Recoleta Cemetery is no ordinary cemetery. Consistently ranked as one of the top three attractions in Buenos Aires, it houses 4700 mausoleums and 30,000 souls. The cemetery was established in 1822 and its labyrinth of narrow passageways contain a treasure trove of elaborate marble crypts and stunning sculptures. Recoleta is the final resting place of many of Argentina’s who’s who, including the country’s most famous first lady Eva Perón. And, it’s loaded with stories—tragic, bizarre, disturbing, heartwarming tales of the dead. Dominique, our guide from Free Walking Tours Buenos Aires had me enthralled. I bring you a few choice tales from the graveyard… Continue reading
After a one night pit stop in Salta, our road trip through Argentina’s northwest continues. On this excursion, we travel north through Jujuy Province and the enchanting Quebrada de Humahuaca all the way to the Bolivian border. We enlist the service of Poncho Tours, an excellent operator who runs private, customized tours. Over the next two and a half days, we visit indigenous Andean villages, giant salt flats and multicoloured mountains that would make a perfect album cover for a psychedelic rock band. And, I might add, we eat the best empanadas ever. Continue reading
As Mike and I were digging into the fourth course of our wine pairing lunch in Cafayate’s elegant Piattelli Winery our heads were swimming (and not only from the good wine). Just two hours ago, we had been driving along a gravel road through a tortured landscape of razor-edged hills. That morning, we’d woken up in Molinos, a tiny, sun-baked adobe village. The day before, we had started our 3-day road trip in sophisticated Salta, traveled through farmland that morphed into jungle that gave way to high desert. Our loop through Valles Calchaquíes, in northwestern Argentina, was less than 500 km (310 miles) and packed with so much variety it felt surreal. Cheers! Continue reading
A Jesuit priest is tied to a wooden cross and set afloat. He plunges headfirst down a monstrous waterfall and is swallowed up in the churning cauldron. That’s the opening scene from the 1986 movie The Mission, filmed primarily in Iguazú Falls—the mighty cascades between Argentina and Brazil. It wasn’t just that scene that left a big impression on me, it was the extraordinary scenery. I wanted to see the dense jungle shrouded in mist, hear the thunder of hundreds of waterfalls, and stand at the top of one of those falls, peering into the abyss. In April, I finally got to do all that (and more). Continue reading
So…you think glaciers are boring? Well, go visit Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. It crackles and groans and rumbles. Sometimes it sounds like rapid gunfire, and occasionally like a giant explosion. You’re almost guaranteed to see large blocks of ice collapse from the glacier’s edge and crash into Lago Argentino. Perito Moreno Glacier is active and noisy and huge and gorgeous. It’s also easily accessible with many viewing options. No wonder Los Glaciares National Park, which also includes the incredible hiking mecca of El Chaltén (Fitz Roy) is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Come take a look at this breathtaking, blue-hued beauty. Continue reading
On our first morning in El Chaltén, Argentina we woke up to a fiery red Mount Fitz Roy. I was beyond excited. Clear days are few and far between in southern Patagonia. Our guesthouse host recommended we do the Laguna de los Tres hike (also called Cerro Fitz Roy) for the best close-up views of the crown jewel of Patagonia. This hike, located in Los Glaciares National Park, has it all—granite spires, giant glaciers, turquoise lakes and pretty forests that pop with unbelievable colours if you’re lucky enough to be there in fall. Laguna de Los Tres is surprisingly accessible and relatively easy if you’re reasonably fit. From start to finish, this hike is as stunning as they come. Continue reading
No camping! That had been the key request. Mike wanted a comfy bed and hot shower at the end of a long day of hiking in Patagonia. I had always associated Torres del Paine in Chile with epic Patagonian hikes. Much to my dismay, I read that the best way to see those iconic rock spires was on multi-day treks. Then, with a little research, I leaned about El Chaltén, Argentina. This tiny town sits underneath the mother of Patagonia’s granite towers, Mount Fitz Roy. It’s a charmingly quirky place with an end-of-the-earth feel and plenty of accommodations to suit hikers of all budgets. Trailheads to the most amazing day hikes in Patagonia start right in town. Let me introduce you to a few of them.