Peru: Luxury Lodge Trek – Day 6 – Hike to Aobamba River, Train to Aguas Calientes

Our last day of hiking! We had a great stop at a viewpoint where we could see Machu Picchu in the distance. Another stop at the Yactapat Ruins, which is fascinating. The end of the hike is at the train station near the hydroelectric plant. A nice train ride to Aguas Calientes and a short walk to our lovely hotel.


  • 6am breakfast 
  • 7am leave
  • 7 hour hike
  • 11am lunch at restaurant then 1.5 hours down
  • 2:30 train at the Hydroelectric plant
  • Arrive in Aguas Calientes at 3:30pm
  • Dinner at 7:00pm

We started out with long sleeve shirts but switched to short sleeves after 20 minutes. They day ended up being very hot and humid.

The trail is a single track path along the right side of the valley. It alternates between farm and open fields and thick jungle.

We saw no other hikers for the whole trek, but today, there were lots of groups finishing up the trek.

  • 3.5 miles up, 1 mile flat, 3.5 miles down
  • 2000 feet up, 3000 ft down
  • Inca trail up, local trail down zigzag

Llaqtapata Rest Area

A nice rest area with an amazing view of Machu Picchu and snowy mountain peaks. There is a snack bar and seats for resting.

Yactapat Ruins

Hike another 10 minutes down a steep, slippery trail to the ruins. You see Machu Picchu from here!


Hike another 20 minutes to the lodge for lunch at 11am.

  • Salad of avocados, carrots, peas, green onions, olive
  • Fried trout
  • Potatoes, rice, lentils
  • Warm peach jello

From here, it is another 15 minutes to the river. Then you cross the river on a bouncy wood, cable, and rebar bridge. It is another 30-40 minutes hiking to the train on a dirt road along the river.

Tourist Car on a Local Train:

First, you go through passport control (write down name passport number, nationality, age) then it is another 5 minute walk to train station.

When we got to the train station there was a train car that was off the rains. A group of train workers were able to use levers to get it back on track — an amazing feat.

There are a few stores and restaurants at the train station — including giant beers at the restaurant upstairs overlooking the train tracks.

We arrived at the train station 2:05pm, boarded at 2:30pm, departed at 2:50pm, and arrived in Aguas Calientes at 3:55pm. It is a very rocky train ride, but much better than walking the 6 miles along the track.

Aguas Calientes

There are no cars in Aguas Calientes, so porters carry the bags to the hotel, which is a 10 minute walk. Stores are generally open 10 AM to 9 PM.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

  • Bathroom showers have body soap, shampoo, conditioner
  • Bathrooms have filtered water in a picture, hand soap, body lotion, towels
  • Toilet paper goes in trashcan, no Kleenex
  • Yoga mats
  • Hair dryers on request
  • There are showers at the spa if you need to shower after you check out.
  • A great option is to spend an extra night here and go back to Machu Picchu or enjoy one of the tours offered by the hotel.

Dinner from Menu:

  • One starter, one entrée, and dessert
  • Cocktails about $13, glass of wine about $10, bottle of wine about $40
  • I had amazing spicy quinoa soup, alpaca with potatoes, lemon pie
  • Dean had a green salad, beef tips with potatoes, chocolate cake
  • Also vegetarian options and gluten-free

More on the Luxury Lodge Trek:

Posted in Peru, Trekking | Tagged | 2 Comments

Peru: Luxury Lodge Trek – Day 2 – Day Hike to Humantay Lake

Today is a day hike to a beautiful turquoise lake at 13,845ft/4,221mt — Humantay Lake.


  • 6am breakfast 
  • 7am start to beat the crowds from Cusco
  • Meet at 7 AM, start at 7:15 AM
  • 1.75 miles up and 2 miles down
  • 30 minutes at the lake
  • Shaman experience at lake
  • 1700 ft vertical in 2 miles, 1.5 hours down 
  • Back to the lodge for lunch
  • Afternoon free

For this hike, you go up one trail and down another so we don’t run into people. It is a spectacular turquoise lake, but no swimming.

Everyone was wearing hiking pants, long sleeve shirt, and gloves, but it warmed up quickly in the sun, so everyone was overdressed and peeled off clothes early.

It starts with a gentle uphill on a dirt path. After 1 hour, the trail turns right up the side of the hill and is steeper. 

Once at the lake, you can hike around the shoreline or up to a viewpoint where the elevation is almost 14,000 ft.

At 10, hike up left side to Shaman ritual 1 hour.

On the way down, it turned cold and sometimes rainy, so everyone was back in a warm jacket plus hat, gloves, and rain jacket.

