Experiencing Tango in Buenos Aires: Milongas, or tango salons, take place every night of the week throughout the Argentine capital; the most famous are in the San Telmo neighborhood. Most visitors will be content just to watch as dancers of all generations (most of them amateurs) go through the beautiful paces of traditional Argentine tango. Both the dance and the complex social ritual that frames it are mesmerizing. Brave onlookers can choose to dance as well; most milongas offer lessons before the floor opens up to dancers. El Niño Bien, Humberto I no. 1462 (tel. 11/4483-2588), is like taking a step back in time, as you watch patrons dance in an enormous Belle Epoque-era hall. To experience its history, see the intimate tango show El Querandí, Perú 302 (tel. 11/4345-0331), which traces the dance's roots from brothel slums, when only men danced it, to its current leggy sexiness. Mano a Mano, Maipú 444 (tel. 11/15-5865-8279 [cell]), a milonga run every Thursday by Iceland native Helen Halldórsdóttir whom locals have nicknamed La Vikinga, is a perfect compromise. Even if you don't dance at all, the spectacles and the social atmosphere make for an entertaining evening.
Paying Respects at a First-Class Necropolis: In a chichi neighborhood in Buenos Aires is the beautiful Recoleta Cemetery, where enormous, expensive mausoleums compete for grandeur. It's a place where the rich can "take it with them," in a sense, and continue displaying their wealth long after death. Among the scant few nonaristocrats buried here is Eva Perón, or "Evita." Children won't be bored either, delighting in playing with the more than 80 cats living among the tombs.
The Capital's Best Nightlife Street: Whether you want to dine at a parrilla (grill), try some nouvelle cuisine, barhop, or go dancing, Calle Báez in Las Cañitas is the place to go. This busy street in Palermo has great restaurants -- such as Novecento, Báez 199 (tel. 11/4778-1900), and El Estanciero, Báez 202 (tel. 11/4899-0951) -- and some of the most intensely packed nightlife on any 3 blocks of Buenos Aires.
Facing the Abyss at Iguazú Falls: Two hundred seventy-five plummeting waterfalls fed by the Iguazú River make what is one of the world's most spectacular and dramatic sights. In addition to the falls, Iguazú encompasses a marvelous subtropical jungle with extensive flora and fauna.
Driving the Quebrada de Humahuaca: A taste of real South America is offered by this rainbow-colored mountain range that extends all the way to Bolivia. The windy road reveals dusty adobe villages, such as Tilcara, and striking rock formations. Quechuan women herd goats amid Inca ruins in the distance.
Taking a Train to the Clouds: The Tren a las Nubes is one of the world's great railroad experiences. The journey through Argentina's Northwest takes you 434km (269 miles) through tunnels, turns, and bridges, culminating in the breathtaking La Polvorilla viaduct. You will cross magnificent landscapes, making your way from the multicolored Lerma valley through the deep canyons and rugged peaks of the Quebrada del Toro, and on to the desolate desert plateau of La Puña.
Touring the Jesuit Ruins of Córdoba
Magnificent colonial architecture set in the rolling green hills of the Córdoba sierras reveals a lost Utopia of arts and learning. It's one of the few examples of harmonious cooperation between indigenous people and European colonizers.
Tasting Torrontes Wine in Cafayate
Salta's wine region is a sun-kissed valley of pink sand and cactus-dotted vineyards famous for producing an aromatic white wine called Torrontes.
Traveling the Wine Roads of Mendoza
Less commercialized than their European and American counterparts, Mendoza's wineries are free to visit and easily accessible along roads known locally as Caminos del Vino. The spectacular high Andes form a dramatic backdrop. About 80 wineries formally offer tours and tastings, with those in the southerly Valle de Uco the most fascinating.
Cruising to Chile with Cruce Andino
Why fly or drive when you can sail through the Andes? With three boats and three bus trips, you can go from Bariloche, Argentina, to Puerto Montt, Chile, in a day on the Cruce de Lagos tour. Turning it into an overnight trip, with a stay on the Chilean side, gives you time to take in the beauty of the temperate rainforest and the magic of these mountains.
Whale-Watching at Península Valdés
From April to December, the giant Southern Right Whale heads to the protected bays off the Península Valdés to relax, reproduce, and recharge. The boats that head out hourly from Puerto Pirámides get remarkably close to these friendly giants. You can spot sea elephants, penguins, ostrichlike choiques, and sometimes even orca whales on the peninsula.
Seeing a Million Penguins Guarding Their Nests
Every autumn, over a million penguins return to mate on a hillside overlooking the Atlantic, in a remote area of Patagonia. At Punta Tombo National Reserve, you can walk among these friendly creatures and, if you're lucky, get to see them guarding the babies in their nests.
Watching Ice Calve Off the Perito Moreno Glacier
It's worth the journey to remote El Calafate to simply sit still and gaze at the majestic tongue of ice that stretches into Lago Argentino. When you see a giant chunk of ice (the size of a bus!) crackle off the glacier into the lake, you'll feel chilled by the power of nature.
Travel page content provided by Zagat © 2013, Google.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.