very detailed itinerary for you to follow because we just did this road trip recently.

Here is my perfect Salta road trip.

  • Start by arriving in Salta, getting your rental car, and immediately driving Ruta 33 to Cachi where you’ll spend 3-4 nights (we stayed for 4). [Read: Things to do in Cachi]
  • From here, drive Ruta 40 to Cafayate where you’ll spend another 3-4 nights (again, we stayed for 4). [Read: Things to do in Cafayate]
  • From here, drive Ruta 68 back to Salta city, where we stayed for one night. If you spent only 3 nights in Cachi and Cafayate, you can spend more time here in the city. [Read: Things to do in Salta City]

This road trip has some of the country’s most scenic drives, beautiful villages, and best wineries.

Salta & Jujuy, Northwest Argentina Itinerary Logistics

This region is seen best with your own car. Check rental rates here.

Where to Stay: Hotels for This Itinerary

There are a LOT of villages listed in these itineraries in both Jujuy and Salta. For simplicity’s sake, click the individual itinerary links included above to see where we stayed.

What time of year is best to do this itinerary?

The Northwest is beautiful year round, but Winter and the shoulder seasons of Spring and Fall are the best times to visit.

Days will be sunny and warm with temperatures dropping at night. Remember, this is the desert and there is a wide range of temperatures from day to night.

Summer (mainly January and February) are the rainy season and storms can make some of the roads on these itineraries impassable without a 4×4.

Don’t let that discourage you as many of the highways are paved. For the dirt roads, you can either take a different route (investigate in advance or ask your hotels) or hire a transfer. This is advisable for the road up to Iruya, for example.

This region of Argentina is very devout, so if planning to visit over Carnival or Easter holidays book as far in advance as possible. It gets VERY crowded.

What to pack for this itinerary

Wear layers for when temperatures dip at night. You’ll want plenty of sunscreen and sunglasses for the days out.

If you like hiking, make sure to pack at least one outfit for that as there are some beautiful trails here.

Dress comfortably in jeans, sweaters, and sensible shoes. This area is very casual and you don’t need to go over the top, even for the wineries.

10 Days in Argentina: 7 Ways

If you’re still reading, I’d like to send you a medal.

This post has been a LONG one, filled with TONS of helpful information for you plan to the best 10 days in Argentina trip possible for you.

Whether you want to sleep in a jungle treehouse or hike in Patagonia, I hope you found what you’re looking for.

If you have any questions, and I suspect you might, comment below.

I always respond as soon as I can.

Argentina Travel Resources

  • TRAVEL INSURANCE | As of August 26, 2022 it is not longer a requirement to have travel insurance that includes COVID coverage to enter the country. HOWEVER, it still is and always has been a good idea to travel insured. It protects you in so many cases, like lost luggage and trip cancellations, medical emergencies and evacuations. It’s very affordable with the potential to save you thousands in the case of an emergency. I recommend SafetyWing.
  • PHONE PLAN | These days, traveling with data is essential. Especially in Argentina where everything is managed on Instagram and WhatsApp. Purchasing a local SIM card can be tricky without a local ID, I recommend this E-SIM card, which has unlimited data. It’s hassle-free and affordable. If you have an older phone that doesn’t support E-SIM, check out DrimSim for a physical sim card alternative.
  • ACCOMMODATION IN ARGENTINA | booking.com is the most common hotel site used in Argentina and it’s where you’ll find the most options.
  • RENTAL CARS | I love to travel Argentina via road trip, check out RentalCars.com for the best rates for rental cars here.
  • VPN | If you’ll be using a public WiFi connection and want to secure your data, I highly recommend using a VPN, I personally use and have had a good experience with ExpressVPN. I also use it to access Hulu and American Netflix from Argentina.
  • FLIGHTS | Always check Google Flights and Skyscanner for flights to and within Argentina. Aerolineas Argentina is the local airline with the most routes. FlyBondi and Jetsmart are two budget airlines with dirt-cheap prices (but expect to pay for every add-on like luggage)z
  • NEED HELP PLANNING? | I offer one-on-one travel consultations to help you plan your trip to Argentina. Pick my brain to get a local’s insight. Click here for more information.

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