Northern Argentina Travel Guide
Quebrada de Cafayate © Rod Waddington
The northern regions of Argentina are an interesting mix of colonial heritage, incredible natural beauty, agriculture and an indigenous flavour. Two major Argentinean rivers, the Paraná and the Uruguay, flow together in the northeast of the country, creating the Rio de la Plata estuary. The land in between the rivers is known as Mesopotamia, a swampy, wet and very hot region covered with yatay palms, orchids and tree ferns.
One of the principal attractions in this region, the spectacular Iguazú Falls in the Iguazú National Park are tucked away in the extreme northeast, surrounded by Brazil. Lush forests bursting with wildlife and impressive, rugged mountains lie in contrast to the vast, fertile plains of the Pampas below. Spread over a large portion of the country, the Pampas are known as the Gran Chaco in the North, and these plains form the agricultural heartland of Argentina, where gauchos (cowboys) roam and where the country's famous beef comes from. The Gran Chaco is much drier than the central part of the Pampas and is a rich source of tannins and timber.
Closer to the Chilean border in the west lies the impressive Andes Mountain Range and its highest peak, Cerro Aconcagua, situated in the famed wine region of Mendoza. The bustling city and industrial hub of Córdoba is where Jesuit traditions, colonial architecture and traditional guacho culture combine, with plenty of traditional festivals and local arts and crafts to be discovered. There are many treasures to be found by travellers willing to move beyond Buenos Aires, and the northern region is not to be missed.