Having your own wheels is the ultimate in travel freedom, and is the absolute best way to find hidden gems and off-track spots. Unless you plan to do a full loop during your Argentina travels, it’s best to rent and return to the same place you picked up to save the hefty drop-off fee.
These two provinces are unlike anywhere else in the country. Located in the Northwest and bordered by Chile, Paraguay, and Bolivia, everything has a traditional feeling here, including clothing, music, and food. Before the Spanish conquest, this area was inhabited by indigenous tribes, including the Quilmes and Humahuacas. Fun facts: Quilmes is the name of a popular beer in Argentina, and
Suggested route: Salta (a few days), Cafayate (a few days), Cachi (one night), Tilcara (a few days), Salinas Grandes (day trip from Tilcara), Purmamarca (day trip from Tilcara), Salta (finish).
Highlights of this area include:
Mendoza is most famous for its acclaimed wineries surrounded by Andean peaks, but there’s plenty to do in the area that doesn’t involve grapes. The city is actually a university town with lots of lively bars and restaurants attracting a younger crowd.
During your trip to Mendoza, we suggest driving out to the famous wineries of Norton, Ruca Malen, and Trapiche for lunch and wine (but just a glass, you’re driving!).
Then, drive to Aconcagua (22,840ft/6960m) the tallest mountain outside of Asia, and the highest peak in the southern hemisphere.
A 120mi (193km) drive through twisty mountain roads will bring you to the Aconcagua Provincial Park. A US $20 ($480 ARS) pass gives you access all the way up to the Base Camp (a six-hour return hike). Or, for a mere US $1.30 ($31 ARS), you can access the park up until the trailhead, which allows you about two hours of hiking.
Finally, after you’ve eaten, sipped, and hiked your way around Mendoza, it’s time to relax. Drive out to the Termas Cacheuta, about 90 minutes from town. Enjoy the thermal springs in stone pools with views of the Andes – there’s also a spa and restaurant.
Note: if you want to drive your rental car over the border from Argentina into Chile, you’ll need written permission from the rental company and the proper insurance to do so. Speak to the car rental agent before attempting to cross, or you’ll be turned away if you don’t have the correct documents.
Patagonia’s Lake District is just that – a district of gorgeous lakes. It’s an incredibly scenic area, perfect for exploring by car.
There are many routes you can take, but here’s our suggested itinerary: Bariloche (a few days), Circuito Chico (day trip from Bariloche), Limay River (day trip from Bariloche), Villa La Angostura (a few days), San Martin de
Highlights of this road trip include:
Many areas of Argentina are desert, and you’ll often find yourself in the middle of nowhere – which is a good
Come to the El Cuyo region for the wine – stay for the mountain treks, unbeatable stargazing, and surreal rock formations. Insider Marisa shows the way.
With vast Nahuel Huapi lake at its center and charming Bariloche as its hub, the Lake District offers endless opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and feasting your eyes on glorious views.
Travel to Salta and El Chalten with World Nomads’ Gloria Atanmo as she goes behind the scenes and discovers the magic of Argentina’s vineyards and breweries.