The Secret Garden B&B is run by John Fernandes and it's a wonderful place. It's very private, with only three rooms, and everything is taken care of with personal touch. The rooms are clean and comfortable, and the breakfast provided is generous and good.
The location is also very strategic, comfortably nestled among a housing area, but within walking distance to restaurants and shops.
John is a very hospitable host. He took us around the town, gave us good advice on places to eat and visit, and ensured that we are comfortable and have everything we needed, including helping us to arrange for transportation. He also invited us for evening happy hour so we could meet and chat with him and other travelers.
The Secret Garden B&B is a really good find with reasonable price. Don't miss it!
What a perfect stay at a lovely B&B located on the Argentinian border close to Iguazu Falls. It is run by a remarkable gentleman, John, who goes the extra mile to ensure the comfort of his guests, including personally providing a tour of the local area, recommending eateries, in addition to arranging for transportation to and from the airport and the Iguazu Falls site. Lovely tropical gardens surround the rooms which are clean and charming, providing very comfortable beds and up to date amenities. John also hosts an evening cocktail hour where guests can meet and mingle - to share stories and travel tips and to relax after a day of sight-seeing. Thank you John for making our stay in Iguazu so pleasant and for taking such great care of us at the border.
Bar Isabel - in a word, fabulous. A glamorous, mirrored space in a vaguely art-deco/Studio 54 style, with an overhead canopy consisting of a sequence of flashing lights, the place feels special the second you walk in the door. Those who feel the need can park themselves in a booth and be waited on, but the place is equally welcoming to those who just want to rock up and hang out at the bar. Outside at the back is a dramatic concrete-lined space with an open fire providing light but also retaining secluded corners for those who want them. Combine all this with a staff that knows how to make top-notch cocktails and are friendly to boot (as everyone is in this city), and great DJs keeping things suitably cool and you are on to a winner. Just don't get lost in the completely mirrored hall of wonders that is the (unisex) bathrooms ...
Beyond the door lies a retreat straight out of colonial days.Simple rooms,shaded by exotic vegetation, focus on a verandah where at 6pm all the guests gather at the invitation of the owner,John.Free cocktails and spicy nibbles enhance the exchange of information in a very sociable atmosphere.This is the perfect base for visiting both sides of theIguazu Falls.
There are many hostels all over the continent, each with its own character.
You'll get lots of information and support from hostelers and the staff, and usually access to a kitchen to cook your own meals. You can be any age and many hostels have private doubles, twins, triples etc - some even ensuite!
PS In Patagonia don't miss the Perito Moreno Glacier - the boat goes dramtically close to the edge which is crumbling into the lake.
On a searingly hot day in the Argentina summer we turned up in town and staggered into the Adventure Hostel. Rooms are simple but clean, with air-con (essential in this climate.) It has a well equipped kitchen, and a great breakfast by Argentine standards with home made potato cake. However the main draw are the family-friendly facilities, with lots of games, play area, plenty of outdoor space, barbeque pits, hammocks, and excellent cooling swimming pool. Great place for chilling, watching the jungle wildlife, or exploring the nearby Jesuit ruins and surrounding area. You could, and will, get stuck here ...
Calle Independencia 469, San Ignacio - www.hihostels.com/dba/hostels-San-Ignacio----Adventure-Hostel-002122.en.htm
Independencia 469, San Ignacio, Misiones
+54 376 4470955
Google map: bit.ly/QvMDBe
Bed and breakfast accommodation. Hospitable, excellent local information, exotic surroundings. Will arrange airport pick-up and taxi tours to both sides of the Iguazu falls and the bird park on the Brazilian side.
Okay, like every tourist you've already visited Calle Florida. After all, despite everything, there is always something interesting to do there - shopping at Falabella, a coffee at Florida Garden. There are also good bookshops like Ateneo and Cúspide Libros, which have pleasant cafés away from the hubbub of the street - you do not even remember that you are in Florida. And I cannot fail to mention the Galerias Pacifico, with good shops and ceilings worthy of an art gallery.
