Get inspired, learn more and join us on our journey

Introducing Mendoza, Argentina’s wine capital

Introducing Mendoza, Argentina’s wine capital

The Malbecs are mouth-watering, the wineries cutting edge and the Andes resplendent. Every way you look at it, Mendoza is a delight. The pleasant provincial capital of Mendoza owes its prosperity to the Andes, or more specifically the network of acequias (irrigation channels) that taps into the raging snowmelt torrent that is the Rio Mendoza. Built by the Huarpe and perfected by the Incas, the acequias still flow through the streets of the city and the water they bring is life-giving in every sense of the word. Without it there would be no wine, no fountains and no shady avenues... The many faces of Malbec Argentina is fifth-largest wine producer in the world and Mendoza is its undisputed capital. Malbec, which in its native France is only used in blends, has come into its own in Mendoza’s high-altitude desert environment. While most of Mendoza’s highest ranked wines are Malbecs, there are also several excellent red blends and smattering of wonderful Chardonnays too. Winemakers love …
Read More
Shopping for souvenirs in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Shopping for souvenirs in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina is a shopper’s paradise – If you know what to look out for and where to find it. This blog gives you the inside scoop on three quintessentially Argentinean gifts. Because nobody wants to be given a knock-off Maradona football shirt or a made-in-China mate gourd… Wine Wine has been produced in Argentina since the 1500s, but the country has only entered the premium market in the past few decades. Argentina is now the largest exporter of wines in the New World and home to some seriously high-end wines. Most first-time visitors are under the impression that wine is only produced in the regions surrounding Mendoza, but in actual fact there are wine farms as far north as Salta, which is closer to Bolivia than to Mendoza, and as far south as Patagonia. Different regions specialize in different varietals, so look out for: Malbec and Chardonnay from Mendoza Syrah from San Juan Torrontés from La Rioja Cabernet Sauvignon and Torrontés from Cafayate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from …
Read More
Buenos Aires in the shoes of Evita

Buenos Aires in the shoes of Evita

Lionel Messi, Jorge Luis Borges, Che Guevara and Diego Maradona…Argentina has produced plenty of global icons, but none more famous than Evita Peron. When you visit Buenos Aires, be sure to follow in her footsteps a little. Evita is known the world over thanks to the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Evita, and the Hollywood blockbuster of the same name starring Madonna. But she was actually a very real person who was in part responsible for the birth of Peronism, a controversial ideology which still dominates Argentina’s political landscape. Rags to riches Evita grew up in the poorest part of a tiny village in rural Argentina, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy landowner and a local peasant woman. When she was 15 she moved to Buenos Aires to pursue an acting career. What she lacked in talent, she made up for with her good looks and determination. She achieved great success as a radio actress, and had a string of increasingly important lovers. Peron and Evita in their younger days. …
Read More
City snapshot: BA's Floralis Genérica

City snapshot: BA's Floralis Genérica

The Floralis Genérica in the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas in Recoleta was given to the city by its designer, Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano, in 2002. The 75 foot high and 105 foot wide steel and aluminium flower is said to represent "a synthesis of all flowers" and "a new hope that is reborn everyday." Photo: Hernan Piñera The sculpture is located in a pond in the center of the 4-acre park, and can be appreciated against a variety of striking backdrops. The reflective pond doesn't only add to the Floralis' dramatic visual impact, it also serves to protect the delicate structure from vandalism. Photo: Hermann Kaser Just like a real flower, it opens every morning and closes every evening. Except this one uses a complex electrical system which has been known to malfunction: most notably at the sculpture's inauguration and for five years between 2010 and 2015. Photo: Jonathan Hood The Floralis Genérica is now fully functional again, and it's as photogenic as ever. When …
Read More
5 of the best Buenos Aires hoods

5 of the best Buenos Aires hoods

Buenos Aires is an enormous city. With 14 million inhabitants, you could spend a month here and feel like you hardly know the place. Fortunately it’s divided into neighborhoods, each one distinct from the other. We've rounded up 5 of the best... San Telmo For sheer chocolate-box charm it’s hard to beat San Telmo. Shabby-chic and redolent of the Mediterranean, it’s a favorite among both bohemians and yuppies. It’s a great place to watch tango in the streets, browse for antiques and eat traditional Argentine parillada, or mixed grill. Mercado de San Telmo (Photo: Jesus Dehesa) For the best steak (and other bits of cow) in town, look no further than La Brigada (Estados Unidos 465): you really can cut the meat with your spoon. San Telmo is also home to some of the best milongas or tango houses in town, and catching a show is an absolute must. Your guide will be able to advise on the best option as shows range from small, intimate experiences to large, Broadway-style productions. …
Read More
Favorite South American plazas: Plaza de Mayo

