This thirteen-day itinerary focuses on discovering the stunning landscapes of northern Argentina. Start off with a few days in Buenos Aires and visit a tango show in San Telmo, the heart of Buenos Aires' tango scene. Then, head to Salta to see the rugged rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas and visit several small charming villages. Then it's time to travel to Iguazú Falls, the largest waterfall complex in the world. Finally, end your trip on a relaxing note by spending a couple of days on an ecolodge in the Iberá Wetlands.

Highlights

  • Explore Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango
  • See the stunning desert scenery of Salta Province
  • Go bird-watching and caiman-spotting in the Iberá Wetlands
  • Discover the beauty of Iguazú Falls

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 2 Buenos Aires: Dinner & Tango Show Buenos Aires
Day 3 Free day in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 4 Travel from Buenos Aires to Salta Salta
Day 5 Quebrada de Humahuaca Salta
Day 6 Day-Trip to Cafayate Salta
Day 7 Travel from Salta to Iguazú Falls Salta
Day 8 Explore Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side) Puerto Iguazú
Day 9 Explore Iguazú Falls (Brazilian side) Puerto Iguazú
Day 10 Travel from Puerto Iguazú to Iberá Wetlands Iberá
Days 11-12 Relaxing at an Ecolodge in the Iberá Wetlands Iberá
Day 13 Iberá Wetlands Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires

Avenida 9 de Julio by night

Once you land in Buenos Aires, a guide will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Your guide will help you navigate checking-in and give you a detailed itinerary of the rest of your trip. 

You'll also receive a contact sheet with all of the hotel details, the office's contact information, and a 24-hour emergency number. 

Day 2: Buenos Aires:  Dinner & Tango Show

Puerto Madero 

Today you'll get to see an authentic tango show inside a renovated conventillo in the heart of San Telmo. This theatrical dinner show includes thirty-two performers, two tango orchestras, and an Argentine folk music group. The show will be accompanied by a dinner of Argentine and international cuisine, served with an exquisite selection of Argentine wines. 

Day 3: Free day in Buenos Aires

Couple dancing tango

Spend the day exploring Buenos Aires. Some suggested activities include:

  • Visit the Obelisco, which might be the city's most famous monument. This obelisk (which even Argentines admit is a little too reminiscent of the Washington Monument) is worth a visit for its location alone. It sits right in the middle of Avenida 9 de Julio, which boasts a whopping 16 lanes and is one of the widest avenues in Latin America.
  • Stop by the Teatro Colón, one of South America's premier opera houses, which is known worldwide for its incredible acoustics. Even if you plan to take a tour or catch a show here later, it's still worth passing by to take in the exterior architecture. The Colon's neoclassical façade has made it one of the most handsome buildings in Buenos Aires since its opening in 1908.
  • Stroll through Puerto Madero, an upscale waterfront neighborhood adjacent to downtown. Puerto Madero may be the "new money" finance center of Buenos Aires, but it's also one of the most pleasant places to walk in the city. Take a romantic stroll by crossing over the canal on the Puente de la Mujer ("Woman's Bridge") at sunset. 
  • Dine at a classic Argentine parilla (steakhouse). When night falls, enjoy a thick, juicy steak (Argentina has some of the best beef in the world) drizzled with delicious chimichurri sauce (made of garlic, herbs, and vinegar). Buenos Aires is a late-night city, and it's not uncommon for locals to have dinner well past nine in the evening, especially on weekends.

If you would like, you can also book an optional evening of tango at a historic Buenos Aires coffee house and take a tango lesson.

Day 4: Travel from Buenos Aires to Salta

Craft market in Purmamarca

When it's time to leave for your flight, a driver will pick you up and take you to the airport. Once you land in Salta, one of our representatives will meet you and escort you to your hotel. 

Day 5: Quebrada de Humahuaca

The Quebrada de Humahuaca

The Quebrada de Humahuaca (Humahuaca Gorge) was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO for its unique, colorful landscapes and cultural heritage. Today the tour starts in the village of Purmarca, where you will see the beautiful Cerro de los Siete Colors (Seven Colors Hill), visit the town church and shop at the local craft market set up on the town's square. 

Then, your driver will take you north to the town of Tilcara, with a short stop to visit the old Pucara (Fortress in Quechua) and the archeological museum. The tour continues to Huacalera, where you'll see beautiful landscapes, including “Skirt of the Colla Woman Hill," named for its evocative shape. Next, you'll go to Uquia to visit the church, and then on to the town of Humahuaca. Here you'll be able to see artist Soto Avendaño's Monument to the Native American. After lunch, you'll head back south and pass a hill nicknamed “the Painter’s Palette,” located just outside the town of Maimara.

You'll also stop at San Salvador de Jujuy and visit the cathedral there, whose pulpit was made by the sculptor Lola Mora. Finally, you will return to Salta by driving down an old road that runs along a cliff and is surrounded by exuberant subtropical vegetation. Spend the evening resting or dining out in Salta. 

