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
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 beach. The immense expanse of Patagonia is drier, cooler and notoriously windy at its southernmost tip.
DIRECT DIAL CODES: To phone hotels and restaurants in Argentina, dial 011 (international access) + 54 (Argentina code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
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).
GENERAL INFORMATION: Visit argentina.travel before your trip.
U.S. EMBASSY: Buenos Aires, Tel. 11-5777-4533.
Hotels & Travel Partners
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.Cabrera 5099 Buenos Aires US$45 http://www.parrillalacabrera.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 prawns and scallops from Ushuaia with melon, tomatoes and lemon; and a main course of Patagonian lamb with garlic and lima beans. The wine wall contains more than 1,200 bottles from 270 producers, including some of the best in Argentina.Alicia Moreau de Justo 1160 Puerto Madero Buenos Aires Three-course menu, US$90; Seven courses, US$125 http://www.chilaweb.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 4691 Buenos Aires US$40 http://www.parrilladonjulio.com.ar/index_ingles.html
A European-style bistro with black-and-white tile floors, dramatic chandeliers and tables set with crisp white linens, Fervor attracts an elegant crowd. Although it is a place to see-and-be-seen, the food is the real draw. Fine meat dishes and seafood grills are the highlights.Posadas 1519 Buenos Aires US$70 http://www.fervorbrasas.com.ar/