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Argentina

Main attractions

Landscape in Patagonia with Monte Fitz Roy, Argentina
Landscape in Patagonia with Monte Fitz Roy / Nestor Galina, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Argentina is one of the most diverse countries in the world – it has tropical rainforests and southernmost forests (after Chile), deserts and glaciers, some of the highest mountains in the world and immense flatlands of pampas.

Similar is the diversity of natural and man made landmarks. Here are located natural landmarks of world class (Iguazu Falls, Petito Moreno Glacier, Puente del Inca) and immense scientific importance. Argentina has been one of the most prosperous countries in the world and this is well expressed in the magnificent buildings from the late 19th – early 20th century.

Natural landmarks

Cerro de los Siete Colores, Argentina
Cerro de los Siete Colores / Jeffrey Tanenhaus, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Cliffs and canyons

  • Cerro de los Siete Colores – Jujuy. A deserted, eroded hill with rocks in unusual, gaudy colors.
  • La Garganta del Diablo and Anfiteatro – Salta. Impressive, deep and narrow canyons formed by streams. Now both canyons (resembling giant pits) are dry.
  • Monte Fitz Roy (Cerro Chaltén) - Santa Cruz and Chile, Magallanes. One of the most challenging mountains in the world for climbing. The height of granite cliff face is 1,200 m.
  • Potrero de la Aguada – San Luis. Unique exposure of Mesosoic deposits. Here in Triassic, Cretaceous and Jurassic periods existed a paleolake, where clayey deposits were accumulated. The deposits of this lake represent the largest mud column in the world, with huge scientific importance. The exposed cliffs are up to 300 m high.
  • Talampaya Gorge – La Rioja. Magnificent, dry gorge with red sandstone walls up to 143 m high, up to 80 m narrow. Area of special, very original natural beauty. Rich finds of Triassic fossils. Petroglyphs.

Glaciers

Perito Moreno glacier, Argentina
Perito Moreno glacier / Hector Garcia, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Glaciar Viedma, Glaciar Upsala, Glaciar Spegazzini, Glaciar Perito Moreno and smaller glaciers – Santa Cruz. Glaciers ending in large lakes and forming impressive ice walls. As a result in Lake Viedma and Lake Argentino are floating unusual, blue icebergs. Impressive is Bahia Onelli – a lake with three glaciers ending in it – this lake is filled with countless icebergs.
  • Ventisquero Negro (Glaciar Río Manso) – Río Negro. An unusual glacier in dark, nearly black color. This glacier contains large amount of particles and inclusions.

Waterfalls

  • Iguazu Falls - Misiones and Paraná, Brazil. One of the most enormous and most impressive waterfalls of the world, they are "only" 82 metres tall, but 2 700 metres wide.
  • Salto del Agrio – Neuquén. Approximately 60 m tall waterfall with a single plunge over an overhang. Agrio River here contains sulphuric acid and as a result the stream has created colourful deposits in brown and orange color, contrasting with the green water.
  • Moconá Falls (Yucumã Falls) - Misiones and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Unusual, very impressive waterfall on Uruguay River. This approximately 2 km long and up to 12 m tall waterfall is located in parallel to the flow direction of the river and ends in the middle of stream.

Fossil finds

  • Ischigualasto fossil find – La Rioja. Outstanding find of fossils from Triassic period, including some of the oldest known remnants of dinosaurs. Site is important for the research of the origin of mammals. Interesting rock formations. Sites of rock art.
  • Loma del Pterodaustro – San Luis. Deposits of Lower Cretaceous age (Lagarcito Formation) with fossils of exceptional quality. Found skulls and teeth of pterosaurs, vegetal imprints, other fossils.

