South America Journey…Buenos Aires / Iguaza Falls

We saved the “Best for Last”.

On Saturday the 22nd of October we checked out of Mendoza Wine Country, and headed by air to Buenos Aires for the final leg of our South America Journey. We will be in Buenos Aires for four nights, and plan to experience some awesome Argentina Steaks, Wines and Culture.

The “Townhome” turned Luxury Hotel

We were excited to check into an awesome hotel in Palermo Soho Area of Buenos Aires, The BE Jardin Escondido By Coppola. As we have enjoyed both Francis Ford Coppola’s resorts in our home town of Placencia, Belize, as well as his Jungle Resort in Cayo, we expected the best, and got the best.

This hotel was actually where Francis and his family lived while filming a movie in Buenos Aires, and after filming was completed, he enjoyed it so much, he bought it and made it a hotel. It’s actually a two story “townhouse” like building, turned “First Class Bed and Breakfast”.

Help yourself 🙂

Our room “Sophia”, named after his daughter was very comfortable and well appointed. On multiple occasions, we were served our Capachino in our room, which was quite a treat. The excellent staff taught us how to use the fancy Capacchino Machine downstairs as well as introducing us to the extensive selection of booze, available to us “no charge” 🙂

I loved “bottomless” Cappuccino

Breakfast in main dining room was spectacular, and the fresh homemade pastries, heavenly. If you are planning a trip too Buenos Aires, I highly recommend staying here.

Delfina telling Marsha…”Let’s Shop”

Our first two days in Buenos Aires I had booked a private Tour Guide, Delfina with “Tours By Locals”, to show us around different parts of the city, as well as introduce us to the best “Argentina Restaurants”and of course wines. As Argentina as a country does not wake up until noon, she picked us up at 5 PM each day to start our adventure.

The 2nd evening with Delfina we asked her to take us to a “Tango Show’, and she took us to a popular “tourist area” that she was not used to bringing customers to. It’s quite popular, with many vendors and colorful buildings, but she warned us of “pickpockets” and other “shady people” who frequent the area because of tourists.

There were multiple ” stages” set up to watch dancers, and sip wine, or beer.

Note: I wasn’t concerned about “pickpockets or shady dudes” as traveling anywhere, I am always prepared for “encounters with evil” !

Actually, we had a excellent seat in an outside “Cabrera style” show, with excellent Tango Dancers, and cold beers. It was quite the experience, and I must admit, I thought of my days in “Mrs Wagners School of Dance” that I attended in younger years, and almost jumped on stage with one of the ladies for a twirl 🙂

One morning we did set off on our own for a few hours on the “hop on / hop off: bus of the city. These are always a great choice of adventure in a strange city, as you get to know its different areas. If someplace looks interesting, ya jump off, and catch another bus later.

We also took a boat tour of the Tigre River.

My honey hiding from the camera 🙂

Pizza is a big deal in Argentina…Who Knew ?

The third day was quite exciting, as we were booked to go to an actual “Gaucho Ranch”, Camino Pampa, in Estancia & the Town of Gauchos for an afternoon of Gaucho Life, and “lunch”.

The tour company picked us up at the hotel at 8:30 AM and off we went out of the city, to the country. On our way to the ranch, we first stopped at the small old town of San Antonio de Areco for a walking tour. We received quite an education into “times gone by”, with many artisans still creating leather Gaucho leathers and equipment as they have for centuries. The silversmithing was beyond imagination.

Just one more helping of steak sir ????

Onward to the ranch, we arrived at noon for a tour, with Gaucho’s everywhere. And then the “big question” happened ! Did I want to take a “Buggy Tour” of the ranch, or jump up on a Gaucho Horse, on a “Gaucho Saddle” and tour with the Gaucho’s ?

Marsha choose the buggy ride.

As I owned and operated a “horse / cattle ranch in Oregon for 20 years, the answer was “of course”.

After our ride I met up with my girl Marsha ( who took the buggy ride), and we proceeded to the tables set up outside for lunch.

I did sneak into the “Barbecue Room” to check out the steaks and sausages on the grills, yum.

Let me tell you, these Argentinians know how to eat, and this was only lunch ! They started serving large trays of “internal organ meat”, (hearts, kidneys, and assorted whatever’s), followed by lesser cuts of steak and chorizo, followed buy trays of prime steaks. All very filling because there was also salads, breads potatoes, and veggies.

Of course, then the band members started playing for us, and some of us were pulled up to dance 🙂

And then here they come with a second serving of the meat plates.

And of course, there were bottles of wine emptied at our table of six 🙂

Even I got tired of wine, and luckily found “my girl Stella” 🙂

The ride home was an endeavor of trying to keep my eyelids open, and thinking about dinner ???

View of Iguazu Falls from lobby of Gran Melia Iguazu.

