[EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS IS AN UPDATED AND ENHANCED PREVIOUS POST AS I IMPROVE MY WEBSITE] [JUJUY PROVINCE, ARGENTINA] — Play the voiceover from the Voice of God dude in movie trailers: “In a world where…” and you’ll get a feeling what it’s like to make the trip to tour Salinas Grandes in Argentina, one of the largest salt flats in the world. A well-worth-it side detour from traveling up the Humahuaca Gorge in Jujuy province. My trusty guide Augustin, who I’ve known only for an hour says, “But first we must make a stop.” pulls over to a skanky strip center off to the side of the road and comes back to the truck with some coca leaves and some unnamed Bolivian snuff. “This will make the altitude
[EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS IS AN UPDATED AND ENHANCED PREVIOUS POST AS I IMPROVE MY WEBSITE] [JUJUY PROVINCE, ARGENTINA] — Northwestern Argentina is one of the most surprising and under-visited part of the country. Right on the Salta/Jujuy provincial borders are two must see stops: the muddy Andean town of Purmamarca and just around the corner, the incredible Paseo de los Colorado, a two mile amusement ride of colors that wrap around behind Purmamarca. Stop in for a lunch in town, dominated by the stratified colors of the Hill of the Seven Colors — you’ll see why they named it that. When I read about this place in the NYTimes, I knew I had to go there. You should, too. Here’s a great article in the Wall Street
[BUENOS AIRES] — I recently got to go back to Buenos Aires in late February 0f 2013. You can read all the guidebooks about what to do, (and my previous posts) but here are updates on where I think you should go, do and see. So many great neighborhoods and sights…these are my favorites. THE PALERMOS All the Palermo neighborhoods — Palermo Hollywood, Palermo SoHo, etc. Great low-rise neighborhoods of restaurants, the best shops and tons and tons of restaurants. The perfect part of the city for just walking block by block, meandering with no destination in mind, picking up the cool vibe and taking some nice meals. Some cool small and reasonably-priced hotels here, too. RETIRO — Quiet upscale, leafy neighborhood with embassies and
[BUENOS AIRES] — There are lots of amazing restaurants in Buenos Aires. Here are some of my new finds on my last trip in late February of 2014. We were just in and out on this trip, heading to Uruguay, but these are my favorites…the others were just okay. All of these are good. Add them to your list, but here’s how they look: SUCRE This was probably our favorite — we had many great meals at “let’s eat here” spur-of-the-moment local places, but Sucre was really special and better than the TripAdvisor reviews…typical. Extremely nice people. Great central location. Nothing more than burger on the sidewalk. We had fun. Go late. CAFE TORTONI I’ve posted before and this is a revisit. Sure, Cafe Tortoni
[BUENOS AIRES] — On a very quiet street in Recoleta lies your own private mansion. The Algodon Mansion. It’s an all-suite hotel that’s more like an upscale private apartment building. Built in 1912 with classic French lines, the inside is all brand new, with clean modern lines and layers and layers of browns and beiges. I never got a true read on how many suites are tucked in here, but I’m guessing less than twelve, which makes the whole experience very intimate and private. And the exceptionally friendly front desk staff are like your own private concierges, helping plan your day, finding restaurants and directing you to the coolest spot. My suite had one of the largest bathrooms I’ve ever seen, with soft marble floors, cool
(Buenos Aires) — La Boca, you’ll read all about it, see pictures of it in your Spanish textbook, but it’s kinda cool. I hear it is a little dicey at night, I was only there during the day. A little too touristy for me, but worth a stop.
(Buenos Aires) — Continuing my pursuit of visiting all the restaurants of my favorite chef, Francis Mallmann, after an all-night flight, I had a five hour layover at the Buenos Aires airport. I planned to take a car into the city to have lunch at his famous restaurant Patagonia Sur in BA’s colorful La Boca neighborhood, then head back to the airport. I asked my travel agent to make a reservation and when I got there they unlocked the door and let me in. There was no one there but the extremely nice waiter. I asked “Where is everybody?” and he replied: “We’re normally not open for lunch, but you had made a reservation so we opened up early for you.” I think that’s a perfect
(Molinos, Salta, Argentina) — Estancia Colome is a place I had read a few things about, mostly its magical high-altitude vineyard and its remote, very remote location. But what really attracted me to make the long journey was that it also is home to the only museum dedicated to one of my favorite artists, James Turrell. The fact that he chose this remote place for his remote works makes both all the more special. He works with light and the way we perceive. Read more about him, the museum and the estancia here. Colome is owned by the Hess Collection and is one of the oldest and highest vineyards in South America, if not the world. The Estancia hotel has only a handful of rooms and
(Cafayate, Argentina) — This is really a pretty place. The Patios de Cafayete — almost the most perfect Spanish style villa and grounds you can imagine. The reviews are sometimes mixed, but I loved it. Maybe while pretty, it might be lacking a soul with some of the people working there. I think it used to be part of the Luxury Collection, but then I got a cryptic message from the LC when booking saying that they were no longer associated with the property. Nice big rooms and perfect reading porches all around. Excellent courtyard and gorgeous main room. I had a darn good meal in the restaurant, with a fine bottle of their house Don David Malbec. Nice pool, too, to cool off after the
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A pictorial highlight of driving the treacherous Ruta 40 from Cachi to Molinas in Salta Argentina
What’s amazing about Salta Argentina is the incredible diversity of geology — you can see the entire development of the Earth in just a few hours. Starting from Salta, you can head up through rain forests and roaring river gorges, riding along a varying road with overhangs, washouts and dramatic stream fording
[SALTA, ARGENTINA] — A few miles outside of Salta is a perfect hotel and spa in the country. A luxurious estancia-turned-hotel (and the actor Robert Duval’s former place) it’s the perfect base to explore Salta province, easy to connect to the highways into the mountains, yet being away from the bustling Salta city. It’s just a few kilometers on the other side of the airport, so it’s a great place to crash after a long flight. Set amidst acres of green, green farmland, trees and remarkable views of the distant mountains, it is essentially made up of a main house and several guest houses, each with their own patios and views of the fields, the sun and the sound of the outside. There’s even an excellent
Here’s a great BA guide from Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and NYTimes.
(San Telmo, Buenos Aires) Go to see the San Telmo market on Sundays. The whole neighborhood is taken over for market-goers, a lively scene, and cool stuff all over the place. Here are some suggestions from Travel & Leisure.
(Buenos Aires) — When I first went to Buenos Aires in 2005, the Puerto Madero waterfront redevelopment has only been completed for a short time. When I first saw pictures of the soaring lobby of the Faena Hotel & Universe in a travel magazine, I just knew I had to go there. Universe? C’mon. But when I read about how it was built inside a restored Victorian era warehouse/factory and saw pictures of all the details, I just had to check it out. At the time, boutique hotels were still something new, but I knew something cool was going on when I walked in and there was no reception desk and you checked in with an Experience Manager. I thought it was a gimmick, but