Travel Tales: Buenos Aires

Before Buenos Aires, I was in Chile. Click here for my Chilean adventure recap!

I didn’t plan to go to Buenos Aires.

No, I planned to go to Mendoza, a town that was a 6-7 hour bus ride away from Santiago. The bus was supposed to take us up the Andes and through the border crossing to Argentina. Mendoza was the first big city over the border and famous for its wine. L and I were looking forward to a few days of kicking back, visiting wineries, and indulging in one of Argentina’s more famous exports.

Instead, when we got to the bus station on the morning of our departure, we were informed that the border was closed.

“CLOSED?!” I cried.


Oh. Right. I kept forgetting it was winter.

The border could be closed for up to five days, we were told. Sometimes, buses along the border would get stuck during the journey and people would have to camp out at designated shelters along the route. There was nothing to do in those shelters but to wait it out and hope that the snow would clear sooner rather than later.

Well, I didn’t have an extra five days to spare and the last thing I wanted was to be stuck in a shelter in the Andes Mountains and miss my flight home. So, my friend L and I had to form a backup plan. We could have stayed in Santiago, but we both had our hearts set on Argentina — me in particular, seeing as I had already paid the $160USD reciprocity fee Argentina charges for Americans and I was going to be damned if I didn’t get to cross that border and make use of my fee.

After a few whirlwind searches in a nearby internet cafe, L and I bought tickets for a flight to Buenos Aires later that day.

Just like that, I was going to Buenos Aires.

Andes Mountains

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE BUENOS AIRES. There are no words. I had the time of my life, met some AMAZING people, and was fortunate enough to become friends with another American girl so that we could ring in the Fourth of July together. The hostel we stayed at even put on a little Fourth of July party and offered hot dogs. We knew that they would be nothing like the hot dogs back home, but man, that stuff was weird. Possibly the oddest hot dog I’ve ever had. The potato salad and sauerkraut it was served with, however, were most excellent.

Fourth of July in Buenos Aires Obelisk in Buenos Aires

Actually, L and I were fortunate to be put in a shared hostel room with these two other cool girls that we had the best time with and that I already miss <3 I attended an AWESOME show, Fuerza Bruta. I’ve never seen anything like it before and am so glad i got to see it and would pay to see it again in a heartbeat. So damn cool. I shopped at little stores along the busy main streets of Buenos Aires. I ate some pretty damn good empanadas and was served a plate of meat THE SIZE OF MY HEAD, which, while delicious, was also an overwhelming undertaking. I went through the gringa ritual of being ripped off by a cab driver with some counterfeit pesos. (Damn those crafty bastards and my non-existent Spanish language skills.) I was out dancing till dawn with my girlfriends and many a cute boy, which, if you know anything about me at all, pleased me to no end and is probably why I love Buenos Aires so much. I also only took one picture the entirety of my time in the Argentine capital, because I’m bad at the whole touristy thing but also the whole not-wanting-to-be-an-optimal-target-for-pickpockets thing.

Till next time, Buenos Aires and Argentina. I’m definitely coming back. For a city I never planned to be in, I had the time of my life.


    • says

      They made an announcement on the plane when we flew over the Andes and everyone was crowding around window seats to see them. That view! So breathtaking. (And so snow-covered, like the guy at the bus station said. Haha.)

    • says

      Yes, you absolutely have to go! I’m already talking about going back to Argentina to see BA “properly” as well as the rest of the country.


  1. […] Manda’s blog about her unexpected trip to Buenos Aires really captures how great the city is even if you haven’t planned going there originally. Read our very own Sally Dodge’s views on the vibrant city of Buenos Aires . Swoop’s Article of the week: Great piece from Ben Lerwill on patagonia for National Geographic this month talking about his  trip in Tierra del Fuego. […]

  2. […] In true Saturday night fashion, dinner and drinks led to drinks and hanging out at a rooftop bar. Unfortunately, the roof hadn’t officially opened for the season, but the music was excellent and I may have even danced to a song or two I recognized from my whirlwind trip to Buenos Aires. […]

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