Each month we ask a Porteño (Buenos Aires Native) the same 15 questions with the goal of getting a unique perspective on Buenos Aires that visitors and expats alike can learn from. In this month’s addition we meet up with Valeria Versi, a marketing planner and musician.
Valeria Versi: Age 32. Lives in Belgrano. Born and Raised in Flores. Partner at Mkt Planner and Bass Player for Las Hijas De Yiya.
1. Describe a perfect day in Buenos Aires for you?
The perfect day for me is to wake up early, have a great breakfast with mate and medialunas and then go with my friends to a trade fair, food fair, a feria artesanal or a festival ( Feria Masticar, Mercado De Pulgas, Festival: Ciudad Emergente). In Buenos Aires there are a lot of things to do every weekend and for free. At night I like going out with friends, listening to some live music or playing with my band.
AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
Article updated on February 11, 2014.
After the Argentine peso was de-pegged from the dollar following the financial crisis of 2001/2002, people visiting Buenos Aires with dollars found that the country was incredibly inexpensive. As the years rolled on, Argentina experienced annual inflation around 25% to 30%, resulting in prices even in dollar terms to rise. The official exchange rate didn’t devalue in relation to the dollar fast enough for prices in dollar terms to absorb the rising consumer prices in pesos. So for many tourists and expats exchanging their dollars for pesos every month, things actually started to seem expensive in Argentina.
After the end of 2011 when the government imposed restrictions on the amount of dollars Argentine citizens could buy for savings or travel (basically banning the purchase of foreign currency), the black market for dollars picked up steam, creating a parallel exchange rate which at some moments was 60-70% more expensive (this alternative exchange rate is called the “blue rate”). This was not good news for Argentines, but for tourists or expats with dollars, this meant they could buy more pesos for the same amount of dollars, increasing their purchasing power dramatically and making Argentina seem cheap again.
The following are a collection of awesome Buenos Aires blogs, websites and activities that will allow you to make the most out of your stay in Buenos Aires.
EAT & DRINK
Pick Up The Fork
For the best web resource on all things food, drinks and restaurants, look no further than www.pickupthefork.com. Pick Up The Fork is the go to guide for figuring out what restaurant or bar to go to. Amazing lists, heavily researched and good wit, you don’t need any other site (what are you still doing on this dumb gringo site?) for all your food needs.
Each month we ask a Porteño (Buenos Aires Native) the same 15 questions with the goal of getting a unique perspective on Buenos Aires that visitors and expats alike can learn from. In this month’s inaugural addition we meet up with Cynthia Vilaplana, A Spanish Teacher and Journalist.
Cynthia Vilaplana: Age 33. Lives in Almagro. Born in Flores. Private Spanish Teacher at Speak Spanish BA.
1. Describe a perfect day in Buenos Aires for you?
My favorite day is Saturday because you can sleep in and enjoy breakfast. In the afternoon I like to meet up with my friends, ride bikes, check out a market and drink mate. At night eat something tasty, preferably delivery and afterwards go out to a bar or watch a movie at home.
Posted in Events on November 8, 2013
Recently moving into a new private loft in Palermo Soho, The Anuva Wine tasting is a perfect way to sample the many amazing wines that has made Argentina one of the most popular wine producers in the world.
Salta and Jujuy are the most northwesterly provinces in Argentina, situated around 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) from Buenos Aires. The provinces’ close proximity to the Andes and Bolivia has resulted in prevailing indigenous and rural cultures thus a region of Argentina that will feel far removed from its Europeanized urban centers. Prior to Spanish arrival, Argentina’s northwest was a hotbed for indigenous groups, most notably the Diaguita-Calchaquí people. In fact, today when traveling around the region today you can frequently encounter communities of Quechan people.
There’re myriad things to do in this region of Argentina and it’s also one of the cheaper areas to travel. Visit the picturesque towns of Humahuaca and Tilcara to see how Andean cultures continue to thrive. Rent a car and take a road trip through two of the country’s most dramatic and scenic routes, the Quebrada de Cafayate and Quebrada de Humahuaca. Tour the bodegas of the Calchaquíes Valley in Cafayte, which is famous for growing the Torrontés grape. Admire colonial architecture in Salta city then catch El Tren a las Nubes, a train that trundles through the mountains to a plateau some 13,845 feet (4,220 meters) above sea level.
The Mendoza province sits in the western-central region of Argentina, just over 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) west of Buenos Aires. The province shares a border with the provinces of San Juan, San Luis, La Pampa and Neuquén. Its capital is also Mendoza, a city famed around the world for its vineyards and wine production. The western edge of the province shares a natural border with the Andes Mountains; Santiago de Chile (Chile’s capital city) is about 235 miles (380 kilometers) further west.
Spanish conquistador Pedro del Castillo established Mendoza in 1561 and for a little over 200 years it belonged to the General Captaincy of Chile, which was a colony of the Spanish Empire. Following the creation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776, Mendoza became part of an area known as Cuyo de Córdoba del Tucumán. This region then separated to form the Cuyo Province, in 1813. General José San Martín was Cuyo’s first governor and from Mendoza, in 1817, he led an army across the Andes in a successful bid to liberate Chile from Spanish rule.
Situated in the north easternmost corner of Argentina in the province of Misiones and spilling across the border to Brazil is the spectacular Iguazú Falls. Also known as Iguassu Falls and Iguacu Falls, no matter what you decide to call it, there is no denying that this is one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls. To put it into some kind of perspective, Iguazú Falls is four times as wide as Canada’s Niagara Falls. Making it so special is the fact that it is not just one waterfall but a collection of 275 individual cascades that line a 1.7 mile (2.7 kilometer) wide horseshoe-shaped gorge.
Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca became the first European to find the falls. He arrived in 1541, during his quest to reinstate the then settlement of Buenos Aires. The first inhabitants of the region were the Caingangue people, a native group that resided in the southern provinces of Brazil. Then came the Tupi-Guaraní people. A tribal legend states that when a woman and her lover tried to escape along the river a god cut the river in half thus forming the falls and punishing the lovers. The name Iguazú comes from the Guaraní word for big or great water.
Photo Taken on iPhoneography Tour
We wrote about Foto Ruta in BBC Travel back in November of 2011. Foto Ruta is a unique city tour that combines photography with discovering Buenos Aires. Their original tour consists of a photography class followed by being sent out onto the street armed with certain photography “clues”. These “clues” serve as a basis for capturing certain scenes or moods. For example, when I originally went on Foto Ruta, it was around Halloween time. Each “clue” had a Halloween type vibe to it, for example “twilight hour”, “traveling Ghost” or “haunted stairway”. The idea is not shoot each clue literally, but to use the clues as inspiration for framing certain shots or scenes.
A year and a half later Foto Ruta has become quite popular, offering new types of tours and expanding to new cities like Santiago, Chile. One of their newest tours is called “iPhonography” and puts the focus on the art of smart phone photography. Being a wanna be photographer who passes my time on the street snapping photos with my iPhone (follow me on instagram), I had the pleasure of tagging along for an iPhonenography tour.
The other week I had the pleasure of attending Bröeders Beer Night at NOLA. NOLA, a closed door restaurant which serves Creole dishes, is the creation of Liza Puglia, a chef from New Orleans. NOLA has quickly become one of the most popular closed doors restaurants in Buenos Aires.
Recently, Liza has teamed up with Francisco & Marcelo Terren of Bröeders Artesanal Beer to create a special night every Thursday at NOLA which combines multiple beers tastings with a 3 course Southern dinner prepared by Liza.