Argentina, the land of tango, soccer, Eva Perón, Che Guevara, good wine, Patagonia, and architecture that in one moment reminds me of New York and in another, draws stack similarities to Paris. Argentina has always been on my list of places I had to visit. The country was a mystery to me with the chords of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” ringing in my ears. Yes, I was a child when Madonna sang that song, giving a lasting impression that this country was one of resilience, elegance, and style. I had many preconceived notions about this country before I dared to venture. Every one of these notions painted it in a very positive light. Strangely enough, after visiting Argentina for 12 days, I walked away with some of my assumptions satisfied, but also a bit saddens by some elements of my trip.
My trip is divided into two parts, starting in Buenos Aires then making my way down to Patagonia to an area known as El Calafate. I was sharing my experience with a friend who had a limited number of days, so this is what we decided would work best for us. Being as honest as possible, I wanted to visit Mendoza and Salta, but time didn’t permit.
-La Ciudad –
Like all people who visit Buenos Aires, I got lost in the city and ended up walking for hours walking from Retiro into San Telmo, Palermo, and La Boca. Sometimes we didn’t know where one place began and another ended. There were so many things to see and do, and with the excitement of being in Argentina still fresh wandering around the city became a beloved activity.
-Recoleta Cemetery –
I ran into the Recoleta Cemetery by accident on my first day. I took note of it as an important landmark as this was the burial site of actress-turned-First Lady Eva Perón. In this area, you can run into a host of other landmarks and must-see places.
-Puente de la Mujer –
On my second day in Buenos Aires, I walked from my hotel in Retiro down towards Puente de la Mujer. On our way down towards Puente de la Mujer, we marveled at the many statues and modern sculptures. From here I walked up towards Casa Rosada, then towards la calle 25 de Mayo and then towards the Obelisco.
-La Boca –
Visiting La Boca was an interesting experience as I walked all the way from Retiro into San Telmo then into La Boca. All the advice I found about this place pleaded with visitors not to visit this place too late at night. Yes, La Boca is a rough neighborhood decorated in murals, street art, and many brightly colored buildings, but dear I say I felt more at home here. While walking around in La Boca, I believed that I was seeing the real Argentina, not to mention we got lost and walked for hours into areas that would scare most tourists.
-San Telmo –
San Telmo was refreshing and reminded me of the Greenwich Village and Soho in New York City. I can say it mostly reminds me of the Village with many quaint bars, tattoo parlors, markets, coffee shops, vegan restaurants, and many other bohemian stores.
Palermo had a very similar vibe to San Telmo, it was equally as gorgeous and vibrant, but to me, Palermo had more eateries such as La Mer and La Pescadorita that tugged at my heartstrings.
-Dulce de Leche –
While in Buenos Aires, I tried the dulce de leche, which is a delicacy in Argentina. This is a sticky sweet treat made of sugar and caramelized milk made into a jam-like sauce. This is one of the national sweet treats that is often added to various cookies and biscuits. While at the San Telmo Market, I visited a store called DDL & Co. and got to sample a few dulce de leche. While there, I met a store clerk by the name of Marcello, who was kind enough to explain the various choices they offered.