Tag Archives: Buenos Aires

Our Top Sights: Argentina

1. Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls

Sitting on the border of Brazil these waterfalls are one of the most impressive in the world. WIth abundant wildlife, pelicans, hummingbirds and the ever present Coatis there’s more than just the falls to photograph. If you’re travelling between Argentina and Brazil then this is a great place to cross the border, but if you’re not it’s still more than worth the detour. Looking for somewhere to stay, the Poramba Hostel offers a relaxed atmosphere towards the edge of town.

2. Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno
Perito Moreno

This 7km wide glacier is still advancing and so you’re all but guaranteed to see chunks of ice breaking off into the lake. The blue of the ice means that even on a grey day it’s an incredible sight to see. Boat trips up to the face of the glacier, or all day hikes across the ice, are easy to arrange and well worth the money. Trips to the glacier can be organised from nearby El Calafate, which is a great town to relax in for a couple of days. We recommend Hospedaje Lautaro, as Belen and Dario are probably the friendliest hostel owners on the continent.

3. El Chalten

El Chalten
El Chalten

The trekking capital of South America is a bold claim but El Chalten’s accessible hikes and stunning views live up to it. The Fitz Roy and Torre mountains tower over the town and short hikes offer crystal clear lagoons, glaciers and abundant wildlife. The small town lacks an ATM or petrol station but don’t let this put you off, there are plenty of good hostels and restaurants. If you fancy camping in the forests then gear rental is easy in town.

4. Cafayate


Fancy sampling some of Argentina’s world famous wine, then Mendoza isn’t the only option. The small town of Cafayate located in the Andean foothills is a small relaxed place where you could easily spend a week visiting the different vineyards. Many can be walked or cycled to and the ones further out often have sampling houses located in the town. We recommend Domingo Molina, up in the hills with unparallel views, or Bodega Nanni, an organic vineyard that is located just off the main square. The Rusky K Hostal is just a couple of streets from the main square and their grape draped courtyard is great for drinking all that wine you will inevitably end up buying.

5. Buenos Aires

La Boca
La Boca

The Argentine capital is worth visiting for more than a couple of days, with museums, great food and varied neighbourhoods, you won’t run out of things to do in a hurry. We recommend the Sunday antiques market in San Telmo and an afternoon walk around La Boca. Whether you’re staying in atmospheric San Telmo, stylish Palermo or colourful La Boca each Barrio has a unique feel and it’s worth moving around and trying a few out. For a better idea of the areas why not check out this post.

6. Tierra del Fuego


“The End of the World” is a great place to visit no matter the time of year. Whilst the summer will offer whales and dolphins, there is still plenty to see if you go in the winter and the autumn colours are breathtaking. Catching a boat to one of the islands in the Beagle channel offers amazing views of Ushuaia and the snow capped mountains behind. Easy hikes can also be found in the Tierra del Fuego national park, a 30 minute drive from town. La Posta Hostel just outside of town offers the warmest rooms you could hope for on Antarctica’s doorstep.


7. Salta


Nestled in the North West corner of Argentina, Salta is a great getaway from busy Buenos Aires. The old section of town is dominated by wonderful colonial architecture and the Plaza de Armas is lovely in the ever present sun. The cable car up the nearby Cerro San Bernardo or the MAAM museum are must see attractions. If you want to get out of the city, horse riding trips or El Tren a Las Nubes (Train to the clouds) are easily arranged at most hostels.

Argentina in Photos…

Just a select few…

Lollapalooza Festival 2014

As previously mentioned in our Buenos Aires blog we spent two of our wonderful days in the city at this festival in the district of San Isidro. With the Red Hot Chili Peppers headlining, booking the tickets before we’d even left UK soil was a no brainer.

At the age of 14 both Iain and I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their 2004 tour: Iain in Manchester and me in Hyde Park. Needless to say in our first year of university we soon discovered our joint love for the band and played their Live At Hyde Park album endlessly. In our (nearly!) 7 years together we’ve never had the chance to see the band live together, so we knew this festival was a must for this trip.

