Argentina Me Encanta 鈾ワ笍 馃嚘馃嚪

by: Kip Lambert

Land of Fire and Ice. 聽The domain of the Futbol Gods Messi and Maradona. 聽聽Birthplace of the sexy and sultry Tango. Home of the most delicious beef, asado to perfecci贸n.

I spent the last week in just two of Argentina鈥檚 provinces, Buenos Aires and Rio Negro (Patagonia) and my soul is just screaming out for more. 聽Here鈥檚 what鈥檚 got me crying for (more) Argentina:

Simmering Sights

Buckle up for Buenos Aires! 聽I mean that literally because a bright yellow helicopter is about to give you a bird鈥檚 eye view of its stunning skyscrapers, grand avenidas, and flowing rios. 聽From the air you see its scope, yet from the ground you feel its heart. It鈥檚 like Italy and France eloped from Europe, had a love child, and settled on the banks of the Rio de la Plata. 聽Seriously, take a walk through the Recoleta and Palermo neighborhoods, and you鈥檒l swear your in Paris. The architecture is stunning. The restaurants and bars are fantastic. And the nightlife is legendary. 聽

Make sure to experience San Telmo鈥檚 irie and beautiful El Zanj贸n鈥攁 beautiful museum and event space that highlights the tunnels and labyrinths beneath the city dating back to the 1500s. 聽In its stone depths, experience the tango where legend says this seductive dance was born. This is a perfect spot to host your gala event or dinner as it highlights perfectly the history, beauty, and mystique of Buenos Aires and its Old World origins.

A short distance away in La Boca, feel the pulse of Latin America as you samba your way to a futbol match at the epic La Bombonera Stadium to cheer on the boys in canary and navy, Club Atl茅tico Boca Juniors. 聽

Legendary Landscapes

Then take a flight South by Southwest to San Carlos de Bariloche to experience the grandeur of Argentina鈥檚 Patagonia. 聽It鈥檚 no wonder an outdoor clothing and gear company is named after this region! Jagged mountain peaks of the Andes Mountains rise above stunning rivers, forests, and waterfalls. 聽Stretching out along the shoreline is Nahuel Huapi Lake in the middle of Argentina鈥檚 National Park by the same name. This is an absolutely gorgeous area teeming with activities鈥攕kiing at Cerro Catedral in the winter, rock climbing year round, and watersports in the summer. 聽

The Llao Llao Hotel, perched on a hilltop with commanding views of Lakes Nahuel Huapi and Moreno has got to be your first choice in accommodation. 聽It looks like something straight out of a Bavarian storybook. Before you go, read up on the intrigue and legends of Nazi fugitives that may have lodged here and in the surrounding area. 聽Some even believe Hitler escaped Germany and made Patagonia his final resting place.

In the crisp morning, take your incentive group on an activity they will never forget as you gear up for a kayak trip across the still waters of Lake Moreno. 聽Watch the condors flying high above and the imposing reflection of Cerro Llao Llao Peak coming off the water鈥檚 surface as you paddle your way to your secluded and uber-private picnic lunch on the beach. 聽After the most picturesque meal in your life, give your group the option to bike or shuttle the short distance back to the hotel.

Continued below聽猬囷笍聽 猬囷笍聽 猬囷笍

Passionate People

Seeing Buenos Aires and the Patagonia, it鈥檚 easy to see the root of the famed Argentine pride. 聽The characteristic that is evident from the start is that Argentines have a pasi贸n ardiente for their country, their traditions, their language, their food鈥.Well, pretty much anything that can be labeled as Argentine. 聽聽Some may mistake this passion for arrogance or pride, and on the surface it may appear to be. But as I spent time among the people, I found that their passion and pride is overtaken by their desire to truly show you why life in Argentina is so amazing. 聽With a smile and an arm around your shoulder, they鈥檒l prove it to you.

Slow Cooked to Perfection

In Argentina, it鈥檚 quality over quantity. 聽To savor over speed. Argentina is known for its beef but even more so for their slow-cooked churrasco. 聽These meals are perfectly planned with early morning trips to the butcher with the aim at being first in line to get the most select cuts. 聽The flames are stoked early and often to keep hot coals at just the right temperature and at the right distance. It鈥檚 just a way of life, another language, that simply demonstrates how much they care about relationships by the effort and time placed into preparing a masterpiece meal.

A perfect way to experience the art of Argentine churrasco and to learn the way of the gauchos (cowboys) is to slip away to Las Pampas, the farm and ranch country just outside of Buenos Aires. 聽The gaucho ranch Estancia La Rep煤blica awaits with beautiful horse demonstrations, stables, herb gardens, and asado beef served in its historic buildings.

A Sip of Culture

The heart of Argentina can really be summed up by the sharing of a guampa full of steaming hot mate (mah-tay). 聽Mate is denied to no one, not even those pesky Chileans to the west. 聽Sipped through a metal straw from a special gourd, this brewed herbal drink is offered freely and is a social tradition that that dates back centuries. 聽It warms the heart and soul and fosters relationships. And it ultimately taught me that in Argentina, sharing is prized over selfishness.

All the Reasons

The charm of Paris. 聽The rugged beauty of the Alps. 聽The mouth-watering deliciousness of beef churrasco. 聽The cowboy culture of the American West. A tango as steamy as the mate they so willingly share. 聽The incomparable passion and pride of Argentina offer an incentive travel destination like none other. 聽