Air New Zealand now flies direct from Auckland to Buenos Aires, so Remix travel writer Carl Thompson jetted to the tango-twirling, steak-eating, Malbec-drinking capital of Argentina to experience its magic first hand.
A city stay in Buenos Aires is a great way to start any South American adventure – from here you can explore the northern wine routes, astounding Iguazu, thrilling Brazil, and unique Uruguay. The happy-go-lucky people of Argentina have seen much civil unrest in recent history, and despite the slums and poverty, which are a humbling eye- opener, Argentina is a safe tourist destination. Just keep your tiara at home.
We stayed in Palermo, situated on the fringe of the city, which is the trendy new area of Buenos Aires, full of fashion, cafes, restaurants, cocktail bars and boutique hotels. Palermo is a great place to stay because the locals are accommodating to tourists and there’s lots to see and do within walking distance.
A city tour is an excellent way to quickly understand the different areas of Buenos Aires and get the full history of their multiple revolutions. A city tour will also take you to La Boca, one of our top picks, the brightly coloured area next to the old port.
Iguazu Falls: Plan to spend a couple of days west of Buenos Ares admiring the breathtaking Iguazu Falls.
Mendoza Wine Tours: Immerse yourself in the Argentinian countryside as you develop your vinous palate with their world famous Malbecs.
Antarctica Cruise: Feeling adventurous? Take a cruise ship to Antarctica. The port of Ushuaia, at the southern end of Argentina, is where all Antarctic cruise ships set sail from.
EAT & DRINK
Argentinian BBQ: Argentina is famous for the wood fire BBQ. There are plenty of BBQ restaurants, but we recommend you give meat from one of the Argentinian street stalls a try for a true taste of local fare.
The Argentine Experience: A unique dinner party experience that teaches you what being Argentinian is all about and a great activity if you’re travelling in a group! theargentineexperience.com
Cafes: The Palermo area is your best bet for hip cafes and restaurants. It’s a safe area where cocktail barhopping is no issue.
Air New Zealand flies non-stop three times per week to Buenos Aires from Auckland, with connections available from across its domestic network. The airline has a range of inflight product choices available including Business Premier, Premium Economy, Economy Skycouch and Economy. One-way Economy class fares start from $939 per person (including taxes). Visit airnewzealand.co.nz for more details and to book.
Destination experts Adventure World create tailor-made itineraries in Buenos Aires. Five-day trips start from $895 per person and include accommodation in 4 or 5 star hotels, dinner and tango show, private drivers, some meals, airport transfers, a city tour and more.
Words & photography by Carl Thompson.