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Top Picks for TripAdvisor's Top Destinations

The Travelers Choice Top Destinations of 2013 is out and two of our favorite places are on it – Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. To celebrate, we thought we might share some of our favorite things about each place. It’s hard to choose, but here are our top five.

Buenos Aires

1. The Food

This being cattle country, we get our fair share of tasty, tasty meat. One of the best things in life might be an Argentine asado, or cook out. You’ll find a great mix of all parts of the cow, as well as some chicken and chorizo thrown in for good measure. The vineyards in the west keep BA stocked with award winning vintages, priced just right. And the Italian influence? Well, we’ll just need to thank them for the ice cream. Even though we’ve made it better, we must give the nod for bringing over this heavenly treat.

2. The Architecture

Well, we’re not really the Paris of South America, but we sure look like it. Just stroll down the streets of the Recoleta neighborhood to see some truly beautiful buildings. They don’t make them this ornate anymore, but we sure appreciate that they used to so we can enjoy it now.

3. The Night

Try to get BA in bed by midnight, just try. This city is famous for its late night antics. Dinner doesn’t even usually start until 10, at least! With so much going on, though, who can sleep? With seductive tango, large clubs and a jumping music scene, you’ll find yourself to be a bit of a night owl here as well.

4. The Flair

There’s just something special about Buenos Aires that sets it apart from the rest. It’s the flair. You’ll see women dress in almost runway fashion on a regular Tuesday. Cars zip around so fast, a taxi ride can be like a roller coaster. Normal conversations will appear as heated exchanges or excited squeals as voices raise and hand gestures fly. It’s an excitable town, to say the least.

5. The people

Though it’s last on the list, the locals are definitely the best part. Charismatic and always fun, you’ll find that Argentines will make your trip the colorful experience you hope for when visiting Buenos Aires.

Rio de Janeiro

1. The Views

Oh my, the views! With this oceanside city built on and around mountains and lagoons, you’ll hardly find a bad angle. If you’re checking out the city from high up on Sugarloaf or Corcovado Mountain, or down on the the beaches, you’ll find you’re always impressed!

2. The Beach

The beaches are like neighborhoods in themselves. They are always packed with sun bathers, foot volley players, food sellers and more. Since they back right up to the heart of the city, all of Rio uses them for their own front yards. The sands and waters are gorgeous and the weather is warm (if only a little rainy sometimes), so who wouldn’t take full advantage of this bit of paradise in the city?

3. The Wonders

Only a city like Rio could contain two world wonders. Christ the Redeemer, keeping watch over the city from Corcovado mountain is a prize, for sure. It was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Guanabara Bay, or the Harbor of Rio is equally impressive. This gorgeous harbor really highlights the surrounding mountains and provides plenty more beach and water time for the locals. It’s beauty makes its status as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World easy to believe.

4. The Vibe

This colorful, elevated, samba filled, rhythm thumping, hip shaking, tropical fruit producing city will put you in a Rio state of mind every time. It’s a contagious feeling, this vibe. It’s hard to explain it, but easy to catch it, so prepare yourself for a whirlwind of trip in this city.

5. The People

Brazilians are famously friendly and the people of Rio are no exception. But with the beaches, food, views, dancing and vibe, who wouldn’t be in a permanently good mood? You’ll feel right at home on your visit to Rio de Janeiro.

Have you been to either place? What would be your favorite thing about these cities?


If you want to include either of these destination sin your South America tour, contact one of our travel specialists to see how we can customize your vacation.