Ecosystems

Chilean Myrtle forest, Argentina
Chilean Myrtle forest / Edith Schreur, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Caviahue Araucaria stand – Neuquén. A scenic stand of ancient araucarias (Araucaria araucana). The trees are up to 40 m high and 1000 years old. Agrio river forms 7 scenic cascades in this forest.
  • Chilean Myrtle forest on Quetrihué Peninsula (Los Arrayanes National Park) – Río Negro. A unique forest of fragile, very rare tree – Chilean Myrtle (Luma apiculata). Trees are up to 650 years old. This forest looks unusual due to cinnamon colored trunks of trees.
  • Monte de los Ombúes - Entre Ríos. A woodland formed of ombu trees. Ombu in general is a solitary tree, but here these giant and fascinating trees have formed a forest. According to legends, each tree has been planted to commemorate local people fallen in battle with Spaniards.
  • Puerto Sagrario Alerce forest – Chubut. Old growth alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides) forest at the northern end of Lago Menéndez. Contains more than 3,000 years old trees.

Other natural landmarks

Pozo de las Animas, Argentina
Pozo de las Animas . Luis Adrian Crescentino Memoli, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Campo del Cielo – Chaco and Santiago del Estero. A strewn field of iron meteorites, which fell some 4 – 5 thousand years ago. The largest meteorite fragment weighs 37 tonnes and is the second heaviest after Hoba meteorite, total weight of meteorites – more than 60 tonnes. 26 impact craters, the largest is 115 by 91 m large.
  • Caverna de las Brujas (Witches’ Cave) – Mendoza. Large, beautiful cave with wonderful cave formations. Explored length of cave passages is 6 km.
  • Copahue crater lake – Neuquén. Approximately 300 m wide, briny and acidic lake with light colored water.
  • Los Tachos and other hot spring areas near Domuyo Volcano – Neuquén. In several areas south-west from Domuyo are located intensely boiling springs. Some of the springs are perpetual spouters and there are rumours about some geysers as well.
  • Nahuelito in Nahual Huapi Lake – Río Negro. A purported lake monster living in the enormous Nahual Huapi Lake. Stories tell that this animal is similar to a plesiosaur, 4.5 – 6 m long. The first stories about the animal have been recorded in the late 19th century.
  • Payún Matru hematite crystals – Mendoza. A site, where can be found amazing hematite pseudomorphs after magnetite – black, shiny crystals.
  • Pozo de las Animas (Well of Souls) – Mendoza. Two closely located sinkholes with small lakes at the bottom. The largest is 101 m deep, including the 21 m deep, blue lake. Wind creates eerie, whistling sounds in the sinkholes.
  • Puente del Inca – Mendoza. One of natural wonders in Argentina – a natural arch over Vacas River with hot springs and large travertine formations next to it. The natural bridge is 48 m long, 28 m wide and 8 m thick, the river flows 27 m below it. Below it are many stalactites.

Man made landmarks

Ancient settlements

Ruins of Tastil, Argentina
Ruins of Tastil / Alicia Nijdam, Flickr, CC BY 2.0
  • Pucará de la Alumbrera – Catamarca. Remnants of ancient, approximately 1000 years old settlement. The settlement is enclosed with a wall. The site is located in exotic place – on black lava field next to a lagoon. The structures in this town were built of black lava.
  • Pucará de Tilcara – Jujuy. Partly reconstructed pre-Inca fortification and settlement in the scenic Quebrada de Humahuaca. Built by Omaguaca people in the 12th century. Here lived up to 2000 people. Conquered by Inca in the late 15th century. Abandoned in the early 16th century. Now here is located archaeological museum.
  • Quilmes ruins – Tucumán. Remnants of once enormous settlement, which covered some 30 ha. Inhabited around 850 AD by Quilmes people.
  • Ruinas de Ciudacita – Tucumán. Interesting, prehistoric ruins high in the mountainous jungle, at 4 300 m height. Consists of a group of stone enclosures and is considered to be a sacred site with astronomical orientation of details, including Puerta Del Sun, which marks the summer solstice.
  • Tastil – Salta. Amazing Pre-Inca settlement, built around 1500 AD. Nowadays remain interesting remnants – base part of rounded, interconnected structures, resembling an enormous labyrinth.

