I was fortunate enough to have a year to spend exploring Argentina. However, for most people coming to visit this beautiful country, that simply isn’t possible. I’ve found 10 days is generally the sweet spot when it comes to planning a trip to any country.
So, this itinerary will help you plan your Argentine adventure and see as much as you possibly can in your 10 days! (And I’ll also share some suggestions if you have more or less time!)
*This post will also be offering suggestions for Patagonia, Argentina, which some activities are generally only available between the months of October – March. I’ll make note of this and also offer alternatives if you can’t visit during that timeframe.
How to Spend 10 Days in Argentina – The Ultimate Itinerary
*Day 1 – Arrive in Buenos Aires & Spend a Half Day Exploring
Your international flight will most likely be stopping in Buenos Aires, so be sure to take some time and explore this beautiful city! It’s been my experience that most flights coming from the US arrive in the morning. So, this will give you a half day to explore! I would suggest going to Plaza de Mayo, La Boca, La Recoleta and then having dinner near La Recoleta or in Puerto Madero – depending on where your hotel is. I always stayed at the Sheratons (the Convention Center & the Libertador were both great) and always had fabulous experiences. Click here to read my tips for spending a half day in Buenos Aires.
*Day 2 – More Exploring in Buenos Aires or Day Trip to Colonia
Option 1.) Explore Buenos Aires – from touring the Casa Rosada to Teatro Colon to dining at a Parrilla to seeing a tango show…there’s a lot to do in Buenos Aires! (We LOVED Rojo Tango show.) Click here for more info & click here to read about out experience at Rojo Tango.
Option 2.) Day Trip To Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay – I’m including this because it was one of my favorite travel experiences. Colonia is so quaint and relaxing and is a great way to get a little R&R before you get into the craziness that is the rest of this itinerary! Haha. Click here for more info on spending a day in Colonia del Sacramento.
Colonia del Sacramento photos
*Day 3 – Fly to Puerto Iguazú & Visit the Brazilian Side of the Falls
If you’re coming all the way to Argentina, you MUST visit Iguazu Falls. I really didn’t think I was going to enjoy this portion of the trip, but boy oh boy, was I wrong! Iguazu Falls is one of my favorite travel experiences.
Try to get one of the early morning flights (around 6 am). These are direct flights that will get you to Puerto Iguazú by about 8 am. This gives you plenty of time to drop your luggage off at your hotel and then to visit the Brazilian side of the falls (you can do this via a tour company, taking the public bus or by taxi). Click here to read all my info for visiting the falls.
*Day 4 – Visit the Argentine Side of Iguazu Falls
Yes, visiting the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls requires a full day. There is a lot to see on this side! Everyone has a favorite side of the falls, but I have to say, the Argentine side was my favorite. Click here to read all my tips for visiting the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls.
See the video below of just how close you can get to the falls on the Argentine side!
*Day 5 – Fly to El Calafate
The flights from Puerto Iguazú to El Calafate, unfortunately, can take some time and tend to involve a couple hour layover in Cordoba. This means that by the time you get to El Calafate, there won’t be much time for activities. (If you do manage to get in with a couple hours to spare, you could do a 4×4 off-road tour of the area!) But don’t worry, El Calafate is a nice little town with a relaxed atmosphere, there are plenty of little souvenir shops, fabulous restaurants/bars/cafes to fill your time with.
*Day 6 – Day Trip to El Chalten
If you’re planning on spending more than 10 days in Argentina, I would suggest spending those extra days in El Chalten. It’s a fabulous little town with some amazing hikes. It’s actually the “hiking capital of Argentina.” But even if you only have 1 day to spend here, you’ll still have a great time and get to see some fantastic views of Mount Fitz Roy. Click here for more information on El Chalten.
*Although these hikes are subject to weather, it is still possible to do in the winter months.
