A 2-Week Argentina Itinerary for Your First Visit

Putting together a 2-week Argentina itinerary is no mean feat.

Argentina is a BIG country, the 9th largest in the world and around twenty times the size of the UK. Unless you are able to spend months out there, you will need to accept that you will not be able to cover it all in one trip.

You will need to make some tough choices and this is where I can help.

Based on my first-hand experience, I can steer you towards the best places to visit during two weeks in Argentina. Discover the best time of year to visit, where to stay, how to get around the country and solo travel safety tips.

From the romance of the tango cafes of Buenos Aires to the glacial majesty of Patagonia, I’ve got you covered.

edge of glacier field in glacial water in peritio moreno glacier Argentina

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How I Spent 2 Weeks in Argentina

I visited Argentina for two weeks in March. This gave me enough time to marvel at the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, go hiking in the Lake District, get soaked at the Iguazú Falls, absorb the culture of Buenos Aires and take a side trip to Colonia in Uruguay.

You could complete this itinerary in fewer than 14 days. However, it’s prudent to build in some wiggle room in case of unforeseen incidents and to allow time without a particular agenda.

Too often when travelling, I have fallen into the trap of pinging from one ‘must-see’ site to another. Whilst there will always be places to see and things to do, there’s also a lot to be said for just ‘being’.

14-Day Argentina Itinerary

DAY 1LONDON TO BUENOS AIRESArrival late pm. Arrange a day trip to Colonia.
DAY 2BUENOS AIRESHistoric centre – Plaza de Mayo, Cathedral, Casa Rosado, Downtown area
DAY 3BUENOS AIRES TO EL CALAFATEArrival mid pm
DAY 4EL CALAFATEDay trip to Perito Moreno Glacier
DAY 5EL CALAFATE TO BARILOCHEArrival late pm
DAY 6BARILOCHEWalk – Circuito Chico
DAY 7BARILOCHEWalk – Lago Gutierrez
DAY 8BARILOCHE TO IGUAZUArrival late pm. Arrange transfer to Iguazu Falls.
DAY 9IGUAZUIguazu Falls – Argentinian side
DAY 10IGUAZUIguazu Falls – Brazilian side
DAY 11IGUAZU TO BUENOS AIRESArrival late pm. Arrange day trip to Colonia.
DAY 12BUENOS AIRESDay trip to Colonia, Uruguay
DAY 13BUENOS AIRESWalking tour of La Boca. La Recoleta Cemetery.
DAY 14BUENOS AIRESSan Telmo & El Zanjon. Palermo street art.

Day 1 – 2: Buenos Aires

I’m going to level with you. However long you spend in Buenos Aires, it won’t be enough.

This most European of South American cities will seduce you with its colonial architecture, its rich history and the romance of tango.

Most international flights land in Buenos Aires late morning or early lunchtime. To get your bearings – and to keep jet lag at bay – why not take a stroll around the city’s Botanical, Japanese and Rose Gardens on the afternoon of your arrival?

But begin your two weeks in Argentina proper by exploring the Plaza de Mayo, the beating heart of Buenos Aires. Surrounded on three sides by iconic buildings – the Catedral Metropolitana, the Cabildo and the Casa Rosada – this is the perfect place to start getting to know the city and its history.

The Casa Rosada is the star turn here. It was from the balcony of this pink government house building that Eva Perón (aka Evita) gave her final speech in 1951.

EXTERIOR OF pINK BUILDING OF CASA ROSADA IN BUENOS AIRES WITH FLAG
Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires

Take a stroll to Av. 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world (although Brazil contends that the record belongs to the Eixo Monumental in Brasilia). In the centre of Av. 9 de Julio is the Obelisk, rising above the oval Plaza de la República like a giant exclamation mark.

This Buenos Aires icon was erected in 1936 to commemorate the fourth centenary of the first foundation of Buenos Aires.

Obelisk behind coloured interlocked rings in downtown Buenos Aires
Obelisk, Buenos Aires

I recommend staying in Palermo Soho or Palermo Hollywood. These sub-barrios have more than enough bars and restaurants to satisfy your culinary and drinking needs and felt safe to walk around at night as a female solo traveller.

Duque Boutique Hotel 

I stayed at this charming boutique hotel in Palermo Soho. It has a tiny spa, a delightful small garden and terrace and exceptionally friendly staff. There are many great bars and restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.

