Travel & Tea » Argentina Brits travelling the world, one sip at a time Tue, 17 Dec 2013 02:07:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 National Drinks You Might Find on Your Travels in South America Tue, 03 Dec 2013 01:17:44 +0000 admin Every Brit knows there is nothing like a cup of tea to brighten up the day. However, you might not have access to this lovely drink everywhere you go. So what other national drinks will you try as you travel the world? There is a variety of different hot and cold beverages for you to try out and here some of the most interesting ones you might want to sip in South America.

Inca Kola – Peru

This drink is a national icon in Peru and you might even decide to buy an Inca Kola t-shirt before you go home. It bears some sort of passing resemblance to the Scottish Irn Bru, with a bright colour and an unexpectedly weird taste. Another factor it has in common with Irn Bu is that it sells more than Coca Cola and Pepsi in its home country. Peru, Scotland and India are the only three countries in the world where a national soft drink beats both of these international brands and that alone makes it worth a try.

Mate – Argentina

Mate is a herbal infusion which you will see drunk in a few different countries but Argentina is where it is most widely associated with. The preparation of it looks a bit strange, with hot water being poured over dried, crushed herbs in a small gourd. It is then drunk through a metal straw and passed round from person to person in the group. It is definitely an acquired taste but if you are going to be in Argentina for a while then it is worth giving it a try.

Guaraná – Brazil

This next one on the list is an energy drink found in Brazil. You might already be familiar with guaraná in a different form, as it has been used in chocolate bars in the UK in the past. You can buy cans and bottles of this stuff but drinking it fresh is far better. You need to look out for little snack bars which have those big drinks containers which constantly stir the contents in them. Once you see a dark, fruity looking drink in one of them ask if it is guaraná and get ready for a unique taste experience.

Coca Colla – Bolivia

The final drink of the list is one you might find a little difficult to get hold of. It is a Bolivian national soft drink which is mainly found in the city of La Paz. The clever name comes from the fact that it is made from coca leaves – as Coca Cola was once made from and which some people claim it still is – and is made by the indigenous Colla people of the region. The fact that coca leaves are used in the production of cocaine might make you wary of this drink. There is a bit of a debate about whether coca leaves in themselves can be considered a drug but here it is a considered as an incredibly useful natural remedy which does everything from fight fatigue and stave off hunger to alleviate altitude sickness.

Photo by jaywray on Flickr

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Iguazu Falls: Three Countries and a Natural Wonder Mon, 04 Nov 2013 00:00:36 +0000 author One of the most unexpectedly exciting places in South America for many tourists is Iguazu Falls. You might think that if you have seen one big waterfall you have seen them all. However, this is a truly awe inspiring place which you should make an effort to go and see. It is one of the New Modern Wonders of Nature and one of the biggest and most spectacular shows of nature’s force on the planet.

Getting There

If you are travelling to Iguazu from Buenos Aires then it is long way by road. In fact, you can expect a bus trip to here to last about 15 hours. The good news is that pretty cheap flights can be booked from Buenos Aires to the town of Puerto Iguazu if time is tight and you can afford it. There aren’t really too many other touristy destinations near the falls, so making a meandering trip up there with a few stops isn’t as popular as you might think. On the Brazilian side the town is called Foz do Iguacu. You can get here from all of the main cities in Brazil. Like Argentina, the journeys are long in such a big country and flights are available. Very few travellers seem to come through Paraguay to Ciudad del Este and I don’t have any information on how easy or difficult that trip is.

Where to Stay

The choice of where you stay will probably come down to the currency exchange rates at the time you are there. For example, at the time of writing the Brazilian Real is a lot stronger than the Argentine Peso, so staying on the Argentine side is going to work out cheaper for you. Puerto Iguazu is probably a nicer town than the Brazilian equivalent anyway, although you should be sure to check both of them out. The Paraguayan town of Ciudad del Este has a reputation for being a bit unsafe and is apparently where a lot of Brazilians and Argentines go to buy counterfeit goods.

What to Do

Obviously the main attraction here is the chance to see the falls. There isn’t a lot else to do anyway, to be fair. Puerto Iguazu is – like all of Argentina – a good place to eat a quality steak. Foz do Iguazu is decent for walking around but doesn’t seem to have a lot for tourists to do. Of course, you should make sure that you see the falls from both Brazil and Argentina, as they offer different experiences and views. In Brazil you will be further from the water but will get an amazing view of the Devil’s Throat part of the falls. While in Argentina you will be closer to the action and spend a lot more time walking around the falls or even taking a boat trip under them if you like. The falls are set in a tropical forest and the Bird Park on the Brazilian side is a good place to see lots of the local wildlife.