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With a line up that would rival any major festival in the UK, Lollapalooza was sure to be a hit in Argentina. Lollapalooza was also held in various US destinations, as well as in Santiago and Rio de Janeiro but for Buenos Aires this was its debut.


Despite some major transport issues getting away from the festival each evening (we walked over a mile to find a bust that wasn’t full) the two days were just as expected: a lot of fun, adrenaline and bad singing. Actually I take back bad singing…as certainly during RHCPs set the singing was mostly amusing. Naturally Iain and I knew the songs far too well, so our neighbours’ reinventions of the lyrics made the experience all the more memorable. I’m sure the local population are finding our attempts at Spanish just as funny, however I’m also sure even Antony Kiedis would find the new lyrics being sung at him hilarious. Probably funnier if you were there…


Anyway everything was to be expected bar one thing…one minor thing that nevertheless took us by surprise and took some adjusting too. It took less than hour into the first band for us to look around and slowly realise we hadn’t seen any alcohol being consumed. Sadly at a British festival even at 1pm there is usually a group nearby already smashed or very nearly there. Clutching on to hope we put it down to 1pm being too early for a lot of people, plus we were on holiday and this is a festival so we headed to the bar and in our best Spanish ordered, “dos cerveza, por favour.” It took three attempts by the kind yet persistent lady behind the bar…but we soon learnt that this was an alcohol-free event.

We were however amazed at the Porteños ability to have a good time totally sober. Although the continuous waft of suspect smoke was certainly helping, the atmosphere was fantastic and despite the generally good weather we even got a little mud to revival any Glastonbury. We felt rather smug in our hiking boots as others struggled in their Converse. Certainly a highlight of the trip so far and we are seriously considering booking a ticket for next year if we can make the money last that long…




A Courgette and a Chandelier – San Telmo Market

Anyone heading to Buenos Aires is probably going to spend some time in San Telmo. Whether you’re coming for the antiques market on a Sunday, or just browsing the shops and cafes it’s a great place to hang out. When you’re there, make sure you don’t miss the permanent covered market in the middle of the Bario. Taking up nearly an entire block, with entrances on 3 streets around Calle Carlos Calvo and Bolivar, this massive market is capable of meeting all your foodie needs.

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Anyone spending time in Argentina will quickly notice that whilst the food is great, delicious and sizeable, you’re fruit and veg intake is falling far short of normal. Forget five a day, you’ll be struggling to get five a week. On top of this, the fruit and veg you’ll manage to scrape up at supermarkets, are overpriced and under-quality. A short holiday won’t be a problem, but anyone spending more than a couple of weeks out here will start to feel the loss. El Mercado de San Telmo to the rescue!

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Obviously this isn’t the only place to buy fruit and veg in the country, but out of everywhere in the previous month it had the freshest produce and the greatest selection (i didn’t even know there were five kinds of courgette). With five or six competing stalls keeping the price down, you can really save some money on some great produce. There wasn’t anything we wanted that we couldn’t get hold of and in most cases in multiple varieties. Whether you’re after cheese, meat, bread, pastries, herbs, grains or spices there’s somewhere to buy it at the market. There’s no need to rush and being a covered market the weather doesn’t matter, and there’s a great place to grab a coffee and an empanada right in the centre. Even if you’re not coming to San Telmo to scratch your vitamin itch, the market is still well worth a visit. Whilst the central area is mostly dominated by food the rest is in keeping with San Telmos staple product, antiques.

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I’m not going to pretend i know anything about antiques and i’m sure theres a good amount of junk/fakes here, but whether you’re looking for a bag of old snooker balls or massive ornate chandeliers the collection is extensive. Handbags, vinyls, old medical equipment or some really scary dolls, we found it very easy to just walk around and look at all the bits we couldn’t buy. That’s the problem with backpacking, if you buy something, something else is getting left behind…


Pretend Porteños: Things to do in Buenos Aires

We recently spent eleven days in Buenos Aires and found it very hard to leave. In fact we can safely say we wouldn’t have done, had it not been for winter fast approaching and our desire to travel south. We even found ourselves staring into estate agents windows toying with ideas of what we could or rather couldn’t afford.

