The Diversity of Argentina
A couple of years ago I took on Mt Aconcagua, the highest Mountain in South America, high in the Andes. Although that was 3 weeks spent trekking up on high I did notice whilst passing through that Argentina is one top place to explore. At the time i was showing you ice, peaks, wine and steaks But let’s look a little deeper.
Where first? Of course the capital, Buenos Aires itself has enough to keep you going for the length of an average holiday but if you want to see more, there are incredibly comfortable coaches that can transport you the length and breadth of the country. Buenos Aires is divided into districts, which are each characterized by a different feel.
Recoleta has the famous Recoleta cemetery, where Eva Peron (Evita) rests alongside the rest of the country’s rich and famous, in elaborate mausoleums. There is also a market in Recoleta which sells clothes and mate cups. Mate, Argentina’s famous smoky tea, is something Argentineans love; it is also social in that they’ll share it with each other (the cups have metal straws). San Telmo district is a place of cobbled streets and tango dancers. On a Sunday there’s an antiques market where you’ll find everything from mirrors to old tango hats. San Telmo also has some of the best steak houses where Bife de Lomo from the grill is highly recommended. La Boca is the rougher part of town, famous for its colourful corrugated iron covered houses and football stadium. It’s possible to get tickets to see Boca Juniors, but be prepared to walk into a place where football is taken very, very seriously. Sit on the wrong side by accident and you might get in trouble.
Also worth a visit is MALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires – which has actually managed to fit its title on the whitewashed exterior of the building. MALBA is in the Palermo district, which is also home to the stray cat filled botanical gardens. The museum has a couple of Frida Khalo’s as well as works by her husband, Diego Rivera. It also has a lot of political works which tell some of the story of the revolutions which have happened in South America in the past. Argentina was the birthplace of Che Guevara, after all.
From Buenos Aires you can travel to Mendoza, famous for its wine, particularly the Malbec, and a good point for seeing the Andes or even travelling into Chile. A wine tour is a must, of course.
Also by coach, although one of the longest journeys, is Ushuaia, where the glaciers are. Another is Iguazu, the spectacular national park with impressive waterfalls and rainforest. Iguazu is on the border with Brazil and from the Argentinean side it’s just a short walk with your passport to get through to the Brazilian side. The ease with which it is possible to cross borders in this part of South America makes it quite an attractive idea. It really depends how long you’re here for.