Carlos Melia – My Latest Restaurant Experiences in Buenos Aires

Author: , August 28th, 2015

Carlos Melia - Buenos Aires

After my week in Rio de Janeiro, I decided to take four days off and head to my native city of Buenos Aires, to visit my family, before heading back to, my new home, New York. One of my favorite activities, as you may know by now, is eating and checking out restaurants of all kinds, and that is what I did. I went to some of my classic ones like the Rodi Bar in Recoleta. I tried a new one in San Telmo and was invited by the Park Hyatt Hotel Buenos Aires, to enjoy their winter Fondue Nights at the Duhau Restaurant. See my comments and photos below.

First stop was Rodi Bar, along with my father. This is a classic of each of my visits to Buenos Aires. It is the typical Buenos Aires dining experience, which some my think it looks very much like a restaurant in Spain, but well, our cultures and costumes are so interconnected that this is very much so. The food is AMAZING, I love the local vibe, see the Portenos and enjoy a nice chilled bottle of San Felipe Torrentes over a nice conversation. Rod Bar is located at the residential neighborhood of Recoleta.

Carlos Melia - Buenos AiresMy next stop was the bohemian neighborhood of San Telmo, very well known by locals and tourists for their flea market and the antique shops. I took a stroll by the local fruit and meat market, which remains as original. And after checking some antique shops – which is one of my huge passions, and visiting briefly my friend and world renown silversmith Marcelo Toledo – by the way you should stop by and see his collection, I went for lunch at CASEROS Restaurant.

It was quite a lovely afternoon, and was nice to be able to seat outside and enjoy a nice lunch. Great local food, featuring a menu with quite some local classics. Small restaurant, very relaxed. Dessert was the best, a flan with dulce de leche and whipped cream yummy. Prices are fair, and service, though a bit slow, was perfectly in sync with the relaxed afternoon outdoors I was looking forward, over a nice glass of Malbec.

As the night came by over the city, I along my brother and father, arrived to the very lovely – and one of my favorite hotels in Buenos Aires – the Park Hyatt Hotel Buenos Aires, in the neighborhood of Recoleta, along the fancy Alvear Av. I have stayed with them before, and I have tried their restaurant a few times – Duhau Restaurant. But being winter seasons, I was invited to enjoy their new addition to their offer, the Fondue Nights. I haven’t had fondue in quite a while so, I said yes right away.

Carlos Melia - Buenos AiresSince we arrived early – on purpose – we decided to seat at the OAK Room for half an hour to enjoy some drinks. The rooms is quite lovely, quite and very chic, just as I like it. Now I must say that the drinks were not as fantastic, as a matter of fact, they were quite terrible and overpriced. I mean I paid two times the price of what I would paid in New York or Paris. If you follow me you know of my addiction to Dirty Vodka Martinis, I have tried them all over the world “literally” at some of the best and worst places. And to have the barman come to me and try to explain – with an attitude – that this is how a Maritini should be…. it was wrong. Same situation with my father’s drink – a Margarita ( which we sent back twice ) To this I replied, CHECK PLEASE.

We came down to the lower floor to the Duhau Restaurant and had indeed a lovely evening. We went throuhg two different types of Cheese Fondues and one Chocolate one. Of course paired with some local wines. Great time spent with my brother and father, catching up on life. If you like Fondue, you should try it.

So these were my three restaurant experience of my brief visit to Buenos Aires. Of course as I always say, the best food in Buenos Aires is my Mom’s, so I quite enjoyed some of them at the privacy of their home.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Breakaway Backpacker – Both Sides of Iguazu Falls – In Photos!

Author: , July 3rd, 2015

Iguazu Falls - Jaime Davila

Sometimes you hear about a place for so long that you just can’t wait to see for yourself. You hear about how amazing it is… about how majestic it is….. about how grand it is…. about how beautiful it is…about how impressive it is… and just about everything you can ever imagine. Yes that is Iguazu Falls I kept hearing about. I am sure if you have heard about it from someone who has visited it you have heard one of the above and it’s all true.

“Iguazu Falls, Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls, Iguacu Falls, Cataratas do Iguacu (Portuguese), Cataratas del Iguazu (Spanish) or Chororo Yguasu (Guarani) are a collection of waterfalls from the Iguazu River on the border with Argentina and Brazil. The name “Iguazu” comes from the Guarani or Tupi words “y”, meaning “water”, and “uasu “, meaning “big”. Legend has it that a deity planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipi, who fled with her mortal lover Taroba in a canoe. In a rage, the deity sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.”

