Seven Unmissable Experiences in Argentina

Argentina is a destination that’s growing in popularity, not only for tourists but increasingly for students on gap years.  It’s the second largest country (by area) in South America, and it features a wide range of landscapes, from beautiful waterfalls and cosmopolitan cities through to unspoilt forests and laid back beaches.

If you want to backpack through Argentina as part of your gap year, here are seven of Argentina’s “must see” sights:

  1. Iguazu Falls:

A stunning natural feat that many feel is more beautiful and spectacular than the better known Niagara Falls. Yet whatever you think, there’s no doubt that these waterfalls are an impressive site, and if you visit the Argentine side of the Iguazu falls you can walk all the way up to the “Devil’s Throat” at the heart of the falls.  If you’re a nature lover, this is a must see sight.

  1. Mendoza Wine Tours:

Mendoza is located in the Napa Valley of Argentina.  There are a lot of things to see and do in the area.  If you’re the adventurous type you could go white water rafting or paragliding.  History lovers could pay a visit to the Inca Bridge.  Everyone should take a wine tour, though – even if you don’t like wine; it’s a great chance to see a bit of the region, try some new tastes, and learn a little about the place you’re visiting.

  1. Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires was once known as the “Paris of the South”.  While it might not be so glamorous today, it’s a great stopping off point for student backpackers that no trip to Argentina would be complete without.  The city is a true melting pot of cultures, and features some great night life, amazing restaurants, and a friendly culture.  If you’re not a fan of traditional night clubs, you may still enjoy paying a visit to one of the many tango clubs in the city.

  1. The Andes Mountains

Not only are the Andes Mountains a breath-taking site, but they’re great fun for anyone who enjoys climbing or hiking.  There are lots of guided tours on offer, with routes to suit all fitness levels.  Take a camera; the views of the mountains and the glaciers are amazing.

  1. Patagonia

Head to the coast and you’ll get to walk amongst the penguins and play with the sea lions.  Large parts of the coast are relatively untouched, so if you’re going for a long walk be sure to bring plenty to drink – getting dehydrated miles from the nearest store is not a pleasant experience!

  1. Recoleta Cemetary

For a spooky (and free) experience, head to the Recoleta Cemetary, where each corpse is housed in an elaborate neo-classical mausoleum.  There are several famous citizens to look at, including cultural icon Eva Peron.

  1. Eat Like a Gaucho

Pay a visit to La Cholita in Buenos Aires and enjoy a true gaucho style meal which includes steak, ribs, chicken, sausage, and more.  If you’re a vegetarian, you can find meat free Empanadas at La Gauchita.  Eating out is surprisingly inexpensive in Argentina.

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About the author:
Jon Platy works for Principal Homebuyers who offers services including assistance in the selling of your home if you decide to relocate or move abroad. 

Visa-Free Travel for Filipinos to Taiwan to Begin this Year

UPDATE: The visa-free entry for Filipinos to Japan has been re-scheduled from June 2017 to September 2017. The visa-free exemption for Filipinos who have either a residence/permanent residence card, valid visa, or an expired residence card or visa less than 10 years old, issued by certain countries (see list below), continues to be in effect. 

The heat is on here in Asia, particularly in the Philippines. While there are occasional surprises of rain showers, there’s more heat than rain.

Summer time, of course, makes Filipinos think about taking a vacation to different  parts of the country or abroad. And so here’s one good news for the Filipino traveler 🙂

architecture, buildings, business

Starting June this year, Filipinos will enjoy a visa-free entry to Taiwan. This new policy (albeit a temporary one for now), has been reported by Taiwan News based on information gathered from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Filipinos can stay on for 30 days in Taiwan based on the said policy without needing a visa.

This move comes with Taiwan’s desire to encourage more tourists from the South and Southeast Asia to come to its land. It is also aimed to foster closer trade and economic ties.

Check out the visa exemption info from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines right here. See number 2 🙂

Taiwan had begun offering free visa entry to Filipinos last September but this was limited to those who have never worked in Taiwan as a blue collar worker as well as for Filipinos who have either a residence/permanent residence card, valid visa, or an expired residence card or visa less than 10 years old, issued by certain countries including: Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, any of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, or the United States,

Taiwan (officially the Republic of China) waits for you and me. So get ready for a trip to that part of Asia 🙂

By the way, if you are curious to see what other countries are visa-free for Filipinos to enter, you can check it here.

Things to Do this Summer Aside from Travel

Summer time is heating up in this part of the world. It can mean new travels to make with the family or with friends. But wait, you can also choose just to stay in your city or town and still enjoy a good summer vacation. Here are some fun things you and the family can do aside from going on a trip:

1. Do a staycation at your favorite hotel. If you do not want to drive long to get to that beach resort which is hours away from your place, then try this option. And of course, choose one with a swimming pool, good cable TV and with good food. Stay overnight or up to 3 days depending on your budget.

2. Visit an art gallery, park and museum. Not everyone in the family may like seeing a museum but mixing up these three or two of these in a day can be a good exposure for everyone to arts, history and nature. After your visit, engage the family members by asking them what they liked about the place as well as what they did not like. And don’t stop there. If there was something they did not like, ask them what could be done to improve or change whatever it was that they did not like. Don’t forget to ask them what they also learned from the visits.

3. Play music together. Yes, you can schedule times of playing or learning music together. And to make it a bit more exciting, why not decide to hold a mini-concert at a given time, inviting some relatives as your audience. And while you’re at it, consider purchasing new equipment or even dimarzio pickups, check it out at MusiciansFriend.com. This depends on your budget, of course. Alternatively, you can stage mini-plays or dance presentations. It can also be a talent show. Include the neighbors’ kids and parents, if you like 🙂

4. Visit an orphanage or a home for the aged. While this may not seem fun at first glance, it usually turns out inspiring when you do this. It reminds everyone in the family how blessed you are and this is also an opportunity to encourage and give to those who are not able to give back to you in return. No need to lecture the kids about what a good life you have, just ask them to be observant during the visit and ask them what they think about the activity or what they learned from it once you’re back home. Ask them also how they can help others in that given situation. Be sure to contact the orphanage or home first to inform them of your planned to visit.

These are just ideas to start you off thinking what you and the family can do together for that coming summer break. If there are more you can think off, just comment below 🙂