Our agents travel to some pretty awesome destinations. When they return, our excitement to hear about their adventures is almost as great as their excitement is to share them. In ON LOCATION, they talk about the little nuances that make each place special. From Peru to South Africa, Switzerland, and Croatia, experience a fantastic second-hand journey and maybe take away some travel inspiration while you’re at it.
Allison has a bit of a bias, but I’m not arguing
Alright, tell me about Argentina.
Argentina is the best.
Uh, anything else?
The food is incredible.
Well there you have it folks, thanks for reading.
Well the people are warm, oh and feisty. The whole country is a giant mix of culture from Spain, Italy, and Germany. As for the food, well try everything. I especially like the beef, specifically the asado, and their slow cooked ribs (my favorite). They cut their ribs lengthwise, so that there is more meat. I also love their ice cream, Dulce de leche granizado ice cream is the best ice-cream ever.
What does Dulce de leche granizado translate to?
Caramel chocolate chip (laughs), but it’s different than here, I promise. Also the pasta is incredible; I would have homemade pastas all the time. All the food! They really don’t make your typical Hispanic beans and rice dish though.
What did you do in Buenos Aries?
They had a Tango festival, so they shut down the streets for live bands and hordes of dancers. Let’s see, what else. Oh, a cool thing to visit is the Recoleta Cemetery. There are tons of vaults and catacombs housing historically significant people, entertainers, and Noble Prize winners. Evita (Eva Perón) is buried there.
Oh, like the Madonna movie!
Yes, if that helps.
I digress, please continue.
I visited Palermo, which some call the Buenos Aries Hollywood. It attracts a ton of young people, so it’s kind of the hip place with boutiques, hotels, cafés, and other popular places. The Puerto Modero area has my favorite hotel, the Faena. It’s so cool and I really want to stay there sometime. It’s so dramatic with reds, blacks, and silver and velvet everywhere. Their dining room is all white with little red accents and the best part, the have unicorn heads lining the walls, white with red jeweled eyes.
It’s kind of amazing! It’s a Starck designed hotel.
I always thought Tony Stark would make a good interior designer.
Huh? No, Philippe Starck. He’s a famous French architect.
I knew that…
Course you did. Anyways I also went to Bariloche, the lakes district, and took a catamaran tour to Los Arrayanes National Park. It’s an island where huge red wood trees grow; well technically they are called Luma apiculatas, but they do have red bark and they twist around each other to make these cool designs. They’re protected and a lot of effort is in place to preserve the habitat. Through the years, people have brought invasive species to the island, so Argentina has been trying to counteract that by replanting the native species.
Anything you wish you could have done but didn’t?
One thing I didn’t do was the lakes crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Varas, where you take a boat and a bus, then another boat and another bus to transport you to the lakes, one to another, eventually crossing into Chile.
I did eventually make it to Calafate, finally (been trying to go there for years). It’s where the massive Perito Moreno Glacier rests. It was breathtaking because of how large it is. I mean, I knew it was going to be big, but seeing it up close was something else entirely. The glacier was maybe 50 ft. tall from the water up? I took a tour that brings you up close, and if you’re lucky (didn’t happen for us), a piece will break off and fall into the water. One thing I didn’t expect though was it felt like a living thing. It was always moaning and cracking like it was breathing.
A glacier huh, you usually don’t associate South America with being cold.
Oh yeah, it was very cold and windy. We were only there for a couple of hours, but I probably could have spent all day there, as crazy as it sounds staring at a giant piece of ice. A mountain of ice. I would highly recommend doing that.
Back to the culture, where did all this European influence come from?
Like most countries, European settlers came and kind of took over. In Brazil, you have a large African influence from when the Portuguese brought slaves to their colonies. Same in Argentina. You still have the more native population to the north, but the big areas like Buenos Aries are mainly European. The Germans, for instance, either fled or escaped during the two world wars, so they have pockets around the country.
So with all the European influence, do Argentines speak may other languages?
Argentina, especially Buenos Aries feels European but with a Latin flair. They speak Spanish like Italians and have common Italian names. They also have rich German chocolate and dairy. And on my last go, I frequented the vineyard areas, known for their wine. Argentina is just super diverse. The people are just fun.