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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The sun sinks behind the foothills of the Andes as I gallop on horseback toward the riverbank. My horse splashes into the rushing water, and I cling to the reins with frozen fingers. In the distance, smoke curls up through the evening sky. It’s a sign that I’m nearing Tipiliuke Lodge, the center of the sprawling Estancia Cerro de los Pinos, a cattle ranch in northern Patagonia. After several hours of exploring mountainous, wind-whipped terrain and barreling through apple orchards, I’m ready to lounge in front of the crackling fire. When I arrive at the lodge, a deer-hunting party made up of physicians from Buenos Aires is already on a second round of cocktails. I’m instantly spotted. “¡Che, gringa!” they call to me. “Vení, ¡tómate una copa!” (“Come, have a drink!”) Within a minute, a portly ophthalmologist pours me a pisco sour and our hostess, María José Tiemersma, walks in with a huge wooden tray of smoked wild boar and salmon. Like me, the hunters have returned from the far corners of the 48,000-acre estancia, or ranch, a patchwork of pine forests and bare hills crisscrossed by the Chimehuín and Quilquihue rivers. French-Argentine pioneer Jacques de Larminat settled here in 1909. Today, his descendants and a team of gauchos run the estancia, which is home to several thousand cattle and three herds of horses. Since 1997, María José and her husband, Kevin, have managed the lodge. Argentine estancias abide by a certain old-fashioned decorum: Regardless of the day’s activities, everyone arrives at the evening meal looking perfectly put-together. I notice my dirt-caked boots and slip away for a quick soak. My room’s vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, and wrought-iron bed hint at its homestead history; while fine cotton sheets, vases filled with pink roses, and the bathroom’s oversize claw-foot tub suggest a romantic retreat. I pour aromatic salts into the bath and relax in the warm water as candlelight flickers around me. I’m freshly scrubbed when I take my seat at the long wooden dining table, but I feel unsophisticated next to the glamorous María José. Draped in a cream-colored shawl, she presides over the meal with warmth and humor, making sure no glass goes empty throughout the courses of homemade linguine, braised pork, and chocolate soufflé. I awake before dawn the next day for a fly-fishing lesson. Martín, my instructor, outfits me with a pair of rubber waders and leads me by the hand into the Río Chimehuín. “Keep your eye on the shadows. There are fish resting in the river’s coolest, darkest places,” he says. After hours of standing silently in waist-deep water, I feel a yank on the line. To our shared surprise, I’ve hooked a 21-inch salmon. (Full disclosure: Martín had to reel it in.) At lunchtime, the guests reconvene on a stretch of lawn bordered by towering pines. A traditional Argentine asado always includes steaks and red wine, but at Tipiliuke the barbecue is a more elaborate affair. Under a white tent, other novice anglers pass the chorizo while the hunters laugh about their fruitless pursuit of a wild boar through the forest. As we socialize, the grill man roasts large cuts of chivito (goat). The meat—like the pork and beef we ate earlier—was raised on the estancia. It’s a reminder that despite the crisp linens and gleaming silver, we’re still on a working ranch. I might not have broken a sweat, but after playing pioneer for a day, I’m ready for a Malbec-induced siesta. A Tipiliuke Lodge, Estancia Cerro de los Pinos, San Martín de los Andes, Neuquén Province, Argentina. tipiliuke.com. 54/11-4806-8877 ext. 101. From $370 per person, including airport transfers, all meals and drinks, winetasting, and horseback riding. Photo courtesy of Tipiliuke Lodge. This appeared in the January/February 2011 issue. See more working ranches:Las Casitas del Colca, Arequipa, PeruCortijo El Sotillo San José, Andalucia, SpainBorana Ranch & Safari Lodge, Laikipia, KenyaEcho Valley Ranch & Spa, Clinton, British Columbia
A great view of Mt. Fitz Roy can done as a day hike from the hiking town of El Chalten in Argentina. The trail starts in the woods, passes over streams, and gives ever more amazing vistas as you climb. For the full experience, you can camp at the spot shown in this picture, and then continue from here to other base camps to try to summit. Be warned though that this mountain is considered more technical than Everest, and often only a single person successfully summits in a year (versus maybe 100 on Everest).
