Argentina extends approximately 3,650 km (2,268 miles) from tip to tail, and many of its attractions are hundreds of miles apart. So you can save a lot in terms of both time and money by carefully plotting your course.

Buenos Aires—the national capital—lies about two-thirds of the way up Argentina's eastern side, on the banks of the Río de la Plata. Three of the country's main draws are about 1,000 km (621 miles) away as the crow flies: Puerto Iguazú, the base for exploring Iguazú Falls, in northeastern Misiones Province; Salta, the gateway to the Andean Northwest; and Mendoza, in the wine region, near the Chilean border. Slightly farther, this time southwest of Buenos Aires, is Bariloche, the hub for northern Patagonia’s Lakes District. El Calafate, the hub for southern Patagonia and the launch pad for the Perito Moreno glacier, is a whopping 2,068 km (1,285 miles) from the city.

Most domestic flights operate from Buenos Aires, so to fly from the extreme south of the country to the extreme north you often have to change planes here. Flying within Argentina makes sense given these huge distances. That said, domestic flights are expensive, so many visitors opt for overnight sleeper buses for longer trips. A well-developed network of long-distance buses connects Buenos Aires with cities nationwide; buses also operate between many urban centers without passing through the capital.