In the evening, the Shaman returns for a ceremony around the campfire to bless the upcoming trek.


  • Eggs made to order with bacon
  • Fruit, yogurt
  • Porridge
  • Toast
  • Cold cuts and cheese and olives
  • Coffee, tea, juice

Snacks for hike:

  • Nuts, dried fruit, filtered water for water bottles


  • Chicken and a red pepper sauce with
  • Rice and potatoes
  • Dessert of fruit pudding


  • Starter of quinoa tabbouleh salad
  • Bread
  • Breaded trout
  • Chunks of vegetables (carrots and zucchini and potatoes)
  • Chocolate mousse

More on the Luxury Lodge Trek:

Posted in Peru, Trekking | Tagged | 2 Comments

Dolomites: Via Ferrata

A via ferrata is a climbing route in the mountains that uses steel cables, rungs, or ladders, fixed to the rock to which the climbers affix a harness with two leashes, which allows the climbers to secure themselves to safely climb.

If you are not experienced with via ferratas, we highly recommend that you hire a guide, which will include the gear (harness, carabiners, and helmet).

Things to bring: layered clothing and rain jacket, hiking shoes/boots, day pack, water, and head lamp.

Ferrata Sten Fusetti

This is a beginner via ferrata that anyone who is in moderate physical condition can do. There is a 1 hour hiking up the hill and then through WWI tunnels.

This is where a guide is very helpful as finding your way to and through the tunnels is tricky. You are given a helmet as part of the gear for a via ferrata, and the helmet is helpful even in the short, dark tunnels (and a flashlight!). In the tunnels, you can see the lookout posts, sleeping areas, and kitchen areas.

The via ferrata portion is around 1 hour depending on the group.

When you reach the top of the via ferrata, there are some WWI trenches to hike through, including ladders to climb, which takes you to the top of the mountain for amazing views. You can also see the area where the Italians blew up the side of the mountain to oust the Austrians.

After your great adventure, there are many local restaurants and rifugios to enjoy a celebration lunch!

Posted in Dolomites | Tagged | Leave a comment

Planning Your Trip to Buenos Aires

How to plan your trip to Buenos Aires!

  1. Plan your days of the week
  2. Then plan your meals and evening entertainment plans
  3. Decide what you want to see and do
  4. Plan your money
  5. Converter/Adapter

1) Plan your days of the week:

  • Saturdays and Sundays have craft booths at various parks in the city, including Alvear Park near the Recoleta Cemetery, Plaza Serrano in Palermo, and Caminito in La Boca. On Sunday is the famous market — Feriada San Telmo at Plaza Dorrego — and make sure to also go to the Mercado de San Telmo (inside).
  • Sunday is the Feria de San Telmo Market in Plaza Dorrego
  • Thursday at 3:30pm is the March of the Mothers in Plaza de Mayo. 
  • Weekends are harder to get into hotels and restaurants, and tourist sites can be more crowded.
  • Go to a futbol/soccer game in the stadium (typically on Sundays Mar-Dec). Book the experience with a tour company — do not go on your own as it can be unsafe for tourists.

2) Then plan your meals and evening entertainment plans.

Options for evening are (book in advance):

Great neighborhoods for dinner and nightlife:

  • Palermo (weekends can be noisy)
  • Recoleta (many restaurants near the cemetery)
  • Puerto Madero (Women’s Bridge, walk along the waterfront, museum on a frigate ship)

Lunch options:

  • San Telmo Market – lunch or casual dinner, fun shopping too
  • Caminito area in La Boca – lunch or casual dinner, fun shopping too


  • Don Julio (Palermo)
  • La Cabrera (Palermo) – happy hour at 6:15pm
  • Fervero (Recoleta)
  • Rufina Steak Restaurant (Mio Hotel in Recoleta)
  • Cabinas La Linas (Puerto Madera)
  • Top 5 Buenos Aires Steakhouses >>

Eat inside, not outside (temperature, people selling things, theft)

If you do not have a reservation, ask the front desk at your hotel for suggestions.  There are many excellent steakhouses in Buenos Aires!

3) Decide what you want to see and do

Many of these sites (and more!) can be seen on a city tour!

