Argentina never ceases to astound us. One day you are watching butterflies flit through the spray of Iguazu Falls, the next you’re staring at the face of a city-sized glacier, or browsing the boutiques of fashionable Buenos Aires. You can mull it over with a glass of Malbec at a Mendoza winery, or seek inspiration while trekking through the heights of the Fitz Roy Massif.

There are palm-filled plazas in colonial Salta, and multi-coloured mountains and pre-Inca ruins in the untamed north-west. Caiman, capybara, otter and anaconda can be spotted by canoe in the Ibera Wetlands, an unspoiled network of creeks and lagoons twice the size of the Florida Everglades. You can ride like a gaucho on a working estancia (ranch), or cheer on a chukka at a game of polo. As far as wildlife is concerned, Punta Tombo has the largest colony of Magellan penguins in South America, while southern right whales can be seen in huge numbers as they migrate north past Peninsula Valdes (August to November).

In the south of the country, pristine Patagonia is one of those places that you leave with regret and feel privileged to have seen, with its vast open steppes, creaking glaciers and giant, craggy mountains. And at the end of it all, on Tierra del Fuego, is lonely Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and the starting point for most cruises to Antarctica.

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