About Paula Crerar

Paula Crerar

Born in Argentina, Paula Crerar moved to the United States as a child. She continued to visit Argentinean relatives every year in Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Córdoba and Salta. With the seasons reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, most of her stints in Argentina were spent in Patagonia skiing, and soon her shelf space was filled with ski racing trophies.

She has also lived and traveled extensively in the Caribbean and Latin American countries. Paula is currently a marketing executive in the technology industry and lives in Boston.


Latest Posts by Paula Crerar

Hiking Cerro Catedral… Again

May 2, 2010 by  

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In January, my cousin and I took an easy 4 hour hike to the Frey mountain shelter. It was a beautiful day, the horseflies kept to themselves for the most part, and we were rewarded with stunning views of lake Gutierrez, condors circling gracefully, effortlessly high above, the many peaks of Cerro Catedral, and, at the top, the majestic spires surronding scenic lake Toncek.

We hiked this in an afternoon, but you can spend the night at the shelter and take side trips from there. For more information on this and other shelters, visit Club Andino Bariloche 
and go to the Refugios y Campings page. There you will find information in Spanish and English.

Breathtaking Views from Ruta 63, Paso Cordoba, in Patagonia

February 21, 2010 by  

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This memorable drive links San Martin de Los Andes, the nearby Chapelco ski resort,
and Bariloche. It  passes through rugged landscapes, fantastic rock
formations and the unbelievably clear waters of the Traful.

 

 


The music on this video is by guitarist Cacho Tirao, and is titled "Ya
Esta Hecha La Rosa".

The map below shows our drive in yellow.

  Map Paso Cordoba Ruta 63 Patagonia Argentina

The dirt road is rough, rutty, at times
narrow and hilly. It has a few scary hairpin curves and is not well maintained,
so ask around to make sure conditions are safe before you go. Once you get to
Confluencia, you'll turn right onto Ruta 237, a paved and well-traveled road,
to get to Bariloche.   The map is provided courtesy of the San Martin de Los Andes
municipality

Valle Encantado – the Enchanted Valley

February 7, 2010 by  

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There's a spectacular view of mountains, rock formations and the beautiful Rio Limay on Ruta 237 not far from Bariloche.  My video skills do not do it justice, but you get a glimpse of the incredible beauty of the Valle Encantado.

Nature Puts On a Show – Esteros del Iberá – The Iberá Wetlands

May 4, 2009 by  

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The province of Corrientes in northeastern Argentina features an astonishing natural wonder – South America’s second largest wetland, 65 times the size of Buenos Aires.

With exotic wildlife such as the capybara, marsh deer, howler monkeys, alligators, and fresh water otters, as well as 350 species of birds, this nature reserve is making the list of travelers in the know.

The remote, small town of Colonia Carlos Pellegrini is the starting off point for this adventure. A wide range of activities are available – guided boat rides and horseback excursions, as well as canoeing, biking and hiking. Birdwatchers can tick off unique birds from their lists including (with some luck) the elusive Strange-tailed Tyrant. The highly rated lodges of the area include outdoor pools among the lush scenery and gourmet dining.

But there’s more than just spectacular scenery and biodiversity this area has to offer. Corrientes is home to a unique culture that combines Catholicism with local saints/spirits. These traditions are reflected in local speech, religious fetes, music and dance.

If you’re seeking a unique experience off the beaten track in an exotic natural setting, this trip is for you. Best time to visit Esteros del Iberá is May – December to avoid the summer heat.

These travel articles rave about the experience and provide travel details:

in – LAN’s travel magazine includes tips on where to stay and how to get there
Lugares Magazine gives you the inside scoop
The Star wrote about Esteros del Iberá in their eco-tourism section


Visitor information from local organizations:
Corrientes government tourism office
Esteros del Iberá info

More Dining Picks in Buenos Aires

April 28, 2009 by  

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My new Twitter pals at Buenos Aires Life know a thing or two about what’s going on in the city and where to dine.  Here’s what’s at the top of their list:

  • La Cabrera  Reasonably priced traditional Argentinean parilla/steakhouse.
    Cabrera 5099,  Palermo Soho  Tel: 4831-7002
  • Osaka  Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant getting rave reviews.
    Soler 5608, Palermo  Tel: 4775-6964
  • Cabaña Las Lilas  Superior steakhouse with an impressive wine list.
    Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo 516,  Puerto Madero.   Tel: 4313-1336
  • Green Bamboo – Authentic Vietnamese cuisine in a seductive setting. 
    Costa Rica 5802, Palermo  Tel: 4775-7050
  • Sucre  A modern take on Argentinean and South American gastronomy.
    Sucre 676,  Belgrano Tel: 4782-9082
  • Sudestada Southeast Asian fare, a welcome option for those seeking spicy food in BA
    Guatemala 5602,  Palermo Hollywood  Tel: 4776-3777
  • Dashi Arguably the best Sushi restaurant in Buenos Aires
    Fitz Roy 1613 and Gorriti,  Palermo Hollywood  Tel: 4776-3500
  • Mama Racha  Great restaurant and outdoor café for a lunch or snack any time of day.
    Costa Rica and Armenia, Palermo  Tel: 4833-4950 Parilla in Puerto Madero

Best Dining Options in Buenos Aires

April 23, 2009 by  

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Chances are you will have a positive dining experience in any restaurant you visit in Buenos Aires.  But if your priority is to go to the best restaurants the city has to offer, let me point you to some authoritative sources:

Arguably the most respected restaurant guide is Vidal Buzzi (in Spanish).  Their top ranked restaurants include:

