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Certain things in life are simply impossible to adequately capture in a mere photograph. Iguazú Falls is definitely one of them, and above is my best effort to convey the epic expanse of 'The Devil's Throat.' Situated on the border of Brazil and Argentina, the falls are the watery dividing line between the two countries at this exact point. I accessed the falls from the Argentinian side, via Iguazú National Park and took a mini train (the Rainforest Ecological Train to be exact), some trails, and more than a few catwalks to reach this particular vantage point. Unlike some falls in the US and Canada, in the southern hemisphere you can get dangerously close to the roaring waters of these grand spectacles. The sound is deafening, the spray is enticing, and the visuals are simply amazing. As I stood there, trying to take it all in, all I could do was feel my heart pounding as I stared into the mouth of the devil. Most depictions of Lucifer entail horns, a tail and copious amounts of fire meant to terrify all who are witness to his power. I can assure you, though made of mere cliffs and water, THIS devil could douse any other devil and never look back.
I have a thing for cemeteries. Everywhere I go in the world, I usually visit the homes of the dead. In Paris: Père Lachaise. In Savannah: Bonaventure. Therefore, it was to my great delight that I was able to stop by La Recoleta when in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Famous as the burial site of celebrities such as Eva Peron -- it's often ticked off lists by tourists who simply think they're supposed to go there. Perhaps I was no different. Excepting that I went with the eye of a photographer. What fascinated me about the famous cemetery was the play of light and shadows amongst the graves. In the hot sun of a South American afternoon the sky seemed somehow more cobalt, the yellow a bit brighter, the white of the stone almost blinding. It became a place of true beauty and not of sadness. I thought about what it means to leave something behind when one is gone, what legacies last and what dies with us. I thought about how many people fear and revile cemeteries or how many people simply don't understand them. I tried to muster in my own mind anything other than appreciation for the beauty of the art and sculpture that was is so many people's last legacy in Buenos Aires. I couldn't see La Recoleta as anything less than beautiful. I wonder if on a gray day I would have felt differently...
Bus stops 4 through 9 on the Mendoza City Tour take you through General San Martin Park’s popular landmarks including the Continental Fountain, Hill of Glory (Cerro de la Gloria), the 760-acre Zoological Park, and the Cornelio Moyano Museum--Mendoza's museum of natural sciences and anthropology. Image courtesy of Mendoza City Tour.
Palmares Open Mall is an upscale open-air mall that could have been plucked from any wealthy American suburb. It’s laden with popular restaurants, a movie theater, supermarket and over 120 stores, mostly Argentine brands. If you’re itching for slice of USA’s fast food nation, there’s a McDonald’s, Burger King—and for the coffee addicts, a Starbucks. I recommend sticking with the Argentine outposts like Zitto for quality fast food, Bonafide or Freddo for coffee, and Don Mario or Montecatini for high-end dining. From downtown Mendoza, you can take the 20-minute ride by taxi or remis (black car) for around 50-60 pesos. There’s a remis stand in the McDonald’s drive-thru parking lot when you’re ready to return.
Is there anything better than toast? Seriously, these two pieces of bread haunt me. [This is from a really cool guest house, El Aguamiel, in the middle of a small vineyard. Not over-the-top, just smartly designed with stunning views of the Andes - and very well-priced.]
A full day hike from El Chalten and back will lead you to one of the most beautiful vistas in Los Glaciares National Park - Laguna de Los Tres in front of Mount Fitz Roy. This is a pleasant hike through valleys but there is a steep climb up the end that you must be prepared for! It is a 400 m climb up switchbacks but the view is worth it. Pack a lunch so that you can sit and eat by the lake and enjoy your hiking accomplishments! More Information: http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/group-adventure-patagonia/
James Turrell is one of American's most stunning artists and his work has found a home in the middle of nowhere in the province of Salta, Argentina. Colome Bodega crushes some of the finest torrontes and malbec wine, thanks to vintner Donald Hees, who happens to also be a celebrated art collector. He created an on-site museum dedicated to Turrell's work that plays with your sense of space, with color and light. The museum can be visited by appointment only and is worth the insane dirt road you must travel three hours from Cafayete to get there. You'll deserve the glass of vino tinto when you arrive, then be prepared for some of the most mind-bending art you'll ever experience.
The Plaza de Chacras is a quaint town square bordered by restaurants and shops. Don’t miss the plaza’s most beautiful landmark—Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro—an enchanting whitewashed church and treasured architectural gem. On Sundays there is an open-air market with vendors selling handmade jewelry, antique coins and furniture, clothes, paintings and other artisan wares. You may also catch a live concert or musicians playing in the square. Viamonte y Aguinaga, Chacras de Coria, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza
The Museo Municipal Arte Moderno is a gallery-sized museum tucked inside Mendoza's main Plaza de Independencia. Recently one of Mendoza’s most famous modern artists, Jose Bermudez exhibited 90 works of art celebrating his 90th birthday. The museum also exhibits famous international artists like Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. Free concerts and theatrical performances are usually held here on Sunday nights at 8pm.
