A facsinating country. Buenos Aires in Particular is far more active and diverse than I ever imagined.


Buenos Aires was the last stop on our South America trip. If Rio is the Miami of South America, then Buenos Aires is its New York. A colossal city of over 13,000,000, it is constantly humming with activity. We again dodged a bullet and arrived the day torrential rains stopped. Probably the most comfortable weather of the entire trip. Air pollution of course, is a problem and I found that by the time we left, the diesel fumes were beginning to get to me.

City Views

La Boca is a colorful working class neighborhood. At the turn of the century, Argentina was much like America and immigrants from all over the world settled here. La Boca was settled by mostly Italian immigrants who built their housing out of the remains of old shipping containers. Scavenged paint resulted in the bright colors which many people associate with Buenos Aires today. A wonderful little tourist area by day, the area is to be avoided all together at night.

La Boca

Recoleta Cemetery is possibly the most prestigious real estate in the most prestigious area of B.A. Argentina's most famous personality, Eva Peron is buried here. Many of the tombs have fallen on hard times however. Between a spectacular economic downturn and the number of wealthy people "disappeared" during the Dirty War not as many are receiving the maintenance required to keep them from crumbling.

Recoleta Cemetery

Though I knew of it previously, I had forgotten about this wonderful bridge. The moment it came into view, I recognized its designer. Puente de la Mujer (Women's Bridge) was designed by famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It gets it name from the fact that many of the streets near it have women's names.

Puente de la Mujer

Cataratas Del Iguazu: Twice the height of Niagara and nearly three times as wide, Iguazu falls are amazing. The falls sit on the border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Both Argentina and Brazil have national parks based around the falls. We visited both sides of the falls, but our hotel was on the Argentina side. Each side is very different. The Brazil side has trails that run along the base of the falls and you also get more of a panoramic view of the falls. Argentina has a catwalk that takes you along the to top of the falls. You can actually see the water cascading over the edge beneath your feet. You are getting completely soaked by the spray. It is not for the faint of heart. The Argentina side has extensive hiking trails and we saw a lot of wildlife: Coatis, Tego lizards and Capuchin monkeys. Alas no Toucans which are supposed to frequent the area. You had to be careful when leaning against trees though. Ginormous ants (apparently harmless, but huge) would often be crawling up the tree trunks. We took to calling them Antulas because of there resemblance to tarantulas... Creepy.

The Argentina Side

The Brazil and Argentina sides are decidedly different. The Brazil side lets you get up close and personal with the base of the falls and also give you a more panoramic view of the entire falls. Argentina has a more extensive park and trail system with a catwalk that takes you along the top of the falls. You WILL get wet. One should really plan ahead, get the Brazilian visa and see both sides to get the complete experience. Check the Brazil section to see info on that side of the falls.

It is definitely South America though. We were trying to get a taxi to the Brazil side and Fernando, (a park employee) said that the hotel taxis were too expensive at 210 pesos, but his uncle Darnella had a car and would take us for only 180 pesos. Darnella couldn't make it though, so Fernando arranged for his cousin Guido was going to take us, but after waiting for about half an hour, we were getting a little concerned and decided to look elsewhere. Adolpho finally took us for only 130 pesos..quite the bargain. Everything is negotiable and everyone is trying to make a buck. Pretty much like any tourist area, but on a grander scale. It was also quite the ordeal to go back and forth between Brazil and Argentina. You spend about half an hour at the border every time you cross. The taxi drivers know exactly what they are doing and what paperwork you need and still takes forever. They have to take your passports from you and take them into the border crossing, so you are left with out your passport for a time. Don't like that feeling at all.


All photos on this page are originals by & copyrighted by Daren Willden, unless otherwise stated.
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