Favorites from Argentina

I'm back today to share some of my favorites from my recent trip to Argentina! It was my first time in South America (and first time in the southern hemisphere) and it completely blew me away. Usually when I'm recapping trips I'll have separate posts for each city, but we went to so many places that I would never finish it up (ahem..still working on my posts from Slovenia almost a year ago...) so instead- I'll share my favorites from each city in one post.


Buenos Aires


Restaurant
: Our very last meal of the entire trip was at Sacro, which is an entirely vegan restaurant in Palermo. It was more of a fine dining type of place, but the prices were very reasonable and everything was incredible. Dan and I got a few small plates to share and everything was so delicious!

Activity: Tango show. This was high on my list of things to do in Argentina since the Argentine Tango is one of my favorite dance styles, and luckily we got to go our very first night in the country. We ended up going to La Ventana (just for the show, not the dinner) and it was an amazing experience. We got to see some great dancers with a live band as well as some folk stories and dances. Wine was also included which made this a whole event and great night! If you don't want to go to a show, just walk around the city and you'll be sure to see dancers in squares and parks with portable speakers. You'll definitely hear Por Una Cabeza- one of my favorite songs!


El Chalten


Restaurant
: There weren't too many restaurants to choose from in the area, but by far my favorite was Laborum. This is a tiny pizza shop that doesn't take reservations, but we were lucky enough to snag the last two seats at the bar as soon as they opened! It's a popular place for good reason- the pizza is so tasty and they have a great selection of drinks. Plus- the workers were all so friendly! Just a word of caution- they sometimes only accept cash if their machines are down so make sure you have some on you. I could write a whole post about money in Argentina, but that's a different story.

Activity: Hiking Fitz Roy. Really the only thing we did in this tiny town in Patagonia was hike, so this was an easy choice to make. We did so many fun hikes with the most insane views, but our full day doing the famous Fitz Roy trek was definitely my favorite. We got to see glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, and mountains! It was so memorable. As a special shoutout- after every hike we stopped at Paisa High Mountain Coffee for drinks and it was so good and the perfect way to relax after being out all day.



El Calafate


Restaurant
: We didn't go to too many places on our short stay in El Calafate, but one that I really liked was La Fabrica Cerveceria. We had a great table in their outdoor garden, and I had a vegan burger with thick cut fries that were really tasty. Obviously I had a beer as well and it was great too!

Activity: Visiting the glacier! We went to this town specifically for the famous ice trek, and it did not let us down at all. The tour itself was great and we loved our guides. We started with a bus ride to the glacier, took a boat across the lake and had a short hike to the ice. Then, we got crampons to put on our shoes and followed an "ice trail" on a very tiny portion of the huge glacier! It was really weird to be walking on solid ice (not always so solid though- since it was the end of their summer there was a lot of melty areas and we even got to see some waterfalls under the ice layers!). At the end of the hike, our guides broke off some of the ice and poured whiskey over it for all of us to enjoy. Truly an unforgettable day.


Bariloche


Restaurant
: I think that the only restaurants we went to in this town were breweries, because we heard this was kind of a German/Swiss inspired town and had the most microbreweries in the country! I don't know if that's a fact or not, but it definitely seemed like it to me. There were so many around the town and along the scenic drivers that we ended up going to them for most of our meals. My favorite was Berlina, which had a great location and beautiful garden where we enjoyed our meal. I really liked their beers (my favorite realization was that I could have fall beers since it was about to be their fall!) and the food was great as well. Plus- service was really friendly!

Activity: This was the one and only town where we rented a car, because the most popular thing to do here is to drive around to the different view points! We did the Circuito Chico, which had lots of fun stops like hiking, kayaking, miradores, and the famous Patagonia Cerveceria. It reminded me of the Road to Hana in Hawaii, where the journey is the destination. The views here were so beautiful- tons of lakes as far as the eye can see, broken up by jagged mountains and trees. Even though we saw so many views from different parts of the city it never got old!


Mendoza


Restaurant
: We had what I think was my favorite meal of the entire trip here, at a restaurant called Soberana. The food itself was so delicious, and we also had a tasty Malbec to pair with it (when we saw the prices we had to make sure we were getting a full bottle and not just a glass because it was so cheap!). It was such a great and unexpected meal that we recommended it to everyone else we met in the city.

Activity: We came to Mendoza for the wine, so we booked a wine tour on our only full day here! I wish we had more time in this city, because it quickly became my favorite stop of our trip. I think our tour had a lot to do with that- it was through the company Amporo, and we got to visit 4 very different wineries and vineyards and do fun tastings at each one. Our last stop was at Lagarde, where we had a meal out in the vineyards and it felt like something out of a movie. The setting paired with the food and the conversation we had with our fellow travelers made us want the day to never end! Sadly it did have to end eventually, but luckily Amporo ships wine so we were able to send over a case of wine to remember this trip for months to come.


Iguazu


Restaurant
: I'm going to cheat here a little - the best meal that we had on this part of the trip doesn't really count as a restaurant but I need to talk about it! When we arrived, we headed to a place called Argentine Experience. We started with a wine tasting (and learned a lot about the history and culture of Argentina- I love talking to locals so we really learned a lot about the country which made me fall even more in love with it and the people!), then joined a small group as we had an immersive dinner. We cooked portions of the meal, learned the history of some of their food traditions, and even learned how to drink mate! This fascinated me the most because our entire trip we saw people carrying around thermos of hot water and little cups filled with yerba mate and would drink it all day long! I loved learning about it and even brought back a mate for myself.

Activity: I'm cheating here as well, because we were lucky enough to experience both the Brazilian and Argentine side of Iguazu Falls. We did a boat ride in Brazil to get really up close and personal to the water, but had longer and more quiet hikes in Argentina. The views from both really took our breath away, so it's impossible to say which one is better. You just have to see them for yourself!


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