Backpacking in Argentina on a Gap Year

Countries  »  Argentina

Gap years in Argentina are growing in popularity, with lots of travellers waking up to the amazingness of South America as a backpacking destination.

Glacier National Park in Argentina

The cities

Argentina is a little like someone dropped a European country in another continent; its capital Buenos Aires is a hot blur of sizzling steak, steamy tango and slick bars and nightclubs, all beefed up with some sexy Latin American flair. What it lacks in famous landmarks it makes up for in unique, thrilling atmosphere.

There's also Cordoba, which doesn't skimp on the nightlife but is also home to beautiful Spanish colonial architecture. The focal point is Plaza San Martin and the neo-Baroque Cordoba Cathedral. You could also head far south to Ushuaia, which calls itself the end of the world, or high above sea level to Salta for a quieter visit to quaint cafes and superb museums.

Buenos Aires, capital city of Argentina

The scenery

Outside the cool urban sprawl, Argentina is home to the iconic Iguazu Falls, which make a racket that will ring in your ears for years to come, the working farms of practicing gauchos (cowboys), the vast lake district surrounding Bariloche where you can wonder for days, the tasty winelands near Mendoza, the epic expanse of Patagonia and the nature hotspot of Peninsula Valdes where you can see humpback whales getting romantic with each other.

The highlight is Glacier National Park in the south near the border with Chile, which, as the name suggests, has a really big glacier. The entire area is an amazing place to explore, but you're really unlikely to forget trekking across a glacier.

Click the 'Best Experiences' tab above for more things to do in Argentina.

Backpacking in Argentina is a brilliant idea with a diverse range of stuff to do, and the buses and hostels tend to be pretty comfortable too. All-in-all this is a top gap year destination, so start planning your adventure!