Top Sites to See:

  • Recoleta Cemetery (craft booths on Sat/Sun/Holidays)
  • Municipal Cathedral (changing of the guard every 2 hours starting at 9am)
  • Plaza de Mayo (Thursday at 3:30pm is Mother’s Protest)
  • Colon Theater (1 hour tour, book in advance)
  • MALBA Museum (1 hour) or other museum

Other good sites:

  • El Ateneo Bookstore (in an old theater – beautiful!) – Walking distance from Recoleta neighborhood
  • San Telmo Market (antique shops, produce, pastries, lots of cute dining spots)
  • Caminito area in La Boca – fun shopping (Sat/Sun has most craft booths)
  • Women’s Bridge (can also walk along the riverfront and visit the frigate museum)
  • Japanese Garden and Rose Garden (near each other)
  • Florida Avenue (pedestrian mall, street performers)
  • Day trip to Colonia, Uruguay

4) Plan your Money

Exchanging Money:

Do not exchange money before your trip, and do NOT use an ATM in Argentina. The best exchange rate is found at the Western Union exchanges. There are many around the city. Alternatively, ask you guide or hotel front desk where to find the best exchange place in the area. Exchanges are closed on Sundays. Bring $100 bills for exchanges. They must be in the new style with no tears.


  • $2-3/day for drivers – USD easiest
  • $10/person/day for guides – USD easiest
  • $1/person/lunch $3/person/dinner for tips for meals (10% of meal price) – local currency easiest (You cannot add tip to a bill and charge it – tips must be left separately on the table.)
  • Small purchases – ARS easiest
  • I just have some USD and ARS in my pocket at all times.

Bring USD cash in 1’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 20’s for tipping. You can spend either USD or ARS, but you may want to use local currency if you need change. Bring $100 bills for exchanging.

5) Converter/Adapter

Type “I” – like Australia. Bring a multiplug and/or multiple adapters – in case there are only a few outlets or the plugs are a tight fit.

Contact us to book your next trip to Buenos Aires!

Posted in Argentina, Buenos Aires | Leave a comment

Hotels in Mendoza

There is a great selection of hotels for your visit to Mendoza!

  1. Posada Verde Oliva (Maipu / low 4-star)
  2. Lares de Chacras (Lujan de Cuyo / 4-star)
  3. Finca Adalgisa Hotel (Lujan de Cuyo / 4-star)
  4. Park Hyatt (Mendoza / 5-star)
  5. Casa Lila (Mendoza / 3-star)
  6. The Vines Resort & Spa (Uco / 5-star)

Posada Verde Oliva (Maipu / low 4-star)

The Posada Verde Oliva has 10 Rooms:

  • Standard
  • Superior – Very big, 2 chairs, sofa, desk (for putting things on but not for working), wardrobe
  • Loft – with kitchen
  • Villa – 4 bedrooms with pool

The only difference between Standard and Superior is the size. All rooms have either 1 king bed or 2 twin beds. They all have a patio and a tub/shower combo.

There is no minifridge, but there is a common kitchen with a refrigerator that can be used and is stocked with drinks. There is no coffee in the room, but the kitchen also has a coffee maker.

The grounds are a huge grassy area with some grape vines. They have a medium size pool with lounge chairs that is lovely but cold. There is a big, cozy common room and patio (kitchen off back) plus a chess board. The property is fenced, and you are given a remote control to open the gate to the road.

Breakfast is a small buffet of breads, fruits, cereals, and coffee/tea.  Eggs are made to order and yogurt is also on request.  Breakfast starts at 8am.  Early coffee only in common kitchen.

Dinner is served 7-9pm, and you have to order your meal by 6pm. For dinner, we had this for $27:

  • Salad – huge and seemed to be fresh vegetables out of the garden
  • Soup – pumpkin soup, which was a puree
  • Pizza – personal size
  • Cheesecake – with berries
  • All were easy to share


  • Very noisy at night – I wore ear plugs, which helped
  • Light in bathroom was very dim
  • Wifi in rooms was not strong but better in common area
  • No dinner at last minute
  • Small breakfast selection but fresh

Lares de Chacras (Lujan de Cuyo / 4-star)

There are 11 rooms, all with Smart TV (Netflix), some rooms have a minifridge, all have water kettle. Kids must be older than 12 years old.

  • Standard/Classic – only a window – 1 is quad
  • Special – Balcony
  • Superior – Balcony, fireplace, wine, coffee – can be triple

The hotel has a medium pool and a Jacuzzi next to pool.

There is a wine tasting machine in front lounge, and a wine cellar under the floor in entryway. You get a glass of wine at check-in. You can even do dinner next to wine cellar.

Breakfast is buffet, Lunch is snacks, and Dinner is a la carte (outside dining as well). A BBQ dinner is offered 1/week in the summer (typically Wed).

There are 2 nice common areas (chess board), and a nice grassy area outside with lots of trees.

