by Lauren Delaney
Argentina. Where do I even begin? It’s one of the most magical places in the world, merging bustling cities with tranquil mountains, a European-esque history with the native heritage. Argentina has a diverse mix of attractions and must-see sights that will satisfy any traveler’s hunger for exploration and discovery.
I spent the most of my time in Buenos Aires, where I worked an internship, took classes, and did most of my exploring. My study abroad group lived in the Recoleta neighborhood. It’s the swankier part of Buenos Aires, where the streets are lined with trendy boutiques and lavish cafes. The neighborhood is home to many parks, plazas, markets, and museums, so it’s easy to find something to do.
Buenos Aires is comprised of about a dozen different neighborhoods, and each one has a vibe of its own. Recoleta is the most stylish, but further south you’ll find La Boca, the colorful neighborhood that gave birth to Tango. There, the buildings are brightly colored and the heritage of the poorer immigrants lives on through dance. San Telmo is another interesting neighborhood, with more of a bohemian feel. With its old street art, tango, quaint cafes, and hidden restaurants, it captures the essence of the traditional Buenos Aires.
One of the many trips I took was to Mendoza, better known as wine country. Located on the border of Argentina and Chile, this small city lies at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. I took a winery tour with my roommates, on which we sampled at least four wines at each vineyard. We had a four-course meal while sipping the famous Malbec wine and looking out over the snow-capped Andes Mountains. The experience was simply magical; I had never done anything like that before, and I won’t ever forget it.
We also went horseback riding in the mountains while we were in Mendoza. The adventure company gave us a horse and saddle, set us up with a tour guide – who spoke only Spanish – and we set off for the mountains. I’m terrified of animals so I was skeptical, but soon after the journey began I forgot my fear and nervousness. The views were spectacular and the experience unforgettable. There’s something so refreshing about being immersed in a foreign place... no matter where you travel, I would recommend doing something like this.
I also went to Iguazu Falls at Puerto Iguazu. The falls are located in a huge national park. The park offers boat tours that take you close to the waterfalls, and you’re guaranteed to get wet – which is perfect for cooling off on a hot day. The park involves a lot of walking, but it’s worth the views. While I was there, I also went rappelling and zip lining through the jungle. Iguazu Falls is a very activity-based place, so if you’re ready for an adventure through the forests and the waterfalls, you’ll have a great time!
My time in Argentina passed by much too fast. Over the course of two and a half months I grew to love the culture, people, food, and the country overall. If you choose to study abroad in Buenos Aires, you’ll have the experience of a lifetime.