After visiting the Iguazu falls on the smaller side of Brazil for a day we caught the public bus across the border into Argentina for a night in Puerto Iguazu. Feeling like we were in the scene out of an old western, this border town, with chunks of meat sizzling over open fires in most restaurants and cowboys aimlessly loitering around, we immediately fell in love with Argentina. Visiting this side of the falls is very different in its perspective and has much more to explore but there really isn’t a way to define the ‘best’ side. Both have their own natural charm and beauty and visiting both was certainly something we did not regret. Here we took a boat in close to the water thundering over the falls and walked up to the stunning Devil’s Throat. If you have the time, we cannot recommend enough doing the falls from both Brazil and Argentina.
Another short flight to the capital city, Buenos Aires, where our love of this country deepened. It has a rich European feel to it and with a love for tango and nightlife, the city is alive day and night. We stayed in the beautiful suburb of Palermo, a short walk or taxi into the city but with more than enough bars and restaurants on your doorstep. If we had the time, and hindsight, I’d have stayed in here for a week. There is so much to do and just meandering the beautiful streets sipping coffee in the many shops could fill a few days. We visited La Recoleta Cemetery, first visiting the crypt of Eva Peron, or Evita, as she’s better know. The sheer size and scale of both the cemetery and many of the mausoleums within it will keep you intrigued about the past of those you never even knew for endless hours. We also took a ride on the Line A train, the oldest line on the underground opening in 1913, which was a wonderful experience.
Wining and dining in Argentina is in abundance and most evenings for us began with a cheese or charcuterie board in our hotel courtyard with a matching wine from the local region. We took in a tango show one evening as was recommended by the hotel, which was much smaller and more intimate than some of the larger tourist shows. Buenos Aires is food and wine heaven and no trip is complete without savouring some freshly barbequed meats paired with a local Malbec.
If you have a day to spare, then why not take the hour train ride out to Tigre as we did and head to Parque de la Costa theme park. Whilst it is fairly small, it does have a handful of rollercoasters and rides and the best thing is we didn’t encounter a single queue. It made for a fun morning and we then headed off on a boat trip across the Lujan River and into the back waters of Rio Sarmiento. We had lunch at a beautiful little riverside restaurant before following a map they gave us to hike the surrounding parks. A great way to break up being in the city and see some more of what this beautiful country has to offer.
Heading out of Buenos Aires, we were collected from our hotel to be taken to our next stop, a night on a horse riding ranch, only an hour out of the city. Arriving at the ranch we were taken to our cabin which looked like it was straight out of a 1950’s western. It was perfect and the entire setting truly made you feel like you were on an old ranch complete with cowboys. We spent the morning riding through the countryside and exploring this dramatic scenery before arriving back at the ranch for lunch. For the meat lovers in the group we were in heaven. They had prepared a slow cooked BBQ meat feast, complimented with an array of sides. It was without doubt the best BBQ meat we tasted all trip. The afternoon was spent with more riding and exploring before heading back to the ranch for an evening of food and wine as we watched the sun set. No matter how experienced you were at riding they made you feel comfortable and looked after everyone in the group. With several of the staff riding with the group they ensured the less confident had someone with them at all times and those who had ridden before could race off up front with another guide before meeting up at points of interest along the ride. The ranch was and incredibly peaceful sitting and sitting around an open fireplace in the evening while watching the brilliant stars was a truly memorable experience. This was one part of our trip that we would say everyone should include on any trip to Buenos Aires.
We headed off the next morning to make our way back to Buenos Aires to catch a flight for the next part of our adventure, Peru and hiking to Machu Picchu.
To be continued…..