Finca Adalgisa Hotel (Lujan de Cuyo / 4-star)

This was originally a family manor (Italian) now turns into a lovely, comfortable hotel. They have a small winery (7000 bottles/year Malbec only).

Some original adobe walls from before the earthquake

There are 11 rooms — 3 rooms in the original family house. All rooms have slippers and 2 luggage racks, no TV. Some patios have hammocks.

  • Standard – by pool
  • Premium Standard – robes
  • Jr. Suites (1)
  • Suites (5) – has coffee, one upstairs has a terrace
  • 1 room has 2 daybeds that can be used as beds for kids

There is a small pool and snacks at pool in the afternoon. They offer 2 e-bikes for people to use locally.

Breakfast is a buffet. Dinner is served at the winery 6-11pm. It is lighter – soups, salads, and tapas (steak if pre-ordered). You get 1 glass of wine/night. They offer a special BBQ for 4+ people, and a cooking class for 2+ people (dinner and drinks included).

Park Hyatt (Mendoza / 5-star)

The Park Hyatt is located right on Independence Square in the center of the city. It has the original facade from old hotel, but inside is all new. The hotel is decorated with local art throughout. The Casino has both slots and table games.

It has 186 rooms on 7 floors. All rooms have Smart TV’s, minibar, desk and chair, water kettle, robes, iron and board, and a separate tub/shower.

  • 70 Twin
  • 116 King
  • Andes View
  • City View
  • Park View
  • 3 suites that are huge
  • No triples for adults but can do for 1 child, some connecting rooms

The restaurant has open kitchen and serves Breakfast (huge buffet), Lunch, Tea, and Dinner.  It also has a nice patio out front.  The second restaurant “Parrilla” is open for dinner near the pool.

The fitness room is large with cardio machines and weights.  There is a spa with 5 massage rooms.  The men/women locker rooms each have 2 jacuzzis, steam room, and sauna.  There is an outside terrace by the gym/spa.

There is a medium-size swimming pool with fountain, lounge chairs, and large patio with bar. 

Casa Lila (Mendoza / 3-star)

This adorable B&B is a local family home located right downtown but like an oasis in a residential neighborhood. It is near the huge park on the edge of town that has dirt trails and hills.

There are 4 rooms. They will be adding 1 more room + 2-bedroom suite in 2023. Rooms can be 1 king or 2 twin. They can add 1 bed for a triple on the ground floor rooms. Rooms have no telephone, no TV, and no minifridge (but can use common kitchen).

It has a 2-room common area with large tables. The Courtyard is grassy with trees and cozy nooks.

Breakfast is espresso, tea, fresh juice, fruit salad, croissants/toast, cereal, yogurt, eggs to order.  Served at 8am but can be earlier on request.

Hard to identify the front door.  Pull the rope to ring the bell.  Friendly owners and dog!

The Vines Resort & Spa (Uco / 5-star)

21 Villas / 30 Rooms

This is a spectacular luxury property with amazing views, vineyard, and pond.

There is a Tasting Room on site with tastings and blending option, large swimming pool, and outdoor jacuzzi. The large fitness center in separate building with amazing views of the mountains. The spa offers massages. Bicycles are free to use.

The Restaurant is overlooking the pond with an open kitchen. They have a Breakfast buffet + eggs to order. Dinner is a 3-course menu. On Saturday, they offer a 5-course fire menu.

All villas are suites with 1 bedroom (standard) or 2 bedrooms (deluxe).  All have patio and/or upper terrace, outdoor jacuzzi, full kitchen, fireplace inside, and an outside fire pit.

Contact us to book your next trip to Mendoza!

Posted in Argentina, Mendoza | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hotels in Buenos Aires: Palermo Soho

There are some amazing hotels in the Palermo neighborhood for your visit to Buenos Aires.

  1. Legado Mitico (4-Star)
  2. Nuss Hotel (4-star)

In Palmero, there are endless restaurants and bars. This is a great area if you are looking for nightlife. We do not recommend staying in this area on weekends — it is quite a party scene, and hotel rooms can be noisy even with extra windows and soundproofing. For nicer restaurants, head towards the Armenia Square. For lively bars, head towards the Plaza Serrano area.

Legado Mitico (4-Star)

This is an 11-room boutique hotel.  It has a cozy, manor house feel to it.  Service is great. 

Rooms have a king bed or 2 twins, desk, 2 chairs, and 2 benches.  They all have the same amenities, but increase in size:

  • Classic (4)
  • Superior (4) – all face the street, can add an extra bed for a triple
  • Deluxe (3)

Garden facing rooms are quieter.  None of them are connected, but 3 rooms are very close together.  Children 12 and older are allowed.

