The Best of Argentina
The sound of tango, the smell of perfectly grilled steaks and the aroma of Malbec has always beckoned me to Argentina and as a newly married woman, my husband and I decided to head to Argentina for our honeymoon. Both with demanding work schedules, we had to pack in a lot of action in a short amount of time. Although we only had two weeks, we tried to create a scheduale where we were able to experience the Best of Argentina. While two weeks is never enough time to experience a country with careful flight planning, we were able to get a great taste of Argentina. We headed all over the country, venturing into the dense forests of the Iguazu waterfall region, the chilly glacier’s of Patagonia, the natural beauty of Torres Del Paine in Chile, the lively streets of Buenos Aires and the relaxing, vineyards of Mendoza.
Day 1- 4 Buenos Aires : Fly into Buenos Aires and spend a few days exploring this beautiful Latin American city with a European twist
- Visit the colourful, tango dancing neighborhood of La Boca and if you’re lucky you will get a chance to take in a game of the La Boca juniors at La Bombonera stadium for Argentina’s most popular football (soccer) team.
- For a fantastic hole in the wall, try a U2 favourtie at El Obrero.
- Hit up San Telemo’s antique shops and if you are in B.A. on a Sunday make sure you head to San Telemo for its antique market
- Window shop in the high-end neighborhood of Recoleta and get spooked in the above-ground Cementerio de Recoleta.
- Take in a local lunch of stews and empanadas at Cumana.
- Stay and party in the trendy neighborhood of Palermo. Go for a pub or boutique crawl in Palermo Viejo.
- There are so many tasty restaurants in Palermo, but a visit to Buenos Aires would not be complete without trying the rib-eye at La Cabrera - don’t forget to try their provoleta de queso de cabra (fried cheese). Another stand out in Palermo is the Asian-Peruvian fusion resto Osaka – the sweet and sour prawns are delicious.
- For a great deal stay at Palermo Viejo Bed and Breakfast where the rooms are simple, clean and the owner provides his guests with tons of off-the-beate-track info.
- Party the night away at Crobar or Niceto
- Indulge in one of Buenos Aires’ most expensive steak houses at Cabana Las Lilas in Puerto Madero. If you have the time, close to Plaza de Mayo, is Cafe Tortoni, a 19th century cafe that was the meeting spot of writers and artists and now houses an authentic tango show.
- If you are in Buenos Aires on a Monday make sure you check out the massive bongo party at La Bomba de Tiempo at the Konex building. Every Monday night hippies and those that love to grove to lively music come out to shake it with one of Buenos Aires’ best percussion groups.
- For a break away from the city, visit one of the many beautiful Estancia’s that are less than an hour away but make you feel like you are miles from civilization. For a special treat, stay at the all-inclusive Estancia Villa Maria. The rate includes gourmet breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, house wine plus the use all facilities (hours carriage rides and horse back riding)
Day 5-8: Fly to El Calafate, Patagonia
- Spend a day trekking the Perito Moreno Glacier with Hielo Adventures 7 hour Big Ice Trek.
- Spend a day in Chile’s windy yet incredibly picturesque national park of Torres del Paine with South Road.
- Chow down on La Tablita’s lomo (but make sure you have a reservation). For an excellent wine bar try out Casmiro Bigua
- Stay at the stylish yet affordable America del Sur.
Day 9-11 Iguazu Falls
- Spend a day at Parque Nacional Iguazu’s more than 275 cascading waterfalls
- If you have the time and the visa visit the Brazilian side of the falls to view the falls from an entirely different perspective
- Stay at Hotel La Sorgette, a homey posada close to the bus terminal
- Splurge at La Rueda for a 6oo gram lomo or for a more affordable option visit the feria in the north part of town for delicious stuffed olives, cured meats, cheeses and cold beer.
Day 12-14 Mendoza
- Spend a day or two biking/driving around the heart of the Malbec region (this can be arranged through your hotel/ hostel or through one of the travel agencies in Maipu). Some winery highlights include:
- Kaiken where the owner Eduaro Alemparte who works on both sides of the Andes makes bold, powerful wines, using an old school wine making process
- Archaval Ferrer a petite powerhouse known for the inky award winning Malbecs
- Head over Terrazas los Andes for their focused varietals
- Norton winery’s massive, modern operation; and
- Mendel, a charming boutique winery. Make sure to taste the winery’s award winning Malbec-Cabarnet Sauvignon blend
- White water raft on Class II-IV rapids on Rio Mendoza with Argentine Rafting
- Horseback ride at the foothills of Aconocagua or Tupungato with the reputable Cordon del Plata company.
- Stay in the peaceful town of Charcas de Coria at finca d’adalgisa or for a cheaper option stay in downtown Mendoza at Hostel Alamo which is a converted mansion and its large common area makes it easy to meet other travelers.
- For a budget friendly set menu in downtown Mendoza check out Zinc.
- Splurge at Ruca Malen a winery on the outskirts of Mendoza. They offer a 5 course lunch with wine pairings and breathtaking views of the Andes
While its hard to experience a country in a short time, you can truly experience the beauty and the best of Argentina in two weeks.