On a visit to Argentina too many people might be tempted to hit only Buenos Aires and skip the rest of a spectacular country. This is a huge mistake. Argentina has climates of rain forests to glaciers and everything in between. Let me first say that the food, particularly the copious beef and red wine, were inexpensive and amazing everywhere. I recently concluded a trip to there, splitting my time between three must-see destinations: Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires and Mendoza.

Iguazu-Falls-800From the United States to Iguazu Falls is a long day to say the least, but it was our first destination. Buenos Aires has two airports – an international airport and a domestic airport. After our international flight from Dallas-Ft.Worth to Buenos Aires, we had to take a taxi to the domestic airport. An hour flight later, it’s off the “easy road,” but worth it. As a bonus, flying the domestic airlines of Argentina reminds me of flying in the U.S. twenty years ago, with super easy security, comfortable seats and light passenger loads.

The falls themselves are beyond description. Part of the Iguazu river system, the falls straddle the border with Brazil (if you have time, a Brazilian day trip is a great excursion, too). There are miles of constructed trails and bridges that take you the very precipice of spectacular vistas and falls. Around the rest of the National Park—for it is an Argentine National Park and is treated as a national treasure—are copious hiking trails and other ways to get closer to nature.

The food and lodging of nearby Puerto Iguazu is filled with great restaurants and great prices. We ate dinner at Aqva, for 160 Argentinean pesos, about $40 American dollars. That’s famous Pampas fed steak for two—Argentina’s food staple—and copious Malbec, Argentina’s other staple.IMG_2247

If I have one recommendation, it’s to lodge in the park itself. There is a run down and overpriced Sheraton a five minute walk from the main falls. Staying in park, you can easily beat the crowds and have an almost private, spiritual experience with the falls in solitude, which is impossible if you arrive with all the other tourists. The restaurant in the Sheraton, despite the age creeping into the cracks of the hotel, is very nice and affordable, and the rooms are spacious and clean. By staying in the hotel, you also save on transportation to and from, especially if you are only doing a short trip of a day or two, which is really all you need.

There are various tours to spend your money on. I recommend the speed boat tour that takes you right up to the waterfall. You will get wet.

Edwin Lyngar graduated with his MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in 2010.  He lives in Reno with his wife and five children and blogs at
www.armchairblasphemy.com.