A breakfast buffet is included. 

There is no pool, fitness center, or lunch/dinner.

It is a little hard to find the front door.  You have to ring the bell to enter.

Nuss Hotel (4-star)

The Nuss Hotel is a converted convent.  It has double glass windows for quiet.  There is a lovely roof terrace with small splash pool (not heated).  It has a very small fitness room and sauna.  The breakfast buffet is included (plus eggs to order), but there is no lunch or dinner.  There is a small bar.

It has 22 rooms on 3 floors. Rooms have a minibar, bathrobes, and coffee.  Most rooms can be 1 king bed or 2 twin beds

  • Superior – most rooms have a desk
  • Deluxe – larger than superior
  • Jr. Suite – Sofa and table with chairs
  • Studio – Only a king bed

All rooms except Superior can be a triple with an added bed.  There are 2 connecting rooms for a family, and there is 1 handicap room.  Water kettle and minibar.  Bathrooms are well-lit and have a make-up mirror.

You have to ring the bell to enter.  Free glass of wine for welcome. 

Contact us to book your next trip to Buenos Aires!

Posted in Argentina, Buenos Aires | Tagged | Leave a comment

W-Trek: EcoCamp – Las Torres – Camping – Refugios

There are a few options for hiking the 5-Day W-Trek:

  1. EcoCamp
  2. Las Torres:
    • Camping
    • Refugios
    • Hotel Las Torres (Hotel-Only or Hotel+Refugio)

A couple of basic differences between the options:

  1. EcoCamp is only guided and starts on Sundays (or a private trek/guide can start any day).  The Camping/Refugio options are only self-guided, and you can start on any day (but a private guide can be arranged).
  2. EcoCamp and Hotel-Only includes scheduled transfers from/to Punta Arenas.  The Camping/Refugio options only include a bus from Puerto Natales (private transfers can be arranged).
  3. The Las Torres itinerary includes the trek from the Central Sector to the French Sector (EcoCamp does not).  The EcoCamp itinerary allows you to hike all the way to the end of the Grey Sector (there is not enough time in the Las Torres itinerary).
  4. EcoCamp includes luggage transfer (Paine Grande back to EcoCamp).  Las Torres does not include luggage transfer, so you carry starting Day 3 (you can leave extra luggage in Puerto Natales).

Here is a map of the W-Trek.  EcoCamp is right next to Hotel Las Torres (and Welcome Center) in the Central Sector.


The itinerary for the 5-Day Patagonia: Torres del Paine W Trek with EcoCamp is

  1. Transfer from Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine, overnight EcoCamp
  2. Boat across Lake Pehoe, hike the French Sector, overnight Paine Grande Camping (tent on ground, equipment included)
  3. Hike the Grey Sector, boat across Grey Lake, overnight EcoCamp
  4. Hike Towers Base, overnight EcoCamp
  5. Transfer to Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales

This trek includes:

  • Accommodation in an EcoCamp Suite, Standard or Superior Dome for 3 nights. The Standard Domes do not have heat (but lots of blankets) and share a bathroom with one other Standard Dome. Standard and Superior Domes have heat and private bathroom.
  • 1 night Camping
  • Shared scheduled Transfers from/to Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales
  • English speaking guide. Guide ratio 1:6. Max. group size: 16 people.
  • Torres del Paine National Park entrance fee.
  • Boat ticket for crossing Grey Lake and/or Pehoe Lake.
  • House wine during dinner at EcoCamp
  • All meals: breakfast, lunch (box lunch) and dinner (dinner first day through box lunch last day).



The itinerary for the 5-Day Patagonia: Traditional W Trek in Torres del Paine is

  1. Bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine, overnight Central Sector
  2. Hike Towers Base, overnight Central Sector
  3. Hike to French or Cuernos, overnight French or Cuernos
  4. Hike the French Sector, overnight French or Cuernos
  5. Hike the Grey Sector and back, Boat across Lake Pehoe, Bus to Puerto Natales

The Camping option is Premium Camping (nicer than the regular camping option with EcoCamp) — see photo below.  Most of the Refugios have dorm rooms that sleep 6 people, but the French Sector has domes that sleep 8 people.

This trek includes:

  • Transport on a regular bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park and back (not from Punta Arenas). Bus leaves Puerto Natales at 2:00pm.
  • 2 nights of lodging in the Central Sector, 1 night in the Francés Sector and 1 night in the Paine Grande Sector.
  • Pre set-up mountain tent equipped with sleeping bag and sleeping mat (Camping)
  • Bathrooms with hot showers (shared)
  • All meals: breakfast, lunch (box lunch) and dinner (dinner first day through box lunch last day).
  • Pehoé Lake Catamaran.
  • Torres del Paine National Park entrance fees.
  • Welcome Kit: Includes sleeping-bag liner, microfiber towel, water bottle (stainless steel), a map and a journal notebook.

