Argentina Vs Brazil: A South American Head-to-Head

Argentina vs Brazil

Argentina Vs Brazil is never going to be an easy choice. These are two of the big draws of South America. They each pull in millions of travelers every year with their mix of snow-capped mountains and wild seas, buzzy cities and rich history.

On the one hand, there’s Argentina. A land of Gaucho cattle raisers and tango-dancing lovers, it’s famed for Patagonia and the lovely lakes beyond Bariloche. Then there’s Brazil, where glassy surf rolls into the shore and vibrant carnival towns like Rio never, ever sleep.

We can see why you might need help deciding which one to visit this year, which is precisely why we’ve put together this guide. It’s Argentina Vs Brazil in a whole host of categories, including how easy it will be to travel there, the sort of beaches you get, the natural attractions, and the cities. Let’s begin…

Argentina Vs Brazil for ease of travel

Buenos Aires Argentina
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We’ll guess that you’re going to be flying to either Brazil or Argentina, since the only way in from land is on long-distance buses or via the Pan-American Highway. The good news is that both these places have large airports and loads of connections to the USA and Europe on flag-carrying airlines. However, Brazil has considerably more options, since it’s got more airports – the major hubs in São Paulo and Rio are joined by smaller arrival points in Natal, Recife, and Fortaleza.

The busiest arrival airport in Argentina is the Ezeiza Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires. That now hosts a good array of links to and from cities in the US, and others in France, Spain, Italy, and the UK. You can also jet into Mendoza, for the winelands, or even Perito Moreno, which is seen as the gateway to Argentinian Patagonia. Just expect flights to be a touch longer to here than to Brazil, since it’s further south overall.

Winner: Brazil. It’s got more flight options and is closer to most departure points.

Argentina Vs Brazil for cities and towns

Rio de Janeiro Brazil
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City slickers in Argentina are sure to be wowed by enthralling Buenos Aires. A city raised on the wide Río de la Plata riverway, it’s got a history that reaches back some 500 years. The main sights are the grand district of Recoleta and upscale Palermo, the first for its haunting cemetery, the latter for its swinging tango joints. Don’t miss Córdoba, the capital of the Pampas, or Mendoza, the entry point to Argentina’s famous wine regions – both have their own historic cores and draws.

All that said, there’s really nothing that can prep you for the buzz and energy of Rio de Janeiro. One of the most famous metropolises on the globe, it positively fizzes with life. Hit the beach strips of Copacabana to party the night away with a pina colada in hand. Go to Ipanema to hop bossa nova jazz joints. Then there’s carnival – wild, Rio carnival! It’s not the capital, though. That honor goes to colossal São Paulo, while the wave-bashed city of Florianopolis is generally seen as the surf and digital nomad hub.

Winner: Brazil.

Argentina Vs Brazil for climate and weather

Argentinian mountains
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Brazil is much further north than Argentina. In fact, the Equator even crosses the State of Ampa in the north. The upshot? The weather and the climate are altogether more tropical in these parts. You can expect it to be balmy virtually all year round.

The hottest time of the calendar also coincides with the peak season. That runs from November to March, and sees regular daytime temperatures in the 80s and the 90s – great for hanging out on the beaches. There are regions with nuances that you’ll have to watch out for. The Amazon has a wet season from October to April, for example, and the same goes for the Pantanal.

Argentina is more changeable. In the far north of the country, you can catch subtropical warmth much like you get in Brazil – around the Iguazu Falls and the Parque Nacional Iberá. Ranging south, that will slowly become more oceanic or continental, meaning four seasons come into play.

By the time you reach popular Patagonia, you’re looking at winters heavy with snow (there are even some fantastic ski resorts on the menu) and summers of mid-70s F with lower rainfall (top for hiking).

Winner: Draw. These nations are just different on the climate front. It’s as simple as that.

Argentina Vs Brazil for food

South American food
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You’ll probably be surprised to find just how similar Brazil and Argentina are when it comes to food. Both lay claim to being the meat hub of South America – sorry veggies. BBQ skewers, grilled meats, and smoked ribs are all the rage. However, it’s surely Argentina that wins out there, largely on account of its long-held Gaucho tradition. They raise some of the best beef in the world, they say, which you should sample in a vintage Buenos Aires steakhouse.