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakway Backpacker | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Breakaway Backpacker – Buenos Aires in Photos

Author: , May 14th, 2015

Buenos Aires art - Jaime Davila

If you have been following my blog or Instagram for a while you know I love street art. I have shared tons of street art from around the world and am obsessed. I have heard of street art tours and knew they were offered in some cities around the world. I have always wanted to take one, but was never in a city that offered one. That all changed when I arrived in Buenos Aires. While I was Buenos Aires I took my 1st street art tour with Buenos Aires Street Art and loved it.

Buenos Aires Street Art is an organization that supports the local street art scene and its artists. They organize mural projects, commissions and even wrote a book about Buenos Aires street art. They also run a blog that documents the amazing creativity to be found in the streets of Buenos Aires showcasing some spectacular artworks and featuring interviews with the most talented artists working in the city. They also offer Street Art tours that will take you off the beaten track to show you the biggest murals in Buenos Aires located in neighborhoods that aren’t in the tourist guidebooks.

During the street art tour I learned quite a bit about the street art scene in Buenos Aires. The city has some of the most relaxed laws on street art in the world. All you have to do to paint a wall is get the owners permission.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakaway Backpacker | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Argentina’s Jujuy and Salta Provinces

Author: , May 10th, 2015

Argentina - Passport

When considering a trip to Argentina, most people think of Buenos Aires. Or perhaps they know the pampas, or the wine-producing region of Mendoza. Well, I’m here to tell you there’s a real treat awaiting you in the country’s far north–the Jujuy and Salta regions took me completely by surprise with their immense beauty. Jujuy, up near the Bolivian and Chilean borders, and Salta, which wraps around Jujuy to its south and east, are everything you’d ask for in a trip to the Argentine countryside–gay-friendly and heart-stoppingly gorgeous. Think of the most beautiful place you’ve ever been. Double that, and you get Jujuy and Salta.

Jujuy: In the Realm of Impossible Beauty

I start in the Jujuy region, on the edge of the Andes in Argentina’s northwest and a two-hour flight from Buenos Aires. Here you’re in the realm of impossibly gorgeous landscapes of craggy, multi-hued mountains, stately cacti, roads that wind up the cerros (hills) at such an angle you look back down and can’t believe you’ve actually driven that road. Villages of brown, red, and gold adobe houses hold hotels that are really just an excuse to look from your room to the amazing scenery.

With my group of friends, I start in the big city, San Salvador de Jujuy, a town of 300,000. While there are just two gay bars, both on the outskirts, and one very gay-friendly spot in town, the region is very welcoming. Says regional representative Monserrat Brusotti: “There has never been an incident of anti-gay violence in Jujuy.” We check into, of all places, the Howard Johnson hotel, which is actually really nice, with comfortable rooms overlooking the entire valley in which the city sits.

By Rich Rubin – Full Story at Passport | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Breakaway Backpacker – How to Plan The W in Torres del Paine National Park

Author: , May 9th, 2015

The W in Torres del Paine National Park

One of the things you hear often once you arrive in Patagonia on either side Chile or Argentina and are making your way down is…

“Are you going to do The W?”

You are asked over and over again and if you bump into people who are making their way up Patagonia you hear their stories and it just sounds amazing. The thing is though before arriving down there I knew it was something I wanted to do, but didn’t really know what it was. I had read about it in the Lonely Planet guide South America on a Shoestring and it seemed amazing. The one problem I had though is that I had no clue how to do it? Like seriously it seemed so hard to actually plan it. I spent countless hours searching online for a guide to tell me exactly how to plan the damn thing, but nothing. As I searched just found articles on what to bring or general information. I honestly wanted someone to hold my hand and walk me through the entire process of planning it.

I was about to give up on it and not do it, because I just couldn’t figure it out. Lucky for me though no joke as I was walking back from hiking in El Chalten on the streets someone yelled my name, I turned around and it was two of my friends I made while hiking in Puerto Varas. They had just arrived from doing The W and we went to dinner and they literally walked me through everything. I took notes and as soon as I arrived in El Calafate and after seeing Glacier Perito Moreno I spent my time booking everything for the W. Before I knew it I arrived in Puerto Natalas and still had no clue what I was doing.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakaway Backpacker | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Breakaway Backpacker – Camping in El Chalten, Argentina

Author: , April 3rd, 2015

Jaime Davila

I met them by chance. 2 girls were sitting next to me on the hostel computer and I could hear them planning something, but wasn’t sure what. So I asked them and come to find out we had similar plans and they too were going to El Chalten after Bariloche. I let them know I had my ticket and they should get theirs soon too because it may sell out. They let me know they wanted to go camping while they were down there one night to wake up and see the sunrise on Mt. Fitz Roy, but were having trouble finding things online.

I let them know to go get the ticket enjoy their time in Bariloche and I will figure everything out for El Chalten. I had already done the view of Cerro Campanario and Circuito Chico and had plans to do nothing the next day because my knee was hurting. I spent majority of the next day trying to find out how to camp there and got it all down.

