Wine touring in Mendoza, Argentina

Wine tasting in Mendoza
Wine tasting in Mendoza

Mendoza is a really beautiful city and it is right in the middle of Argentina’s best wineyards (the region produces 70% of the country’s wine), and the base for a number of wonderful outdoor activities. One of them naturally being wine-tasting tours on bicycle….sounds like fun? It definitely is!!!

I went wine tasting with four good friends: Sherry, Thomas, Mathew and Andrew. We took bus 170 from the centre of Mendoza and got of in Maipu. There we started out renting bicycles and headed to the Museo del Vino. The museum displays wine-making tools used by the 19th-century pioneers, as well as colonial religious sculptures from the Cuyo region.

Tours run every half hour on weekdays, hourly on weekends. You can also stroll around yourself – there is plenty to see..and plenty to drink.

The museum offers free wine-tasting, but when you offer this to an English guy, two kiwis, an American woman and a Danish woman – they are going to drink as if there was no tomorrow. The folks at the museum was totally fine with that J The museum is highly recommended!!

After this pretty "wet" visit we went "biking" to the wineries for more wine tasting. All in all a fantastic day.

Tupiza – the wild-west town of Bolivia

Tupiza in Bolivia
Tupiza in Bolivia

Tupiza is a dusty, wild-west Bolivian town. It is surrounded by gorgeous red mountains, desert and cactus. It is a city in Potosi Department. It has an elevation of about 3160 m and the population is around 25.000.

The climate is mild year-round, with most of the rain falling between November and March. From June to August, days are hot, dry and clear, but nighttime temperatures can drop to below freezing.Economically, the town depends on agriculture and mining.

Tupiza has a lot to offer the traveller. Explore the surrounding hills and canyons on horseback which is what I did, experience the mad Bolivian circus that visits the town from time to time or just take a few days out to read books in the pretty central square or by the hotel pool.

Tupiza is also a good stop before heading down to Uyuni – that’s how I did the journey.

Video: La Bomba de Tiempo, Buenos Aires

Here’s a quick video clip of La Bomba de Tiempo (‘timebomb’), an incredible drum ensemble based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The first part of the video show the warm-up group, and the second part is the main La Bomba de Tiempo band. Unfortunately my camera ran out of batteries after a minute or so, but I will be going back to re-record in the near future!

Every Monday they play at Ciudad Cultural Konex in Buenos Aires, and most Mondays it turns into a percussion-driven rave. I was lucky enough to arrive in Buenos Aires on a Sunday and go to the Monday show – and I can honestly say I’ve never seen a percussion show like it. What’s unique about it is the series of complicated hand gestures they have built up to direct/orchestrate the complex, layered rhythms. You can see these particularly well in the second half of the video.

Bomba founder Santiago Vázquez used to be the only director for the group, but as more members learned the sign language to perfection, they too started directing. Now, there are usually 2 or 3 rotating directors each night, and they go back to playing their instruments when they finish directing.

La Bomba de Tiempo is a fantastic night out, and there are plenty of ‘after parties’ to go to if you’d like to continue the festivities ;-).

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

With the flooding of the Guaíra Falls between Brazil & Paraguay in 1982, the mighty Iguazu falls currently has the greatest average annual flow of any waterfall in the world. You can view my photo slideshow of Iguazu Falls here, and my Iguazu Falls video here.

La Garganta del Diablo, Iguazu Falls, Argentina

The entire Iguazu waterfall system consists of 275 waterfalls along 2.7 kilometers (1.67 miles) of the Iguazu River. Some of the individual waterfalls are up to 82 meters (269 ft) in height. The Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo in Spanish or Garganta do Diabo in Portuguese), a U-shaped, 82-meter-high, 150-meter-wide and 700-meter-long (490 by 2300 feet) waterfall, is the most impressive of all, and marks the border between Argentina and Brazil.

The shape of Iguazu falls, and the walkways around the falls on the Argentinian side allow for spectacular vistas. At one point a person can stand and be surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfalls. The Devil’s Throat (La Garganta del Diablo pictured below) has water pouring into it from three sides, and being up close to it gave me a peculiar kind of vertigo.

Famously, upon seeing Iguazu, the United States’ First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly exclaimed “Poor Niagara!”. She was right, the water falling over Iguazu in peak flow has a surface area of about 1.3 million ft ², by comparison, Niagara has a surface area of under 600,000 ft ².

Here’s a few more photos I took – on two separate days, one cloudy, and one sunny:

Video: Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Here’s a short video I have put together of the clips I took at Iguazu Falls on the Argentina/Brazil border. With the flooding of the Guaíra Falls between Brazil & Paraguay in 1982, the mighty Iguazu falls currently has the greatest average annual flow of any waterfall in the world.


You can view my photo slideshow of Iguazu Falls here.
Iguazu Falls on Wikipedia

Video: Patagonia – in the land of mountains and dulce de leche

Patagonia is the southern region of South America. Located in Argentina and Chile, it comprises the southernmost portion of the Andes mountains to the west and south, and plateaux and low plains to the east. It is a spectacular place. I visited there in May and unfortunately it was impossible to travel further south for me due to the cold (winter time).

So I spent four days at the "top" of Patagonia – San Carlos de Bariloche, usually known as Bariloche. The city is situated at the foothills of the Andes, surrounded by lakes (Nahuel Huapi, Gutiérrez Lake, Moreno Lake and Mascardi Lake) and mountains (Tronador, Cerro Catedral, Cerro López). It is famous for skiing but also known for sight-seeing, water sports, trekking and climbing.

Bariloche is also famous for its chocolate – but I spent most of my time there eating the famous and delicious Argentinian Dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is similar to caramel and made by adding sugar to milk and cooking it, is used on nearly all desserts, including facturas (pastries eaten for breakfast or tea) and alfajores (traditional cookies that consist of tiny biscuits stuck together), and many other Argentine desserts. I love it 🙂