We stayed in a beautiful apartment in San Telmo. With San Telmo market only a few minutes away and surrounds of charming cobbled streets and colonial buildings, we couldn’t of been happier in this district. Opinions differ on San Telmo particularly as to its likeability and safety and although we can see why some might prefer polished Palermo for example, we can safely say half our love for Buenos Aires was a love of San Telmo and would highly recommend staying here. We never felt unsafe even when coming home (very!) late at night and its rugged charm never got old as we explored the area.

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Like any backpacker we had a budget for this city and were determined not to overspend (well not too much) so here’s what we got up to as we explored BA on a budget…

San Telmo Markets/Plaza Dorrego – We were gutted that we weren’t heading back to the UK with an empty suitcase to fill. We could have furnished an entire house with finds on these market stalls. Sadly lugging a gorgeous wine decanter around for the foreseeable future was not practical.

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La Boca – Worth a visit for an afternoon if just to see the colourful paintwork. Charmingly touristy and you’ll be lucky to get away without having your picture taken with a look-a-like of Maradonna…not that we could have picked the real deal out in a line up.


Recoleta Cemetery – don’t hesitate, just go there. Join the crowds and hunt for Evita and be amazed at the grandeur of the place. We took far too many photos but here are a few select ones…

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Lollapalooza Festival – more on that in a separate blog but we were amazed at the Porteños ability to have a good time totally sober. If you’re there when its on it is definitely worth booking a ticket as the line-up will revival any festival in the UK.


Palermo – seemed like a lovely place to stay or visit for a meal, with its plethora of restaurants and shops. A bit lost on us however, as we preferred the rugged charm of San Telmo.


Centro – all the sites are within walking distance of each other so it is worth a stroll around taking in Casa Rosa, Teatro Colon etc and perhaps finish up with some window-shopping Calle Florida.


Museums & Galleries – we found a lot of the museums had a day where entrance was free. Most we stumbled across as we walked around the city so it is worth taking a stroll and seeing a few bits of art if you have some time to spare. For us MAMBA was definitely worth a look.

A few bits of extra budget friendly advice…

Sube Card – get one! Much like the UKs oyster card system it takes the hassle out of travel in the city. They can be obtained at most post offices and some newsagents, so look out for the logo, and can also be preloaded with funds at any subte station.

Cook – we were amazed at the fresh produce on offer at San Telmo’s market and along with the San Telmo Organic Fair every Tuesday and Friday on Peru (600 and something) so if you are a keen amateur cook like us, make the most of it and save some money.

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Exchange your money on Calle Florida – As we would never advocate black market activity…google this for more details! It will save you a huge amount of money…we were pretty taken aback at just how much…so look out for shouts of “Cambio” as you walk along browsing the shops.

Explore – walking is free! We spent a good portion of every day walking around the city and stumbled across charming architecture, endearing graffiti and endless Boutique stores, so…


Bring an empty suitcase – if just coming for a short holiday it is definitely worth picking up a few bits. Especially make the most of the leather goods…retro satchels eat your heart out…they are ten times better than what you would find in the UK!


So overall what kept us in BA so long? When we started writing this blog we found it a little difficult to narrow it down…when putting it into words it didn’t seem like we had done a lot in our eleven days. Truthfully we loved everything…the people, the architecture, the food, the lifestyle. Knowing enough basic Spanish to get by, we took great pleasure in blending in and pretending to be a local…that is until someone asked us a more complex question and our blank faces gave us away. We should probably note that we were predisposed to like the city from the outset having heard so many positive things but it certainly exceeded all our expectations. Just throw yourself into it, kick back and relax and start pretending to be a Porteño.