Day 6: Day-Trip to Cafayate

Road to Cafayate

Today you'll travel from the city of Salta south through the Lerma Valley, which is filled with small historical towns. You'll pass through the Quebrada de las Conchas (Shells Gorge), where wind and water have eroded the rockface into interesting shapes. Some of the most famous formations are the Amphitheater, the Devil’s Throat, the Toad, and the Castles. Once you arrive in Cafayate, your driver will take you to a few wineries so that you can try some of the region's wines, such as the popular white Torrontés.  

After visiting the wineries you'll be able to explore the towns and stroll through its streets to visit the main plaza. Afterward, your driver will take you back to Salta along the same scenic route. 

Day 7: Travel from Salta to Iguazú Falls

View of Iguazú Falls

When it's time to leave for the airport, your driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to catch your flight to Iguazú Falls. Another guide will be there to greet you when you land and accompany you to your hotel. 

Day 8: Explore Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side)

Iguazú Falls from above

After breakfast at your hotel, a driver will pick you up and drop you off at the entrance to Iguazú National Park, the Argentine side of the falls. This is where you will begin the day's adventure, a full-day tour that involves walking the three circuits that weave around the falls. Each of these offers different vantage points from which to view the water. 

The three circuits include:

  • The upper circuit (1 hour) is made up of 2,624 feet (800 m) of walkways elevated above the jungle floor to avoid disrupting the natural paths of indigenous fauna. On this route, you'll see the upper portion of Iguazú, including countless panoramic vistas of the surrounding falls.
  • The lower circuit (2 hours) is 5,250 feet (1,600 m) long and is also made up of elevated walkways, which go directly below and around the falls. This circuit takes you near the base of the falls and right up to the crashing torrents of water. You'll be able to feel the magnitude of the falls from up close.
  • The Devil's Throat (2 hours) is the star of the show. A small tourist train leaves from Cataratas Station and travels 18 minutes to Garganta Station, where you'll find restrooms, a snack bar, and the start of the path. You'll walk 3,937 feet (1200 m) over the river until you reach the viewing platform. From there you'll be able to peer 269 feet (82 m) down into the water, as the highest of Iguazu's falls thunders all around you.

At the end of the tour, the driver will pick you up and take you back to your hotel.

Day 9: Explore Iguazú Falls (Brazilian side)

The crashing waters of Iguazú Falls

The Brazilian Falls are located on the western side of Paraná State in Brazil. The Brazilian park covers 185,000 hectares (458,000 acres) and borders the Argentine Iguazú Falls National Park. Both parks combined make this region one of the largest natural protected areas in South America.

After crossing into Brazil, you'll begin your tour at the visitor center at the entrance of the park, where you'll board a bus to access the 4,000-foot (1,200 meters) network of footbridges along the river. From there you'll have stunning views of the 275 waterfalls in the complex. After your walk, an elevator will take you back up to the street, where a bus will pick you up and take you back to the entrance of the park. The entire outing takes about three hours. 

Day 10: Travel from Puerto Iguazú to Iberá Wetlands

Iberá Wetlands
Iberá Wetlands

Today you'll travel by land from your hotel in Puerto Iguazú to your lodge in the Iberá Wetlands, where you'll be spending the next few days. Iberá is the second-largest wetland in the world and is home to many animals, including capybara, caiman, anacondas, and otters, as well as many indigenous fish species.

The lodge you'll be visiting is located on a 74,130-acre nature reserve and is dedicated to ecotourism. During your stay, you'll be able to explore the surrounding grasslands and go wildlife watching in a beautiful natural setting. 

Days 11 & 12: Relaxing at an Ecolodge in the Iberá Wetlands

Marsh deer swimming in Iberá Wetlands

You'll spend the next few days relaxing and enjoying the different activities the lodge has to offer. 

Suggested activities include:  

  • Birdwatching. The reserve is home to many rare bird species, including the strange-tailed tyrant, the yellow cardinal, the crowned eagle, and the jabiru stork, as well as a large variety of bird species that live in the grasslands, forests, and wetlands nearby.
  • Wildlife Watching. You'll be able to see rheas, foxes, capybaras, brocket deer, marsh deer, viscachas, and other animals nearby. 
  • Hiking. Whether you'd prefer to go out with a guide or alone, there are various paths that you can take to see plenty of wildlife. 
  • Horseback Riding. Tour the grasslands and the estuary and admire the different landscapes on horseback. 
  • Bike Tours. There are several gravel and grass roads nearby that are great for cycling. You can also ride to the edge of the marshlands. 
  • Boat Trips. Sail along the Iberá lagoon to see the nearby “embalsados” (compacted floating vegetation), caimans, marsh deer, and a spectacular variety of birds.
  • Night Safaris. At night, head out with a guide to see viscachas, owls, wild cats, and even the occasional maned wolf. On clear nights, you'll even be abke to see the Milky Way. 
  • Cultural Tours. In nearby Uguay you'll be able to share a mate and fried dough with the locals while you learn about their way of life and shop for crafts and fabrics. 
  • Sunset in the Estuary. Watching the sunset in Iberá is a special experience, and the skies are often tinged with intense orange and lilac.

Day 13: Iberá Wetlands Departure

Say goodbye to the Iberá Wetlands

After a final morning enjoying the lodge, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. From there, board your final flight home.