Wow, as I write this blog entry sitting on our final plane ride back to LA, it feels like the past two weeks have been a blur.
The trip was so packed and fun. Going from Santiago to Mendoza to Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú, staying in hostels, exploring the cities on foot, getting to know the culture and the locals, it’s been really great. I think a quick summary of our perspectives on each of the cities we visited and the country as a whole would be a good way to recap and reflect on the trip as a whole.
First, Santiago. If forced to choose, I would definitely choose to live in Santiago over any of the other three places we visited. It’s very quaint and though it’s a big city, it feels like a suburb with all of the street art, cultural centers, and streets full of life. The neighborhoods are very distinct (there is an artsy one, a financial area, a central one, etc) and each has very unique things to offer. The two somewhat large hills near the cente, although seemingly random, give amazing views of the city and provide for a nice break from city life. If this were a TripAdvisor review, I would give Santiago 4.8 stars.
Mendoza. Wine country. Famous primarily for wine and extreme sports, I wouldn’t say Mendoza is really a place that would be nice to live in. The food there is wonderful and exquisite there, though, and not particularly expensive either. There isn’t too much to do in the town otherwise, though there are cultural activities, such as tango shows and the like, going on fairly frequently. The wine tour definitely had to be the best part of Mendoza. 4.5 stars.
The big apple of Argentina, Buenos Aires, is next. Buenos Aires lives up to its name, with there always being plenty to do, especially at night. There are a ton of foreigners visiting at any given time as well, so you get to meet a lot of people while staying at a hostel, as well. The atmosphere is awesome, especially when it comes to fútbol. In fact, one of the first things I’m going to do when I get back is kick around a ball. 4.7 stars.
Waterfalls are the main attraction when it comes to Puerto Iguazú. But wow, what an attraction they are. Las cataratas blew our minds. Otherwise, unfortunately, there’s not too much to do in the small town of Puerto Iguazú besides learning and seeing wildlife, and it’s basically constantly raining. But the waterfalls are *so *worth it. 4.9 stars.
Overall, Chile and Argentina are amazing places to visit. Politics are so much more visible and members of the public express themselves freely on cement canvases. The food is incredible, the people are generally very friendly and accommodating, and each and every city is full of culture. A huge thanks to Mr. SanPietro for making this trip possible for us and to the FASA office for choosing us to go and helping us plan the trip. Also thanks to Ché Guevara for giving us such a great itinerary to follow.