I am thinking of doing a 4 week trip to Argentina in January/February 2006. Which areas/cities would you recommend bearing in mind that I don't want the temperature to drop below 20 degrees daytime (I get enough of that in Denmark!), nothing too primitive, I like cultural experiences (museums, music etc.)and prefer to stay in a few good places for some days rather than riding a bus for several days just to be able to say I've been everywhere.
My wife and I did a 3 month backpack of South America beginning late January, and the places we visited in Argentina were Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires and Mendoza.
Iguazu Falls were awesome and an absolute MUST, and you could cross the bridge to view the Falls from the Brazilian side.
Buenos Aires was great. Recoleta cemetery for Evita's mausoleum, Carminito for artistry, San Telmo for Tango and the Museo de Belles Artes has a fantastic collection of Impressionist Art (Gaugin, Monet, Manet, Cezanne, etc), and which you can walk up to till your eyes are 6 inches from the canvas. The paradilla? restaurants are very good value, and you can eat as much meat (beef of course, chicken, etc), vegetables and salad as you want for a very cheap set price. Argentinian red wines are also very good.
We took the fast ferry from Buenos Aires over to Montevideo in Uruguay, spent 1 night there then bused to Colonia del Sacramento for 2 nights. Colonia is a lovely old Portuguese town. Then we took the ferry from Colonia back to Buenos Aires. You might want to think about doing that.
We flew into Mendoza from Buenos Aires on Feb 18th. Mendoza is a beautiful city at the foothills of the Andes, and is the heart of Argentina's wine region.
Mendoza's real REAL Wine Festival starts on the first Saturday of March, but there was plenty going on in town when we were there, with food stalls, wine tasting, outdoor barbecues in the main plaza (have a great pic of the chef dripping fag ash and sweat on an uncooked beef carcase as he was trimming it before sticking it on the barbecue rack), local arts and craft stalls (some stuff was mighty good), local and national Argentinian bands playing outdoors in the main Plaza on a warm evening and the weather was ideal (about 25-30 degrees every day).
From Mendoza we did a one day hike in the Andean foothills which was very enjoyable.
Know a great and cheap outdoor pizza restaurant around the main plaza in Mendoza where a big feed and a LARGE beer (Quilmes) cost about $7 Australian (about 3 british quid?).
I believe it's a very University city, cause most of the population seems to be in their early twenties.
Anyway, you should really enjoy Mendoza.
We want to visit Salta on our next trip to Argentina for the train in the clouds, and Tucuman may also be on the cards.
I believe Bariloche and further south is beautiful, but coming from Western Australia, I much prefer a warm to hot climate, so gave Patagonia and the Lake district of Argentina a miss.
You could fly into BA, check out Uruguay for a few days, fly to Iguazu for the Falls, bus west through Che's birthplace to Salta, then down to Tucuman, Cordoba, Mendoza and back to BA.
Four weeks should give you plenty of time to do that and at a leisurly pace.
If you are going for warm areas North Argentina will do just fine:
Iguazu: Iguazu Falls, exuberant and amazing landscape, a can't miss spot, truly. The National Park has many different Falls, The Garganta del Diablo Fall is the main one, you can takle boat trips that get really close to the falls themselves, there's a boat trip to an island you can't miss.
Salta: Train to the clouds, wonderful trip, incredible view. This is also a cutural area, you find indigenous museums and art, shows.
Jujuy: Quebrada de Huamhuaca and Cerro de los siete colores are great places to visit.
Buenos Aires: intense cultural like (theatre, street performers, museums, music in the open air) and many historic and picturesque spots to visit. Don't miss: caminito street, san telmo, a concert in the Colon Theatre (I'm a music freak and that place has great acoustics), a play in the San Martin Theatre or in the Cervantes Theatre (if you understand Spanish). The San Martin Theatre has a really good modern dance group, I saw Camina Burana by them and it was really good.
Museums: Bellas Artes, Fernandez Blanco, Modern Art, Design, Malba.
Cordoba: mountains and small rivers, waterfalls and streams, a beauty. Here you can see San Marcos Sierra (A true hippie town, much popular culture and incredible people) and Capilla del monte (home of the famous uritorco mountain, I'll say you can do trekking there, there's a lot of alternative culture there)
Mendoza: mountains too and an incredibly clean capital city (you wont find one paper on the streets) wine tours are very good there, kind of like thematic tourism. They are very interesting.
South Argentina is amazing but you will feel a tiny bit of cold, temperatures in summer go from 10º to 25º. Anyway if you are into culture Bariloche is the place for you, they always hold concerts and musical festivals there...(Puerto Madryn, San Martin de los Andes, Esquel, Ushuaia are not bad either only cold)
Much Luck for you!!!!!!