Launched last month and running four times a week (and mostly overnight), Norwegian Airlines' new direct flights from Gatwick to Buenos Aires offer a more affordable means of getting to Argentina than British Airways’ existing services – with return fares start from £589. The planes, all 787 Dreamliners, include a Premium section with recliner seats and 140cm of legroom for those who need more space to sleep.
But where to go in Argentina? What are the must-see places?
The capital’s most persistent tag – ‘the Paris of Latin America’ – is misleading. For while there is plenty of French-style architecture here, and a European flavour to the landscaped parks, and well-run infrastructure, you’ll also find fiery South American passion amid in football stadiums and tango theatres. Teatro Colón is one of the world’s great opera houses, while antique-hawking San Telmo, mural-covered La Boca and hipster Palermo are must-visit barrios. Be sure to try the world-leading steak and track down Evita’s mausoleum, and leave room in your bag for calorific jars of dulce de leche.
Meet the world’s largest waterfall system; so large, in fact, that they span two miles of the Brazilian-Argentinian border. You can view them from either side – but while Brazil’s section has the sole sightseeing flights, Argentina boasts the lion’s share of territory and much more beauty. You can take the Tren Ecológico de la Selva to the summit, or walk a network of boardwalks along the 14-cascade Devil’s Throat curtain. Then there’s the walkway to the mouth of Iguazu’s mightiest fall of all: the Garganta del Diablo.
Beyond steak and dulce de leche, Argentina’s most famous gastronomic item is malbec. The red grape is harvested across country, but its oenological hub is the western province of Mendoza, which makes use of Andean foothills. Nearest to those snow-capped Andes is the Uco Valley, which is currently producing Argentina’s most acclaimed tipples. Drive its Provincial Route 89, aka the Wine Road, and then Route 40, and stop at terraced vineyards and wineries for tastings, art galleries and delicious meals.
Made famous by Bruce Chatwin’s cult 1977 travel book, vast Patagonia is 1.5 times bigger than the UK, and stretches from Argentina to Chile. The Argentinian expanse offers three typical offerings: whale-watching between Welsh settlements along the coast; trekking, trout-fishing, camping or driving the endless forested lakes either side of Bariloche; and hiking to colossal massif and giant ice fields in captivating Los Glaciares National Park. Gawping is guaranteed; this is nature let off the leash – fearsome and fabulous.