Buenos Aires and Bariloche: Cosmopolitan and Country
What’s not to love about Argentina? Consider it a near-term destination with present-day prices that are very affordable for foreign visitors. We recommend an experience that spans the cosmopolitan in addition to a more rural excursion, starting in Buenos Aires and its many colorful neighborhoods, and continuing to the Lakes Region.
Buenos Aires is green city, filled with parks and broad boulevards, and easy to navigate by walking
through such interesting neighborhoods as San Telmo, Recoleta, Palermo and Puerto Madero. The neighborhood of La Boca is a great place to visit with a guide to see colorful and brightly painted houses and murals, mannequins dancing on the balconies, street people and artists lining the blocks.
San Telmo is known for its bars, restaurants, shops and Sunday flea market. This centrally located
neighborhood is lively at all hours and features a fantastic centrally located Mercado with food, drinks, music, eclectic shops and galleries. Palermo is an up-and-coming neighborhood, residential in feel, with boutique hotels and speakeasys that are very appealing to the younger crowd. You can find anything here!
Recoleta, however, is my personal favorite, with a French influence and upscale shops, great white-tablecloth restaurants and the best empanadas I have ever tasted. Recoleta is famous for its cemetery, where centuries of family crypts exist, some showier than others and made of beautiful stone, statues, precious metals, figurines and windows. Go early in the morning or late in the evening to get an unobstructed view of the resting place of Eva Peron, the most famous of Recoleta’s residents.
Tango shows abound throughout Buenos Aires, but I prefer the Puerto Madero area for the best Tango in town!
Next, I headed down to the Lakes/Northern Patagonia region of Argentina. Bariloche, a town of 140,000 residents during the summer months, is an area of rugged and breathtaking beauty on the shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi. There are a variety of hotels to choose from here; one of my favorites is Isla Victoria Lodge, a fantastic 22-room family-owned property, the only hotel on an island 20 minutes from shore by boat. Bariloche reminds me in ways of both Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and Lake Tahoe; a peaceful place with colorful mountains, blue skies, hiking and biking trails, boating and golfing, fishing, and even skiing in the winter months.
I adore Argentina, its people, its food, its beauty, its nature— I only wish everyone had a month to travel there, as it’s hard to choose just a couple of places within this diverse paradise.