Patagonia is Argentina's distinctive land within a land, a kaleidoscope of unforgettable sights. Nature-lovers can see penguins, whales and seals along the Peninsula Valdes' 400km of Atlantic shore. Inland, spot quirky creatures like guanacos (llama cousins), or gaze up at albatross and condors. The interior's vast plains are enlivened by lonely ranches and salt-flats, overlooked by shark-toothed peaks like the Fitz Roys, plus awesome glaciers like Perito Moreno, pushing a 5km-wide, 60m-high wall of ice.
Patagonia also has one of the world's great road trips on Ruta 40, cutting through steppes, passing jewel-like lakes and glacial mountains. And when you want a blast of human contact, stop in rustic mining and ranch towns - or quirky 19th century Welsh settlements like Gaiman and Dolovon. Add hippie-ish hangouts like El Chalten, a summertime hiking HQ with its own microbrewery and February trekking festival. Laidback Esquel, meanwhile, is starting point for the historic narrow-gauge La Trochita train trip.