The Queen of the Plata” (in reference to the Plata River), the city of Buenos Aires is considered the cultural capital of South America. It surprises for its special beauty and blend of history and customs that make it a meeting point between European culture and Latin-American vitality.
Few cities in the world have experienced a period of such astonishing growth as that which spurred Buenos Aires between 1870 and 1914. European immigrants, over half of whom were Italians, flocked to the capital, and the city’s population doubled between 1880 and 1890.
Buenos Aires is a steak lover’s paradise, with parillas located throughout the city.
Graffiti in Buenos Aires is not very different from graffiti in other South American cities. A mixture of revolt, Latin American temperament and often surprisingly good technical level of display.
Of course, there are also many creations to see, all of which would be enthusiastically applauded by all psychologists, psychiatrists and perverts. Graffiti belongs to Buenos Aires such as to Ireland terrible English or to the Italians laziness, dirt and garbage. Oh, I love these archetypes.
The port in Buenos Aires is the largest in all of South America. The port is so central to the city that residents of Buenos Aires are called Porteños - people of the port.
New construction of Buenos Aires and ARA Presidente Sarmiento, a famous museum ship.
ARA Presidente Sarmiento made thirty seven annual training cruises including six circumnavigations of the globe. The ship was retired as a seagoing vessel in 1938, but continued to serve without sails on Argentine rivers around 1950 and as a stationary training ship until 1961.
Several striking objects are exhibited inside, such as a stone that belonged to the Great Wall of China, the embalmed body of a Newfoundland dog puppy, the mascot of the frigate and an Argentine flag made in Shanghai, whose sun was embroidered with Torn eyes
The Sarmiento Frigate represented Argentina in numerous protocol events, such as the coronation of Edward VII of the United Kingdom, in 1902; the celebrations of the Centenary of the Independence of Mexico, in 1910 or the opening of the Panama Canal, in 1914.
While it may seem odd that one of Buenos Aires’ principal attractions is a cemetery, this is no ordinary graveyard. Cemiterio de Recoleta is one of the world’s most exquisite necropolises, home to more than 6400 tombs, mausoleums, and monuments.
The cemetery includes graves of some of the most influential and important Argentinians, including several presidents, scientists, and wealthy characters.
The entire cemetery is laid out in sections like city blocks, with wide tree-lined main walkways branching into sidewalks filled with mausoleums.
Set amidst the tombs of Recoleta Cemetery, Eva Perón’s grave is a monument with a tumultuous backstory. Following Perón’s death, her body spent time in a trade union’s headquarters, in the back of a cinema, in a van parked outside the capital building, and in the offices of Military Intelligence. It was moved to Milan, then to Madrid, and eventually back to Buenos Aires.
The most elegant of dances, the tango, originated in the brothels surrounding Buenos Aires.
Drawing from African, European, and native influences, the original moves were meant to dramatize the relationship between a prostitute and her pimp.
In the words of its poet laureate Discépolo, the ‘tango is a sad thought you can dance to'.
If there’s one thing Buenos Aires isn’t short of it’s tango shows. From big tourist shows to lonely musicians in the old quarters.
You can practically smell tango in the air of San Telmo. Here there are a great variety of Tango Houses where you can enjoy a sample of the most authentic Argentine artistic expression. This typical old Buenos Aires neighborhood, full of history, still lifes and cobbled streets, is an ideal place to walk around while discovering the porteño past.
Caminito is the most famous pedestrian street in Buenos Aires. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city due to its colorful houses and its deep historical and cultural significance.
La Boca's most famous street and 'open-air' museum is a magnet for visitor. The figures of Juan and Eva Perón, Che Guevara, Pepa s Frantou and soccer legend Diego Maradona, who wave down from balconies. Yes, it is a tourist trap, but don't let that put you off. It is part of the City anyway.
Caminito and the neighborhood La Boca in general used to be a center of residence for Genoese immigrants.
The houses here represent the neighborhood's typical tenement shacks, covered in corrugated zinc and originally brushed with leftover paint that Genoese port workers got from the ships.
Caminito (or 'little path') was named after a 1926 tango song. It's from a song about a flower-filled remote rural village, not an intensely urban neighborhood where Italian-immigrant gangsters, prostitutes, and sailors once roamed the streets committing crimes and other acts of mayhem.
The Esteros del Íbera wetlands cover approximately 13000 km², making it one of the largest wetland sites, not only in South America - it is the second-largest wetland in the world after Pantanal in Brazil.
The extensive network of marshes, grasslands and lagoons are home to over 350 species of birds, as well as numerous other species of flora and fauna that thrive in this pristine (almost) site.
The Esteros del Ibera is one of the best kept secrets of Argentina.
It is also home to the two Argentine species of alligator, the yacare caiman and the broad-snouted caiman.
