Tag Archives: tango

Guide to Argentina: Buenos Aires

The capital of Argentina is composed of a series of central barrios (neighborhoods). From the business district of the Centre to the wild tango clubs of Palermo, Buenos Aires has something for everyone.

Take an Empanada-Making class. Professional, local chefs will teach you all you need to know about the classic Argentine empanada. Afterward, pair the fruits of your labor with succulent Malbec wine, juicy steak, sweet biscuits and mate. Whether you’re an expert hobbyist or a novice, local chefs and guides with delight you with their local knowledge of cuisine and customs.

photo by Jameson Fink

Go on a food-themed walking tour or a pub crawl. Meet the friendly locals in popular, hip neighborhoods of San Telmo, Recoleta or Palermo. Led by an expert guide, you’ll be introduced to the best the culinary world has to offer. For a daring traveler, we recommend black pudding, liver, and sweetbreads.

photo by Pablo Dodda

Sample the drinks. Meet a local sommelier at a wine bar, and learn all there is to know about Argentina’s famous wines from Mendoza. Sample wine that has been carefully paired with tapas—crackers, cold cuts, cheese, and nuts. For a drink, sample the ingenious cocktails and browse through the 3,000 list of Argentinean reds and whites.

photo by Sergio Aguirre

Head to the Temaiken Zoo. Spend a day trip to the zoo just outside Buenos Aires. See animals from all over—sharks, white tigers, hippos, tapirs, alligators, penguins and more. Go on a Tuesday, when tickets are 50% off. Check out the Interpretive Centers, where audiovisual presentations educate the visitor on biology, the ecosystem, and the importance of nurturing the environment.

Lose yourself among the Dead. Take a sobering trip to the labyrinth of tombs and mausoleums of Cementario de la Recoleta. This is a necropolis of the good, bad and beautiful—from presidents, Nobel Prize winners, the granddaughter of Napoleon, and others. Pay homage to Eva Peron’s grave, then head to her collection of costumes, jewelry, and paintings on exhibit at the Museum Evita.

photo by Chimpanz APe

Learn to Tango. You know you want to, and where else but the birthplace of the dance? Spend an evening at a Milongas, or tango club, and admire the masters from afar or join in with the novices. Combine a tango show with delicious cuisine at the beautiful Palazzo Rossini. To see the cream of the crop, try the Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso. To delve more into the history, visit the Museo Casa Carlos Gardel, which celebrates tango’s first superstar.

photo by Gustavo Brazzalle

Sip at a Café. Café in Buenos Aires is nothing like watery American coffee—it’s thick, rich espresso. Nibble on a succulent medialuna (Argentinian croissant) while you dive into the liquidated warmth of freshly roasted beans. Delve into the countless pastries served here, from biscuits, cakes, ice cream, crepes, bonbons, flan—and the king of them all, the dulce de leche.

photo by Phillip Capper

Have a Picnic. Buenos Aires is a city of parks and picnics. Head over to the Reserve Ecological Constanera Sur and chow down on your lunch while enjoying the skittering iguanas, 200 species of birds and that oddest of fauna, the jogger. Moonlight tours can be booked ahead of time.

Marvel at Masters—Old and New. Head over to the art exhibits and galleries of Recoleta and Malba. Take a tour through the Coleccion Constantini, which boasts impressive pieces from Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Tarsila do Amaral. Fashionistas might discover funky boutiques in Palermo Viego. For the antiques collector, your best bet is hunting for relics in the bric-a-bracs of San Telmo and its main street, the Calle Defensa.

Willamette International Travel can arrange some of these experiences beforehand, and connect you with locals who live and breathe the city of Buenos Aires. Ask us about Marisa, our dedicated, personable tour guide whose vast knowledge and love of her city have charmed many of our clients.

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Filed under Argentina, Itinerary, South America

Welcome to a Month of… Argentina!

For the next few weeks, the Willamette International Blog will be focusing on one of our favorite countries in South America: Argentina. Much more than just a country of gauchos, beef, nostalgic sophistication, and wine country, Argentina is currently enjoying a booming tourist industry while keeping its cultural identity first and foremost. For this reason, many travelers are turning their attention to the nation of tango for a unique and treasured delight.

Today, let’s look at some of the highlights of a trip to Argentina:

Trek Patagonia. There are numerous trips that trek around the gorgeous mountain range of Patagonia. Trek through the Torres del Paine, the French Valley, the W trek, and the stunning, cracking Perito Moreno Glacier. Want to embark on a 2-week camping trip? Or do you prefer to stay in hotels between legs? Our vendors will accommodate you depending on your preferences and style of travel.

Visit Iguassu Falls. As mentioned in a previous post, Iguassu Falls is a stunning experience not to be missed on your trip to Argentina. Behold one of the fantastic natural wonders of the world. Ride on a speedboat across the falls from below and climb up to the hilltops to gaze on them from above.

Watch Live Tango.  Head over to the bohemian district of San Telmo in Buenos Aires to watch some local tango. Enjoy some fine Mendoza wine from a table of a milonga, or tango salon. Events are nightly, professionals and amateurs alike join in a social ritual that frames the Argentinian heritage. The experience is moving, dynamic, and enhanting—and is a great authentic highlight. If you’re brave, there are ample opportunities to join in or take lessons.

Pilgrimage to Gaiman. One of the few surviving Welsh colonies, Gaiman is a bubble of Welsh culture and history along the Chubut River. Drink tea with the descendants, walk around Welsh-style houses, and peek into the Museo Historico Regional and at its bilingual documents (Welsh-Spanish).

Visit the End of the World. Conclude your amazing trip to Argentina in Ushuaia, the tip of the world. Trek through the cold, dramatic beauty of Tierra del Fuego National Park. Enjoy the rugged glacier peaks and the colorful port town that once was a missionary outpost and then a prison.

Ride a Funicular in Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a charming, picturesque town by the sea. Wander through the labyrinthine streets, enjoy the pastel colors of the houses, and visit Pablo Neruda’s home.

Cruise to Chile. Cruise down the Chilean fjords with one of our tours. You can go for the day or spend more time in the rainforest and mountain beauties of Chile. Pass languidly by fishing settlements and amazing glaciers.

Glimpse Penguins in Punta Tumbo. Witness thousands of penguins on the beaches. Visit during nesting season to see the eggs hatch all over the place into tiny fluffy heads!

Horseback Ride in Salta. Head over to Salta, a bit off the beaten track. Visit the Canoa de Quebrada for the unusual rock formations and try red wine ice cream at Cafayate. This region is also famous for its pink sand, cacti, and a white wine called Torrontes.

Travel the Wine Roads of Mendoza.  Drive through the rustic roads of Mendoza and visit wineries. Nearly 80 wineries offer formal tours and tastings.

Ride a Train through the Clouds. The Tren a las Nubes will take you 434 km (269 mi) through tunnels, turns, bridges, and a viaduct. Cross the multicolored Lerma valley through the deep canyons of the Quebrada del Toro and the desert plateau of La Puna.

Several of our Agents have traveled and loved Argentina. Call us at 800.821.0401 or email info@wittravel.com for more details.

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Filed under Argentina, Features, South America