It's hard to believe it’s already December! With the holiday season fully underway, we’re featuring some of our favorite places to unwind in front of a fireplace this winter—hopefully with some of your favorite people. Speaking of winter, we’re highlighting a recent trip to the Scandinavian Arctic, complete with a viewing of the Northern Lights. Beaches more your speed? We’ve got the lowdown on some of the best hotels in Anguilla. From all of us at First in Service, we wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year. Cheers to 2019!
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
Our advisor Leah Winck loves Argentina so much that she visited the country three times in the past year alone. From strolling the elegant neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, to watching the sun set over the lake in Bariloche, she shares what makes these places worth coming back to time and again.
Why is Argentina such an amazing destination?
Argentina shows me something new each time I’m there – through its culture, history, gastronomy and sheer beauty. From the wine region, to Iguazu Falls, Patagonia glaciers, and energetic cities, Argentina has something for everyone. There is winter skiing, spring hiking, shopping, dining, and a beautiful culture to discover.
How would you describe Buenos Aires?
BA is a very European city in feeling. It has an iconic sense of cultural pride – from showing off tango in the streets, to amazing food and wine. The people are super friendly and I just love the different, colorful neighborhoods, such as elegant Recoleta, hip Palermo Soho, the Port, and La Boca.
What are must-dos for first time visitors to Buenos Aires?
1.- Head to favorites La Cabrera or Don Julio Parrilla for Argentinian steak perfection.
2.- Stroll through the famous Recoleta Cemetery to see elaborate monuments. Yes, Eva Peron is buried there, but there is so much other history and beauty to admire.
3.- On Sundays, wander the San Telmo flea market. It is the best flea market ever – filled with local treasures, antiques and modern day “artesania.”
4.- Head to La Boca, near the Port, where you will find tango dancers in the streets, street vendors and cafes. It can be a bit touristy, but still worth it.
5.- See an authentic tango at a “casa milonga.” These casas are frequented by locals who go to watch real tango – without fancy dress or makeup.
Where do you recommend staying in Buenos Aires?
The Alvear Palace is a beauty – an iconic building that was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1932. It’s in the Recoleta, the most elegant neighborhood in BA, and ideal to explore the city. You feel like you’ve entered a glamorous European 1930s movie. I especially loved the new rooftop suites, club level lounge and rooftop terrace.
What is so special about Bariloche?
It’s a mecca for nature lovers, sports enthusiasts, and foodies alike. The backdrop is stunning – nestled between the majestic Andes and Lago Nahuel Huapi.
Where did you stay in Bariloche?
At the lakefront Llao Llao Resort – an amazing location overlooking the Andes. It’s a unique luxury property, with beautiful woodland craftsmanship.
What are your favorite activities in Bariloche?
1.- Hike in the National Forest Park on the lake, where the nature is divine! Feast on a mountain-top picnic prepared for you.
2.- Go in to town to enjoy the Swiss alpine architecture and wonderful eateries and boutiques lining the main street. Don’t miss the delicious gourmet chocolate shops – a specialty in Bariloche.
3.- Enjoy Llao Llao Resort’s spa, especially the indoor/outdoor pools with breathtaking views.
4.-Kayak in the lake.
5.- Repel down the mountain with the help of an expert guide. I was hesitant at first, but it was such fun!
Any tips for first timers to Argentina?
– Don’t worry about not speaking Spanish; everyone speaks English.
– Argentina is primarily a Catholic country, so remember to cover the shoulders when entering church.
– If you want to explore Patagonia and Bariloche, car rentals are available at the airport on arrival, or at Llao Llao Resort.
For more information on Argentina, contact Leah at Leah@firstinservice.com and follow her travels on Instagram @leahwinck.