Friday, 16 December 2011 2:55 PM
Are you interested in gap year travel but unsure where to go? Why not consider South America, and in particular Argentina? This country has so much to offer, from awe-inspiring wilderness to lively cities, so you will certainly be kept busy for the duration of your trip.
Choosing to take a South America gap year really allows you to immerse yourself in a culture you may never have experienced before - and nowhere is this truer than Buenos Aires.
Here you can spend your evenings dancing in the street or taking a tango class so you have something special you can do when you return home to remember the country by. If dancing is not your sport of choice, why not check out a football game? Soccer is as important to the residents here as it is back in the UK.
Shopaholics will also be kept busy during their time in the city, whether you are looking for souvenirs and handmade gifts at the street markets or trying your luck at one of the boutiques to see if you can pick up any designer bargains.
In the evenings, make you way to one of the bars for cocktails before heading on to a bustling club. Buenos Aires is famous for its vibrant nightlife so you must make sure you experience it.
To get more from your time in Argentina, you could use your stay in the city as an opportunity to take some Spanish classes. Once you have got to grasp with the basics, you may feel comfortable heading out further afield to explore more of what the country has to offer.
Argentina deserves to be a firm favourite with adventure travel enthusiasts. The landscape here is incredibly diverse, with the climate changing from sub-tropical in the north to sub-Antarctic at the southernmost tip.
On the nation's border with Brazil you can view one of the most memorable sights you will have ever seen - Iguazu Falls. Gallons of water cascade over a small slit in the riverbed, hurtling down a tree-covered cliff towards the river below.
However, it is in the south of the country that you can see some of the most breathtaking vistas.
The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego will feel almost as though you are on another planet, as it is as far south as you can go in South America. Keep an eye out for the tiny hummingbirds that live here, along with the colonies of penguins.
If wildlife is your passion, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Valdes Peninsula is not to be missed. This area plays an incredibly important role in conservation and is home to both elephant and fur seals, along with penguins.
Southern right whales migrate to this coast every year to mate and give birth to their calves, while you could also catch sight of orcas playing in the waters, which you are certain to never forget.
The village of El Chalten could be another enjoyable stop, particularly if you want to meet other outdoors lovers who are on a gap year in Argentina. The community stands in the shadow of the towering Fitz Roy and you might wish to tackle part of it during your visit.
Elsewhere, Los Glaciares National Park will provide you with some vistas that you will not forget in a hurry, like the famous glacier of Perito Moreno, where sheets of ice can come crashing off the cliff face into the water at any moment.
With so much on offer, you are sure to never forget your time in Argentina.