Every year, numerous travelers wonder if they are better to travel to Chile or Argentina. Both countries shares numerous similarities: the Andes, Patagonia, famous wine regions, and unique cities. No wonder it is hard to decide which of the two destinations is better. We asked our local experts in Chile and Argentina and the friendly people on Travelers.Live and compiled a lot of useful information which will help you with your decision.
Argentinian Patagonia or Chilean Patagonia
Mountain summits, glaciers and stunning landscapes – welcome to Patagonia! No wonder this area, which stretches both across Argentina and Chile, attracts numerous visitors from all over the world. However, Patagonia differs strongly depending if you are in Chile or Argentina.
Argentina Patagonia: The Los Glaciares National Park
This National Park is the kingdom of the glaciers and a UNESCO World Heritage Site for several decades. Here you can marvel at 2,600 square kilometers of ice and over 50 glaciers. Probably the most famous is the Perito Merino Glacier with a 60-meter high and 5 kilometers wide icing.
Chile Patagonia: Torres del Paine National Park
Lakes, forests, rivers, glaciers, mountains – what does the outdoor heart want more? Chile offers the green and hearty side of Patagonia. Hikers find a pronounced road network and breathtaking prospects.
|Windy & Dry||✅||❌|
|More popular with hikers||❌||✅|
Argentina or Chile – Puna Desert or Atacama Desert
Two special travel experiences await in the north-west of Chile and Argentina. The Argentinian Puna desert and the Chilean Atacama desert are some of the most remote and unique places in the world. Here’s what you need to know:
Puna Desert in Argentina: Mars Landscape on Earth
Specialty: Touristically unknown and very secluded - an insider experience
Landscape: Very varied - each valley offers different vegetation, color and appearance. There's Stones, sand, salt and more …
Highlight: Cono de Arita: a volcano in the middle of a salt plane
Why do we recommend this desert? More adventurous, less touristically known. Tours are only available with a private guide
Overnight stay: Few possibilities, far apart and very simple
Atacama Desert in Chile: the driest place in the world
Specialty: The driest place in the world
Landscape: Volcanic peaks, lagoons, salt lakes & unbelievable expanses
Highlight: Starry sky over the desert
Why do we recommend this desert? Large selection of tours & excursions. In addition, this desert is a lot bigger than the Puna desert in Argentina
Overnight stay: Numerous possibilities and in every comfort level
|Puna Desert in Argentina||Atacama Desert in Chile|
|Off the beaten path||✅||❌|
|More comfortable experience||❌||✅|
|Size of desert||❌||✅|
Chile or Argentina – Wine & Cuisine
Wine grows particularly well in both countries because of long days, the perfect altitude and excellent irrigation coming from the Andes. Both Chile and Argentina are particularly popular with wine and culinary connoisseurs. Here’s what you need to know.
Mendoza in Argentina
Argentina’s largest wine region is a popular stop for indulgence on a trip. The capital of the region – Mendoza – is the heart of the Argentine culinary scene. With a beautiful mountain panorama in the background, the culinary influences of South America come together here. Due to the great distance to Buenos Aires, a domestic flight is recommended for arrival.
The Colchagua Valley in Chile
Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere & Syrah – the most valued Chilean wines are produced here. Getting here is particularly easy, as the valley is only a few hours away from Santiago. No domestic flights are required and it is better connected than Mendoza.
Buenos Aires vs. Santiago – The cities in direct comparison
For you, travel, culture and the city belong together? Then you will find what you are looking for in both Chile and Argentina. Due to the international flight connection, you will probably aim for Santiago in Chile or Buenos Aires in Argentina. Fortunately, these cities are very different from one another, so their facets can serve as a basis for decision-making:
Buenos Aires – the lively metropolis
Buenos Aires and its immediate surroundings have almost the same population as all of Chile. No wonder Buenos Aires is a very lively city. Even so, the city is rich in culture and history. The city never sleeps and so Buenos Aires offers tango, architecture, inspiring museums, the best steaks in the country and a lively nightlife.
Santiago – the starting point for your trip
Compared to Buenos Aires, Santiago is more relaxed, quieter and more modern. If you have experienced the numerous cafes, museums and parks in the city, Santiago is also an ideal starting point for excursions. From here you can experience numerous facets of Chile on day trips – from wineries to national parks to the coasts.
Can there even be a winner between these two travel destinations? In the end, nuances decide which of these travel destinations is right for you. Would you like to experience the vastness of the Atacama Desert? The lively metropolis of Buenos Aires? Taste wine in Mendoza? Both countries offer you an unforgettable travel adventure .