I recently took a wonderful trip to the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls on the border of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina!
My daughter and I were searching for a new destination to explore before she begins her new career as an attorney … what better place then South America. We didn’t experience any jetlag since you are basically in the same time zone (East Coast). We had an early arrival so we were able to enjoy a full day to sightseeing!
As with many countries, the day we were to arrive a National Labor Strike was called which delayed our departure by a day. We couldn’t do the empanada cooking class we had scheduled, but we still found plenty to see and do in Buenos Aires. I wanted to experience different neighborhoods so our first hotel was located in the San Telmo area, which is filled with antique stores and art galleries. On Sundays, the San Telmo Feria is a must-see! There is a 12-block market filled with vendors selling jewelry, leather goods, clothing, local foods and more! Musicians on street corners and of course, tango in the Plaza!
Our small group city sightseeing tour introduced us to some of the different neighborhoods of Buenos Aires:·
- La Boca where most were immigrants but mainly Italians settled·
- Caminito Street with the colorful street art and vendors·
- Puerto Maderas along the Rio de la Plata and Recoleta the home of the finest stores and hotels as well as the Recoleta Cemetery where Eva Peron is buried! ·
- The Pink Palace on the Plaza Mayo where Eva Peron delivered her farewell speech.
The absolute highlight of our trip was Iguazu Falls; one of the 7 natural wonders of the World and I agree! It’s less than 2 hour flight from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Airport and a 25 minute drive to the town of Puerto Iguazu where we spent two nights at the Panoramic Hotel. The hotel is located on a hilltop with a spectacular view of Paraguay and Brazil while standing in Argentina! Our local guide picked us up bright and early to be on the first train into the National Park to view Devil’s Throat the highest and most expansive of the 19 falls. We opted to stay on the Argentine side since Brazil requires visas for U.S. Citizens, but both sides have national parks with hiking trails to view all the falls. The roar of the waterfalls and spray was amazing and worthy of hundreds of photos! We ended our visit with a 2-hour “Great Adventure” through the Iguazu jungle and zodiac ride to view the falls from the river! Thinking we were prepared with ponchos and dry bags we still managed to get soaking wet as the boat sped through the falls multiple times!
We returned to Buenos Aires and spent three additional nights at the Melia Recoleta Plaza. As much as I loved the San Telmo neighborhood vibe the Recoleta location was more central for walking the city. The architecture is very mixed throughout the city giving you a European yet Latin feel! We visited the Eva Peron Museum and thoroughly enjoyed the tango dinner show at La Ventana!
The return flight back to the USA departs late in the evening. We spent our last afternoon with a leisurely lunch at Don Julio’s in the Palermo neighborhood. Argentina is famous for their steaks and now I know why!
I definitely would recommend a visit to Argentina with a side trip to Iguazu Falls. With more time I would have added Mendoza to see the wineries and a gaucho day trip to Susana Ranch or a trip to the Tigre Delta!
Ah – all the more reasons for a return visit!