Nighttime stroll: Palermo Soho

Our first night in Buenos Aires we headed towards Plaza Serrano in Palermo Soho. Although some of the streets we took from the apartment seemed a bit dark and potentially shady, a lot of them actually had really amazing apartments. Mansions, even. Is there anything better than peering into peoples’ lit-up homes at night? Ok, now I sound shady.

Walking the streets of Palermo Soho
Walking the streets of Palermo Soho

As we got closer to the plaza, the streets became cobbled, the area became more charming and cute clothing stores lined the neighborhood. Unfortunately, it was late and pretty much everything was closed, but it definitely gave us a feel for Argentine style.

We also discovered some cool street art walking through Palermo Soho.

Street art near Plaza Serrano
Street art near Plaza Serrano
More street art in Palermo Soho
More street art in Palermo Soho

By the time we got to the plaza, it was only 9pm or so, which is extremely early by BA standards. People weren’t kidding when they say the clubs don’t get started until 2am. So after taking a stroll around the plaza, we settled on a bar, the Sheldon, that had an awesome mural of a tiger and was hosting a live performance as part of a CD release party. It was the perfect environment for a cocktail.

Tiger mural inside the Sheldon
Tiger mural inside the Sheldon

When we finally felt it was socially acceptable to hit up a bar/restaurant, we headed back towards the apartment to check out La Pena del Colorado, per our host’s recommendation.

There was a live band playing, which was cool. However, there was only one waitress for the entire venue, so the service was quite slow. The good news is they had a wide variety of traditional Argentine and Andean dishes, so it was a good first dinner to experience the culture. I ended up getting quinoa stew, which was tasty and felt hearty yet healthy (if not especially flavorful).

By the time we got our food, ate and paid, we had closed the place down. Luckily, the apartment was only a block away.

MALBA: Discovering Latin American artists

Our first day in Buenos Aires we decided to check out MALBA (Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires), which was within walking distance of our apartment. I was really curious to learn more about Latin American, and specifically Argentine, artists. While I’ve become more familiar with European and American artists, I really had no point of reference for artists from the southern hemisphere.

It was fitting that on our walk over, we also encountered some really cool BA street art.

Continue reading MALBA: Discovering Latin American artists

Arriving in Argentina

Flying over Jersey on our way back from BA. Hey, I needed an airplane photo.
Flying over Jersey on our way back from BA. Hey, I needed an airplane photo.

5 Reasons Why I’m Never Flying with Frances & Missy Again:

  1. Compression stockings. I didn’t even know I should be worried about my legs getting that swollen.
  2. Missy’s horror stories. Telling someone who’s quasi-fearful of flying about people dying and having stokes after flying is not helpful. I don’t need you to list out all my risk factors, either! Continue reading Arriving in Argentina

First day in Lima

Goodbye Arequipa! Walking the tarmac to our plane at the tiny airport

Our fourth out of five times in the Lima airport, we finally actually made it to Lima! Although it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing since we were pretty hungover. When we arrived at the waiting area at the Arequipa airport for our delayed flight, I definitely knocked out in a seat, not too gracefully. Continue reading First day in Lima

Arequipa: Monasterio de Santa Catalina & exploring the city

Our first full day in Arequipa, we finally did some actual sightseeing. We started at the Monasterio de Santa Catalina.

Wow. It totally lived up to the hype – it was absolutely gorgeous. It’s like a city within a city, and the peaceful, quiet atmosphere is so serene. Truly “a photographer’s dream,” with vivid blue and orange walls, simple nuns’ quarters and blooming flowers. I wish we had gone to see the monastery at night, too, when they give tours by candlelight, but unfortunately we didn’t have time. Continue reading Arequipa: Monasterio de Santa Catalina & exploring the city

Cusco to Arequipa: travel hell

It was just not my traveling day. We were flying to Arequipa through Lima (so it would be our third out of five times in the Lima airport) and at the airport in Cusco, I beeped red through the metal detectors and they ransacked my bag because I accidentally packed an aerosol can of bug spray in my carry on. All this while Daniela and the TACA attendant were yelling at me to hurry because the plane was waiting for us since the airline bumped us up to an earlier flight. As if I wanted to hang out with security. Continue reading Cusco to Arequipa: travel hell

Cusco hotel review: Siete Ventanas

When we returned to Cusco from our five-day hike through the mountains, there was no way we could stay in a hostel. We needed the comforts of a hotel,  private bathrooms and some personal space. So after a long day of walking door-to-door to pretty much every hotel in Cusco, we found Siete Ventanas.

Apparently, Siete Ventanas is a newer hotel not too far from the San Blas neighborhood and a five-minute walk from the Plaza de Armas. Overall, I really liked the hotel. The building is relatively new and clean, with a nice courtyard-style lobby. Our room, although it had a slightly dysfunctional toilet, was spacious and had a great view of Cusco. And it had cable TV.

And even though there was kind of a construction site down the street, we didn’t have to suffer through any crazy construction racket like we did in Paris last year.

Not to mention, we got a pretty good deal on the room rate thanks to Adrian’s negotiating skills. So I would definitely recommend giving Siete Ventanas a try!

Souvenir shopping in Cusco – my top 5

Cusco was our first stop on the trip, so even though there was SOOOO much I wanted to buy, I figured I should save a little money & room in my luggage for our stops in Arequipa and Lima. Well, I think I’d recommend doing most of your souvenir shopping in Cusco after all. Especially if you’re looking for some cool Inca-inspired or indigenous Andean artifacts.

That being said, here are my top 5 souvenirs from Cusco:

  1. My 20-lb antique iron
  2. A tapestry featuring various animals (similar to some of the ones hanging above)
  3. A toy alpaca, complete with real baby alpaca fur
  4. Alpaca hat & gloves (and leg warmers) – I LOVE these
  5. My llama duffel bag
I'm loco for llamas
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