This is one of my favorite images, as it showcases how street art in Buenos Aires has reached new commercial heights. This is not some random wall! Tegui restaurant commissioned street artist Cabaio/Stencil to bombard the outside of their locale with street art. Fantastic! If you are going to Buenos Aires, I highly recommend seeking the services of Graffitimundo. They have a tour that showcases some of the most active and original artists in the urban art scene right now. The tour is also extremely informative and it was interesting to hear how different the approach to street art is in Argentina, as opposed to for example the U.S.A. Photography by Ruddy Harootian
Where in the world can you read Shakepeare's famous plays while on a stage, or in the box, and pretend to be the Bard while reading about the Bard? Only one place that I know of, El Ateneo in Buenos Aires in the neighborhood of Barrio Norte. Featuring one of the world's largest collections of books for sale, a terrific cafe and corner after dark corner ripe for long hours of book perusing and reading - this Argentinian bookshop that was once a theater is heaven for lovers of drama both acted and written. There isn't really a bad time to go, the space is more than large enough to accomodate crowds and yet cozy enough to surround the visitor even when nearly alone. The only thing you'll have to decide when you do go, is how you fit everything else into a day of sightseeing when inevitably everything else you had wanted to do won't seem quite as appealing after you've stepped through the front doors and into this theatre of literary love.
Called Argentine Switzerland for its wooden chalets and alpine setting, this area is home to some of South America’s best spas. The Latin America travel specialists at Blue Parallel arrange yoga classes with views of lakes and the Andes. Guests can stay at the 1940s Llao Llao Hotel and Resort or the Correntoso Lake and River Hotel , which uses native herbs in its treatments. Photo courtesy of CarrieKFuller/Flickr. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue.
Part of the beauty of travel, besides the sites, the food, the experiences, is seeing the local people. I love observing every day life when I zip through the city in a taxi or take the subway. On this day, I was walking through the touristy Caminito with the vibrant colored buildings and came across these two older women chatting on a bench. The simplicity of just hanging out with an old friend. I hope this is my best friend and I when we are 80 years old.
Wine collectors worldwide will recognize this sight: preparation for a wine tasting. There are events worldwide that offer similar setups for those with more than just a passing interest in the world of fine wines. This photo was taken at Catena-Zapata in Mendoza and was the setup for wine tasting by a group of wine writers and buyers. Sadly for those who look to drink, this kind of wine tasting is for spitting, not drinking.... However, take heart, they will sell you drinking tastes in the tasting room and also bottles to take home.
Potrerillos is a lush valley ideal for a summer escape or outdoor adventure. Located about 45 minutes west of downtown Mendoza, Potrerillos is bordered by the Mendoza and Blanco rivers in the foothills of the Andes. Both rivers are fit for rafting and kayaking, while the mountainous terrain makes it a mecca for hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, rappelling, and zip lining. If it’s relaxation you’re after, the fresh air, natural beauty, and glistening reservoir offer a tranquil place to have a picnic and leisurely stroll.
Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires was a little unexpected. I went in thinking I was going to be so excited to see Evita Peron’s grave, but once inside I ended up being more interested in all of the other tombs around. The vibe was a little weird because the place is a bit of an amusement park now. There’s all these tourists walking around with maps of where the dead people are and I have to admit I felt kind of wrong for being there in the first place. I walked around and imagined all of the stories of the people that were buried there. It’s easy to let your imagination get carried away in a place like this. At the same time, it's a shame to go to Buenos Aires and not stop by.
The party of the year is almost sold out in Buenos Aires and the Faena Hotel Buenos Aires' rooms are completely spoken for. From 8pm on December 31 to 4am January 1st there will be plenty of food, drink and surprises in the restaurants, bars and at the pool at Faena. I spoke with GM Ariel Barrionuevo at lunch this week at Faena and he promises the hotel's creative department is working to outdo their divine party last year. This fantasy hotel is my choice for ringing in the New Year in Buenos Aires, will you be there too?
The carne at this San Telmo restaurant is so succulent that the servers cut it with a spoon. Order the lomo cut, which is the Argentine version of filet mignon. 54/(11) 4361-5557. For the September, 2012 issue, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony shared with us their favorite places in Argentina.
Take a Sunday stroll through the cobblestone streets of San Telmo in Buenos Aires. The streets surrounding the Plaza Dorrego are filled with vendors selling art, antiques and souvenirs. In the center of the plaza you are bound to come across a street performance or two. Here in the center of the plaza, a couple entertains the crown with the dance that Argentina is famous for- the tango.
