There may be no better way to see the most breathtaking parts of South America than through their national parks.
Argentina is full of diverse parks, from glaciers to rainforests and even savannas — there is no shortage of scenic and stunning national parks to visit.
Here are 11 must-see national parks you should visit in Argentina.
Parque Nacional Iguazú is right on a basaltic line that spans the border between Brazil and Argentina.
At its heart, there’s an impressive semicircular waterfall that peaks at 80 meters at its highest point, the Iguazu Falls. Made up of a total number of 275 falls, this makes it the largest waterfall system in the world!
Iguazu National Park is incredibly famous for its beauty and views drawing in over 1.6 million visitors per year, both locally and internationally in 2019.
In 1984, this national park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its significance in nature — the ecosystem of wildlife and floras that connects to all of Latin America.
Best time to visit Iguazu National Park:
When the fall season rolls around, travel here during a full moon and experience a moonlight walk to the falls!
Located in southern Patagonia, Glacier National Park in Argentina (also known as Parque Nacional Los Glaciares) is unrivaled in beauty, with towering rugged mountains surrounding by glacier-fed lakes.
This national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located Southwest of Santa Cruz in Argentina.
The landscape of the park is truly remarkable, you can even see and hear shards of iceberg breaking off the glacier and falling into the lake!
The best way to experience Los Glaciares National Park is to join a group tour. The highlight during this trip is visiting Perito Moreno Glacier, the most important glacier in the park.
The walls of the glacier reaches a staggering 240 feet above the water of Argentino Lake — if you’re feeling adventurous take the boat tour to get up close and personal!
There are no words that can describe the incredible beauty you’ll witness here and this park definitely deserves a spot on your bucket list.
Best time to visit Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina:
If you’re doing a self-guided tour, try to visit in the morning during the summer months.
Located in the Andes of northern Patagonia, this national park deserves a spot on your bucket list.
Los Alerces is famous for its unique landscape that was sculpted by successive glaciations.
Made up of incredibly stunning clear lakes, towering mountain peaks, and glacial cirques, Los Alerces is a definite must-see when taking a trip to Argentina.
Fun Fact: this national park is home to a forest of the endangered Alerce tree, known as the second-longest living species of tree in the whole world.
The oldest Alerce tree in the area is almost 5000 years old!
Los Alerces National Park is vital to the conservation and protection of this incredible species of trees.
Best time to visit Los Alerces National Park:
In the summertime. Avoid traveling here in the winter as the roads are unpaved and many hiking trails are closed.
This park is home to a diverse landscape, including breathtaking lakes and rivers, lush green forests…and even volcanoes!
No doubt that this park has been crossed off plenty of bucket lists since it sees over 600,000 visitors a year.
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi offers a wide range of activities such as camping, sailing, hiking, skiing, and even boating through the picturesque park.
Based on the range of recreational activities available, you can really get a sense of the diversity of the landscape that makes up this spectacular park.
Best time to visit Nahuel Huapi National Park:
Avoid visiting in the winter months as the weather is rainy and there is a high chance of snowfall.
Perhaps one of the most unique backdrops you’ll ever see, Los Cardones National Park is made up of a beautiful landscape of ravines, valleys, and sierras that cover 650 square kilometers in Argentina’s central west region.
As you travel through the park, the scenery changes from deep green forests to dry desert climates with a massive formation of cactus groves nestled within.
This remarkable site is host to fascinating relics of the past, including dinosaur tracks and fossils.
Los Cardones National Park is a beautifully sun-kissed region that is soundly unique from the rest of the country and other national parks, helping lend to an incredibly original experience.
Best time to visit Los Cardones National Park:
August to October for the lowest precipitation and mild temperatures.
Calilegua National Park is the only national park located in the province of Jujuy.
This park is host to an extremely rich and lush rainforest full of diverse wildlife, and the terrain is carved by stunning ravines, creeks, and rivers.
Within the center of Calilegua National Park, you can hire tour guides that’ll take you to the most picturesque spots within the park.
Best time to visit Calilegua National Park:
The best time to visit is between June and September where it remains dry and warm.
You won’t want to walk through the rainforest during the rainy months as flooding can occur and can limit the accessibility of the trails.
The highlight at Lago Puelo National Park is none other than the lake itself, Lake Puelo. This lake is a stunning turquoise color, caused by glacial sediment deposits.
Originally, the Lago Puelo nature reserve was part of another national park, Los Alerces.
In 1971, the park was declared and recognized as a separate national park for its unique characteristics and endemic flora.
With a mild climate and being situated only 200 meters above sea level, it makes it the ideal condition for flora and fauna that wouldn’t thrive in other areas of Patagonia.
Best Time to visit Lago Puelo National Park:
Between September to February, these months have the lowest chance of rain.
The park is located along the scenic Lake Nahuel Huapi in Northern Argentina and until 1971, Los Arrayanes was once a part of the bigger Nahuel Huapi National Park.
This separation was made to protect the Arrayan trees that make up most of Los Arrayanes.
Rumor has it that the magical forest seen in the movie “Bambi” by Walt Disney was inspired by this stunning 300-year-old forest.
Best time to visit Los Arrayanes National Park:
Avoid visiting between June to September. The climate is relatively dry between December to February.
The Impenetrable National Park in Argentina is made up of an expansive landscape of savannas and palm forests.
Within this beautiful park, you’ll find a large mansion hidden among the undisturbed farmlands that once belonged to a rancher, Manuel Roseo.
The tale of this park is a tragic one, as the owner of the mansion was brutally murdered by criminals who attempted to steal his property in January 2011.
Shortly after, Argentinian conservationists and officials of the country stepped in to declare the area as a national park.
Despite its tragic origins, El Impenetrable National Park is an incredibly stunning place to visit and explore in Argentina.
Best time to visit El Impenetrable National Park:
Between the months of June to August and December to February. These months have the lowest amounts of precipitation (which can make trails inaccessible).
Aconquija was formally established as a national park on July 4th, 2018 in order to protect the vital mountain glaciers that are essential to providing fresh water to the communities downstream.
This scenic park is host to more than 400 species of wildlife, including the mountain fox, the coati, the grey fox, and river wolves.
Best time to visit Aconquija National Park:
Try and plan your trip between December to February. October and November is best if you prefer milder temperatures.
Located in northern Argentina, El Rey National Park is home to an immense diverse habitat of species.
The park’s breathtaking landscape of tall mountains and subtropical cloud forests make it an incredible destination in Argentina to visit.
The trails in this national park are well-marked — it’s the perfect spot to have a picnic and spend the day meandering through the valley.
Best time to visit El Rey National Park: Avoid visiting between June-August.
When you think of the most scenic natural landscapes, many think of Europe, the United States, or Canada.
This makes Argentina somewhat of a hidden gem!
Your Argentina bucket list will not be complete without a few of the top national parks in the itinerary and hopefully, this guide has helped you find some spots you’d like to visit.