Why 15? Because the blue and white T-shirt raised the America Cup 15 times. Because in Argentina, soccer is an adrenaline-pumping experience. Because, for its 45 million people, passion is inevitable, whatever the sport. So, in this scenario, there are plenty of reasons to choose Argentina as an adventure destination.
The taste of asado, the quality of its wines and its unparalleled natural scenery are just some of the images that crop up in the traveling mind when someone speaks about Argentina. There is one feature, however, that goes first on the list: love for soccer. Because nowhere else is it experienced as it is in the Argentine territory. If we lose, we cry and we win, we cry as well! Argentina is the home of Maradona, Messi, the National Team: that which keeps playing even when the players’ heels are bleeding. That which just needs the ball to join all its people in a single goal shout. That which in 90 minutes teaches everyone the meaning of the famous “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.”
And although national soccer is in the news in the entire world, it is not the only sport that raises passion: basketball, tennis, polo, hockey, swimming, fishing and even the Olympic Games account for the happiness that sports cause among Argentinians. It’s only natural, then, that its tourism alternatives should be exciting for visitors. Argentina has it all: from a passionate culture to places that allow tourists to try extreme sports. The concept is simple: whoever wants an adrenaline shot will find it here and this article proves it:
1. Living the Boca-River super classic
Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Flamengo vs Fluminense, Liverpool vs Manchester United. There are soccer rivalries worldwide. Duels that can make an entire country get nervous, that divide its fans but then unites them through passion. And, indeed, the super classic accomplishes all this and even more. Because it’s part of our national (and international) folklore. Because even though someone may decide not to watch the game, they will inevitably hear it wherever they are. Because while some are absolutely thrilled about a goal, others feel thoroughly devastated about it.
A Boca-River game is one of its kind. Even the English newspaper The Observer labeled it as the most exciting sports experience in the world and one of the 50 spectacles worth seeing before we die. At the Bombonera, the Monumental or in Madrid, it is a match that even those who are not at all attracted to soccer will enjoy.
2. Rosario, Messi’s hometown
If the Barcelona Club is proud of having bet on the player with the most Golden Balls in history, what can be expected from the country where he was born? This is why in the Province of Santa Fe there is a 10-stop circuit that runs through the early years of the soccer whizz, specifically in Rosario, his hometown and the place where today Messi becomes an ordinary kid again.
There are different types of corners. the Campito [small soccer field] playground, where he used to play as a young boy. The Abanderado Grandoli Club, where he was spotted as an unparalleled talent when he was five years old. His school and his home. Even La Bajada neighborhood which is not only a must-see in Rosario but also the place where he lived with his family and displays countless painted walls that honor him.
3. La Paternal, the cradle of “Maradonian” love
Maradona needs no introduction. It is the first word that a tourist pronounces when running into an Argentinian on a foreign land. For our country, he is a god, and so is for the rest of the world. Because what El Diego inspires, no one ever has. And, even if he is remembered with nostalgia in Buenos Aires (and in the whole country as well), La Paternal neighborhood in the City of Buenos Aires has an extra share of sentimentalism.
La Paternal is home to the Argentinos Juniors soccer stadium, the club where el Diez [the Number Ten] made his debut; a temple which, by the way, bears his name nowadays. The truth is that the soccer idol is the pride of the neighbors. And no wonder the neighborhood is filled with street art that honors their god. Besides, at 2257 Lascano Street is the first house he bought when he was very young, after leaving his poor home in Villa Fiorito. Today, this house is a museum and a trip back in time to remember the most important events in the life of the idol that will never die.
4. La Bombonera in La Boca
Boca is one of the most influential teams in our country. With a history over 100 years old, it is a clear synonym of victories and celebration. This is why the Xeneize stadium has a very significant effect in our local culture and is, of course, a classic of our city. La Bombonera, so called because its shape recalls that of a box of chocolates, is just one of the great symbols of the colorful La Boca neighborhood in the capital of our country.
Visiting the stadium is an amazing experience and watching a game is even more spectacular. There is where true adrenaline lies. If this is not possible, however, tourists can always visit the Museo de la Pasión Boquense [Boca Passion Museum] which is located inside the stadium.
5. Scuba-diving in Puerto Madryn
More often than not, Patagonia is related to the natural beauties that lie on the Andes foothills. On the opposite side, however, on the huge coast that skirts the Argentine Sea, there are plenty of options to see and enjoy.