El Chalten is a small mountain village in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. The village was built in 1985 to help secure the disputed border with Chile. Today the sole reason for its existence is tourism. It is located within the Los Glaciares National Park at the base of Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountains, both popular for trekking. For this reason this village was named Argentina’s Trekking Capital.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakaway Backpacker | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Breakaway Backpacker: Biking Circuito Chico in Bariloche, Argentina

Author: , March 8th, 2015

Jaime Davila - ArgentinaI’ll be honest with you I had never actually heard of Bariloche until I got there. Even then I had no clue what I was going to do when I got there. I just knew that I needed to get there because it was a nice town/city with a lot of hikes to do and it’s a perfect place to get to El Chalten from.

My goal was to make my way down to the Ushuaia “FIN DEL MUNDO” (“END OF THE WORLD”) the southernmost city in the world overland. I was already slowly making my way down there. I had gone from Santiago to Pucon to Puerto Varas and now crossed the border to Argentina to get to Bariloche and from there would carry on.

When I arrived to Bariloche I did what I normally do when I arrive in a place I have no clue what I am going to do. I asked the receptionist for a map and what she recommend for me to see and do. She let me know that I had to go hike Cerro Campanario and also rent a bike and do the Circuito Chico. I thought okay I will start with that. I had a arrived late in the afternoon so decided to leave those two things for the following day. The next morning I woke up went to the grocery store to buy my lunch and went directly to the bus to get down there.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at Breakaway Backpacker | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Passport Magazine’s Favorite Buenos Aires Neighborhoods

Author: , January 26th, 2015

Buenos Aires - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

I’m going to take you on a tour of several places, places with names like Recoleta, San Telmo, Palermo, and La Boca. They’re all very different in atmosphere and appearance, and to visit these various places feels like you’ve taken a whole series of trips. The thing is, they’re all part of Buenos Aires, for this major metropolis feels more than anywhere I’ve been like a series of small towns in one, loosely connected to form a big city that’s exciting, dynamic, a little daunting, and incredibly satisfying. I could never list all the neighborhoods, so we’ll concentrate on my favorites.

Buenos Aires takes some energy to explore, as it’s spread out, with a semi-workable subway system (I’d suggest a taxi or your own two feet for most explorations) and a frenetic pace that will keep you on your toes. You’ll find plenty of places, though, to relax and take it easy. With an enviable coffeehouse culture, a collection of lovely restaurants, and some surprisingly calm areas amid the bustle, there’s always time to refresh and renew among the chaos.

The only way to properly explore Buenos Aires, to get a grip on this intimidating and loveable city, is to approach the trees rather than the forest, and get to know each neighborhood before trying to fit the whole puzzle together. There’s an unmistakable urban buzz here, but also peaceful, leafy neighborhoods, a non-stop quality to life, and also a take-it-easy attitude. These contradictions can take some work to reconcile, and just when you think you have a handle on the city, something changes your entire outlook. Gay marriage, for instance, is legal here, as it is throughout Argentina: would you have expected this in the heart of South America? That’s Buenos Aires, though, with something always coming at you out of the blue to surprise and delight you with the insouciance of a tango dancer.

By Rich Rubin – Full Story at Passport | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Gay Tourism Brought $1.2 Billion to Argentina Economy in 2014

Author: , January 3rd, 2015

Argentina - Google MapsGay tourism is booming in Argentina. The pink pound brought in a whopping $1.2b to the country’s economy in 2014, according to the Tourism Ministry’s National Institute for Tourism Promotion.

More than 445,000 LGBTIs descended on the country this year, says the TMNITP.

Research shows there was an especially high concentration of queer travellers in Buenos Aires.

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Image via Google Maps

Buenos Aires Pride Goes On Despite City Security Withdrawl

Author: , November 22nd, 2014

Buenos Aires PrideBuenos Aires City yesterday held its 23rd Gay Pride March despite concerns from organizers after Mayor Mauricio Macri’s City Hall refused to take full responsibility for the safety of participants and spectators at what is a public event.

Demonstrators gathered at the Congress Square to arrive at the iconic Plaza de Mayo. Around 8pm, the organizerts of the parade read a document. “For more real equality: anti-discrimination law and a secular state,” read the slogan of the march. “We don’t want formal equality. We want to feel equality on the streets, in every province and every part of the state. Never Again to discrimination,” the organizers yesterday said.

“The current Anti-discrimination Law was passed in 1998 and it is almost obsolete. The law uses words that no longer exist such as “race”. But the most important problem is that the procedures established to report discriminatory acts do not longer exist,” Julieta Calderon, one of the leaders of the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Trans People (FALGBT in Spanish).

Full Story at the Buenos Aires herald | Argentina Gay Travel Resources