Some say that Argentina is “all continents in one”, a statement hard to argue with. The variety of landscapes is, indeed, staggering: subtropical rainforest in the north, sky-hugging Andean peaks along its backbone, windswept desert plains in Patagonia plus polar glaciers in its southern tip. Finally, the cosmopolitan metropolis of Buenos Aires with its passionate tango scene can claim to be the doorway to South America.
I’ve criss-crossed Argentina twice but I never tire of Patagonia. The coast brims with life: there are penguin and sealion colonies, dolphins, whale breeding grounds. The interior may be a dry, interminable desert, but it’s not featureless. Canyons suddenly appear by the highway; startled guanacos and rheas run away; multicoloured outcrops pop up every now and again. Plus there is nothing more spectacular than driving up to the Andes, with the vegetation changing at every corner, from low pampas grass to soaring Southern beeches.