In this area, tourists can visit Puerto Madryn, the National Capital of Scuba-Diving in Argentina. Located in the Province of Chubut, a few minutes’ ride from the amazing Península Valdés (declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco), it is a growing city, with beautiful beaches and famous for being the ideal spot for watching the right southern whale.
Once in Madryn –as it is usually known – the scuba-diving and snorkeling plan is a dream come true. Put your neoprene suit on and the adventure dives into blue waters, the sea lions become your friends, the somersaults come and go, and the whole water world becomes familiar. A 100% top experience and, needless to say, truly Patagonian.
6. Trekking in El Chaltén
Walking long distances or specific, usually high mountain areas. This is how the RAE [Royal Spanish Academy] defines trekking. In Argentina, however, it is not just about trekking, as our definition of the activity is broader, thanks to the truly breathtaking views Argentina offers. The point is that the magic of Patagonia, the mythical region that harbors unforgettable towns such as El Chaltén, cannot be found anywhere else. This is why, year after year, world travelers come here seeking dream-like adventures.
The country’s National Capital of Trekking offers trails for all tastes and different levels of difficulty. So, if adventure tourism is a pending issue, El Chaltén will undoubtedly become a part of your traveling list. The reward of choosing this location is watching the Fitz Roy Mountain, surrounded by landscapes that seem to get away from a magical canvass and paint a natural picture which is hard to forget.
Recommended circuits: Laguna de los Tres, Loma del Pliegue Tumbado and Laguna Torre. And, even though this small village of Santa Cruz is worth enough visiting and will attract plenty of tourists, just 200 kilometers away is El Calafate, home and owner of Perito Moreno, one of the largest glaciers in the world.
7. Golf in Río Hondo Hot Springs
The only one in South America and the pride of the entire northern region. The golf course at the Termas de Río Hondo Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones II, the son of the legendary American architect, has undoubtedly been a jewel of Sports Tourism in Argentina since it was first opened in 2018.
This remarkable site is the venue where one of the PGA Tour Latinoamérica dates is played. And, in this respect, it is worth noting the historical alliance that Argentina made with the PGA Tour LA through the National Bureau of Tourism Promotion (INPROTUR), aimed at promoting our tourism proposals in one of the most important sports competitions in the region.
Together with the Race track and the Automobile Museum, Termas offers three alternatives that enhance the proposal of this tourism segment in our country and position the Province of Santiago del Estero as a great option for international travelers willing to visit the northernmost area of Argentina.
“The sun never sets on a Robert Trent Jones golf course” is what the father of the Termas golf course designer used to say. And in Santiago del Estero, energy never dies; it is always alive.
8. Fishing at the End of the World
More than ten rivers, four lakes and three lagoons turn Tierra del Fuego into a great fishing destination. This is because the southernmost location in Argentina harbors the famous, and widely sought-after, sea trout, a fish species that can weigh as much as 18 kilograms. What are the local species? Brown trout, rainbow, sea run, brook and steelhead, among others. The fishing wealth is such that the Fuegian waters are rated among the best areas in Latin America for fishing.
The major strategic point is in the north, in Río Grande which, as it names suggests, is a water mirror that harbors very large fish. It is also an area that offers excellent accommodation and delicious food proposals. And, of course, trout is not the only star of the sea; Ushuaia is also known worldwide for the quality and freshness of its spider crab: a food experience which goes directly from the ocean to your dish.
9. Horseback riding in Córdoba
Every horse lover knows that visiting Córdoba, in the geographic center of Argentina, is a must. There, they will undoubtedly encounter all the features of mountain areas: endless trails, local history, wildlife and the typical unmistakable energy of the region. Not to mention the asado, the Fernet –the typical elixir of these lands – and the sound of cuarteto. When nothing else is left out, the horse-riding adventure is the closest to perfection we can get.
The experience of riding on horseback with the wind blowing on your face and wrapped around dream-like landscapes can be enjoyed throughout the territory but, what are the must-see locations? Pampa de Olaén, La Cumbrecita, Alta Gracia, La Cumbre and Santa Rosa de Calamuchita.
10. Kayaking in Lake Nahuel Huapi
The color of its waves, the islands that surround it, the Andean forest, the majestic mountains. There are countless excuses to know Lake Nahuel Huapi and doing it on a boat makes the traveling experience even better. Because there is nothing more enjoyable than watching the Patagonian landscape –which is spectacular in itself- from the inside.
