If you have not visited or operated an incentive in Argentina, you will be surprised at what there is to offer, according to this week’s guest blogger Merina Begg, managing director at inVOYAGE 2019 partner, Argentina Travel Partners DMC. Here she gives her lowdown on the stunning destination…
Buenos Aires has the diversity, the sophistication, the Latin charm, European mixture, hospitality, local character, climate and entertainment for an extended one-stop program, or a two centre itinerary which might include the Iguazu Falls, the Bariloche Lake District or the Patagonia wilderness.
The 2000-mile Andes mountain range, from colourful Salta in the North-West through the wine country of Mendoza, the green Lake District of Bariloche, or the white moving glaciers of Lago Argentino with lake cruises to see glaciers up close, can become an exciting part of any itinerary in Argentina. Add the spectacular Iguazú Falls in the North-East, or the flat endless Pampas, and the itinerary can be tailored to exceed your client’s expectations.
Further South in Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia is the gateway to the Antarctic. It has 5-star hotels, the southernmost golf course in the world, and the starting point for short cruises of the southern fjords and the Beagle channel, amongst many other exciting adventures.
There are so many interesting experiences, adventures to live, unspoiled scenery of outstanding beauty, moments to create and stories to tell in this vast country.
Unmissable Experience: Polo Day (after all, EVERYONE wants to be a King)
A favoured hobby of royalty and the world’s elite, no visit to Argentina would be complete without polo. Participate in and discover the exciting world and backstage of the “Sport of Kings”. Enjoy the terrific speed of the horses, the skills of the polo players and all the glamour of the best polo in the world.
The day begins with an informative talk about the basics of polo, accompanied by mid-morning cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Learn the main polo swings from a pro player, then try your hand at stick and ball with “small sticks” on the polo field, before having the chance to swing at the ball whilst standing on hay bales or sitting on iron “horses”, to simulate the experience of playing on horseback. The aim is to score through the wicker goalposts.
After realising it is not as easy as it looks, and laughing at their own and others’ antics, everyone sits down for a typical Argentine barbecue with wine pairings. Desserts and champagne are served by the polo field as everyone settles in to watch a genuine polo match by world class ponies and players. Feel the excitement and the power as the game twists and turns in a frenzy of players and a stampede of ponies, just yards away.
At the end of the match, there is the opportunity to meet the players and their horses. A lovely day under blue skies in the Argentine countryside – fit for a king.
Favourite Venue: El Zanjon de Granados
El Zanjón (the Trench) offers a fascinating and unusual glimpse into five centuries of urban archaeology. This 175-year-old mansion leads to a series of underground tunnels going back to the city’s early settlements. Some historians consider Zanjón de Granados to be the site where Buenos Aires was first founded in 1536. Located in the heart of the old San Telmo district, under this restored building there are deep ditches (zanjones) that extend along the length of this city block revealing remaining walls, flooring, wells and cesspits that were buried between the years 1730 to 1865.
Visitors travel back in time as they descend from a beautifully restored 1830´s house into other architectural elements, long walled-off and buried on the site. These include the foundations of two 18th century houses, and a spectacular labyrinth of wide, vaulted brick tunnels.
This venue has several very different spaces, each with its own characteristics. Casa Minima, the narrowest house in Buenos Aires, just 1.20 in width, with its display of clay walls and two hundred-year-old plaster, is a fascinating place for a cocktail party. El Puente is a part of the tunnels built to control the flow of the trench, known as El Zanjon, an intermittent watercourse that drained into the River Plate in the southern part of the city.
There are multiple entertainment options for this space. Two of the most popular are:
Wine and Tango: Guests explore the underground tunnels and intriguing museum whilst enjoying a glass of wine, with tango couples performing on unexpected corners during the visit.
The Spirit of Evita: From Evita’s early beginnings in the big city to her career as a stage, radio and film actress, her marriage to Colonel Perón, her rise to First Lady, her involvement in politics and social work, and her untimely death at age 33, which created the legend, her spirit. pervades the city of Buenos Aires. Only blocks away from the famous balcony from which Evita addressed her adoring fans, “Evita” addresses El Zanjon guests with a touching performance of the famous “Don´t cry for me Argentina” song.
ATP DMC, a leading DMC in Argentina since 2006, will be attending inVOYAGE 2019 on 6-9 October in Monaco. Come and meet with the team to find out more about the amazing incentive experiences and tailor-made programmes they can create.