Prehistoric rock art

Cueva de las Manos, Argentina
Cueva de las Manos / Marian Ocecowski, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3.0
  • Cueva de las Manos - Santa Cruz. Famous due to paintings of hands on its walls made 13,000 – 9,500 years ago, often stencilled. Numerous other drawings as well.
  • Inca Cueva – Jujuy. Area with numerous prehistoric rock paintings in black, white and red colors. Most paintings show circles. Most interesting is a cave entirely covered with prehistoric paintings.

Other archaeological monuments

  • Bajo del Coypar – Catamarca. Remnants of an ancient irrigation sistem in the high plateau of Andes. Although this is one of the most arid deserts in the world, 1000 years ago here was developed an irrigation system, total area of fields was 800 ha.
  • Coctaca terraces – Jujuy. Impressive stone walled agricultural terraces, built around 500 AD. Terraces stil are used in agriculture.
  • Piedra Museo – Santa Cruz. Some of the oldest known archaeological remains in Americas, from around 11 000 BC. Spear heads, which were found here, contain traces of now extinct animals – mylodons and hippidions.
  • Shrine of Llullaillaco summit – Salta. The highest archaeological monument in the world, located on the summit of 6 739 m tall volcano. In the late 15th – early 16th century here were sacrificed three Inca children. One of the mummies was struck by lightning.

Jesuit missions and ranches

San Ignacio Miní, Argentina
Ruins of San Ignacio Miní / juan_m, Flickr, CC BY 2.0
  • Alta Gracia Estancia – Córdoba. A historical core of town – large ranch of Jesuits, developed in the 16th – 17th century and consisting of structures in lush Baroque style. Includes Jesuit church, priest’s residence and other buildings and garden.
  • Candelaria Estancia – Córdoba. Large, fortified Jesuitic ranch, founded in 1683. Simple, austere church in Baroque style.
  • Caroya Estancia – Córdoba. Large Jesuitic ranch, established in 1616. Huge colonial mansion enclosed by trees.
  • Jesuit Block in National University of Córdoba – Córdoba. Historical buildings of the second oldest university in South America. Founded in 1610, declared as university in 1622. Beautiful example of Baroque architecture, with ornate interior.
  • Jesús María Estancia – Córdoba. Large, well preserved historical ranch of Jesuits, established in 1618 – 1620.
  • Nuestra Señora de Loreto – Misiones. Ruins of Jesuit mission built in the present site in 1631. Ruins of this mission still are partly covered with vegetation.
  • Nuestra Señora de Santa Ana – Misiones. Ruins of Jesuit mission founded in 1633 and moved to present site in the middle of the 17th century.
  • San Ignacio Miní – Misiones. Ruins of Jesuit mission founded in the current place in 1696. It flourished in the 18th century but was abandoned in 1768. Rediscovered in 1897 when it was covered with dense jungle. These are the best preserved ruins of Jesuit missions in this region and reveal the architecture in the local "Guaraní Baroque" style.
  • Santa Catalina Estancia – Córdoba. Large historical ranch of Jesuits, established in 1622 and built in Baroque style. Interesting complex of buildings around three patios. Especially impressive is the church.
  • Reducción de Santa María la Mayor – Misiones. Ruins of Jesuit mission founded in 1626 and abandoned in 1767.

Urban planning monuments

La Plata from air, Argentina
La Plata from air / Gindelis, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • La Plata City centre – Buenos Aires Province. Planned city of great scale. The central part consists of 1600 blocks placed in a strict symmetry, with a grid of avenues with tree plantings. The city was planned in 1882 as a replacement for the congested capital city Buenos Aires.
  • Purmamarca – Jujuy. Historical town in mountainous desert. Interesting example of a fusion of local, Spanish colonial and later styles in planning and architecture. Interesting church with ascetic architecture.