Photo by markgee on Flickr

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The Best Countries for Drinking Wine Mon, 05 Aug 2013 00:00:07 +0000 author If you are a fan of wine then you have probably tried some from a few different countries. Wine is a drink which is produced in a wide variety of countries and going to see the wineries where it is produced can add a fascinating twist to your visit to a wine producing country. Here are some of the best places to enjoy some on your next trip.


Strange as it may seem, Argentina is the 5th biggest wine producer in the world right now. The quality of the wine made here has increased vastly in recent years. Mendoza is where most of the good stuff comes from and it is also a beautiful region to explore. You can make a trip to a few of the different bodegas and sample their different wines while getting to see a lot of the place and speaking to many locals. Interestingly, they claim to produce the world’s highest altitude wine here, although if you cross over to Tarija in Bolivia you will find that they make the same claim about their wine.  If you want to take in a few countries on your South American wine tour then there is also some excellent stuff produced in Chile as well.


You have probably tried an Australian wine at some point. This country is one place ahead of Argentina in the list of wine producing countries but sends out a far higher percentage of the drink to other parts of the world. Norfolk Island is famed for being home to some of the world’s biggest wine consumers, so you might like to go there to sample some of the local wine culture. Otherwise, Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley and Yarra Valley are some of the country’s most famous wine producing regions. It is easy to arrange either short or long wine tours in Australia if you are short of time but exploring these wine producing regions on your own can be even more rewarding.


The third biggest producer of wine on the planet is Spain.  Production is spread out all over this country. In fact, it is the country with most area dedicated to wine production. This means that it isn’t going to be easy to take in all of the different regions. The best idea is probably to focus on one area, such as Galicia, Catalonia or Rioja in your trip. There is a massive amount of grape varieties used in Spain and the wines produced in the different regions are all distinctive, so you might like to sample a few and make your decision on where to go based on this. The country also has an enviable wine culture, especially in the Mediterranean areas, of sitting back after a meal and drinking a glass or two of the good stuff. Even if you don’t make it to a bodega you can still enjoy a few glasses in a local bar or restaurant and add an extra special touch to your time in the country.

Photo by toyohara on Flickr

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The Best Cities in the World for People Watching Mon, 15 Jul 2013 00:00:15 +0000 author One of the greatest delights of going abroad on holiday is that you get to indulge in a bit of people watching. This is something which doesn’t come naturally to Brits at home but in other countries it seems to be almost a national hobby. So where you will do it next?


Where else in the world can you get so much enjoyment from watching young lovers walk along the streets with their arms entwined? Paris has some great cafes, which is one of the most important points for people watching, but it is also a fine place to sit on the steps of the Sacre Coeur or under the Eiffel Tower and watch the world go by. This will be even more special if you do it with a loved one at your side, of course.


We could really choose anywhere in Italy and put it on this list. The Italians love to sit and watch the people go past and you will too. Immaculately clad, beautiful people will wander past like movie stars while you drink your cappuccino or sit in a piazza enjoying the atmosphere and the fun. The famous Spanish Steps which lead from the Piazza di Spagna is a particularly good place to do this but it can be a great way to pass an hour or so just about anywhere in Rome.

Buenos Aires

The Argentine Capital has the same kind of café / people watching culture as the other places we have looked at, and it shares with Italy the added benefit of the Latin temperament. Here, you are just as likely to be treated to the odd flare up between taxi drivers, protest matches or a shouting match between shopkeepers as the sight of good natured football supporters or groups of teenagers hanging out. There are some wonderfully atmospheric cafes here but if you want the authentic experience you could try some mate. This is an herbal infusion which the Argentines drink almost constantly. Get yourself a thermo flask with hot water, a mate gourd and a packet of herbs and can sit down in the Plaza de Mayo and see what happens next.


If you decide to go somewhere really exotic like Asia then your senses are in for a treat. From food stalls on the street, to floating vegetable markets to shops selling stuff which you don’t even recognise, this continent is a fantastic place for seeing a different way of life. As street food is such a popular pastime in this city you could just prop yourself up against a stall and watch the people go about their business while you chomp away. It is one of those cities in which something always seems to be happening and you will find that it is fascinating to just watch as the action unfolds in front of your eyes. Just be careful you don’t get in the habit of brazenly people watching, as your neighbours and work colleagues might not be too impressed about you staring at them when you get home.