Favorite South American plazas: Plaza de Mayo

Anyone who has spent any time in South America will know that the heart of every village, town or city is its plaza. A plaza can be anything from a tiny grassy meeting place in the rural hinterland to an elaborate marble expression of nationhood, but it is always a place where people come together. Photo credit: Juan EDC The Plaza de Mayo is surrounded by several of Argentina's most important buildings: notably the Cabildo (the old colonial HQ), the Casa Rosada (the 'Pink House' which is the official presidential residence) and the city's main cathedral. The plaza itself is decorated by the Piramide de Mayo (built in 1811 to commemorate the May Revolution a year earlier) and a grand statue of independence hero General Belgrano as well as towering palm trees and soothing fountains. Photo credit: Diego Torres Silvestre These days it usually has a relaxed and convivial atmosphere, but over the years it's played host to some very important events in Argentina's history. The 1945 …
Read More
Buenos Aires’ best kept secret: Tigre and the Parana Delta

Buenos Aires’ best kept secret: Tigre and the Parana Delta

Buenos Aires is a huge city, and although there’s more than enough to do in the fascinating central districts of San Telmo, Palermo, Recoleta, Puerto Madero and La Boca, I sometimes get the urge to escape the urban jungle. In Buenos Aires – unlike most megacities – this isn’t actually very difficult to achieve, as the port town of Tigre and the surrounding Parana Delta are only 17 miles from the obelisco and the madness that surrounds it. You could take a taxi, a bus or a regular train to Tigre, but this would be foolish as the charming Tren de la Costa is an attraction in its own right. The train is geared towards tourists: not only are the carriages quaint and atmospheric but the stations themselves house shops, restaurants and museums. The line winds its way north, between the alluringly flat Parana River and the sophisticated, moneyed suburbs on the outskirts of the city. Tigre Rowing Club (David) It’s a great idea to buy a tourist ticket which allows you to hop on and off at …
Read More
The best BBQ in the world: Asado in Argentina

The best BBQ in the world: Asado in Argentina

The next time you slap a few burgers on the gas barbecue, spare a thought for the prehistoric origins of the purest cooking method of all. The word barbecue is originally derived from the Taíno (Caribbean) word barabicu which translates as ‘sacred fire pit’ and which entered European languages as the Spanish barbacoa. While the modern American interpretation of the barbecue hasn’t got much more than a name in common with its caveman ancestor, there is a country where traditional barbecues still take place on a mass scale every single weekend. Interestingly, Argentines don’t actually call the ritual barbacoa; instead the term asado is applied to the slow roasting of large chunks of beef above a sparse bed of coals. In the two years I spent living in Argentina I ate, by conservative calculations, at least 300lb of beef. A typical weekend involved a Friday night asado which only kicked off after work at about 11pm, a Saturday night asado which started slightly earlier; and a Sunday …
Read More
Train Travel in South America

Train Travel in South America

Earlier this month the oldest subway in South America closed its doors for a modern renovation. The La Brugeoise wagon on Buenos Aires’s Metro Line A shutdown on January 12 and will remain closed until March 8, 2013, when the line will begin operating with new cars. The original trains made their debut in December 1913, which made the line one of the oldest in the world to offer regular transportation service. Government official suggest the retired train cars will be featured in museums, or used at mini-libraries in public plazas across Buenos Aires. They will be replaced with modern, air conditioned units. But transit lovers, do not fret. South America has many other historic and interesting rail rides. Here are just a few. Serra Verde Express Mountain Range Train Where: Southern Brazil, connecting the city of Curitiba to the port town of Paranagua. What: This three hour train ride is noteworthy for its spectacular views. It follows narrow passes from the jungle mountains steeply …
Read More
Buenos Aires: By the Borough

Buenos Aires: By the Borough

Passion meets cosmopolitan cool in Buenos Aires, South America’s undeniable capital of chic. Known for its tango, steak, and European roots, Buenos Aires is the cultural hub of Argentina—and knows it. Stroll the streets of the so-called “Paris of the Americas” and decide if you feel like visiting world-class museums, traditional dance halls, fashion-forward boutiques, or all three during your stay in this dynamic city. With a population of more than 3 million and nearly 50 districts sprawling across 80 square miles, Buenos Aires is the largest city in Argentina. It would take days to explore it all, but luckily many of the main attractions are concentrated in a few key neighborhoods: San Telmo, La Boca, Recoleta, Puerto Madero, El Centro, and Palermo. San Telmo. This neighborhood is an attraction in itself. One of the Buenos Aires' oldest and most charming districts, half a day can easily slip away, lost among cobblestone streets and colonial buildings. Constantly evolving, San Telmo …
Read More
Wednesday Wanderlust - Buenos Aires

Wednesday Wanderlust - Buenos Aires

This Wednesday we’re featuring Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan capital of Argentina. We pulled this vibrant photograph from our Buenos Aires Pinterest board. Anyone know which neighborhood this photo shows? If not, don’t worry. A blog post detailing the city’s different neighborhoods is coming later this week.
Read More