What you might not know is that the top floor of the Galerias Pacifico is the Centro Cultural Borges where you can find concerts, exhibitions, films, educational programs and workshops. This centre is a great place to see tango shows - not tourist traps, but authentic ones. The prices are quite fair: for the tango show "Bien de Tango" I paid $100 (aprox. US$25). Certainly off the beaten track.
Its a photography treasure hunt/experience and a really cool way to see the city. We went along one Saturday and ended up going back twice, as they do it in a different barrio each time so you get to experience the city and learn about taking original photographs.
Great things about Secret garden B&B:
John - the owner and host who made our stay the highlight of Iguazu; spotless rooms in a quiet neighborhood; 7pm drinks to swap stories and laugh; great breakfast.
This was certainly the highlight of my trip to Buenos Aires! Having never even sat on a horse before,by the end of the day i could say i played in a mini polo match (albeit not very well!). The full day included transport to and from the city, welcome mate (the famous Argentine drink), polo lesson with the wonderful Gaston, delicious asado lunch in the hotel, a swim in the infinity pool, a mini match and then we got to watch the professional club members play in a real match!
+54 11 5279 6893
Polo Days are run at Puesto Viejo Estancia and Polo Club. It is near a town called Canuelas, about an hour away from Buenos Aires city.
We stayed at this B&B in January 2012. A frendly place, lovely garden, clean rooms and not to be missed apero!
My wife and I spent a magical three days in Iguazu at John's Secret Garden B&B where we relaxed in tropical splendor and warm comaraderie with John and fellow guests. A highlight of our travels in Argentina in 2012.
Everything you read about the Secret Garden is true. We arrived at the B&B and met the wonderful man John Fernandes, the owner, who exudes such genuine warmth and kindness. Our room had a queen and twin bed in it and private bath, spacious, bright, clean and well appointed The walls and ceilings are all tongue and groove woodwork painted in warm tropical colors. The beds are firm with pressed cotton sheets and lots of pillows that are fluffy and fresh. Large and quiet A/C unit and a large standing room fan gave us lots or ventilation options. There are only three guest rooms that open out onto a communal sitting area that connect to the main house by a elevated walkway through the tropical garden. If you believe in the power of attraction that like attracts like, then the Secret Garden is a classic example of this. John has created an environment where an evolved man is attracting other evolved people from around the world to share his space and his enthusiasm for his corner of the world. In short we met the most interesting and delightful people at the B&B. John does a very nice cocktail hour for his guests at 7pm and creates a delightful ambient environment for people to connect and share their world with others. At breakfast there was lots of fresh tropical fruit, banana bread and good strong coffee with hot milk, toast, home made jams and fresh squeezed juice. John also took the time to give us a little drive around town and dropped us off at Bocamora Grill for lunch. This is where the corners of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet and you get to see it all from the terrace of this great restaurant and have a wonderful meal to boot. If you are going to Iguazu falls, then this is definitely the place to stay. I will never forget my stay at the Secret Garden.
Los Lapachos 623, Puerto Iguazu N3370JMC, Argentina
+54 3757 423099
Had a lovely day learning how to play polo and relaxing at a ranch for the day in Buenos Aires. Worried it would be too hard as had only ever ridden once before, but was amazing! Really chilled day, nice and patient teacher, and amaaaaazing barbecue! Best thing i did in BA I reckon. (Also loved the Malba art gallery, and the beautiful rose gardens in Palermo. Best meal (apart from estancia bbq) was at Don Julio in Palermo.
Currently spending a year in Buenos Aires, as the new year kicked in I decided to explore. My curiosity led me to the north-west province of Córdoba, home to many of the Argentine clichés, and being a similar if not slightly less hectic version of Buenos Aires, my attention was drawn to the surrounding areas.
This is where I discovered Capilla del Monte, a couple of hours drive to the north. This place is like nowhere I have ever been, nor ever will! On the surface it could be the Peak District (despite the 40 degree January sun), but as soon as the nature of the town captured me, I realised that there was something quite different going on here. And nature is the right word; the town is immensely eco-friendly and its people on the whole are rather spiritual. With the Cerro Uritorco acting as a back drop, this particular mountain is a focal point for the lifestyle of the townspeople.