This trek is self-guided.  We recommend getting to Puerto Natales the day before and spending the night before starting the trek.  There is a briefing that evening that will help you on the trek.  If you fly into Punta Arenas there are buses up to Puerto Natales, or we can arrange a private transfer.

You can do the boat across Lake Grey instead of Lake Pehoe for an extra charge (around $120/person). There is a bus on the other side at 5:00pm to take you to Puerto Natales.

Hotel Las Torres:

See Also:

Posted in Chile, Trekking, W-Trek | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hotels in Buenos Aires: Recoleta

There are some amazing hotels in the Recoleta neighborhood for your visit to Buenos Aires.

  1. Loi Suites Recoleta (4-star)
  2. Hyatt Palacio Duhau (5-star)
  3. Mio Buenos Aires (4-star)
  4. Hub Porteno (4-star)

In Recoleta, at night, go to the Alvear Park by the Recoleta Cemetery.  It is very lively with local people out for a stroll with their kids and dogs.  The church is open and worth a quick stop.  There are restaurants along the edge in 3 groups.  Some are loud and boisterous, some are for cheap eats, a couple of beer places, and some upscale restaurants as well.

Next to the Cemetery, this is also multi-story shopping mall and Starbucks.

High season is November-March. Availability can get tricky in high season.

In general, hotels in Argentina have:

  • All hotels have a/c, telephone, TV, hairdryer, free Wifi, safe, minibar, laundry service extra.
  • Almost all have gym, pool, and massages.
  • All hotels can be loud (especially on weekends), no washcloths, and dim lights in the bathroom.

Loi Suites Recoleta (4-star)

The hotel is sophisticated, spacious, and comfortable.  The restaurant is in a lovely conservatory.  A buffet breakfast is included.  It also serves lunch and dinner a la carte and afternoon tea.  The bar is in the lobby.

There are 112 rooms.  All rooms can be 1 king or 2 twin beds and have a desk.  The Studio Jr. Room comes with a table and 2 chairs plus a water kettle for tea/instant coffee.  The Suite has 2 separate rooms, robes and slippers, nespresso, microwave, and sofa.

The hotel has a nice pool but in a weird location.  There is also a medium size gym and a Spa with massages.

For local dining, try Rodi’s Restaurant.  From Loi Suites, turn left, and at the corner, it is diagonal to the right.  For lunch, we shared a salad and pasta, and it was more than enough.  The menu includes grilled meat, fish, pasta, and salads.  Bread is brought to the table.

Hyatt Palacio Duhau (5-star)

This was originally a family palace built I 1933.  It has 165 rooms – 23 in the original palace and 142 in the new building on floors 5-17.

The palace building has 2 restaurants and 1 bar.  One restaurant is near the reception area.  It has an a la carte breakfast for those staying in the palace.  It also offers lunch and dinner for anyone.  This restaurant has a lovely balcony overlooking the garden.  There is a restaurant on the street level (Duhau Enoteca), which is an upscale steakhouse.  The Oak Bar is a wood paneled cigar bar feel.

The new building has a 3rd restaurant (Gioia), which is the main breakfast area for the hotel (buffet).  The menu is plant-based for lunch and dinner.

The 2 buildings have separate receptions, but either is okay to use.  You can walk between the two buildings underground via the art gallery (changes every month), or through the outside garden area.

The entry to the palace is through large gates, then up one level with large chandeliers.

The spa area has the largest indoor pool in Buenos Aires, a big fitness room, sauna, massages (including couples).

All rooms have separate bathtub and shower, slippers and robes, minibar, and coffee maker.

Standard rooms may have a corner view. 

In the Palace, there are 3 specialty suites that have an adjoining standard twin room.  The suites have butler service.  More expensive in the Palace.  New building has newer rooms.

They offer a wine and cheese tasting every day 6-8pm in the wine room for $70/person (open to anyone). The hotel also has a patisserie and flower shop.

Mio Buenos Aires (4-star)

This is a lovely boutique hotel with touches like wine barrel wood used as paneling. The special touch is the rooms with a deep carved wooden bathtub in some of the rooms. The Rufina Steak Restaurant is also located here.

