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Bienvenido a Argentina

Posted: Mateo Salmeron

As I reflect on our recent nuptials and honeymoon, I would like to share our travel experience. Over a year ago, my now wife and I had decided to have our honeymoon in Argentina. Being the hiking fanatics that we are, our sights were set for the Patagonia region. Little did we know that the country would have much more to offer.

Our first stop was Buenos Aires. The city is known as the “Paris of South America”, and the architecture delivers the meaning of the title. There were historic landmarks like the Recoleta Cemetery, The Pink House (their version of the White House), a theatre converted into a bookstore, street tango, and a flower sculpture that opened and closed with the sun. On top of all the sites to see, the city offered a wide range of foods including the famous Argentinian steak.

Our next destination was Bariloche, the Argentinian entrance to Patagonia. The city is full of German architecture and offers gorgeous views of the surrounding lakes. Being the entrance to Patagonia, there are many different trails in the area that will take your breath away. We went on a hike called “Refugio Frey” with the peak offering a place to eat, drink water, and relax at a lagoon. Bariloche is also known as the chocolate and beer capital of the country. Check out the Rapa Nui chocolate shop as well as multiple different breweries throughout the town.

Argentina’s currency has dropped drastically in value over the last 25 years. Since the beginning of 2020 alone, the Argentinian peso has dropped 70% in value. Because of this, the locals have relied on using more stable forms of currency like the euro and dollar to exchange amongst themselves. This started a new exchange rate known as “The Blue Rate” which offers double the number of pesos than what the normal exchange offers. To show the comparison, the normal exchange rate is 1 USD:193 ARP while the blue rate is 1 USD:375 ARP. That is a big difference.

As a tourist, you can access the blue rate in a couple different ways. The safest way is to go through a Western Union. Once your profile and a means to pay is set up, you then select a cash pickup and set yourself as the recipient of the order. For the recipient details, make sure that all the details match what your passport says, including your middle name, and set your address as the hotel or AirBnb you are staying at. Once the order is placed, you will receive a confirmation number that will need to be provided at pickup. For the pickup, you will need to bring your passport, confirmation number, and a bag or purse to carry the money out of the Western Union. Once you have received the money, it would be wise to return to the place you are staying at to drop off any cash not needed.

Argentina is a great place to visit! The country has Buenos Aires for those seeking a big city life, Bariloche for those wanting to take on hiking adventures, and even their own wine country in a city called Mendoza. And the best part, the blue exchange rate even makes the trip very affordable. I hope this inspires you to travel and book your next adventure. Safe travels!

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