Santiago – I’ve been excited to visit you since Michael fell in love with your empanadas and Pisco Sours when he first came to Valle Nevado Ski Resort for work with Mammoth back in 2012. And I must say, you definitely lived up to my expectations.

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Mendoza.

Those who know me, know I love wine. White, red, rose, champagne. All of it. Some may call me a wino, but I just appreciate all types of wine and don’t discriminate. Unless they’re terrible, of course. Thankfully, in the wine region of Argentina, known for their Malbecs, I’m pretty safe and easily pleased.

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Torres del Paine – Chile

After reading dozens of blogs comparing backcountry excursions in El Chalten to Torres del Paine, each stunning and full of adventure, we knew we HAD to experience both. Due to the weather in Chalten being less than ideal, we cut the trip short and headed back to Calafate and straight into a day trip to Torres del Paine, Chile, through Patagonia Extrema South Road Excursions. The thing I find so incredible about the Patagonia region is it’s sheer size; creating a natural barrier dividing Argentina and Chile, both countries able to pride themselves on this beautiful landscape.

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El Chalten — A backpacker’s haven — Not much to do in this sleepy little town with one main street of a couple restaurants and a handful of hiking/camping shops and outdoor equipment rentals. Most people use this place as a home base to gather supplies then head into the backcountry. We were told you need a week or two here in order to see everything and take advantage of all the hiking. However, if the weather isn’t on your side, there’s not much else to do here. Thankfully, heading into Fall, we had one lucky day. 

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Background.

Patagonia is a geographical region located in the southernmost part of South America, comprising areas of southern Argentina and Chile. Geographically, the Andes divide Patagonia into sectors East and West: the Patagonia Argentina to the east, and the Chilean Patagonia to the west. While there is no consensus on the exact limits or criteria to define them as the most recognized boundaries, 75.5% of the land belongs to Argentina, and the remaining 24.5% to Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes mountains as well as the deserts, steppes and grasslands east of this southern portion of the Andes.

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Colonia, Uruguay.

Taking the one-hour ferry from BA to Uruguay, we time traveled back to 1920 and spent the day exploring the sleepy town of Colonia. The cobblestone streets were straight out of a movie and the culture is much slower than in the city – a welcomed change for us – we were able to slow down and enjoy the moment.

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Buenos Aires. Unassuming, and oh so Delicious.

Full disclosure: I actually struggled with this post. We didn’t do as much as we normally would; it was a relaxing week. But full of spending time with new friends, and while traveling, friends are everything.

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We flew from Foz do Iguazu to Buenos Aires, stayed at another great Airbnb in Palermo Hollywood for a week, then Palermo Soho for another three days. Since we didn’t really know what to expect in BA, we were ready to eat good food and drink good wine, which is exactly what we did. Mission Accomplished.

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Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls, Foz do Iguaçu, or Foz de Iguazú. Not technically one of the seven wonders of the world, but definitely could be, in my book.

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Ten days in Rio was perfect. We weren’t rushed to see everything, had nice relaxing beach days and fun adventure tours. I suggest staying in Leblon or Ipanema if you’re coming to Rio and definitely use AirBnB. Even though I’m proud to say I completed my bucket list for this city, I now have more added for next time 🙂

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Bathing suits. Cover up! Don’t expose too much. People will get the wrong impression. Well quite frankly, who cares!

Don’t get me wrong, last week I was one of those girls. But after spending some time in South America I have a whole new outlook. The women here embrace their bodies and don’t care what other people think (at first I was hesitant because Brazilians love to stare, but I’ve realized it’s not in a malicious way. Their mothers obviously just never told them it’s rude to stare). But if you’re not wearing a thong, or something close to it, you actually stand out and people know you’re, well… American.

All shapes, sizes, colors, it doesn’t matter. No woman likes tan lines so just let yourself go, America. Your body is beautiful.

P.S. This goes for men too. Speedos, baby!

Warning: Just don’t wear the revealing bottoms at water parks in the US; you’ll be asked to leave. (Note: This is not from personal experience. Just nice advice from a friend.) #yourewelcome