The yacare caiman is also known commonly as the jacare caiman, Spanish 'yacaré', Paraguayan caiman, piranha caiman, red caiman or southern spectacled caiman.
Its diet primarily consists of aquatic animals, such as snails, and occasionally land vertebrates.
Males grow to a total length of 2–3 metres.
The natural reserve Esteros del Íbera is known for its biodiversity. The pictured marsh deer is the largest deer species from South America. The hoof has elastic interdigital membranes which are useful for swimming and walking on marshy surfaces.
Capybaras, impressive semi-aquatic mammals are found throughout much of northern and central South America. As the biggest rodent on Earth, capybaras grow up to 134 cm in length, stand up to 62 cm tall at the withers, and typically weigh up to 66 kg.
Not a beaver without a tail, not a hairy pig without a snout. Capybaras are closely related to guinea pigs. I prefer guinea pigs because they fit in the microwave better than capybaras.
Capybara is a highly social specie and can be found in groups as large as 100 individuals.
They also eat their own feces in the morning. That’s when their poo is protein rich from the high number of microbes digesting the previous day’s meals.
There are plenty of mammals in Esteros del Ibera. For example two species of fox, the Crab-eating Racoon, Geoffroy's Cat, ocelot (pictured), Plains Vizcacha, Skunk, two species of Opossum, Maned Wolf, three species of Armadillo and of course tourists.
The Black Howler Monkeys are common in Esteros del Íbera and are considered to be the loudest land animals on Earth right after my irish colleagues Anto S. and Jimmy D.
The Jesuits, Christian fanatical raiders from Europe, built about 30 missions in the area, which now includes parts of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.
San Ignacio Mini remains one of the best preserved Jesuit ruins in South America today. Constructed in the Guaraní baroque style – a mix of indigenous and Europe techniques
The red-tinted architecture of San Ignacio Miní is impressive even in its ruined state. The mix of Spanish baroque and Guaraní styles is still evident in the disconnected walls and arches of the church. San Ignacio Miní is a spectacular example of mission planning and layout, one of only few that survive today.
Up to 3000 mostly indigenous inhabitants lived in the mission, making a living from producing high-quality handicrafts which the Spanish shipped down the adjacent Parana River and then to Europe.
Following the Guaraní War in the 1750s and the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, the missions were abandoned to the elements. Today, San Ignacio Miní is one of the most popular tourist ruin of Jesuit mission in South America.
The Iguazu River (Portuguese: Rio Iguaçu, Spanish: Río Iguazú) forms the boundary between Brazil and Argentina's Misiones Province. The river drops off a plateau, forming Iguazu Falls. Aerial view of the Iguazu Falls from a helicopter, Brazilian side.
Iguazu waterfalls on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. Together, they make up the largest waterfall in the world.
The first European to record the existence of the falls was the spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541, when he led an expedition through the south of present-day Brazil to Asuncion. He washed his socks and shorts in the river, and when he looked around, he rolled his eyes and said: "Wow!"
About half of the river's flow falls into a long and narrow chasm called the Devil's Throat. Aerial view of the Iguazu Falls from a helicopter.
The most impressive falls of Iguazu Falls is called ‘The Devil's Throat'. It is a U-shaped chasm where 14 falls plunge more than 105 m. The mist that rises from the falls at Devil's Throat reaches up to 150 m.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, upon seeing the Iguazu Waterfalls said, "Poor Niagara".
Yes, a visit is a jaw-dropping, visceral experience. A chain of hundreds of waterfalls.
The Iguazu Falls are located where the Iguazu River tumbles over the edge of the Paraná Platea. Numerous islands along the 2.7 kilometre long edge divide the falls into many separate waterfalls and cataracts, varying between 60 and 82 m high. About 900 m of the 2.7 km length does not have water flowing over it.
Iguazu Falls can be seen in many movies including: Indiana Jones, Miami Vice, Mr. Magoo, Tarzan, Black panther, Baraka, Captain America and amateur erotic series Wet t-shirts of busty tourists. Famous is also the dramatic documentary Drunk Franta and Pepa went swimming.
In 1934, the falls got protected in a national park, shared between Brazil and Argentina. Iguazu Falls was declared one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are approximately 2000 plant species in the rain forests around Iguazu Falls. The surroundings are therefore greener than the moldy out-of-the-date pizza of my boss Spider.
The staircase character of the falls consists of a two-step waterfall formed by three layers of basalt. The steps are 35 and 40 metres in height. Headwater erosion rates are estimated at 1.4–2.1 cm/year.
Much of it rainforest around the Falls still teeming with unique flora and fauna. Despite the fact that over 90% of the original forests have already been cut down here.
Simply put, people fly across the world only to witness this massive natural wonder. Which is why I wouldn't go to the waterfalls for the second time. I'd rather go to some small, insignificant waterfall and swear, "People, fucking people everywhere!"