If you're spending more than 4 or 5 days in Buenos Aires, you might want to consider taking a side trip -- especially if you're visiting in summer, when many Porteños have already fled town.

Just over the river in Uruguay is the day-tripper's paradise of Colonia, a UNESCO Heritage City, less than an hour from Buenos Aires by boat. And if you want to see more of Uruguay, visit the glamorous beach resort of Punta del Este, or the capital, Montevideo.

During the summer months, Porteños hit the beach resorts. Mar del Plata is Argentina's most popular resort area. So many people head here from Buenos Aires during this season that the capital can feel like a ghost town in certain neighborhoods. Calling Mar del Plata crowded is an understatement; more than eight million people visit this city over the course of the summer.

Beyond Buenos Aires's suburbs is the Tigre Delta, a beautiful complex of islands and marshland full of small bed-and-breakfasts, resorts, and adventure trails. You can take a day trip here on mass transit from Buenos Aires or make it an overnight stay. An easy train ride from Buenos Aires, it's perfect for a day trip or an overnight getaway.

The Pampas are the fertile plains surrounding Buenos Aires, and this is where you should go to find gaucho culture. The main town at the center of it all is San Antonio de Areco, about 1 1/2 hours north of the capital. Some visitors stay in town, while other stay at surrounding estancias (ranches).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.