We are talking about 557 square kilometers that stretch from the south of the Province of Neuquén to Bariloche, in Río Negro. An interesting fact? It is one of the deepest lakes worldwide and the fourth largest in Argentina. In other words, the water paradise that adventure fans were looking for. Kayaking, stand-up paddling, windsurfing and even scuba-diving are just some of the myriad water alternatives. As for kayaking, the gear can be rented for a few hours and the bravest visitors can set out on group or private rides all day long, cross waterfalls and hidden beaches. And, needless to say, all the circuits include inevitable pauses for visitors to admire such stunning views.
11. Bike riding down the Cuesta del Obispo in Salta
If adrenaline runs through our veins, the answer is right about here. This is a 40-kilometer ride that allows tourists to see some of the most stunning views of the province of Salta on two wheels. Because, unbelievable as it may seem, it crosses the dry Puna plateaus and the green of the Yunga forest at the same time. Pictures? Plenty of them!
No, it does not require any prior physical training, just the willingness to admire the Argentine mountains covered with reddish, green and even yellow-looking vegetation. An amazing combination of colors. A 10-hour succession of natural wonders that will make every traveler’s heart beat fast. The road joins the Lerma and Calchaquí valleys and skirts the Escoipe River up to the Cuesta del Obispo foothill. Besides, between one curve and the next, it passes by Los Cardones National Park, the owner of the emblematic landscape of Salta that bears the same name. An alternative experience that shows us why this province is nicknamed La Linda [the beautiful one].
12. Climbing Cerro Aconcagua
It is 6961 meters high, the highest mountain in the Americas and one of the most famous worldwide. Interesting enough to make tourists willing to visit our country, right? It is located in Mendoza and the truth is that climbing it is not extremely hard compared to other mountain ranges. However, as any other adventure, it requires prior physical training. How hard? The process is similar to that of training for a marathon: progressive and, preferably, with prior experience climbing lower hills.
There are various ways, 33, to be precise. Some are easier – for people with little experience- and there are also exclusive ones for true experts. In about 15 days, you can reach the top. The key is to set on the journey with a specialized guide, although it all depends on the weather here. Low temperatures, of course, make the circuit harder.
The experience is unique and there is nothing like watching the orange shades of the sunrise or sunset from the mountain. Another amazing view is admiring the Mendoza sky on a night full of stars. Mind you: the Aconcagua is just the tip of the iceberg: the province of Malbec also brings joy to hearts and palates 24/7 and owns the best winery in the world, according to The World ‘s Best Vineyards: Zuccardi, in the Uco Valley.
13. Skiing in the Andes Mountains
Almost at half the price of other international options, the Argentine hills welcome both amateur and experienced travelers from all over the world. Because although our territory is much more affordable than its foreign counterparts, it is not a poorer quality; quite the opposite: it hosts the largest ski resort in South America: Cerro Catedral in Bariloche, a top-rate tourist destination in Patagonia. And it’s not only about skiing: snowboarding, trekking, sled rides and climbing are some of the enticing proposals for high-adrenaline lovers.
The snow season goes from June through October. The ski resorts include between 20 and 30 tracks each, with alternatives for all tastes and levels. Places to bear in mind: Tierra del Fuego, Mendoza, Río Negro, Neuquén, Santa Cruz and Chubut.
14. Land-sailing in San Juan
For those who don’t know it, land-sailing is a sport that can only be practiced in some places because it depends entirely on the weather conditions. It basically consists in a small cart with sails and no engine, because it is propelled by the wind, and can go as fast as 120 kilometers per hour. Not bad to raise adrenaline!
In the Province of San Juan, 25 kilometers from the city of Barreal, is Pampa del Leoncito, an Argentine legacy millions of years old, whose main ally is the wind. It is a desert landscape with an eroded surface, ideal for true adventurers. The best time to enjoy the plan starts at 5 pm, when the wind starts to blow. And the best thing about this place is that it is in the outskirts of the National Park that bears the same name where, at night, visitors can enjoy one of the clearest and starriest skies in our country.
15. Polo lessons in Buenos Aires
Even though this sport is linked to the traditional Buenos Aires elite, it was in fact imported by the English who settled in our country in the mid-19th century. The rules: coordination and riding on horseback. For horse lovers, watching it means a truly hypnotizing spectacle. In fact, every year Buenos Aires offers the Palermo Open, or Abierto de Palermo, the most important inter-club competition worldwide. A must-see? Definitely! And if the experience is not good enough, you can always take lessons to improve your horse-back riding skills!