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I went to Argentina with my sister and our friend Eva in March. This is a list of my favorite experiences.

(and why you should go!)

 

11. Gelato

Its everywhere. Its delicious. Bring your dairy pills because you’ll want globs of it every day.

 

 

10. Graffiti/Street art

Especially near La Boca, colorful graffiti covers Buenos Aires. Sometimes its on cars. Sometimes its a giant mural that even incorporates nearby telephone poles.

 

  

 

9. Recoleta Cemetery

Evita was buried here. The avenues of small neat mausoleums is a bit creepy, but the sculptures are great. Cats wander around.

 

  

8. Steak. Asado. Meat.

If you’re not eating steak every day, you’re doing something wrong. The food is amazing in Argentina and steak is what they’re best known for- usually cooked more well done that we like, but so good it melts in your mouth. Vegetarians, the empanadas and pizzas are equally awesome.

 

 

7. Yerba Mate

This tastes nothing like the Guayaki brand of mate you’ll find in the supermarket. Bitter, dark and drunk through a metal straw in a pile of leaves in a hollowed out melon, its caffeine will keep you up. People often will refill your cup with warm water for free. And its usually shared in a circle.

6. Malbec

My sister who has declared herself “not a wine fan” admitted to liking malbec wines. They’re flavorful, not too sweet and dry enough to pair really well with that asado.

 

 

5. Perito Moreno Glacier

The perito moreno glacier is incredibly photogenic. Its not the biggest, but it’s one of the most consistent in calving. Stick around for at least two hours to watch the glacier drop building size pieces of ice into the water.

 

 

4. The town of El Calafate

There is something really familiar but grand about the landscape around El Calafate. There were hills sort of like Owen’s Valley, plants were sort of like the ones in the Central valley, the sky sort of looked like Colorado’s, but it was somehow perfected. Whether riding bikes along the lake or driving along Rt 15, the open air, rising hills and small ranches around this city felt right.

 


3. Hiking in El Chalten

Though its billed as the trekking capital of Argentina, you’ll run into a surprisingly few number of people in this sleepy small town. Rent any hiking equipment you need and head out on some of the most beautiful hikes in Patagonia. Get close to Fitz Roy, get a view of the valley floor, and definitely check out Laguna Torre. Not the easiest hikes around (most are about 15-17 miles round trip), but there are nice backpacking options if you want to break it up into several days.

 

 

2. I Keu Ken Hostel in El Calafate.

This is the best hostel I have ever stayed at. The staff was friendly, the place was cozy, the people were just the best. Friday night asado dinner had all beer/wine you can drink and all meat you can eat, which resulted in a rousing game of switch hand drinking game with people from around the world.

 

 

1. Ice climbing on the Viedma Glacier

When the boat dropped us off next to the Viedma glacier, there were maybe 40 people standing around. Then the guides took the ice trekkers away and then there was just 4 of us. Apparently no one else wanted to try ice climbing! It took a few minutes for us to get the gear and put it all on, but as soon as I took my first steps on the ice and sunk my ice axe into the glacier, I was completely in love. From slushy white snow to hard blue glassy ice, I felt like I was flying as I climbed up these walls. By the end of the day as I came over the edge of my last climb, I couldn’t stop smiling. Our guides handed us some Baileys with glacier ice and we sipped them while watching the shadows grow longer along the crevasses. Then we climbed back over the ice and rock to the boat that would take us back to town. Easily one of the best days of my life.