There are 5 types of rooms:

  1. Executive — smallest option
  2. Deluxe — has the wooden tub
  3. Jr. Suite — has the wooden tub and a sofa
  4. Duplex — located on the 12th floor with 2 levels
  5. Terrace — terrace and outside jacuzzi

All rooms have king beds, balcony, A/C, telephone, TV, hairdryer, free Wifi, safari, and minibar. They also have a desk, sitting area, coffee maker, and robes. Jr. Suites can have an extra bed for a 3rd person.

The spa has a sauna, steam room, small fitness room, and massages. The swimming pool is indoors and long but narrow (maybe good for short laps?).

It also has a lovely lounge/library, and a private work space (meeting room for 6).

Hub Porteno (4-star)

There are 11 rooms in 3 categories:

  • Standard
  • Suite – All garden view
  • Grand Suite (1) – very large with sitting room + bedroom (king bed) + second shower/toilet + large terrace

Rooms have 1 king bed or 2 queen beds.  There are 3 rooms with king beds and 5 rooms with queen beds.  Some are garden view and some are street view.  All rooms have a separate shower and bathtub, minibar, slippers and robes, makeup mirror, table/chairs, and tea/coffee.

There is a cozy lounge by the reception.  They offer light snacks in the afternoon.

On the 4th Floor, is a comfortable rooftop terrace, common area with big table and sofas, small gym, sauna, and shower.  You can order drinks at the Lima Bar and take them up to the roof.

Enter at the Lima Restaurant (the sign for the hotel is small), walk past the Lima Bar to the end of the hallway and turn right before the Lima Restaurant to the reception desk.

Breakfast is served in the Lima Bar.  The Lima Restaurant offers Peruvian and Japanese Fusion.

Contact us to book your next trip to Buenos Aires!

Posted in Argentina, Buenos Aires | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hotels in Iguazu Falls

There is a great selection of hotels for your visit in Iguazu Falls!

  1. Gran Melia (Argentina)
  2. Loi Suites (Argentina)
  3. Mercure (Argentina)
  4. Selva de Laurel (Argentina)
  5. Belmond Das Cataratas (Brazil)
  6. JL Bourbon (Brazil)

There are 2 hotels right by the falls – one on the Argentina side and one on the Brazil side.  They are very expensive, but very worth it.  You can stay at either one regardless which country you started or ended.

The other hotels on the Argentina side are all down 1 road in the jungle nearby.

In Brazil, the other hotels are in the town of Foz de Iguazu.  We would only use these if you are in Brazil before and after Iguazu.

1) Gran Melia (Argentina)

This amazing 5-star property is right at the park on the Argentina side with views of the falls from the pool, main hotel areas, and half of the rooms.

There are 189 rooms:

  • 96 falls view 93 jungle view
  • 60% are twin
  • Triple will have extra bed
  • 6 pairs connecting rooms
  • Jr Suite — Robes slippers minibar hair dryer straightener
  • Must close windows because of monkeys!

Red Level Rooms

  • Lounge with snacks soft drinks wine beer espresso , concierge and waiter
  • Welcome gift
  • 1 hydrotherapy
  • Rooms on the 3rd floor are Red Level, or you can pay an upgrade fee

There are 4 bars, including at the pool and rooftop (4-11pm for cocktails).

There is a large breakfast buffet. Dinner starts at 7pm-11pm.

The is a large gym and spa, including yoga.

2) Loi Suites (Argentina)

The Loi Suites has 160 rooms. They are good size with a balcony. There are swinging bridges to get between buildings.

It has a huge, lovely swimming pool. The Pool Restaurant serves a more casual lunch and dinner and is open to outdoors. The hotel bar is also located at the pool.

The main restaurant offers a nice breakfast buffet and an upscale dining experience. for lunch and dinner.

There is a large open lobby with water feature. The hotel also has a good-size gym.

3) Mercure (Argentina)

100 rooms

  • Standard (55)
  • Superior – Bigger and slippers and robes
  • Jr suite – Bathtub
  • Superior suite – Jacuzzi

All the rooms have

  • Table and chairs
  • Nespresso
  • Sofa
  • Desk
  • King or 2 twin
  • Triple in any room
  • Water kettle
  • Minibar 
  • Universal plug and many plugs

The restaurant and bar are off the lobby and have a nice patio as well. There is a water feature under the floor with koi fish.

The Pool has a bar and kitchen.

The Spa offers massage (for couples too), Jacuzzi with a view, and sauna. There is also a gym with cardio equipment but no weights.

4) Selva de Laurel (Argentina)

This moderate hotel is 18 rooms in a nice jungle setting.

It has a small pool and pool bar.

The restaurant offers a simple breakfast selection.

