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Argentina; a Land of Natural Beauty

Mar 08, 2018 03:18PM ● By Camille Autin

New and old worlds collide living in perfect balance here; from the ancient vineyard lands of Mendoza in the foothills of the Andes Mountains to the thriving nightlife of Buenos Aires and the breathtaking natural wonder of Iguazu Falls. Argentina’s culture is as diverse as its landscape, and yet is simple at the same time. A passion for food, wine and expression is at the heartbeat of the Argentine people, and when you travel there, you’ll understand that’s exactly what you went there to find.

Nicknamed ‘Paris of the South’, the capital city of Buenos Aires has a unique mix of European architecture and modern design. The bustling city center exudes the enduring influences of the Italian and Spanish immigrants that settled modern day B.A. Each of the well-known barrios (neighborhoods) have their own distinguishing characteristics. To name a few, Recoleta is a more historic and upscale area with beautiful plazas, expansive parks and swish hotels. It is home to the famous Recoleta Cemetery where Eva Peron (aka Evita) is buried.

Palermo has a fresh trendy vibe with late night dining, underground music venues, and dancing dives. San Telmo is famous for its large street market and colorful artistic feel. It’s here that you’ll find fresh churros and yerba mate sold street side as tango dancers whirl by. La Boca is a vibrant area sitting at the mouth of the Matanza River. It’s known for its vibrantly colored buildings and the sizzle of Argentine beef on an open flame on nearly every street corner.

Known widely as the home of Malbec, the Uco Valley in the Mendoza province is an incredible destination for wine lovers and nature enthusiasts. Modern wineries in an ancient landscape create an interesting opposition to what one might picture to exist there. With the Andes Mountains sprawling in the background and acre upon acre of plush vineyards before you, there stands an array of sandstone and cement fortresses that seem to rise straight out of the earth. Inside is the lifeblood and traditions of the earliest Patagonian people and the fruit of their land. The wines that are home to this valley region are earthy, complex and simply divine. Travelers also come to the Uco Valley specifically to feast at Francis Mallman’s Siete Fuegos (Seven Fires) which reveals his refined collection of open flame cooking techniques inspired by the Argentine gauchos.

Iguazu, an indigenous term meaning ‘Big Water’, aptly describes the renowned waterfalls that are among the world’s most visually and acoustically stunning natural sites. In the northeast Misiones Province, Iguazu constitutes the international border between Argentina and Brazil before it flows into the mighty Parana River. Across a width of nearly 2 miles, the Iguazú River drops vertically about 265 feet in a series of powerful cascades. As a site described to dwarf Niagara Falls, it must be seen in person to fully appreciate.

As the golden sun sets on the ‘land of silver’ with its immense plains, vast deserts, tundra and forests, the mystic mountains, winding rivers and thousands of miles of ocean shoreline sink into darkness… that’s when your evening begins.

Lafayette native Camille Autin’s personal experiences have drawn her closer to her passion for exploring other cultures and seeing the world. She is a travel specialist at Acadiana Travel and enjoys planning customized itineraries that highlight each destination’s unique cultural landscape.