I never felt such good vibes as I did in El Bolson/Lago Puelo. One of the best places I have ever been. Days spent hiking in the mountains, drinking craft beers and hanging in the park, eating at the artisans market, or chillin' at Lago Puelo. Days finished with a late night traditional Argentinan parilla(bbq|) and malbec and live music. There are few places in my mind that could be more perfect : )
This Sunday street fair provides a glimpse into traditional Argentine gaucho culture. Wander the stalls and you’ll find scarves, leather goods, and authentic souvenirs by local artisans. For the September, 2012 issue, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony shared with us their favorite places in Argentina.
Buenos Aires should be called the 'city of really cool markets.' I don't think there is any item that you cannot find there. And more often than not, you will find just the right item that you didn't even realize you were looking for. I came upon this little stand one afternoon, and was struck by the fact that this vendor sold ONLY this one item. I mean, are colorful seltzer bottles in such high demand that one can devote an entire booth to them? Apparently so, because this place was thriving. Of course, I had found that perfect item that I didn't even know I wanted.
Teatro Colón is considered one of the most beautiful theaters in the world. Though the theatre was, to the great disappointment of many travelers, closed for years while undergoing major renovations, the Colón has now reopened and is playing host to a busy schedule of opera, ballet, and symphony. If you can’t get tickets for this legendary theater, try another elegant venue like Teatro Nacional Cervantes or Teatro San Martin. Check out Ciudad Cultural Konex if you’d rather see an edgier contemporary performance of modern dance or theater, or head to La Trastienda to hear live music by some of Argentina’s best young artists.
You can feel the essence of Palermo at Oui Oui, with the hipsters drinking coffee, the tall trees outside, the cobblestone sidewalks. The French-inspired menu features pain au chocolat, homemade scones, scrambled eggs, salads, and ginger lemonade. Nicaragua 6068, 54/(0) 11-4778-9614, ouioui.com.ar This story appeared in the September/October 2011 issue. Photo by Graciela Cattarossi. See all of Javier Gover’s favorite places in Palermo Viejo.
On a hot afternoon in the Austral summer, my friend and I shopped the stall and tables of the famous San Telmo weekly antique market. We were entertained every few blocks by warbly, old recordings of tango music and dancers seductively dancing the tango to an entranced crowd.
A new generation of street artists, many with backgrounds in graphic design, emerged in Buenos Aires after Argentina’s economic crash in 2001. They have covered buildings in the city with stenciled slogans and vivid, cartoon-like characters—some political, some purely aesthetic—that are generally viewed as art, not vandalism. Graffitimundo’s walking tour introduces travelers to these artists in the hip Palermo neighborhood. WHAT YOU’LL DO: Visit five studios, plus showrooms, public spaces, and galleries that feature the original works of street artists; talk with such artists as Tec, Jaz, and the “rundontwalk” stencil collective about their latest works, painting techniques, and the city’s graffiti history. HIGHLIGHTS: Create your own graffiti artwork under the guidance of a street artist (at an additional cost). Pick out a street-style painting to bring home. Chat with local artists at Hollywood in Cambodia, a graffiti gallery and bar. Graffitimundo, 54/9-11-36-833- 219, three-hour tour from $20. Photo courtesy of Graffitimundo. This appeared in the December/January 2010 issue.
If you’re looking for a day of grape-free respite in Mendoza, head off-the-grid to the hot springs of Cacheuta. The Terma Spa welcomes full-day guests with an assemblage of thermal baths overlooking the scenic Mendoza River flowing downstream from the Andes. The indoor/outdoor thermal spa circuit winds through gurgling curative waters ranging in temperature from 73 to 105 degrees. Bubble beds, a water volcano and foot baths are strategically placed throughout the circuit to knead tense muscles. The Natural Solarium has a basin of therapeutic mud for slathering all over your body and baking on the pool deck. Scrub yourself clean in the bithermal hydrojet shower and kick back on the flowering Andaluz patio. Next, head underground to the cavernous vaporarium and detoxify in its natural steam. A complimentary lunch is included in the spa’s entrance fee. You’ll need to make several trips to the buffet to sample the extensive spread of roasted vegetables, salads and tasty grilled meats. After dining, relax in the verdant garden until you’re ready for an afternoon spa treatment or another convalescing soak in Cacheuta’s healing mineral waters. -Hours: 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM -Pregnant women and children below the age of 14 are prohibited. -Price: $370 pesos per person/$420 pesos with transportation. Transportation can be arranged by calling Productos de Cacheuta at +54 261 429 9133. -Ruta Provincial N°82, Km 38, Cacheuta, Mendoza; +54 0262 449 0152; email@example.com
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