Argentina is one of the friendliest and most hospitable countries anyone could wish to visit. This natural warmth almost certainly stems from the fact that Argentina has so much to offer.
To explore Argentina by rail and road provides a feast for the senses. In bustling Buenos Aires the city air is rich with the mouth-watering aroma of barbecuing beef. Beyond Argentina's compelling cities, ever-changing landscapes range from snow-dusted mountains to verdant rainforest. Few travel experiences can compare to the thrill of boarding the Patagonia Express - both steam train and living museum gently traversing some of the most magnificent natural scenery on earth.
A journey through this remarkable country provides memorable experiences in abundance. One moment you might be stepping out dramatically in your first tango lesson, the next sipping a fine Argentinian Malbec at a wine-tasting session or soaking up the electric atmosphere at a live football match: the sport is another great Argentine passion.
Argentina caters for all tastes with equal passion and flair and, travelling through the country by train, it is easy to see how the natural beauty, historic cities and rich culture of the country have beguiled visitors for centuries.
Experience the allure of South America on a wonderful tour that takes you from the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro, with its famous landmarks and beaches, through lush rainforests and via sensational waterfalls, to Buenos Aires. Fly to Bariloche, in the heart of Patagonia, see the dramatic Perito Moreno Glacier and take a memorable journey on the 'End of the World Train'.
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Visiting Argentina with Great Rail Journeys
Argentina is bursting with unforgettable sights and activities and at Great Rail Journeys we want to introduce our customers to the very best natural, historical, and cultural wonders that this hospitable country has to offer whilst also providing unrivalled value.
Our escorted rail tours in Argentina present a uniquely relaxing yet exciting way to see the country at its best, and the price of each tour includes return flights, rail and other transport costs, overnight accommodation of a high standard, a selection of meals and a varied itinerary of enjoyable sight-seeing tours and excursions.
Our customers have the availability at all times of our experienced and knowledgeable Tour Manager, whose role it is to ensure that their experience of Argentina is pleasurable and worry-free. Our Tour Managers are happy to provide assistance, information and recommendations whenever needed.
We're equally diligent in our choice of hotels; each is hand-picked for the quality of its location, amenities, guest service and value. This ensures that customers can relax in comfort and be well looked-after at the end of each day.
Great Rail Journeys is the UK's longest-established specialist rail tour operator and our customers can be safe in the knowledge that that we are members of ATOL, AITO and ABTA, and that any flights we provide are protected by the CAA.
Argentina Travel Guide
Argentina shares its landmass at the foot of South America with smaller neighbour to the west, Chile. Bordering Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay to the north and northeast, Argentina possesses a long eastern coastline which is washed by the South Atlantic Ocean. After Brazil, Argentina is the second largest country in South America and eighth largest in the world.
The country's documented history begins with the arrival, in 1516, of the ill-fated expedition of Spanish explorer Juan Díaz de Solís. Although de Solís and many of his crew were killed by native Charrúa Indians, some escaped and returned to Spain which subsequently began to establish colonies in Argentina two decades later. Argentina remained under Spanish sovereignty until independence was declared in 1816.
Argentina enjoys a moderate climate although owing to the size of the country, conditions do vary with location. The Andes Mountains on Argentina's northwest border are cool during summer and extremely cold in winter, whilst the majority of the northern region, where the famous Iguazu Falls are located, is semi-tropical and therefore hot and humid for most of the year. Central Argentina is pleasant all year round, with hot summers and mild winters. In Patagonia year-round temperatures decrease as you travel southwards, with rain an almost constant feature as the naturally beautiful Tierra del Fuego at Argentina's southernmost tip is reached.
Famously, Argentina's cuisine is largely around its beef industry and the meat, typically grilled or barbecued (asado), remains extremely popular and available everywhere. However, may aspects of Argentinian cuisine have been heavily influenced by Europe, and interpretations of Spanish and Italian dishes are particularly common. For meat eaters, sampling Argentina's fine steak is a must. The most popular cuts include bife de lomo, the fillet; bife de chorizo, a striploin steak and bife de costilla - better known as a T-bone steak.
Other traditional Argentinian dishes which are well worth trying include the deep fried meat or vegetable pasties known as empanadas; carbonada, a rich meat and vegetable stew often cooked in, and served from, a hollowed-out pumpkin; choripán, a baguette-style sandwich containing chargrilled pork and beef chorizo sausage, caramelised onions, peppers and other vegetables. Dulce de leche is a caramel-flavoured reduction of condensed milk which can be used as a spread on bread or toast but which also forms the basis of countless Argentinian cakes, desserts and ice cream accompaniments.
Yerba mate (pronounced mar-tay) is a popular herbal infusion made from leaves, a cup of which is traditionally passed from person to person each taking a sip. The same leaf is used in mate cocido which is made and drunk in much the same way as conventional tea. Argentina is also renowned for the quality of its wines, particularly Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
If dining out in Buenos Aires, don't be surprised if your restaurant is completely empty at seven or eight o'clock in the evening. The most popular time for dinner is from 9pm onwards as denizens of Argentina's capital city are truly nocturnal, with bars only becoming busy from 11pm onwards.
The average Argentinian person is generally very friendly and welcoming although they can be quite open and plain-speaking in conversation; no offence is intended by what may appear to visitors as bluntness, it is simply the normal way of communication.