South America travels! Day 2- Bariloche

 Hello friends!

Following my small teaser on Day 1 of my South America travels, let’s jump right into Day 2, shall we? 😀

After a fun-filled day of exploring the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, my brother and I caught a flight to a quaint little town in the Patagonia region, called San Carlos de Bariloche.
Bariloche is located in the southwest region of Argentina and is surrounded by the Andes Mountains, with magnificent glacial lakes, including Lake Nahuel Huapi, Lake Perito Moreno, and the Llao Llao peninsula. The flight is roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes from Buenos Aires to Bariloche. The town is well known for its hiking which was our main reason for the trip, although I will say that the temperature was very chilly, due to the fact that we were so near to the mountains and because it was the beginning of the fall season, so be sure to bundle up if you choose to visit this time of year!
We stayed at The Greenhouse hostel, and loved every minute of our stay- the hosts were extremely friendly and helpful with our questions and even provided suggestions/recommendations on the must-see sights and hikes!
 Below are some photos of the lovely view with the outlines of the mountains which can be seen while having breakfast. The hostel offers complimentary breakfast, including toast, jam, butter, dulce de leche (a popular product of Argentina!), cereal, milk, coffee/tea and juice- a great bite to grab and go!

The Greenhouse hostel

Gorgeous breakfast view
Cozy living room with lookout to the mountains

Once we put down our bags, we eagerly set out on the journey to Cerro Campanario. In Bariloche, hitchhiking is quite common; in fact, even the locals do it! So Luke and I decided to try it, but after 20 minutes of waiting and no such luck, we opted for the local transit instead. The bus takes you directly to the base of Cerro Campanario, and hikers can make their way up the trails to the top (1,039 metres) for the most incredible sights. The hike is roughly 30 minutes and is completely free, however, there is a fee for the chairlift, for those who prefer to enjoy the scenery while ascending to the top. There is also a mountaintop café to sip your coffee and relax while enjoying the breathtaking picture perfect view!

At the base of Cerro Campanario

During the hike, I felt hot and took off layers of clothing, but once at the top, it was unbearably cold due to the altitude. People frequently warm up at the café which sells empanadas, desserts, beverages and even souvenirs! I was inclined to purchase a magnet, but then I thought that since I had done the hike myself, and took such beautiful photos of the landscapes, then I could simply create my own magnet- it has more a more meaningful and personal touch and magnets also make for great and inexpensive trinkets for family and friends! Coming back to the topic of cold temperatures, I do stress the importance of being prepared with proper clothing and be sure to wear layers if you decide to visit!

While the photos don’t do it justice, I’d like to share with you some pictures of the amazing, unspoiled and unforgettable hike to Cerro Campanario!! 🙂

360 degree view of the mountains and lakes

I highly recommend this hike for all you nature lovers and adventure seekers, and even those of you who are beginners, as this hike is not an intensive one but certainly one worth checking out for all hike levels!

That’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed reading through Day 2 of my South America adventures 🙂

Stay tuned for Day 3, where I share our experience of hiking 13 km in the freezing rain!!

Talk soon!

~ Lissy

South America travels! Day 1- Buenos Aires

Hey guys! So I’ve been MIA for a while since starting the blog, and I do apologize, but I was on vacation with my brother, Luke. We took a trip to South America for 2 weeks, specifically to Argentina and Peru! I know you must be thinking, “why only two countries during that length of time?” Well, let me tell you, the entire trip consisted of 9 flights and 9 different hotels. Sounds like a perfect relaxing vacation doesn’t it? It certainly wasn’t your typical beach vacation. I’ll explain how each day was spent and share some photos of the epic views that we saw, but first, I’d like to share with you some of the vaccinations that are required when traveling to South America. 

We booked appointments with the Travel Vaccine clinic (I recommend booking the appointment prior to the two week period of your trip). During the consultation, we explained exactly which places we would be visiting- Lima and Cusco, Peru and the Iguazu Falls which border Brazil and Argentina. The doctor had prescribed altitude pills to take in Cusco, Peru and gave us the Yellow Fever vaccination for the Iguazu Falls visit. In addition, the doctor stressed the importance of ensuring that the full doses of both Hepatitis A and B vaccines were taken, as they prevent against illness from food or through bodily fluids. I thought that I’d mention this, as it is a very important consideration for travel to South America. Okay, enough about the vaccines, let’s talk about the trip!

Luke and I took the direct flight from Toronto to Buenos Aires and the flight itself was enjoyable, with individual screens for our viewing pleasure. That being said, I slept the entire time, so I remember boarding the plane and that’s about it. Fast forward to our arrival to Buenos Aires and we were eager to go out and explore the city! We checked into the America del Sur hostel and began mapping out our journey, specifically the neighourhood of San Nicolás. We visited several points on interest, including the Palacio de la Legislatura de la Ciudad, The Plaza de Mayo, The Plaza Congreso and The Casa Rosada. The buildings are really quite beautiful and we were very impressed with the detail of European architectural elements. Luke and I then walked across the street from the Casa Rosada to the famous landmark called Catedral Metropolitana which is the main Catholic church in Buenos Aires. Built in the 18th century, the church is absolutely remarkable with its beautiful mosaic floors, and several altars dedicated to many saints including Saint Teresa, Saint John the Baptist, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Holy Christ of Buenos Aires’ altar and the major altarpiece of the Immaculate Conception Holy Trinity. We also saw the Mausoleum with the remains of General San Martin. Despite there being many people in the cathedral, you could still feel a sense of peace and tranquility, as many tourists gazed in fascination at the stained glass and architectural styles dating from the colonial times. This church is truly a beautiful landmark and a must see when visiting Buenos Aires! The next place which we visited was definitely one that stuck with me, as I was most impressed by the history of the building. This place is located in Santa Fe and is called El Ateneo Grand Splendid- formally known as the Teatro Gran Splendid – a theatre which was initially opened in May 1919 and featured a variety of performances, before being converted into a cinema in the late 20s. The ornate building has since been transformed into a well-known book and music shop which also includes a café directly on the stage, where performances were once held. I truly admire the way that the building’s history has been preserved, from its ornate ceiling with detailed carvings, the stage and maroon curtains, the dim golden lighting, and many architectural elements which still evoke the feeling of the grand theatre it once was. That concludes our first day of sightseeing adventures in the vibrant city of Buenos Aires. We ended the night with a wonderful dinner in San Telmo, which came highly recommended by our hostel advisor. While the name of the place escapes me (I should have marked it down for reference!), I must admit that the food here is incredible. I ordered the Tenderloin with mushroom cream rucula with Spanish potatoes as a main course, and Chocolate mousse for dessert. As Argentina is well known for their meats and Malbec wine (the Nicasia Vineyards- Bodega Catena Zapata is delicious!), I have to say, it did not disappoint and we had some of the best ever in Argentina (I say Argentina, because we didn’t stay only in Buenos Aires- remember I mentioned that we took 9 flights? Stay tuned, I’ll fill you in on the activities of Day 2!). 

Below are some photos of Day 1 and all the historical landmarks of the city, along with our delicious dinner, making it the perfect ending to an amazing day 🙂 

Talk soon! xoxo
~ Lissy

Palacio de la Legislatura de la Ciudad

The Plaza Congreso

Catedral Metropolitana

Holy Christ of Buenos Aires’ altar

El Ateneo Grand Splendid

Nicasia Vineyards: Bodega Catena Zapata- Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon

Tenderloin with mushroom cream rucula with Spanish potatoes

Chocolate mousse with carmelized pecans