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Expat Exchange - Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Argentina (Plus, Itineraries) 2024
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Mendoza, Argentina


Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Argentina (Plus, Itineraries)

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: If you're considering moving to Argentina and don't have a favorite city or town picked out, going on a look-see or exploratory trip to visit a number of popular expat destinations is really informative. Here are some recommendations for where to visit when exploring Argentina.

Embarking on a Look-See Trip to Argentina is an invaluable step for those considering relocation. This exploratory journey offers a firsthand experience of the country's diverse cities and towns, providing insights into the local lifestyle, culture, and amenities. Such a trip allows potential expats and digital nomads to gauge the suitability of various locales for their personal and professional needs, ensuring a well-informed decision when choosing a new home abroad.

Recommended Itineraries

For a 10-day trip, consider starting in Buenos Aires, then heading to Córdoba, followed by Mendoza, and finishing in Rosario. Each city offers a unique glimpse into Argentine life, from urban sophistication to serene wine country. A 20-day itinerary could include the aforementioned cities, with additional stops in smaller towns like Bariloche in the Patagonia region, Salta in the northwest for a taste of indigenous culture, and the coastal city of Mar del Plata. This extended trip allows for a deeper understanding of the varied environments and communities across Argentina.

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan capital of Argentina, is a bustling metropolis with a population of over 15 million in its greater metropolitan area. Known for its European flair, vibrant arts scene, and rich cultural heritage, it's a favorite among expats and digital nomads for its relatively low cost of living and high quality of life. The city offers a plethora of neighborhoods, each with its own character, from the historic San Telmo to the trendy Palermo.

Travel Tip: While in Buenos Aires, don't miss the chance to dine at Don Julio, an iconic parrilla known for its exceptional Argentine steaks and Malbec wine. A visit to the Teatro Colón, one of the world's most beautiful opera houses, is also a must.

Córdoba

Córdoba, Argentina's second-largest city, is renowned for its colonial architecture and vibrant student population, thanks to the prestigious National University of Córdoba. With a more laid-back atmosphere than Buenos Aires, it offers a blend of historical charm and modern amenities, making it an attractive option for those seeking a balance between city life and a slower pace. The cost of living here is also generally lower than in the capital.

Travel Tip: Explore the cultural heritage of Córdoba by visiting the Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba, a UNESCO World Heritage site. For a culinary treat, try the local specialties at El Papagayo, a restaurant known for its innovative Argentine cuisine.

Mendoza

Mendoza is the heart of Argentina's wine country, nestled at the foot of the Andes Mountains. It's a smaller city that attracts those who appreciate a slower pace of life, outdoor activities, and, of course, excellent wine. The cost of living is moderate, and the city is known for its tree-lined streets, parks, and friendly locals. Mendoza is also a gateway to some of Argentina's most stunning natural landscapes.

Travel Tip: Visit Bodega Catena Zapata, a pioneering winery in Mendoza, to sample some of Argentina's finest wines. The Parque General San Martín is also a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or picnic amidst beautiful surroundings.

Rosario

Rosario, located on the banks of the Paraná River, is a dynamic city with a strong cultural identity and a significant student population. It's known for its rich history, arts scene, and as the birthplace of the Argentine flag. With a population of just over a million, it offers a mix of urban life and riverside tranquility. The cost of living is reasonable, and the city has a growing community of expats and digital nomads.

Travel Tip: Savor the flavors of Rosario at Bar El Cairo, a historic café that has been a gathering place for intellectuals and artists. Don't forget to visit the National Flag Memorial, a monumental complex dedicated to the Argentine flag.

Bariloche

San Carlos de Bariloche, commonly known as Bariloche, is a picturesque town in the Patagonia region, famous for its Swiss-like atmosphere and stunning natural beauty. It's a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering skiing, hiking, and water sports. The town is relatively small but has a growing expat community, attracted by its tranquil lifestyle and proximity to nature. The cost of living is higher than in some other Argentine towns, but many find the quality of life worth the expense.

Travel Tip: Enjoy a meal at Alto el Fuego, a top-rated restaurant known for its local cuisine and views of the surrounding mountains. The nearby Nahuel Huapi National Park is an essential visit for nature lovers.

Salta

Salta, in the mountainous northwest of Argentina, is a city that blends colonial architecture with indigenous culture. It's smaller and more affordable than Buenos Aires, with a warm, dry climate that appeals to many. Salta is known for its friendly locals, traditional music, and regional cuisine. It's an excellent base for exploring the stunning landscapes of the Argentine Andes and the nearby wine region of Cafayate.

Travel Tip: Dine at La Casona del Molino, a peña (traditional folk music club) where you can enjoy authentic empanadas and live folk music. The MAAM (Museum of High Altitude Archaeology) is also a fascinating place to learn about the region's history and culture.

Mar del Plata

Mar del Plata is a coastal city that serves as a popular beach destination for Argentines. It offers a unique blend of seaside resort charm and urban amenities, with a lively cultural scene and a variety of entertainment options. The cost of living is moderate, and the city attracts a mix of tourists, retirees, and digital nomads looking for a coastal lifestyle. The population swells in the summer months but is more relaxed during the off-season.

Travel Tip: Experience the local seafood at Sarasanegro, a restaurant renowned for its fresh catches and innovative dishes. The Torreón del Monje is a historic landmark and a great spot to enjoy panoramic views of the ocean.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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