Churches

  • Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento – Buenos Aires. Very ornate church in Neo-Classicism style.
  • Cathedral of La Plata – Bueno Aires Province. One of the most wonderful and largest Neo-Gothic cathedrals, built in 1884 – 1902. The towers of the church rise 112 m high.

Monuments

Floralis Genérica, Argentina
Floralis Genérica in Buenos Aires / Beatrice Murch, Flickr, CC BY 2.0
  • Floralis Genérica – Buenos Aires. A robotic monument, built in 2002. It represents a 23 m high flower made of stainless steel. The flower moves – opens and closes its petals during the day and has a spectacular lighting.
  • National Flag Monument – Santa Fe, Rosario. Large monumental complex, built in 1957. It commemorates Manuel Belgrano, who invented the flag of Argentina in 1812. Monument consists of 70 m tall tower, Civic Courtyard and Triumphal Propylaeum.

Government buildings

  • Argentine National Congress – Buenos Aires. Enormous and ornate Neo-Classicism building, constructed in 1898 – 1906, interior and details completed in 1946. In front of Congress is the magnificent Congressional Plaza.
  • Casa Rosada – Buenos Aires. Official executive office of the president of Argentina. This large and ornate building is built of light pink stone in Neo-Renaissance style, in 1882 – 1884. House has ornate interiors.
  • Tucumán Government Palace – Tucumán. Magnificent, very ornate public building, constructed in Neo-Baroque style in 1908 – 1910. Very ornate interior.

Other man-made landmarks

Barolo Tower, Argentina
Barolo Tower / Luis Argerich, Flickr, CC BY 2.0
  • Barolo Tower (Palacio Barolo) – Buenos Aires. Unique highrise building in Ecclectic and Art Noveau style, built in 1923. This building has 22 floors (110 m tall) and is built according to the cosmology of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Ornate facade and interiors.
  • Casa Curutchet – Buenos Aires Province. Small urban house, designed by Le Corbusier and built in 1948. Preserved in its original state.
  • Cerro Uritorco – Córdoba. A 1,949 m tall mountain, site of legends. According to legends in this site often are observed UFO’s, are happening eerie events.
  • Kavanagh Building – Buenos Aires. Prominent Art Deco skyscraper, built in 1934 – 1936. 120 m tall, 29 floors. The building has the worlds first central air conditioning system.
  • La Mundial de Córdoba – Córdoba. One of the narrowest buildings in the world, just 6 m wide. This 7-floor structure was built in 1920.
  • Palacio de Aguas Corrientes – Buenos Aires. Large, ornate water pumping station, built in Neo-Renaissance style in 1894. This luxurious building still serves its original purpose.
  • Puente Valentín Alsina – Buenos Aires Province. Unusual bridge, built in 1938. At both ends of the bridge are castle-like structures in Neo-Baroque style.
  • Quinta de Olivos – Buenos Aires Province. Large mansion in Neo-Gothic and Neo-Baroque style, built in 1854. Residence of the President of Argentina.
  • Tigre Club (Art Museum of Tigre) – Buenos Aires Province. A luxurious building, constructed in 1912 as a meeting place for influential people. Ornate interiors with frescoes.

List of described attractions by provinces

Argentina is divided into 23 provinces and an autonomous city – Buenos Aires:

Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires Province
Catamarca
Chaco
Chubut
Córdoba
Corrientes
Entre Ríos
Formosa
Jujuy
La Pampa
La Rioja
Mendoza
ArrowPozo de las AnimasSinkholes
Misiones
ArrowIguazu FallsWaterfalls
ArrowMoconá FallsWaterfalls
Neuquén
Río Negro
Salta
San Juan
San Luis
Santa Cruz
Santa Fe
Santiago del Estero
Tierra del Fuego
Tucumán

Map of Argentina

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