Set amid sandy cliffs on a bright blue sea, this sleepy old salt port now bustles with tour buses and visitors clad in orange life jackets. Whales mean whopping and ever-growing tourism here, but at the end of the day the tour buses split and life in this two-street town regains its cherished snail’s pace.
Tigre & the Delta
The city of Tigre (35km north of BA) and the surrounding delta region is one of the most popular weekend getaways for weary porteños. Latte-colored waters – rich with iron from the jungle streams flowing from inland South America – will hardly remind you of a blue paradise, but there are hidden gems in this marshy region.
Located about 120km up the coast from Mar del Plata, Pinamar is a very popular destination for style-conscious porteños who'd rather not make the trip to the beaches of Uruguay. The city was founded and designed in 1944 by architect Jorge Bunge, who figured out how to stabilize the shifting dunes by planting pines, acacias and pampas grass.
Tafí del Valle
This lovely hill town, set in a green valley with fabulous vistas of the surrounding mountains, is where Tucumán folk traditionally head to take refuge from the summer heat. Tafí makes a fine spot to hang out for a few days; it offers crisp mountain air, hiking options, many budget accommodations and a laid-back scene. There are also memorable historic ranches to stay at.
At the top of the Valle de Conlara, the mountain town of Merlo is a growing resort known for its gentle microclimate (the local tourist industry buzzword) in a relatively dry area. The town is located 200km northeast of San Luis, tucked into the northeast corner of San Luis province. The municipal tourist office has maps and information on hotels and campgrounds.
Villa General Belgrano
More a cultural oddity than a full-blown tourist attraction, Villa General Belgrano flaunts its origins as a settlement of unrepatriated survivors from the German battleship Graf Spee, which sank near Montevideo during WWII. The annual Oktoberfest held during the first two weeks of October draws beer lovers from all over the world.
Really jumping in summertime, Mina Clavero pretty much empties out for the rest of the year, leaving visitors to explore the limpid streams, rocky waterfalls, numerous swimming holes and idyllic mountain landscapes at their own pace. Mina Clavero is 170km southwest of Córdoba via RN 20, the splendid Nuevo Camino de las Altas Cumbres (Highway of the High Peaks).
San Clemente del Tuyú
With absolutely none of the glitz or glamour of the resorts down the coast, family-oriented San Clemente attracts low-key beachgoers. There are reasonably priced accommodations near the waterfront, including Hotel Brisas Marinas, and plenty of restaurants on the main drag, Calle 1. The tourist information office is across from the beach.
Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego
Banked against the Beagle Channel, the hushed, fragrant southern forests of Tierra del Fuego are a stunning setting to explore. West of Ushuaia some 12km along RN 3, Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego was Argentina’s first coastal national park and extends 630 sq km from the Beagle Channel in the south to beyond Lago Fagnano in the north.
A woodsy resort town, La Falda is busier than its Central Sierra neighbors and not quite as interesting. It’s worth a day or two of your time, though, for walks in the hills and around the grounds of the defunct Hotel Eden. La Falda’s main plaza is a charming, tranquil affair, all the more so for being removed from the main drag.
Coastal Río Negro
At the gateway to Patagonia, Viedma shares the lush Río Negro with sister city Carmen de Patagones. With stylish riverfront cafes, Viedma, capital of Río Negro province, exudes prosperity. Historic Carmen de Patagones is worth touring for its steep cobblestone streets and colonial stylings.
If you've read The Motorcycle Diaries, or saw the film based on Ernesto 'Che' Guevara's memoir, you might remember Miramar. The beach resort was the first stop that the future revolutionary and his traveling companion, Alberto Granado, made on their epic trip around South America – Guevara's girlfriend, Chichina, was vacationing here with her family at the time.
One of the area’s most popular and scenic driving excursions, the Circuito Chico begins on Av Bustillo, on Bariloche’s outskirts, and continues to the tranquil resort of Llao Llao. At Cerro Campanario the Aerosilla Campanario lifts passengers to a panoramic view of Lago Nahuel Huapi.