Places we visited: Bariloche, El Calafate, Mendoza, Buenos Aires, Puerto Iguazu and
Colonia (Colonia is a small city in Uruguay, just a short ferry ride from Buenos Aires)
Length of stay: 27 days
High point: Taste testing chocolate from a handful of Bariloche's numerous chocolate
shops, standing in awe in front of the gigantic Perito Mereno glacier, watching pieces
of the glacier calve into the lake, donning crampons and climbing in and out of the
valleys, caves and crevices of the Perito Moreno glacier, witnessing and participating in
the passion of a Boca Juniors football (soccer) game, spending time with our friends
from San Francisco in Buenos Aires (Lisa, Lisa and Katie), the wonderful food in the
Palermo Viejo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, being bowled over by the power of
Low Point: When a guy went for our friend's neck in an attempt to rip off her necklace.
All other low points in Argentina pale in comparison to this one.
Local food/flavor: Bring on the steak! And don't forget the wine!! We really enjoyed
these staples of Argentinian cuisine. Other than that, the empanadas and pizza were
good, and our friends and us had the most delectable and delicious chocolate cake in
the whole wide world (I feel we can accurately judge that at this point) at Bar 6 in
Currency: Argentinian Peso
Unique Sights: Dozens of chocolate shops in one city (Bariloche), enjoying a glass of
scotch on the Perito Moreno glacier, seeing a hearing a massive piece of ice calve off
the Perito Moreno glacier and crash into the lake below, a truck full of futbol fans
driving wildly through the streets of El Calafate celebrating their teams' victory, seeing
one person walk over 20 dogs in Buenos Aires, the white lab coats that serve as
school uniforms for little kids (it looked like there were dozens of tiny doctors running
around the city), seeing grown men reduced to almost tears over the outcome of a
Boca Jr. game, the ugly, muddy brown color of the Rio Plata.
Purchases: Lots of chocolate and wine. All were enjoyed immediately!
Things we did:
- Planned to spend two days in Bariloche; however, after discovering the delights
of the city we decided to double our stay to four days.
- Pretended to be on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" as we browsed in
Bariloche's high-end silver, leather and wool shops and strolled by all the trendy
restaurants and lounges.
- Spent our money taste testing chocolate from a handful of Bariloche's many
chocolate stores, and washing it down with $3 bottles of Argentinian wine if it
was past 10am and rich, aromatic coffee if it was before 10am.
- Went on a day hike in Nahuel Huapi National Park which concluded at a beautiful
lake surrounded by mountains. Two friendly dogs joined us for every step of this
hike, including wading in the lake.
- Picnicked on the shore of lake Nahuel Huapi, which reminded us of our favorite
lake back home, Lake Tahoe. Both are glimmering blue and surrounded by
- Boarded a bus in Bariloche headed to El Calafate and did not get off for 47
HOURS! This was the longest bus ride of the trip by a long shot. I'd like to say
that we were enthralled the whole way by breathtaking scenery, but in reality
there was a whole lot of nothing to be seen. Oh--and our bus broke down twice.
- Arrived in El Calafate and spent the rest of our day stretching our legs after the
monster bus ride by walking through the small town.
- Spent a spectacular day at Perito Moreno glacier. First we viewed and
photographed the glacier from viewing platforms located across from the face of
the glacier. Then we donned crampons and spent two hours trekking on top of
the glacier, exploring the crevasses, caves and rivers that exist withing the folds
of blue and white ice. A truly incredible experience!
- Opted to fly back to Santiago rather than repeat our 47-hour bus ride, from
Santiago we took the bus to Mendoza, Argentina
- Enjoyed a day of wine tasting in the wineries outside of Mendoza
- Watched the parade of Mendoza's annual Harvest Festival, including floats
carrying each of the contestants of the Miss Mendoza pageant.
- Spent a day white water rafting and horseback riding in the mountains
- Dined outside as often as possible in a few of Mendoza's countless sidewalk
- Returned to Santiago to board a plane to Buenos Aires to begin our exploration
of eastern Argentina.
- Spent two days familiarizing ourself with the big city of Buenos Aires and lining
up an apartment to rent in the neighborhood of Palermo Viejo.
- Took a 20-hour bus to Puerto Iguazu (just a walk in the park compared to our
previous 47-hour trip) to see the massively powerful Iguazu Falls.
- Spent the first day viewing the waterfalls from the Argentina side. This side
provides up close views of the falls. We could not believe how much water
surges over "Garganta del Diablo" which means "the Devil's Throat". This is the
largest waterfall at Iguazu Falls.
- Got soaked while standing on the viewing platform above Garganta del Diablo
due to the mist emanating from this gigantic waterfall.
- Laughed like never before when we took a speed boat ride underneath one of
the huge waterfalls and received an intense power washing!
- Spent the second day viewing the waterfalls from Brazil which provides a
panoramic view of the falls. It was a clear and sunny day and we shared the
view with scores of tiny butterflies.
- Returned to Buenos Aires and spent two days at an apartment in the San Telmo
neighborhood. In between attempts to purchase tickets to the upcoming Boca
Jr.'s game we wandered through San Telmo's antique stores and kicked back in
the historical cafe's of "El Britanico" and "El Hipopotamo".
- Moved across town to our apartment in Palermo Viejo for the next 11 days.
- Welcomed our friends from San Francisco Lisa, Lisa and Katie to Buenos Aires.
We all caught up over ice cold Quilmes in Plaza Dorego.
- Attempted to scalp tickets to the Boca Jr. game on Sunday afternoon but called it
quits when a scalper refused to sell us his tickets because he felt it was unsafe.
Yes, a scalper refused the cash we had in hand because he felt it was unsafe.
- Were extremely thankful for the scalper's concern as our friend Katie barely
eluded a mugging attempt during our retreat from the stadium. A guy grabbed
her throat while trying to rip off her necklace.
- Listened to our stomach growl as we waited well over an hour for a table at a
steak restaurant in Palermo Viejo.
- Meandered along the rows and rows of mausoleums in Recoleta Cemetery,
including a visit to the family tomb of Eva Peron.
- Admired the fancy footwork of the tango dancers at Cafe Tortoni.
- Donned our least dirty clothes to join our friends at a few of the modern, stylish
bars and lounges in Palermo.
- Said "hasta luego" to our friends as they headed to Mendoza and we continued
to explore Buenos Aires.
- Smartened up and bought tickets in advance to the next Boca Jr. game.
- Soaked up the passion and energy of the fans at the Boca game, while enjoying
a great game between Boca Jr.'s and Colo Colo (from Santiago, Chile)
- Toured the Eva Peron museum to learn a bit about her
- Bought souvenirs in the touristy section of Boca
- Relaxed and caught up on our website in our incredibly comfortable budget
- Welcomed our friends back to Buenos Aires and then boarded a ferry across the
Rio Plata to the tranquil town of Colonia, Uruguay. The residents of Colonia do
not seem to get up until after noon so we had the town to ourselves from 10am
until about 1pm.
- Returned to Buenos Aires and took in a game of Buenos Aires' other major team,
River Plate. Witnessed an all out brawl in the stadium between two factions of
River Plate fans. We were even prevented from leaving the stadium after the
game by the police in order to let the rowdy fans clear out first.
- Said goodbye to Lisa, Lisa and Katie and boarded a plane to Sao Paulo, Brazil.