The next day were were flying to Iguazu Falls, North of Buenos Aires, and directly on the border with Brazil. As we had other stops, we had booked one night at Coppola’s for our return, and we packed a light bag for the three days at the falls, and left the rest in our room.

“oh my god ! the view from our balcony of the falls

I had researched and found that Iguazu Falls was one of the Wonders of the World, and a National Park, I wanted us to really experience this as our final stop of the trip. I anticipated that it would be spectacular, and a real good end to our adventure.

What we experienced was beyond my expectations, and one of the best experiences of my lifetime, anywhere in the world.

Quote from Eleanor Roosevelt….”It makes Niagara Falls look like a kitchen faucet” !

I had booked in advance a private tour both days of the falls, one day on Argentina side, one day on Brazil side. As I wanted to be able to explore the falls on our own in addition, the only way to do this is by staying in the park, at the only resort / hotel there, The Gran Melia Iguazu, which I did.

When they say, “go big or go home” they are talking about this resort, a “5 Star”. I had decided to “splurge” on our three day stay here, and made advanced reservations, (after passing out), as the standard room rate is $1000 per nite ! I did manage to get a tiny discount.

The Gran Melia Resort from the Brazil Side.

When our tour driver picked us up at the airport and we arrived at the hotel I just knew we were in for a treat. Walking in the front doors of the hotel our breath was taken away, because looking thru the lobby to a wall of glass, there was the falls !

This is the building with elevator for the elderly and handicapped.

Breakfast with a serious view 🙂

This fantastic hotel features all rooms that are suites, with a balcony enjoying a spectacular view of the falls. In fact, the bathroom / shower room, has a glass wall, so you even view the falls while brushing your teeth 🙂

Marsha’s little friend….monkeys everywhere. They can unlock doors, and rob the “mini-bar”

Breakfasts were buffet style, but not your normal buffet, theirs was a perfect 10 ! Dinners were unbelievable, steaks, fish, etc., and wine list perfect.

Now for the falls, starting with the Argentina side. They say, and it’s true, the Brazil side has the “Views”, and the Argentina side has the Thunder. We started the first day being transported over border to Brazil to view the falls from that side. The border crossing was a piece of cake, and in minutes we were on our way.

Keep in mind, there are over 280 falls in Iguazu Falls Itinerary ! And each one is different. You are mostly looking across a massive expanse at the many falls from the Brazil side, and as you walk the many trails, it seems like they go on forever. On that point, I will say Brazil side was really not set up well for handicapped people, as opposed to the Argentina side. More on that later.

The next day our guide met us at the hotel for our Argentina Side Iguazu Falls Tour. This would be a long day of not only hiking trails but also a Jet Boat Ride “Under multiple Falls” !

There are just so many advantage points on the Argentina Side for different falls that after a while you just become mesmerized by them. Along the trails up and down, we came across multiple tourists in wheelchairs, which I was pleased to see. In fact, later in the day, when I was standing with my back to a wall of waterfalls, we took an elevator back to the top.

I cannot say enough about the Iguazu Falls Experience, other than you need to experience them. If I could post all of the 300 Photos and Video’s we took, I would, but I do hope the ones I post amaze you as much as they did me.

These transported us to bottom where we boarded Jet boats

Our South America monthlong adventure was coming to an end, and we proceeded back to out hotel in Buenos aires, the Coppola Jardin Escondido for the night, leaving for Lima Peru the following morning. It was a warm feeling when we arrived to check back into the hotel, when we were greeted with a smile, and were told, “your bags are waiting for you in your suite, Sophia” 🙂 That evening we enjoyed a great steak nearby with an awesome bottle of Malbec, our last in Argentina, this time 🙂

Marsha loved the Infinity pool with falls view.

We caught our flight to Lima, Peru, then on to our American Airlines flight to Miami, Florida for a overnight before heading back home to Belize.

Still my favorite photo from the entire month in South America……one happy wife 🙂

Wouldn’t you just know that as we flew back to Belize, Hurricane watch was in effect for our home. Lucky for us, it didn’t really turn out to be any big deal.

And again, there is no-place like home !, Dorothy was correct.

So that ends out Month + in South America, and another adventure into our unknown. Please like and follow this blog, as the adventure is not over yet.

We are already in the planning stage for our next adventure, which will bring us to Asia.

Bali, for a celebration and some “beach time” at James Bond Island,

Vietnam for a cruise down the Mekong River to Cambodia for a week,

and then two weeks in Thailand, visiting Bangkok, Phuket, Chang mai, Chang Rei and more.

Until then, be happy, Be safe, and Travel, there’s a whole big world of joy out there.

Gary…..The Pirate

About storiesbygary

I am a Freelance Writer / Photographer, writing travel related articles for international magazines, blogs and websites and my own published books.
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