Firstly I found a bed in a hostel. I was greeted by the smell of incense and a group of very relaxed travellers lying on the floor reading books on the development of the soul. On top of the hostel was a very prominent glass dome, in case of alien contact. This is the point in which I remembered seeing this town on the news last November. In recognition of the 11th November 2011 (11.11.11) at 11.11am (220.127.116.11.11) there was a pilgrimage to the Cerro Uritorco, where thousands of people attempted a huge spiritual connection in the expectation of a greater force making itself present at this exact moment. In fact, later that day I came across three travellers from Buenos Aires going around in a beautiful old VW, who had arrived on the 11.11.11 and had stayed there ever since.
And so, with this as an introduction, the atmosphere of the town seemed to fit this entirely. With many healing places, health food shops and almost all the hotels including the word 'natural' in some way, this place was unique.
What had initially drawn me to the town was the countryside around it, so the next day I went for a stroll by the river. This in fact turned into a seven hour hike up the Cerro Uritorco, which claims (and is fully believed) to be home to an energetic epicentre serving as a portal to the first intergalactic cosmic communication centre on Earth. Now there's something you don't get in the Peak District. The presence of aliens in the region is completely believed and accepted, and many sightings have been reported.
Spending a few days in this town certainly made me leave with a sense of wonderment - perhaps due to the amazement of such a strong sense of belief and spirituality, or perhaps due to my own resulting questions of the cosmos! This place is one of a kind, and everybody is most welcome here. Forming a part of my entire Latin America journey so far, this has been one of the highlights, and was certainly an interesting start to 2012!
Starting the new year like no other, I spent this new year's eve in Buenos Aires. Expecting a casual night on my terrace with a barbeque, this turned into an unforgettable party experience.
After doing the ritual midnight celebration, we then ate dinner and drank fernet (a herbal Italian spirit which has been adopted by Argentines) until around 3am. At this point we decided to head to the planetarium which lies in the Bosques de Palero (the Palermo forest). Here there was an enormous crowd of all ages, dancing with their fernet by the beautifully lit planetarium. I was unsure as to why everybody had sunglasses at the ready. When it got to around 7am it hit me, the blinding sun rose from above the trees and the crowd went wild! Slowly the crowds headed towards shade as the night turned into a hot summer's day, and at 9am we went home on the bus with the commuters. During this journey we narrowly avoided being struck by a flying bin which had been loaded with dynamite, but explosions aside it was an amazing experience and a brilliant start to 2012.
Hostel opened few months ago near from Plaza Serrano (place with a lot of bars, restaurants and clubs really great at night!) well located! nice house,rooms are clean, cool and relaxing atmosphere, great music. We even made a barbecue on the terrace.
You'll appreciate the contrast between the crazy Buenos Aires and this haven.
This hostel felt like staying at home! It is run by Miriam, Lucas and Hector, a lovely Argentine family that treat you like you are part of their family. The hostel is charming and clean, and the staff helped book excursions and make the best of my time in Ushuaia. The breakfast is better than most hostels - including Argentine medialunas, or croissants.
These waterfalls are utterly amazing - and if you are going to be anywhere within a couple of hours flying time of Iguazu airport it is definitely a trip that is worth making. Of course, there are scores of really rather comfortable long-distance coaches that also go to Iguazu.
We would strongly recommend (as had been suggested to us by John Fernandes the brilliant host of an excellent small B&B in Puerto Iguazu "The Secret Garden") that you see the Falls from the Brazilian side of the river first; this gives you a slowly unfolding vista of the Falls (80% of which are on the Argentinian side of the river) and the unbelievable picture postcard just gets larger and bigger and wider.
Then later see and experience the Falls from right up close on the Argentinian side of the river. An extraordinary visceral experience. No natural phenomenon anywhere has in any way matched the power and beauty of the Falls.
It's probably best to try to go at towards the end of the day when there will be far fewer people - and, ideally out of the height of the tourist season. October was ideal: neither too hot nor too humid - perfect spring weather.
Remember that dengue fever has re-appeared in the region and use lots of serious insect repellent.
And you will almost certainly get very wet (even if you do not take the boat into/under the Falls) so think about waterproof protection for cameras etc.
On the Brazilian side there is also a good bird park; while on the Argentinian side there are several great walks through the semi-tropical forest.
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