Duque Boutique Hotel is on Guatemala 4364.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

Here are some other hotels that I have found that may suit different budgets:

Hotel Chemin

This boutique hotel in downtown Buenos Aires has garnered great reviews. Single rooms are available for solo travellers and breakfast is included in the room rate.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

The Glu Boutique Hotel

This is where I would have stayed if my budget had stretched a little further. Discerning friends stayed here and highly rated this all-suite Palermo Soho hotel, located three blocks from Plaza Serrano. All suites have either a private balcony or a terrace.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

Day 3 – 4: El Calafate / Perito Moreno Glacier

Stretching back as far as the eye can see above the turquoise water of Argentinian Patagonia’s Los Glaciares National Park, the Perito Moreno Glacier is an extraordinary sight. Measuring over 30km in length, 5km across and towering 70 meters above the surface of Lago Argentino, the glacier covers an area of 250 square kilometres.

Although this was easily my most expensive day in Argentina, it is one that I will never forget.

The small town of El Calafate is the springboard for visiting Perito Moreno Glacier

Reaching the glacier from El Calafate is simple. Multiple tour operators, which line the town’s main street, offer day trips. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, rent a car or take the bus from the bus station. The drive takes about 90 minutes.

I visited Perito Moreno on a day tour. The cost of this excursion was only marginally more than the return bus fare, and I did not have the inconvenience of hiking to the bus station which is now on the outskirts of town. Although we had a guide on the return bus journey, who gave us a useful introduction to the park, once we were inside we were left to our own devices, which suited me just fine.

>>> CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR DAY TOUR TO PERITO MORENO GLACIER

The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of nature’s very best sight and sound shows. Multiple viewing platforms, connected by colour-coded walkways, provide different vantage points, each one seemingly better than the last.

ice wall of glacier in turquoise blue water

Although it is difficult to tear your eyes away from its beauty, it’s its activity that makes it so spell-binding. As the glacier advances, immense ice chunks break off, plummeting into the lake, a process called calving.

First, there is a low rumble, like thunder. Visitors wait in eager anticipation, cameras at the ready. Then as the ice mass fractures and crashes into the water, there is a collective gasp of awe.

A one-hour boat trip takes you around the base. This is well worth the ticket price, stopping a mere 100 meters from the ice wall. You can almost feel the glacier’s icy breath!

This gives you yet another perspective of the glacier, its jagged peaks reaching skywards like giant icy fingers striated with irregular blue veins.

fingers of ice of glacier

However you get to Perito Moreno Glacier, you will need to pay the entrance fee on arrival (it won’t be included in any tour that you book).

This costs around 25 USD for non-Argentine residents (November 2023 price). However, as inflation is rampant in Argentina, this is likely to be more when you visit.

I recommend making a decision about the boat trip on the day. Reportedly, this is only cancelled if the weather is really, really bad.

As El Calafate is the main jumping-off point for visits to Los Glaciares National Park, it is awash with accommodation choices. Cheaper accommodation tends to be within a few blocks of the town’s main street. More luxurious options are located further out with views to match the prices.

Calafate Parque Hotel 

I stayed at this comfortable hotel, reminiscent of a ski lodge, which was in an excellent location.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

Here are some other hotels that I have found in El Calafate that may suit other budgets:

Trastienda B&B 

This centrally-located budget choice offers dorm beds and private rooms with a shared bathroom

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

Esplendor Hotel 

This is where I would have stayed if my budget had stretched a little further.

This four-star boutique hotel is located four blocks uphill from the town’s main road. It has unparalleled views across El Calafate to the mountains.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

Day 5 – 7: Bariloche

Bariloche is the gateway to northern Patagonia’s glacial lakes, pine forests and volcanic mountains. A great way to explore this area is by doing some or all of the Circuito Chico.

The Circuito Chico is a spectacular 60km road journey that includes fragrant forests, magnificent mountains and languid lakes and is a must-do if you are in Bariloche. Although having a car makes life a little easier, it is possible to tackle the Circuito Chico by bus #20 from Bariloche.

The first stop on the Circuito Chico from Bariloche is the Cerro Campanario. With a cool breeze brushing your face, the chairlift will whisk you through the forest to the mountain’s summit.

At an elevation of just over 1,000 metres, Lake Gutiérrez & Lake Perito Moreno, encircled by pine forests, are clearly visible, as are Cerro Catedral and Llao Llao in the distance.

panoramic view of blue lakes and mountains in the lake district seen in 2 weeks in argentina

The next stop is the famed resort of Llao Llao, located between Perito Moreno and Nahuel Huapi lakes. Built in 1940, it resembles an oversized ski lodge.

tall tree in front of low rise chalet type hotel
Llao Llao

Walking between 300-year-old arryan trees, your next stop is Playa Moreno on the shores of Lake Perito Moreno.

boat on reed covered lake with mountain in background

Leaving Lake Perito Moreno, it’s now time to catch the bus back to Bariloche. Before hitting its many chocolate shops, stop in the main square to admire the statue of General Roca astride his horse.

