Our arrival in Buenos Aires at about 4.30 am was rather sublime. We were met by our tour representative and driven through very quiet streets to our hotel in the Palermo district, Clasico Hotel. We were understandably tired from flying overnight so after securing an early check in we retreated to our room for much-needed sleep.
On awakening, we decided to take a good look around the local area – seeking out our bank ATM and a recommended money exchange. We found both fairly easily but also found beautiful buildings on tree-lined streets, lovely cafes, restaurants and ice cream shops, colourful markets and gardens. We happened to be in one of the most beautiful and comfortable areas that also appeared to be very safe.
We were very thankful to our tour planner/operators – Tourradar and Say Hueque who helped us plan for and experience the highlights of Buenos Aires and Iguazu. Not only was the hotel perfectly situated but the tours we booked provided us with amazing experiences.
Our second day in Buenos Aires was spent on a tour of the city visiting such places as the Plaza de Mayo (including the Casa Rosada where Eva Peron famously addressed her people from the balcony, Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral – the former parish of the current Pope, and the square itself which has been the site of many rebellions, protests and political change), the La Boca district (home of the tango and originally many European – particularly Italian – settlers with their colourful corrugated iron buildings painted in the colours of the boat they arrived on and amazing statues), and the beauty of the old docklands and numerous parklands. A quick rest in the afternoon and then we were off to our dinner and tango show. Sensational Argentine cuisine and an elaborate display of tango dancing mixed with some performances of historical Argentine cultural songs. We were lucky enough to be seated with a lovely couple from near Reading in England (whose contact details we have regrettably lost) and together we had a brilliant night.
It was an early start the next day as we were heading to Puerto Iguazu to see the stunning Iguazu Falls the following day. We signed up for a boat cruise late that afternoon and were taken to the point where the Iguazu and Parana rivers meet – and consequently the junction of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The commentary was most helpful in understanding the geography, but what struck us most was how suddenly we felt we had gatecrashed someone’s party. As soon as the commentary ended two guys started their musical performance with those on board joining in with much loud singing and dancing. We recognised a few tunes but couldn’t remember the English lyrics. On return to our hotel – the amazing El Pueblito hotel surrounded by parklands full of flora and fauna – we had possibly the best baked fish dinner ever!
Another of my life goals was fulfilled when we visited Iguazu Falls. Always afraid of heights and unsure above water, the thought of walking out on mesh walkways sometimes high above rushing water, was daunting at best. But true to my recent decision to throw myself into the experience as much as possible I just got on with it. And the Falls did not disappoint on any level. They are truly awesome, stunning and amazing – both visually and audibly. So much water was roaring over the many falls and everywhere you looked was more. And in the afternoon we got on a boat with about 50 other people and got absolutely drenched as we were taken under the falls. Definitely breathtaking, as the water tumbled over and gave us more than a shower. It took quite a while to dry off but since we had the most gorgeous weather for this adventure neither of us minded at all.
Bob went alone the next morning to view the falls from the Brazil side. As a British citizen, he didn’t have the same problems organising a visa as I had. So he was charged with taking as many photos as possible. They provide a unique perspective of the massive entirety of Iguazu Falls. There is just no way of really capturing the magic and majesty of this phenomena so hopefully the photos in the gallery will give you a taste. This should be on everyone’s must-do list.
We had a couple more days to enjoy Buenos Aires before our return flight to the UK. So we filled them with walks through the Botanical Gardens, Japanese Garden and Recoleta Cemetery. And of course partaking in the all the food options Argentina has to offer.
All too soon our time in South America was over and we returned to London on a rather cold day – an abrupt wake up from our last few balmy days in Argentina.
What a wonderful experience we had – one we will never forget. We are truly blessed with the life we live and cherish the opportunity to enjoy these experiences, first hand and later as beautiful memories.