When we finished our trip to BA Lou asked what I liked the most? My answer was easy, the people. We found ourselves multiple times where Argentineans stepped out of nowhere to help us, in a restaurant struggling with my Spanglish multiple times people stepped up and asked how they could help. One person even invited us to sit down for lunch. Complete strangers came up to me and suggesting that I cover my camera for security. We had multiple incredible evenings, like when Edwardo and Lilli from the Estancia El Cencerro coming back into Buenos Aires to have dinner with us, the two closed door restaurant experiences were we had wonderful meals, conversation and helpful hints and last but not least the magic night that Javier invited us over to his home to meet his family and share in a bottle of champagne.
Here are my top ten things not to miss while in Argentina:
- You absolutely have to experience a closed door restaurant and I highly recommend both Casa Saltshaker (email@example.com, Dan is a wealth of knowledge on BA restaurants too) in Buenos Aires and Los Chocos (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Mendoza. For a complete list of closed door restaurants around the world go to his website www.saltshaker.net.
- Do not miss a soccer game. We went through an agency and it cost us $100 per person, they picked you up, filled you in on the rivalries and answered questions and got you home safe. You could do it yourself cheaper but they were very good and probably worth the money.
- Confiteria Ideal was a very traditional and old style tango show. The food was mediocre but the show was terrific and the cost was very good. Most shows were charging close to $100pp and our dinner and show at Confiteria Ideal was $48pp. After the show for $5 you can go up to the milonga. A milonga should not be missed.
- San Telmo, you have to spend a morning and afternoon strolling the San Telmo market. Great antiques, art and crafts but an even better place to sit with a cup of café con leche and watch the people.
- Do one day at the wineries and one day at Aconcaqua in Mendoza and don’t forget to use Javeir, email@example.com, guide par “excelente”, excellent English, excellent driver, excellent connections and maybe, just maybe you might get to meet his excellent family.
- Do not miss John’s mojitos at Secret Garden. My suggestion is to forget the Sheraton, do the falls all day, get a massage, have some of John’s wonderful concoctions and then have dinner at Bocamora. Do not miss doing the raft that takes you under the falls. Doing the falls completely will take you about 6 hours.
- Do an estancia. Again we loved the Estancia El Cencerro and the owners Edwardo and Lilli if you are looking for an experience like you were old friends invited over for the weekend.
- Do the Rocoleta cemetery because it is historic and it is amazing to see how much time and money has been spent honoring ancestors.
- Walk around the city a lot, BA is an easy city to figure out and walking is not only good exercise it allows you to watch people, step into shops and stores. We stepped in one bakery (which are everywhere) and had hot empanadas right out of the oven that were to die for, the were $1 a piece. We stopped into a open market and got some fresh cut cold cuts, tomatoes and cheese then stopped in a bakery and got some fresh bread an made our own sandwiches as we sat on the side of the road and watched people.
10. Enjoy the people! They are the best, so put yourself in local situations so you can really get a feel for the Argentinean people. Thank you Argentina!
Don’t even think about getting a car in BA. Taxi’s cost about $5 to go anywhere in the city.
When I go back I would like to do a polo match.
Restaurants, in BA La Cabrera (Argentinean grill, make a reservation and try the sweetbreads) and La Barta (Italian) for dinner, Los Pinos for lunch. In Mendoza, 1884 and Azufuan. In Iguazu, Agua and Bocamora.
Where to stay – We thoroughly enjoyed www.ApartmentsBA.com, our apartment was on the 17th floor on the corner of Ecuador and Santa Fe, a great location. We had plenty of room, a concierge service, wireless, an internet phone that allowed us to dial direct for not charge to the US and 24 hour security. I enjoy being able to cook my own meals, spread out and not be charged an arm and a leg for a coke or a bottle of wine.
In Iguazu, I would absolutely stay at Secret Garden www.secretgardeniguazu.com, the whole experience that John has going should not be missed and his price of $110 per night is very good in comparison.
In Mendoza, I would absolutely stay at the Casa Glebinias www.casaglebinias.com, for $170 per night this B&B would make my top ten hotels that I have ever stayed in. The room was beautiful, Roberto, the owner is wonderful and the tray full of patries each morning were to die for.