This celebrates his victory in the 1870s, the Conquest of the Desert, which resulted in the death of more than a thousand indigenous peoples and the displacement of a further 15,000 from their traditional lands.

Little wonder his horse is looking embarrassed.

statue of man on horse in front of clock tower

As the gateway to the Patagonian Lake District, Bariloche does not suffer from a shortage of places to stay. However, as its accommodation options can be a considerable distance from the town centre, check the address carefully before booking.

Hotel Antu Kuyen 

I stayed at this exceptionally friendly mid-range guesthouse that has a lakeside location. Book well in advance.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

Here are some other hotels that I have found in Bariloche that may suit other budgets:

Patagonia Jazz Hostel

In a superb location close to Bariloche town centre, this friendly hostel offers dorm beds and private rooms with breakfast.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

Cacique Inacayal Lake Hotel & Spa 

Splash the cash at this 4-star hotel in a prime position on the lakeside but within a kilometre of Bariloche town centre. It has a spa & fitness centre and a private beach.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

Day 8 – 11: Iguazú Falls

The thundering Iguazú Falls was one of the most extraordinary sights that I encountered during my 14 days in Argentina. Straddling the border between Argentina and Brazil, these world-famous waterfalls defy superlatives.

You can see the Iguazú Falls from Brazil or Argentina. Try to allow at least two full days here, one for each side of the falls

ARGENTINIAN SIDE (Cataratas Del Iguazu)

series of waterfalls at iguazu falls in argentina

Your admission ticket gives you access to five different trails, ranging from 600m to 7km in length.

For an overall panoramic view, follow the green trail from the Visitors Centre, and then take the shortest trail, the upper trail (Circuito Superior). The lower trail, Circuito Inferior, is a 1.6km yomp through the forest leading to some of the park’s most spectacular waterfalls, including Salto Ramirez and Bossetti.

Make sure that you build in time to take the train to the Devil’s Throat (Garganta Del Diablo) station. From there, walk on wooden platforms suspended over the churning waters to reach the Devil’s Throat.

Dozens of powerful waterfalls converge in a horseshoe shape, and it is tricky to distinguish mist from water. Multicolour butterflies flutter around your face, vivid against the dazzling opacity of the falls.

BRAZILIAN SIDE (Cataratas Do Iguaçu)

It’s well worth crossing the border for an unforgettable panoramic view.

The Trilha das Cataratas is a 1km trail with sweeping views of the falls leading you right into the Devil’s Throat. Toucans soaring high above your head.

foam of iguazu falls thundering into rocks
Iguazu Falls, the Brazilian side

For an extra cost, other activities are available (e.g. kayaking, boat ride, jeep tour through the park).

coati
Watch out for the coati! They bite

I used the hotel’s transfer service to get to the Argentinian side of the Iguazú Falls.

I also took a taxi to the Brazilian side of the Iguazú Falls. With two sets of immigration to navigate there and back and a very helpful driver to guide me, this was money well spent.

If you are travelling on a budget, there is also a bus from Puerto Iguazú.

You can base yourself in either Foz Iguazu in Brazil or Puerto Iguazú in Argentina to visit either side of the falls.

Compared with other tourist hubs in Argentina, Puerto Iguazú leaves much to be desired. Therefore, do yourself a favour; splash the cash and stay in one of the resort-type hotels in the jungle on the way out to the falls.

La Reserva Virgin Lodge   

I stayed at this 4-star property, in a wonderful location in the heart of the Selva Iryapú Jungle. Iguazú Falls were a ten-minute drive.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

Here are some other hotels that I have found near Iguazú Falls that may suit other budgets. However, the less expensive properties tend to be closer to Puerto Iguazu.

Marin Apartments 

Highly-rated, air-conditioned apartments that are close to the bus station in Puerto Iguazu. From the photos online, these apartments look superb.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

La Mulata apartment

A budget accommodation choice in Puerto Iguazu that has glowing reviews.

>>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES & BOOK

Day 12: Colonia, Uruguay

Day 12 of your 2-week Argentina itinerary and an opportunity to visit your third country in two weeks: Uruguay.

