Located in the southern half of South America and, according to National Geo, about one-third the size of the U.S., Argentina is sub-divided into 23 provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the capital and largest city of the nation. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile, Argentina has been acknowledged to be one of the most-visited destinations in South America.
What are the destination’s main points of distinction?
Argentina is a multicultural country that also offers a geographical diversity throughout their six regions: Buenos Aires, North, Litoral, Cuyo, Cordoba and Patagonia. Spread across the regions is an assortment of ecosystems offering a significant number of experiences amidst natural attractions. Snow-capped mountains, clear water lakes, leafy forests, vast plains, tropical jungles, millenary glaciers and lunar landscapes and waterfalls make up some of the natural wealth that Argentina has to offer across these six diverse regions. Considered a country that offers some of the widest environmental diversities, many of its natural sites are also protected as natural reserves and national parks and have even been recognized as World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO.
What does the destination offer for the wellness-minded traveler?
According to INPROTUR, wellness travel is a big draw for Argentina and it is mostly due to their numerous natural hot springs and thermal waters, many of which are also known to help with medical conditions such as negative stress, rheumatism, respiratory and dermatological issues.
If you have a client who is currently in the planning stages or thinking about a visit, here is a breakdown of the six regions to have on your radar along with what natural resources each region offers:
BUENOS AIRES: Cosmopolitan, vibrant and modern Buenos Aires is home to the famous bike and walking tours across more than 100 public green spaces. For instance, the Ecological Reserve is the largest green space in the City of Buenos Aires and one of the most popular for walking, cycling, jogging or hiking.
NORTH: The provinces of Jujuy, Salta, Tucuman, Catamarca, La Rioja and Santiago del Estero make up the North Region, which includes the Puna Salty Fields, the rich jungles of Salta, the fertile valleys of Catamarca, the colorful Humahuaca Ravine, and in Jujuy, the hot springs of Santiago del Estero.
LITORAL: Lush with leafy vegetation, plains, wetlands, lagoons, native forests and jungle that act as an invitation to adventure and wellness, the region of Litoral also offers thermal waters in the PROVINCE OF ENTRE RIOS. Sixteen thermal options, with 15 of those focused on playful themes and one focused especially on medicinal therapeutic themes
CUYO: The wine-producing, mountainous Coyo Region is considered the country’s “queen of wellness.” Home to the highest peaks of the Andes Mountains which rise to an altitude of more than 22,000 ft. in the province of Mendoza. The snowy peaks are ideal for mountain sports skiing, hiking, trekking, mountain bike, snowshoeing, ride sleds, speed on snowmobiles, etc. Hang gliding and paragliding is also available. Hot spring options include Cacheuta (Lujan de Cuyo) and Los Molles (Malargue) where visitors can bathe in heated pools and enjoy thermal caves.
CORDOBA: A setoff range of mountains and a benign weather characterize the province of Cordoba, where natural landscapes and colonial architectural monuments barter the scene. In Cordoba, a land of plains mountains, fertile valleys and salt fields, visitors will find a vast number of trails, colonial architecture, historical relics and cave paintings.
PATAGONIA: The largest and most southern region of the country and quite possibly the most renowned to North Americans is Patagonia. Famed for its many natural attractions including the Andes Mountains, and with a coastline that extends over 1,200 miles to the southernmost point of the American continent the mountainous Patagonia Region is best known for hiking, wildlife watching, scuba diving, paleontology, archeology and history. As for hydrotherapy, the Copahue Hot Springs— generally open early December to end of May—are known worldwide for the quality of their waters and mud resources that allow for a variety of therapeutic treatments. Here’s a link to the WTA’s 2021 webinar on What the Country Offers the Wellness-Minded Traveler.
Overall, how has Argentina successfully managed the spread and what new policies and procedures (if any) have been implemented since Covid-19?
Since Nov. 1, 2021, Argentina reopened its border to tourists coming from all over the world, and without having to quarantine upon their arrival. Current requirements for those wishing to travel to Argentina can be found here: argentina.travel/en/page/we-reopen-borders-for-neighboring-countries.
Has the destination adopted new tourism philosophies or developed a new strategy for a post-pandemic world?
In 2020, the WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) awarded Argentina the Safe Travels stamp, aimed at contributing to a responsible and safe recovery of tourism. The stamp combines the various protocols, standards and processes under the WTTC Protocols for Global Tourism and has been approved by the following entities:
– World Health Organization (WHO)
– World Tourism Organization (WTO)
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The WTTC has given INPROTUR the power to grant the stamp to third parties (provinces, cities, corporations and organizations) within Argentina. To date, 23 Argentine provinces, over 250 cities and more than 3 thousand companies have already been awarded the stamp.
What is the destination’s position on responsible, sustainable and regenerative tourism?
According to Lautaro Erratchu, president of Argentina’s national parks administration, tourism and recreation is strategic to the sustainable development of Argentina. “With the new protected areas that have been designated, tourism is conceived as a source of generating ‘green’ jobs for local communities and an income redistributor, as well as a pillar for recognizing and caring for the country’s rich biodiversity.”
In relation to tourism, most protected areas with public use have a management plan (or are in the process of developing one) carried out in a participatory manner while contemplating environmental issues including carrying capacity, permitted activities and regulations with important environmental requirements for tourism providers.
What type of visitors does the destination attract?
Argentina typically attracts travelers from Spain, the U.K., North America and other Latin American countries. The abundance of natural attractions and the option for adventure activities continues to be a main draw. The results of the country’s International Tourism Survey regarding Nature Tourism showed that from 2017 to 2019 the nature product has had a sustained permanence in the motivational interest of tourists and even a growth in the participation of nature tourism. Between 2015 and 2019, the average stay for nature-focused travelers was 15 nights, while those not focused on experiencing nature booked fewer nights.
What is the best time to travel?
Thanks to its year-round temperate climate, Argentina can be pleasurable to visit year-round, and nature enjoyed throughout all seasons. But for clients seeking winter activities travel between the end of June and the beginning of September is best.
For more information, visit argentina.travel/en.
Don’t miss “Wellness Looms Large for 2022.”
Recommend magazine has partnered with the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) to bring you monthly columns to help travel advisors sell wellness travel. For more information on the WTA, visit wellnesstourismassociation.org.