5) Belmond Das Cataratas (Brazil)

This 5-star hotel is located right in the park on the Brazil side. The famous boardwalk is right across the street. Also known as the “pink hotel” — look for the pink VW van in the driveway!

Special amenities are a piano bar, billiard lounge with chess board, Big outdoor chess set, shops, and concierge. You can also go up in the tower, which is amazing for sunset (can also book a private sunset experience). There is a free shuttle to park gate.

Rooms are in the main building, garden wing, and forest wing. Falls view rooms are more expensive. There are some handicap-equipped rooms. Rooms are either King or 2 twin or queen.

  • Superior (standard)
  • Deluxe (can accommodate an extra bed)
  • Deluxe falls view
  • Jr suite
  • Suites – terrace suite

Some have bathtubs – all in garden, none in forest. All have a nespresso coffee machine with capsules. The minibar is included. Rooms also have flip flops and robes.

The main restaurant is by pool. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all buffet and with a large selection. There is also a second restaurant for dinner with a Brazilian menu. Reservations for dinner at both restaurants is recommended.

There is a lovely and large pool plus a kids pool with lifeguard. The pool bar is next to the pool.

They have a medium-size gym with cardio machines and weights. The spa offers massages (including couples), facial, a beauty salon, and steam room.

6) JL Bourbon (Brazil)

This hotel is downtown Foz de Iguazu in Brazil. We use this most commonly if you are doing a longer trip in Brazil. The city is about 20 minutes away from Iguazu Park. There are restaurants nearby.

It has 220 rooms on 10 floors and is right across the street form a shopping mall. It is new and modern with great amenities.

All the rooms are the same, but one side looks out on the shopping mall, and the other side has a further view out to the city. They have a shower only, no bathtub. There is no coffee maker or water kettle in the rooms.

It has a medium-size pool that is heated. It is very rare to find a heated pool! There is big and lovely patio by the pool

It has a decent gym with cardio machines and weights.

Conact us to book your visit in Iguazu Falls!

Posted in Argentina, Brazil, Iguazu-Argentina, Iguazu-Brazil | Tagged | Leave a comment

Planning Your Trip to Iguazu Falls

How to make the most of your visit to Iguazu Falls!

Sites on Argentina Side:

  • Hike the 3 walkways in the park to see the falls from different viewpoints.
  • Boat ride – wet
  • Bird Park

Sites on the Brazil Side:

  • 1 walkway
  • Boat ride – wet or dry
  • Helicopter ride
  • Bird Park

There are plenty of places on both sides for lunch and snacks. Do not feed animals — they look cute, but they can be aggressive.

Planning your day in Argentina:

There are 3 paths to walk in the park to the falls:

  1. Devil’s Throat
  2. Upper Trail
  3. Lower Trail

The Devil’s Throat is the most important one.  You take a train (25 minutes) and then a 1km (one-way) walk on a raised metal walkway.  You have to get tickets for the train at a specific time, and they sell out.  Best to go early to avoid crowds and heat, but later is manageable. The first train is at 8:30am. They run every 15 minutes during high season (summer) and every 30 minutes during slower periods. 

The other 2 trails are just under 2km and plan 1 hour.

Start with the Devil’s Throat.  Depending on your interest in walking, plan on doing 1-2 of the other trails.  There are lots of snack bars for lunch to rest in between.

If you want to get wet on your boat ride, and you don’t mind walking down and up some stairs, you should do the boat ride on the Argentina side. This side only allows kids 12 and older. Budget 2 hours for the boat ride.

Planning your day in Brazil:

Start with the trail to the falls.  Budget 1 hour with photos. 

If you don’t want to get wet on your boat ride, do the boat ride on this side next.  This is also good for kids under 12 and people with physical limitations (there is a tram instead of stairs). Plan on 2 hours for the boat ride.

If you still have time and the interest, add the helicopter ride and/or bird park.


There are 2 hotels right by the falls – one on the Argentina side and one on the Brazil side.  They are very expensive (5-star), but very worth it.  You can stay at either one regardless which country you started or ended.

  • Gran Melia (Argentina)
  • Belmond Hotel das Cataratas (Brazil)

The other hotels on the Argentina side are all down 1 road in the jungle nearby.

In Brazil, the other hotels are in the town of Foz de Iguazu.  We would only use these if you are in Brazil before and after Iguazu.

Devil’s Throat

Walkways on Argentina Side

Walkway on Brazil Side

Boat Ride


Bird Park

Make the most of your visit to Iguazu Falls!

Posted in Argentina, Brazil, Iguazu-Argentina, Iguazu-Brazil | Leave a comment