Colonia, or Colonia del Sacramento (to give it its full name), is a short hop across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires. With its cobbled streets, colonial buildings and a smattering of vintage cars, it is a perfect day trip.

Colonia is an achingly picturesque and laid-back place to wander around. I found three or four hours in the town were just about right to hit its highlights.

1. Capture that Kodak moment in the Calle de los Suspiros (Street of Sighs)

colonial houses on a street in colonia uruguay

2. Watch life go by in the main square (Plaza Mayor 25 de Mayo)

side of ochre stone colonial building with spanish street sign

3. Climb the 118 steps to the top of the old lighthouse (Faro) for panoramic views over the town

people gathered on top of a lighthouse in colonia uruguay

4. Visit the Iglesia Matriz (Church of the Most Holy Sacrament)

This is the oldest church in Uruguay, built between 1695 and 1699.

distant view of colonial church behind lush vegetation

5. Hunt for vintage cars 

vintage car in street with colonial houses and trees

Although a number of tour companies offer day trips to Colonia, it is very easy to get there under your own steam.

Two ferry companies ply the waters between Buenos Aires and Colonia. I used BuqueBus but services run by Colonia Express also make the crossing. The crossing from Puerto Madero takes 75 minutes

I took a taxi to Puerto Madero from my hotel in Palermo Soho. For the return journey, I took the metro. The nearest station is Alem on the B line, around a 10 – 15 minute walk from the ferry terminal.

Day 13 – 14: Buenos Aires

Your two-week Argentina itinerary ends where it started, in Buenos Aires.

The historic barrio of La Boca is a must-see in Buenos Aires. Its star turn is El Caminito, with its brightly coloured buildings that grace many a postcard, its live tango and art galleries.

brightly coloured building in el caminito which in one thing to see in 4 days in buenos aires
La Boca, Buenos Aires

As it is easy to veer off the tourist track into some less savoury areas, I recommend exploring La Boca on a guided walking tour.

La Recoleta Cemetery is home to over 6,400 statues, sarcophagi, coffins and crypts, spread over four city blocks. It is an eerily beautiful place.

One of the many feline occupants of Recoleta Cemetery
One of the many feline occupants of Recoleta Cemetery

Although Eva Perón is La Recoleta Cemetery’s most famous resident, the list of its other occupants reads like a Who’s Who of Argentinian history. From presidents to poets, athletes to academics, exploring its mausoleums and memorials gives you a fascinating insight into the country’s past.

Mention Buenos Aires to many people and it is San Telmo that comes to mind. Picture cobbled streets, a lively Sunday market and tango dancers in its main square and you’ve got the measure of the place.

EXTERIOR OF BUILDING ON CORNER OF STREET WITH BLUE CANOPIES
San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the underground labyrinth of  El Zanjón, a 19th-century mansion, which is a time machine into San Telmo’s past.

On your final afternoon in Argentina, walk around Palermo Soho which is the epicentre of Buenos Aires’ street art scene. Although you can easily mooch around by yourself, guided street art walking tours are also available.

street art of 2 people dancing
Street art, Palermo

Plan Your Argentina 2-Week Itinerary

When to visit Argentina

Although Argentina is a year-round destination, weather patterns vary according to where you are in the country. Therefore, the time of year you visit Argentina will depend on where you want to go and what you would like to do.

Buenos Aires is ideal in autumn (March-May) and spring (Sept-Nov) when temperatures are not so oppressive. If you visit in springtime, the jacaranda trees should be in full bloom, which is a wonderful sight.

Patagonia and the southern Andes are best visited in summer (Dec-March) when days are longer and warmer.

Iguazú Falls is a year-round destination but can be steaming in high summer (Dec – Feb).

Winter (June-Aug) is the best time to visit the Northwest.

Getting to Argentina

Most travellers arrive in Argentina by air. There are direct flights to Buenos Aires from Europe, North America, Australia, South Africa and many South American countries.

Buenos Aires has two airports: Ezezia (EZE), serving mostly international flights, and Aeroparque (AEP), which is the domestic hub as well as handling some flights to other South American countries.

As EZE and AEP are 40km apart, tight connections between these two airports are not recommended. In legendary Buenos Aires traffic, it can take over two hours to make the journey between EZE and AEP.

Getting around Argentina

For long-distance travel within Argentina, you are looking at buses or planes. When planning your flight routing, be aware that Buenos Aires is the hub for domestic flights. There are no direct connections between many major cities.

Buses in Argentina have a reputation for being good and cheap but it can take a very long time to get from A to B. Platform 10 is a popular resource to research routes and timetables.