*Day 7 – Hike Perito Moreno Glacier
The only thing that was better for me than Iguazu Falls was hiking Perito Moreno Glacier. Nothing compares to this experience! This is one of the pricier portions of the trip, however, it’s very much worth saving your pennies for. Click here to read why I loved it so much + all my tips for the hike. (If the hike is out of the budget, though, don’t worry! You can take a bus to the viewing platforms of the glacier, and taking a boat tour is a much more cost-effective option as well + it still allows you to get close to the glacier. Also, if you want a more challenging glacier hiking experience, they also have a “big ice” hiking option. The big ice is a longer hike and requires you to wear harnesses.)
*Visiting the glacier in winter will obviously be colder, but it’s still possible! And it means less crowds.
*Day 8 – Fly to Ushuaia & Potentially Do a Short Hike **(or see alternative options at the bottom of the post)
Ah, Ushuaia! It’s dubbed “The Southern Most City in the World” and is the place many expeditions to Antarctica depart from. Ushuaia is not as high up on everyone’s list for places to visit in Argentina, as it tends to be a bit pricier. For me, visiting “The Southern Most City in the World” has always been high on my bucket list. So, we worked this into our touring itinerary. (Click here to read all my info for visiting Ushuaia.) I loved it here! But I completely understand that this portion isn’t for everyone, so I’ve included some options at the end of the post if Ushuaia just isn’t your idea of a good time.
BUT, if you’re coming here. A great way to spend your first day would be to take a short hike through Tierra del Fuego National Park! Click here for more info.
*Day 9 – Walk with the Penguins!
Another reason to go to Ushuaia is to walk with the penguins! There are several different tours to do this with (some are much more cost effective than others). However, walking with the penguins on Isla Martillo is very up close and personal + only 20 people are allowed on the island at a time, so it’s very private. Click here for more information on this tour.
*Please note, the penguins are not there year-long! Check with the tour company when planning your trip. (And yes, you have to use a tour company for this.) It’s my understanding that they are not there in the fall/winter months and are only there in spring/summer to nest. And if you happen to be visiting at a time when there will not be penguins, try spending the day with the sled dogs. I’ve heard wonderful things about these tours.
*Day 10 – Flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires and Then Home
Unfortunately, for international flights, you’ll have to head back to Buenos Aires. This will likely leave you with very little time on Day 10.
**If you’d rather not go to Ushuaia, check out these options instead…
*Option 1.) Mendoza – Instead of heading to Ushuaia, you could also spend a couple days in Mendoza, sipping wine and enjoying the scenery. The only problem is the flights from El Calafate are horrible. Your best bet would be to go from Puerto Iguazu to Mendoza and then to El Calafate – the flights seem to work much better this way. (If you have more time + budget, this would be another option to add a few more days to you itineary!) Click here for my tips on traveling to Mendoza.
*Option 2.) More time in El Chalten & El Calafate – Instead of heading to Ushuaia, you could add an extra couple days in El Chalten or spend some more time exploring glaciers near El Calafate. There are some fantastic boating and sailing tours to do there as well.
Where We Stayed
*Puerto Iguazu: We stayed at Hotel Saint George – it’s very centrally locally and right by the bus stations. It also has a fabulous outdoor pool and bar area. There breakfast was quite good as well!
*El Calafate: Hosteria Miyazato Inn – this is similar to a bed & breakfast. The owner was really nice and made homemade pancakes every morning. The hotel is within walking distance of the city center as well, but it’s on a very quiet little street.
*Ushuaia: Hotel Mustapic – this hotel was incredibly inexpensive and very centrally located. The hotel itself is nothing special, though. The rooms are rather drab and the breakfast was just bread, juice and coffee. But hey, the price was right!
To see all of my travel posts on Argentina, click here.
If anyone has any questions at all about traveling to Argentina or this itinerary, please don’t hesitate to leave your questions or comments in the comments section at the bottom. Or you can personally email me at Lindsey@have-clothes-will-travel.com.
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