Other dishes to get stuck into in the region include empanadas, a sort of stuffed pasty that can be either savory or sweet, and ceviche, a seafood salad that’s macerated in vinegar, originally from Peru to the west. Argentina also deserves a mention for its top-quality wines – the region of Mendoza makes some of the world’s most sought-after reds.

Winner: Argentina.

Argentina Vs Brazil for adventure and natural landscapes

Andes Patagonia
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Here’s a tough one. Brazil hosts one of the world’s largest rainforests in the Amazon, so you can imagine the sort of incredible adventures that beckon there. Intrepid boat trips up the river that carves through its center can reveal lush valleys filled with pumas and crocodiles and more. To the south of that is the Pantanal, an endless wetland that’s got booming biodiversity. Plus, there’s the coastline, which hits a zenith in Florianopolis for us, offering white-sand bays and surf waves galore.

Thing is, Argentina has an ace up its sleeve here: Patagonia. Argentine Patagonia is unquestionably one of the world’s true adventure meccas. It rises all the way to the twisted mountaintops of the Los Cuernos and the Torres del Paine, where treks like the O Trek and the W Trek are multi-day highland adventures you’ll never forget. This is also the land of the Perito Merino glacier and the fragmented end of the continent at Tierra del Fuego.

Winner: Argentina.

Argentina Vs Brazil for beaches

White sand beach Brazil
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Argentina does have beaches – it has 2,900 miles of coastline, after all. However, they tend to be pretty rugged affairs, running down the sides of the rolling pampas in a dash of barren brown sand interspersed with rocky tors. The main resort areas are in and around the city of Mar del Plata, but they can get busy in the peak summer months. You will also find some lake beaches to enjoy up in the Andes around the town of Bariloche.

Then comes Brazil. The beach options here are endless. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that the country has the best array of beaches in the whole of South America. The obvious place to start is on the happening urban sands of Rio. Ipanema and Copacabana combine there to offer perhaps the most party-mad stretches on the planet (sorry Haad Rin!). Then there’s Florianopolis, a town kissed by world-class surf breaks galore. Meanwhile, states like Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará have tropical beaches under equatorial sun further north.

Winner: Brazil

Argentina Vs Brazil for nightlife

Beach Rio de Janeiro
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There’s going to be nightlife like you’ve never seen before in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro could probably win this category for the country on its own. It’s a pumping party city all year round, but gets truly OTT once annually with the coming of the sleepless carnival. The main districts to know are Ipanema – for cool jazz joints – and Copacabana – the original. The cities of Brasilia, São Paulo, and Fortazela are also known for their pumping after-dark scenes.

In Argentina, Buenos Aires is the home of the partying. The neighborhoods of Palermo and Balvanera stand out from the crowd there. They beckon with smoky tango halls and jazz bars that go on until the early hours. Leave the capital and there’s not all that much to speak of. Bariloche has some après ski in the winter. The far-flung Patagonian towns of El Calafate and El Chalten come with buzzy bars for the trekkers. But it’s no Brazil.

Winner: Brazil

Argentina Vs Brazil – our conclusion

Choosing between Argentina and Brazil isn’t going to be easy. We think both of these enthralling countries deserve a place on your bucket list. Brazil is probably better suited to partiers and beach lovers, since it has the climate for the coast and hosts Rio, the biggest party city on the planet. Argentina, with its pampas and Patagonia is the place for wild adventures into the Andes, and is probably a bit better for foodie travelers to boot.

Joseph

For more than 11 years, Joe has worked as a freelance travel writer. His writing and explorations have brought him to various locations, including the colonial towns of Mexico, the bustling chowks of Mumbai, and the majestic Southern Alps of New Zealand. When he's not crafting his next epic blog post on the top Greek islands or French ski resorts, he can often be found engaging in his top two hobbies of surfing and hiking.

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