Thanks to government investment, trains in Argentina are now an option. Take a look at passenger routes and timetables here.

Considering the size of the country, to maximise your two weeks in Argentina, flying is going to be your best bet. I took domestic flights between the main hubs, using the services of LATAM and Aerolineas Argentinas.

Argentina is a relatively easy country to explore independently. However, it is a big country and if you want to fit in a lot in a short space of time, or are nervous about going it alone, why not consider joining a group tour?

As well as being a relatively hassle-free way of travelling, and ideal for the first-time solo traveller, there are many other benefits of a group tour. You’ll have an expertly curated itinerary and you often gain valuable insights into the country, the people and the culture.

Generally, there’s safety in numbers. Finally, if you fear solo travel loneliness, there’s the reassurance of ready-made travel companions.

There are lots of group travel companies out there but two companies that I have used and can recommend are Exodus Travels and Explore! Another company that has been highly recommended is G Adventures.

Here are a few Argentina group tours that are worth taking a peek at:

Adventures in Patagonia (Explore!)

This 2-week tour takes in the epic landscapes of Patagonia, including Perito Moreno Glacier, and is bookended by Buenos Aires.

Wine and Landscapes of Argentina’s Northwest (Explore!)

If arid desert landscapes and cheeky glasses of Malbec are more your thing, take a look at this Argentina itinerary that starts in Mendoza and finishes in the capital. Lots of wine tasting is involved.

Discover Patagonia (G Adventures)

This comprehensive 14-day Argentina itinerary takes in Buenos Aires, Bariloche and Patagonia and includes a tango lesson and a visit to a penguin rookery.

The economy in Argentina is complicated and its currency, the peso (ARS), fluctuates wildly, affecting prices. As the cost of goods and services can often change, this can make estimating the cost of any Argentina itinerary challenging, to say the least.

I strongly recommend bringing a decent amount of hard cash, specifically US dollars or Euros. Make sure that these notes are in good condition as you may find that some banks and currency exchanges will not accept those that have marks or creases.

Although you can withdraw pesos from ATMs, there are restrictions on the amount that you can withdraw and the transaction is likely to be subject to a hefty fee. Credit cards are accepted in more upscale restaurants and hotels but don’t rely on them as your sole source of payment.

What to Eat in Argentina

A visit to Argentina is the perfect opportunity to tantalise your taste buds. During your visit, don’t miss these traditional favourites.

  • Steak – Argentina is steak lovers’ heaven. I guarantee that even though you will eat some of the best cuts of your life, after 2 weeks in Argentina you will not be able to look another steak in the eye for some time.
  • Empanadas – hot, cheap and portable, an empanada is the go-to lunchtime snack. Half-moon-shaped deep-fried pastry parcels, stuffed with a sweet or savoury filling.
  • Choripán – the ultimate Argentinean street food, choripán is a grilled chorizo-style sausage served between slices of crusty bread.
  • Provoleta – Argentina’s variant of provolone, discs of bubbling, almost-molten pungent cheese, topped with chilli flakes and herbs, served in a cast-iron skillet.
  • Dulce de leche – condensed milk is slowly reduced to a sweet and sticky caramel sauce.
  • Alfajores – think of these as biscuit (cookie) sandwiches. Alfajores are shortbread-type biscuits glued together with jams, mousses or dulce de leche.
  • Asado – Argentina’s asado, also known as parrillada, is legendary. Beef, pork, ribs, sausages, or even a whole lamb or pig, are roasted over an open flame.

Is Argentina Safe for Female Solo Travellers?

As a solo female traveller, I found Argentina a safe country to travel around.

Like any major city, petty theft can be an issue in Buenos Aires, but take the same precautions as you would in your home city.

Don’t make yourself a target. Walk confidently and with purpose, be careful with your belongings, especially smartphones and laptops, and leave your diamond necklace at home. Watch your bag and your belongings and be street smart.

Trust your instincts. Take a taxi when this is a safer option. Seek local knowledge on the safety of areas.

For further tips, check out this advice for keeping safe when travelling alone.


Thank you for reading my Argentina 14-day itimerary

Argentina was a country that exceeded my expectations.

Wherever you end up, and for however long, I am sure that you will have a fabulous time. With its enormous diversity of landscapes, fantastic food and wine and warm & generous people, it will be difficult not to.

If you have found this artcle helpful, take a look at my in-depth guide to visiting Buenos Aires.

Happy travels!

bridget coleman the flashpacker 2

About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at hello@theflashpacker.net or follow her on social media.