Argentina · Brazil · Nature · South America

Iguazu / Iguaçu

On Sunday morning I flew from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu to meet Nick, who is a friend from uni and an old housemate. It was so nice walking into the hostel and seeing a friendly face having had to make new friends every time I moved somewhere new for the last 4 months! We spent the afternoon catching up over a few beers and planning the next couple of days. 

On Monday morning, the rain was torrential but seemed to be easing off so we decided to brave it and headed to see the Argentinean side of the famous Iguazu Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. 

At the top of the Devil’s Hole there was a huge amount of spray flying into the air so it didn’t matter that it was raining! We followed the various walkways above the waterfalls and marvelled at the views, taking in the Brazilian side too. 

On Tuesday morning after another wet start we took the bus over the border to Foz do Iguaçu. The weather had improved but we wanted to keep a whole day for Iguaçu Falls so instead we went to see the Itaipu Dam. During building the dam obliterated a set of waterfalls larger than Iguaçu but is the second largest hydroelectric dam in the world and powers nearly all of Paraguay’s electricity and 15% of Brazil’s. 

Wednesday was a super sunny day and we decided to see the falls from a different angle and took a helicopter ride over the top! The views were amazing and you can really appreciate the size of the waterfalls as well as see the river stretching off in opposite directions on either side. 

Once inside the park we followed the main footpath along the falls which gives lots of views of the Argentinean side. The path winds down the hill and gets closer and closer to the water until you can follow a walkway to stand right in front of one of the falls. The volume of water and the sound it makes is incredible!! Also the amount of spray means that you’re soaked as soon as you step onto the walkway but in the heat its very welcome! 

We finished off the day with cocktails on the terrrace of the Belmont Hotel with a fabulous view of the other side.

Argentina · Food · South America

Food and wine in Argentina

Food and wine in Argentina has been on a different level to everything else in South America! Strong malbecs, juicy steaks and hot empanadas have all been tempting me and I have definitely been indulging!

It started in Mendoza, my first stop in Argentina, where there were so many great looking restaurants and I decided to treat myself. One day I went on a cycling wine tour through Maipu, one of the wine areas south of Mendoza. Throughout the day we cycled to 3 different wineries, trying a couple of wines in each one, an organic olive oil producer, and a craft brewer. Lunch was served at the second winery with proscuitto sandwiches and ham and cheese empanadas. 

Dinner most nights has been steak – even if its not cooked exactly how I like it, its always tender and juicy. 

There are also loads of ice cream places, mostly providing gelato style ice cream, highly influenced by the large number of Italian immigrants over the last century. The most popular flavour is Dulce de Leche and there are several variations too, all of which I can confirm are amazing!

Empanadas are everywhere and make a great snack or a few together for lunch. I’ve tried to find a cooking class to learn how to make them and there are a few around but generally pretty expensive so I might have to do trial and error at home!