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International travel destination: Buenos Aires, Argentina

By By Kari Iverson, Contributing writer
Published On: Nov 12 2012 02:52:08 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 28 2013 08:25:25 AM CST
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Kari Iverson

Kari Iverson spent months traveling around the world. Get her tips on what to see and do in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Buenos Aires is unique -- it has its own rhythm, flavor and smell.  It is one of a kind. 

Buenos Aires is an artsy city.  Everywhere you walk -- be it the Buenos Aires Design Mall, the Recoleta Cemetery or down the largest avenue in the world, the 9 de Julio Avenue, you are surrounded by art.  It is impossible to walk down the streets without seeing astonishing architecture with intricate detailing.  If you look up you will see detailed stonework around the windows; if you look down you will see patterned stonework on the sidewalks. 

Presentation is key in Buenos Aires. If you get a chance to stop at an intersection while waiting to cross the street, look at the art that surrounds you.  The fruterias (fruit stores) have strawberries, mandarins and kiwi arranged in artistic patterns.  Shoe stores stop women on their feet and ice cream parlors are lined with children’s noses pressed against the glass drooling over the colorful gelato. 

The streets are filled with people at all hours -- men and women dressed up for work, children in their school uniforms, dog walkers surrounded by as many as one dozen dogs, and at night they are filled with people who are dressed up to go out to the theater, restaurants, or clubs.

Before going out to the bars or clubs, people make sure to have dinner. Porteños typically eat dinner anytime between 9 p.m. and midnight. Taking advantage of the delicious food Argentina has to offer, many people eat world-renowned beef while drinking a glass of Malbec wine. 

As dinner comes to a close, nightlife in Buenos Aires offers something for everyone.  University students and young adults often go to boliches (clubs) and dance to various styles of music -- including cumbia, reggeaton, electronic music and the like.  Others go to local bars and restaurants to dance tango -- a national tradition. 

In the same way the nightlife in Buenos Aires is diverse, Buenos Aires has many unique barrios (neighborhoods) that each have their own charm. 

La Boca is a neighborhood that was established in 1882. It is filled with colorful buildings and has a predominantly Italian population.

Palermo is often referred to as the cultural center of the city and is home to many beautiful parks, museums and fashionable stores, restaurants and plazas. 

Belgrano is a smaller, more residential neighborhood where wealthy Argentineans resided at the end of the 19th century.  If you take a walk down Belgrano’s tree-lined streets you will experience the charming atmosphere many speak of. 

Enjoy mate, a traditional herbal drink, by day and fernet, a bitter aromatic spirit often considered the national drink, by night. Immerse yourself in the culture and if time permits continue to explore the many natural beauties of Argentina, including Patagonia and Iguazú Falls.