Photo by whltravel on Flickr

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5 Breathtaking Backpacking Trips That Aren’t in Europe Mon, 01 Apr 2013 00:00:06 +0000 admin Travelling to other places is one of the most important things you should take advantage if you want some time to relax and unwind, as well explore more. Well, it’s true that not every backpacker wants and looks for the same experience. But no matter what you are really looking for, it would be best to backpack at places that will be convenient enough but where you’ll also be experiencing something different. If you are then planning for your first backpacking trip outside Europe, here are 5 breath-taking places that you can visit and enjoy.

1. The Morocco Adventure

Morocco is a paradise you should visit if you are after a great adventure. It is such a great place where you will find superb coast, wild deserts, and fabulous mountain vistas. While you are there experience sands in your shoes from the Sahara Desert. You can also walk around Rabat which as an impressively clean neighbourhood and has so many interesting things that you can explore. Don’t forget to try tagine which is a typical Moroccan dish baked in a closed clay pot put over a fire and served together with round bread. If you are travelling alone and on a tight budget, Morocco is the perfect destination for your kind of adventure. The best time you can visit this paradise is during spring by mid March to May and during the autumn seasons from September to November.

2. Explore Australia, The Land Down Under

World famous for its amazing beauty, Australia is a great place for backpacking. This wonderful continent is smooth, easy, and safe to travel around. If you would like to witness stunning city views in Australia, as well as bliss of blue waters, you can watch from the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you love the beach, just grab your hat, put on some lotion, and sun bathe. You can also try snorkelling and more excitingly dive at the Great Barrier Reef to. With so many interesting stuffs in Australia, you cannot possibly see and do everything in just one trip. Australia is definitely a must for every traveller like you if you wish to explore a natural wonder.

3. Enjoy Amazing Tranquillity in India

A country of contrast and a lot of dimension, India is one place you should surely get to visit and enjoy at. India is a huge Southern Asia country that is simply fascinating because of it great tourist attractions. If you get the chance to travel to India, you will get to see the marvels of the Himalayan peaks, swim through and chill on their exotic beaches like the beaches in Goa and Kerala. For great tranquillity, you can visit spiritual places and temples in India such as Haridwar, Varanais, and Bodhgaya. For sure, you will definitely enjoy their food that is extremely cheap and lodgings that are given out on a bargain.

4. Discover the Wilderness in Uganda

Uganda is one of the most popular places in the world where you can get to find the greatest safari attractions. Said to be the “Pearl of Africa”, Uganda features more than 10 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries such as the Murchison Fall National Park which is the largest park in Uganda and the Queen Elizabeth National Park that is said to be one of Uganda’s outstanding treasure. If you love and enjoy birds, Uganda is the place you can go because it has more than a thousand bird species. Nonetheless, getting to Uganda’s national parks and sanctuaries can be roughing it because you will have to hire a private vehicle.

5. Heavenly Argentina

With superb landscapes and truly untouched regions, Argentina is a place you should include in your great backpacking places to visit. As soon as you get to step in Argentina, you can visit most of its amazing place like in Patagonia where you can be alone and easily escape the crowd. If you wish to experience great nightlife, the capital Buenos Aires welcomes you with it great clubs, bars, and restaurants. With all these things, you will surely never go wrong about choosing Argentina as your next travel destination.

Photo by alc990 on Flickr

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5 Movies To Get Your Travel Juices Flowing This Holiday Season Mon, 24 Dec 2012 08:48:30 +0000 admin Cinema is a beautiful way to travel the world, see unimagined landscapes, discover destinations, feel nostalgic for the places visited on a trip and think about the friends you met on the way, those unforgettable characters and the moments that will remain etched in your memory forever.

There are hundreds of movies in the film history that transport us to a feeling so thrilling as traveling. How can you forget movies like The Beach, Out of Africa, Eurotrip, Lawrence of Arabia, Casablanca, Wild at Heart, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Seven Years in Tibet. In just two hours, you can get to travel thousands and thousands of miles without budging from your chair.

These are the top 5 travel movies, a must for anyone who is fond of the travel lifestyle:

1. Lost in Translation (2003)

This movie was a huge hit and was nominated for four academy awards. In addition to possibly falling in love with the protagonist, and enjoying a pretty little soundtrack, this film would show you Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, in a particularly interesting way: bustling, incomprehensible, difficult but beautiful.

Starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, it’s a film that shows that we can always make friends when traveling. The movie won accolades not only for Sofia Coppola’s script and distinctive direction, but also for Bill Murray’s acting.

2. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

It is a film inspired by the story of the journeys of young Ernesto “Che” Guevara. It shows the motorcycle trips of the iconic revolutionary and how they exposed him to Injustice, challenge, and endearing characters. Shortly after the film’s release, tour operators in the region received a huge number of inquiries and a few of them started offering trips on Che Guevara theme where the traveler’s could trace Che Guevara’s track on an adventure trip with friends.

It features an eight month long journey with friends undertaken by Che that spanned 14000 Km from Argentina through Chile, Peru, and Colombia to Venezuela. There are many locations shown in the movie including The San Pablo Leper Colony in Peru. This movie clearly brings to the fore, how travel can be instrumental in making one explore and know oneself.

3. 180 Degrees South (2010)

If you had always wanted to know Patagonia, but you did not because you did not have the money or because you did not get a traveling companion, this is your opportunity. The documentary film by Chris Malloy follows the adventures of Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) and Doug Tompkins. Surfing, climbing and skiing from California to Cerro Fitz Roy, they discover the wild beauty that inspired these people to get involved in some of the most important biological reserves of Argentina.

4. In Bruges (2008)

It is a comedy drama film. While not exactly a film about the journey itself, it is one of the films that showcases the essence of Bruges, this charming and magical city of Belgium. If you are traveling to Europe, make sure to see it. This film received a huge positive response from film critics and was given high ratings by film critics. The film offers monumental sight of Bruges, when Ken and Ray, the two protagonists visit the Groeninge museum and see Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Last Judgment.

5. Eat Pray Love (2010)

The movie starring Julia Roberts makes it evident that it is never too late to reinvent, re discover and fulfill dreams. A married woman, after divorce, decides to travel for a year, visiting Italy, India and Indonesia. During the trip several things, including love, loneliness, food, friends and joy happen to her.

She ate and enjoyed in Italy, found spirituality in India and ultimately headed to Bali, Indonesia to seek balance between the two opposite experiences. Oprah Winfrey devoted two of her episodes to the film.

These five movies are a must for any travel enthusiast. Even someone not so fond of traveling would be adequately encouraged to explore faraway lands that these movies show in a spectacular manner.

Photo by jeezny on Flickr.

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5 Destinations in the World Which are more Romantic than Paris Mon, 17 Sep 2012 08:26:23 +0000 admin For many people, Paris is the ultimate romantic destination.

And it is a certainly a beautiful city. But there are many other cities that are just as romantic, if not more romantic than Paris, the City of Lights.

Here are our five favourite cities for romance:

1. Cape Town, South Africa

For some, Cape Town could be considered romantic because it hosted the World Cup football tournament. But South Africa’s second-largest city — and Africa’s southern-most city — is romantic for many other reasons. There are colourful buildings, quaint streets, a castle, museums, galleries, theatres, beaches, beautiful gardens and a cable car to the top of the iconic Table Mountain.

2. Venice, Italy

Venice is most famous for its canals, the result of being built on a lagoon. The city is a beautiful and quirky place, with narrow cobblestone streets, graceful palazzi and sleek gondolas plying the water. The city is at its most romantic at sunset, perfect for a stroll and a pre-dinner drink. Don’t miss the Doge’s Palace in San Marco Square, which includes the jail where the famous Venetian lover Giacomo Casanova was locked up.

3. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is a city of passion. And what is more passionate than the tango? Head to La Boca to see couples practicing this super-sexy dance in the streets. Or enrol in a dance class to learn the dance yourself. BA is a great place for romantic strolls, especially in Palermo. You can even rent a boat and take your romance out on the lake.

4. St Lucia, the Caribbean

This tropical paradise in the Caribbean is a popular honeymoon destination. The dramatic twin peaks of the Pitons tower over the island’s lush rainforests. If you can drag yourself away from the romantic golden beaches, you can find another world of wonder under the water.

5. Vienna, Austria

The former home of the Habsburg court and the capital of Austria, Vienna is a city of grand imperial palaces and music. Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and Brahms are just some of the famous musical Viennese. Take your lover’s hand and get lost in narrow medieval alleyways and then find you way to the graceful Ring boulevard to marvel at the majestic architecture.

Don’t be sad, Miss Hilton – we actually meant the city

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