This year we wanted to make a small change to new year’s vacations: we did not want it to be cold. Instead of going someplace along the Caribbean or something like that, we chose to fly down to Argentina; an incredible country filled with culture, interesting things to do and just plain passion for life.
Our trip started in Buenos Aires, where we stayed at the Hotel Presidente, right on the 9 de Julio avenue, which connects most of city. From the hotel we had a wonderful view of the public works building and its Evita mural; and its location allowed us to easily walk to most places in the city. Buenos Aires is a beautiful city with classic architecture and buildings that have been left to the mercy of time, still it’s really easy to picture the grandness of every street and building as it once was. The capital is a place where a lot of cultures and types of people meet up, and every sector is something completely different; from Caminito with its wonderful colors and life, to La Recoleta with its huge mansions and solemness. Argentina in general has some of the best food and restaurants I’ve been in, and the most incredible thing is that the food was amazing not only in fancy restaurants but in every single place we tried. Buenos Aires is amazing no matter what your interests are, you can visit historic spots like the Recoleta Cemetery and the Plaza de Mayo, shopping at any of the beautiful malls or at the streets of San Telmo or Palermo. We enjoyed the culture in the famous bookstore El Ateneo formerly a theater and visiting the football stadiums for Boca and River, the famous sports teams; and you could end any night with a great meal while watching live tango at Buenos Aires: Tango Porteño. We were even able to take a day trip to Colonia in Uruguay. We spent the days walking through this amazing city non-stop, never getting tired and seeing something new each day and we spent New Year’s Eve at Puerto Madero, watching the fireworks shine over the water and the city.
After Buenos Aires, we took a flight to Puerto Iguazú one of the gateways to the incredible Iguazú Falls in the National Park, which is shared by three countries: Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Here we stayed at the Hotel Esturion, which was really beautiful and comfortable, but we really didn’t spend that much time in it. Every day in Iguazú was dedicated to visiting the park and enjoying the natural wonders of the falls. This park is huge, and every corner is amazing; not only from the Argentinian side, but from the Brazilian which we had a chance to cross over to. Every day spent around nature was amazing and there wasn’t a day in the falls that we weren’t absolutely soaked to the bone. The only downside to this was that our boots and cameras got soaked as well and took a long while to get fully dry once more.
After spending a couple of nights in Iguazú, we flew to Bariloche. This city was something completely different from the jungle and nature of the falls; the best description we could manage of it was being thrown in a movie-like Swiss little town; with the chalets and gorgeous houses, surrounded by mountains covered with snow and beautiful bodies of water. This town went beyond any expectation. One of the best and most common activities in this city is to climb up to the many mountains and ski slopes. Since it was summer, they weren’t actually any places to ski, but you could still go up many of the mountain tops which were still covered in snow. Besides the more natural and view focused activities, we could walk around the civic center and through the shops and restaurants, enjoying the feeling of being in a small town. Still, most of the popular activities in this town consist of climbing up the mountains and many day trips around the city.
From Bariloche, we started the Andean Lakes Crossing. This is an incredible trip that will take you from Puerto Pañuelo (just a short bus ride away from Bariloche), all the way to Puerto Varas in Chile, taking bus rides and boat rides all the way through beautiful lakes surrounded by the most amazing mountains. This journey will take you on a whole day of sailing on pristine waters and give you great views of Cerro Tronador, Osorno Volcano and Puntiagudo Hill. Once this trip was over, we arrived at Puerto Varas, a beautiful small town in Chile. Just like Bariloche, this town is focused around the magnificent nature that’s surrounding it, and most activities will take you to beautiful places like the Petrohue Jump, Llanquihue lake and many others. Since we were only spending one night in town, we took it calmly and chose to walk around the small streets looking for a nice place to eat. Aside from that we mainly stayed at the beautiful hotel the agency had picked out, the Bellavista Hotel which was a great way to relax for the night before continuing the trip.
The next stop was flying to Santiago de Chile. For the days we were there we stayed at the Hyatt Place Hotel, by Vitacura. This was a really nice hotel, perfect for relaxing the last days of our trip. Since we only had a few days there, we took it a little bit more relaxed. We spent part of a day just walking the streets around the hotel, mainly residential until we reached Alto Las Condes, a great shopping center with good food, stores and just an overall cool atmosphere. Another day we chose to walk the center of the city, visiting Plaza de Armas, the Presidential Palace known as La Moneda, the Museum of Fine Arts and climbing up Cerro San Cristóbal. This was a very metropolitan city with lots to see; surrounded by beautiful mountains and with really nice weather. This was the last stop of an amazing trip.