From Andrew Harper:
Stretching more than 2,000 miles from north to south, Argentina is a land of incredible diversity. Dramatic polychrome mountains and dense cloud forest provide a stunning backdrop for the Spanish colonial cities of the northwest; farther south, Mendoza’s neat patchwork of vineyards is set against the majestic scenery of the snow-covered Andes. Directly west of Buenos Aires, you will encounter breathtaking vistas in the lake country around Bariloche. And at the continent’s tip, awesome glaciers grind their way through the jagged peaks of Patagonia. Nowadays, the country offers a number of stylish inns and estancias, all with real individual charm, ideally located to take full advantage of the astonishing natural splendor.- Andrew Harper
DIRECT DIAL CODES: To phone hotels and restaurants in Argentina, dial 011 (international access) + 54 (Argentina code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
GENERAL INFORMATION: Visit turismo.gov.at before your trip.
US EMBASSY: Buenos Aires, Tel. 11-5777-4533.
CURRENCY: Argentine peso (ARS). Fluctuating rate valued at ARS8 = US$1.00 as of April 2014. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.
TIME: Two hours ahead of New York (EST).
CLIMATE: Argentina is south of the equator, so its seasons are reversed, with December-March being summer and June-September winter. Buenos Aires enjoys a Mediterranean-style climate, with January being sufficiently hot and humid to prompt a mass exodus to the bea
Hotels & Travel Partners
It seems inevitable that the craze for Peruvian cuisine would come to Buenos Aires. This stylish restaurant was started by Aldo Danovaro (who was in Lima and also opened a restaurant in Coral Gables). As you would expect, the ceviches are excellent. Look also for appetizers such as yellow Peruvian potato stuffed with shellfish, and a squid-ink tamale. Seafood dominates the main courses, which might include sautéed flounder and shrimp with Peruvian white beans, or the salmon and shrimp platter with onions and peppers. Don’t forget to have a frothy pisco sour!Soler 5598 Buenos Aires US$65 http://francescorestaurant.com.ar/en/
For years, this has been a gathering spot of politicians, writers and artists. Belle Epoque in style, it has dark wood walls and crowded tables where you can have coffee, sandwiches and pastries. The evening tango show is one of the best in town.Avenida de Mayo 825 Buenos Aires US$15 http://www.cafetortoni.com.ar/
This handsome addition to the thriving Puerto Madero area has splendid water views, a sleek interior in earth tones, and a dramatic wine wall. While the stated tradition of the kitchen is French, the results seem more like contemporary American. Regardless, the food is delicious and beautifully presented. Watch for dishes such as the starter of egg cooked with a rich truffle cream flecked with blood sausage, and a main course of Chateaubriand accompanied by quinoa and cheese risotto with bacon, a mushroom purée and string beans. The wine wall contains more than 1,200 bottles from 250 producers, including some of the best in Argentina.Alicia Moreau de Justo 1160 Puerto Madero Buenos Aires US$65 http://www.chilaweb.com.ar/
Azul Profundo is located in the lively Bellavista neighborhood. As the name — “Deep Blue” — would lead you to suspect, the specialty is seafood, a suspicion confirmed by the nautical décor. The menu features fish from Chile’s 3,000-mile coastline — swordfish, sea bass, salmon, hake and flounder, plus yellowfin tuna from Easter Island — and the best way to order them is a la plancha, which means grilled on a cast-iron skillet. Nothing else is required, except perhaps a turn of pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon. A good way to begin is with ceviche or the selection of ocean-fresh shellfish. The perfect accompaniment is a crisp Sauvignon Blanc — Chilean, of course.Manuel Acevedo 1001 Banfield Buenos Aires http://www.azul-profundo.com.ar/web/
The people of Buenos Aires love this typical parrilla (grill). Tucked away in the Palermo Viejo neighborhood, it has a comfortable, low-key atmosphere with dark wood, exposed bricks and a congenial (if noisy) bar. Start with the arugula salad, then go for the bone-in sirloin. Try it well done, which in Argentina means slightly charred on the outside, pink in the center. And if you want to stick with tradition, order an indulgent flan for dessert. The wine list is extensive; the service friendly and unhurried.José Antonio Cabrera 5099 Buenos Aires US$45 http://www.parrillalacabrera.com.ar/
There is a saying that the only part of the cow Argentinians don’t eat is the “moo.” This is a casual, comfortable place — the lighting fixtures are made from wagon wheels; the kitchen is open; old wine bottles line the walls — to explore the pleasures of Argentinian beef. The cordial staff will help you make your selection, but the most appealing option for me always seems to be the sirloin (but don’t overlook the sweetbreads). Order a fine Malbec, and you will enjoy a memorable evening.Guatemala 4699 Buenos Aires US$30 http://www.parrilladonjulio.com.ar/index_ingles.html