For a great day trip from Mendoza, catch the number 10 bus and in about 20 minutes you will arrive in Maipu where you can rent a bike for about $30 pesos in one of the numerous bike rental companies along the main crossroads. The company will provide you with a map indicating the wineries, olive oil farm and spots to eat. It's an amazing way to spend an afternoon, pedaling from winery to winery (or bodegas as they are called) down sycamore lined roads, taking in the grapevines and olive trees with the Andes mountains in the background.
The store specializes in antiques and vintage clothing from the 1920s to the 1980s. Everything has an air of elegance, from the beaded gowns to the crystal decanters. 54/(11) 4361-5019. For the September, 2012 issue, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony shared with us their favorite places in Argentina.
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
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...
We took a Graffitimundo tour of Palermo in Buenos Aires that was great and highly recommended to anyone who wants to see a different part of the city. In addition to seeing tons of cool and beautiful graffiti, we also met some artists and they showed us their gallery and answered our questions.
Wander through an old-fashioned flea market filled with unusual lamps, old Atari games, and cool radios. The items here have been preserved in perfect condition and the prices are fair. Av. Álvarez Thomas and Av. Dorrego, 54/(0) 11-5382-6234 This story appeared in the September/October 2011 issue. Photo by Graciela Cattarossi. See all of Javier Gover’s favorite places in Palermo Viejo.
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?
Young Argentine chefs trained in Europe’s top kitchens are returning home to reinvent their national cuisine. Dante Liporace, the el Bulli– trained chef of Tarquino is one of the leaders of the movement, known as La Nueva Cocina Argentina. His nine-dish tasting menu, La Secuencia de la Vaca, uses every part of the cow. In June, Antonio Soriano opens his anticipated Astor Manduque Porteño bistro. Photo courtesy of Tarquino. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue.
This super-exclusive private club opened last March in the chic Palermo Soho district. Members or friends of members can go to the garden bar for poolside drinks. It’s all the buzz in Buenos Aires. 54/(11) 4832-5276. For the September, 2012 issue, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony shared with us their favorite places in Argentina.
Turning the corner onto Pasaje Zelaya in the Abasto area of Buenos Aires reveals a shocking array of colors in a celebration of all things Argentinian. The walls on the buildings here are covered in poetry, song lyrics, tango dancers, portraits of important figures and more. I walked down this street expecting to find a museum; it turned out to be closed but I ended up discovering a great deal about Argentinian culture anyway.
Winemaker Santiago Achával of Achával-Ferrer says that the boutique wineries Gimenez Riili and Caelum provide a family-style experience. At Gimenez Riili, try the 2009 Gran Reserva malbec. Caelum serves homegrown pistachios to accompany the wines. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
are not all that is on offer at the San Telmo Market held each Sunday at the Plaza Dorrego. We saw antique telephones, buttons, artwork, artwork and more artwork, musicians, shops and booths for bric a brac and much more. Busy busy busy but lots of fun. For a good inexpensive meal go around the corner to the Telmo Bar order some local food - empanadas, proveleta, jamon y melon, a carafe of wine or a beer and then head back revived and refreshed to meet the market head on. It is located at Carlos Calvo 492 across from the food market.
The small town of El Chaltén in southern Patagonia has been called the trekking capital of the world due to its proximity to Mt. Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, two of South America’s most rugged peaks. It’s also the jumping-off point to reach Aguas Arriba Lodge, a new six-room mountain cabin in a nature reserve next to Glaciers National Park. From El Chaltén, you follow a gravel road along Las Vueltas river to the emerald green Lago del Desierto, then take a short boat ride across the lake. If you’re more hard-core, put your luggage on the boat and hike three hours through the forest to reach the lodge. Photo courtesy of Pablo Castagnola/Anzenberger/Redux. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue.
The Parrilla Tour is a fun way to be introduced to secret neighborhood parrillas in Buenos Aires. On the food tour you go to 4 different authentic restaurants, sample foods at each, and learn about the cuisine and culture of Argentina. There are tours in Palermo and San Telmo several times a week.
The Bariloche region of Argentina is great for skiing in the winter, and hiking, biking and boating in the summer. A great place to stay in any season is the Llao Llao Hotel, located 25 min or so out of the main town, on the shore of the lake. Hard to beat the views, and they have a great brunch too.
Winemaker Santiago Achával of Achával-Ferrer winery has helped Argentine malbecs earn international recognition. He loves skiing at Valle de Las Leñas resort because of the pure air and views of Mendoza from the top of the slopes. "There’s nothing like a good run to take my mind off the grapes,” he says. Photo by sgsnowboards/Flickr. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
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