  • Le Mistral – Contemporary Mediterranean, including tapas, at the Four Seasons Hotel.
    Posadas 1086, Barrio Norte Tel: 4321-1730
  • Tomo 1 – Contemporary Argentine, with excellent wine list, at the Panamericano Hotel
    Carlos Pellegrini 521,  San Nicolas  Tel: 4326-6695
    (It’s also my mom’s favorite restaurant in Buenos Aires)
  • Oviedo – Award winning Spanish cuisine,  Beruti 2602, Recoleta Teléfono: 4821-3741

Guia Oleo (in Spanish) offers a very complete restaurant guide.  Some restaurants at the top of their rating lists are:

  • Casa Coupage – Wine tastings, individual attention and New Argentine cuisine in an intimate setting.  Reservations required.
    Güemes 4382 1st floor, Palermo  Tel: 4833-6354
  • Nectarine – Superior French restaurant
    Vicente López 1661, Recoleta Tel: 4813-6993
  • La Bourgogne –  French cuisine in the beautiful Alvear Palace Hotel
    Ayacucho 2027, Recoleta  Tel: 4808-2100/4805-3857
  • El Baqueano – Exotic Argentinean meats and fish, including llama, boar and cayman
    Chile 495 and Bolivar, San Telmo  Tel: 4342-0802

Metropolis recommends that you try:

  • La Mas Querida – Pizzas with a modern twist
    Echeverría y Montañeses, Belgrano  Tel: 4788-1455
  • Hippopotamus – New Argentine cuisine
    Junin 1789, Recoleta Tel:  4802-0500
  • Fernet Bistrot – Spanish/Argentine in a romantic setting
    Juan Bautista de Lasalle 447  San Isidro  Tel:  4732-0539

My recommendation:

I had a delicious, memorable meal at Patagonia Sur, established by Argentina’s most famous chef, Francis Mallman. Steakhouse and northern and southern Argentinean cuisine.   Rocha 803 and Pedro de Mendoza, La Boca  Tel: 4303 5917
What’s Hot:

Peruvian food and Peruvian/Fusion cuisine are currently all the rage.  The Argentine Post has more details and recommendations, including the popular and highly rated Astrid Y Gaston – Lafinur 3222,  Palermo Tel: 4802-2991
Good deals and great eats:

The Taxi Gourmet hops in a cab and asks the driver to take her to his/her favorite restaurant which she then reviews.  On her top 10 list for 2008 :

  • Marta Corsico’s Former Gas Station Café – Argentinean comfort food. Viamonte 1363 and Talcahuano, Retiro
  • La Tranquerita – traditional stews, fare – Boyacá 996 – Flores, Tel: 4584 1441
  • El Litoral – steakhouse  Moreno 2201 and Pasco, Balvanera, Tel. 4953 2438

Other resources:

So You Don’t Know Much About History

April 8, 2009 by  

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When you visit another country, it helps to have some historical perspective to understand the culture a bit better. In the case of Argentina, if you only know that it's a Spanish-speaking country in the Western Hemisphere, you would normally make assumptions about the country based on whatever knowledge you have about other Latin American countries. But you would quickly find, upon visiting, that some of your assumptions would be wrong. Here's a brief look at the history of Argentina, that will give you some clues as to its unique culture and what it shares (and doesn't share) with other countries.

Click on the image and it will bring up an interactive timeline.  Scroll your mouse over the dots to see highlights.  You can also click on each image for more details. 

 I'm an enthusiastic but amateur historian, and although I've used multiple sources for confirming facts and for a balanced analysis, I welcome your comments and/or corrections.

Dengue Fever Epidemic Reported in Argentina

April 3, 2009 by  

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Argentina health officials are taking steps to contain a dengue epidemic, with 5000 cases and 4 fatalities to date. Some unofficial reports state that the number of cases may be as high as 11,000.

What is dengue fever?

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) states that dengue fever is caused by a virus spread by mosquitoes, and not by human contact. Dengue symptoms can include fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain and rash. The disease is usually mild but can get more severe and in rare cases develop into dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which can be fatal if not treated quickly. There are currently no vaccines available or a specific cure for the disease. People who have had dengue fever previously are more susceptible to DHF. Dengue fever patients are treated with fever reducers, such as acetaminophen, and with oral rehydration or intravenous fluids. In severe cases, treatment is given to support patient blood pressure.

Is it safe to travel to Argentina?

At the moment, the CDC does not consider the epidemic as serious enough to issue a precaution or travel warning (i.e. they do not recommend postponing travel).  They do advise that there is an outbreak and offer advice on preventive measures (see below).  Before you plan your travel, get the latest news from the CDC Travel Notices site.

The disease is currently concentrated in the northern provinces of Chaco, Salta, Catamarca and Jujuy. There are about cases in Buenos Aires, although it is unclear how many of the patients in question were infected while traveling outside the province and were later diagnosed in Buenos Aires.


Federal and provincial governments are beginning to take the dengue issue more seriously and are embarking on campaigns to reduce the virus bearing mosquito population. 

Prevention Measures for Travelers

The CDC advices the following for maximum safety:

“Travelers can reduce their risk of getting dengue fever by protecting themselves from mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that spread dengue usually bite at dusk and dawn but may bite at any time during the day, especially indoors, in shady areas, or when the weather is cloudy. Unlike malaria, dengue is often spread in cities as well as in rural areas.

Travelers should follow the steps below to protect themselves from mosquito bites:

· Where possible, stay in hotels or resorts that are well screened or air conditioned and that take measures to reduce the mosquito population. If the hotel is not well screened, sleep under bed nets to prevent mosquito bites.

· When outdoors or in a building that is not well screened, use insect repellent on uncovered skin. Always apply sunscreen before insect repellent.

Look for a repellent that contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin (KBR 3023), Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus/PMD, or IR3535.

Always follow the instructions on the label when you use the repellent. In general, repellents protect longer against mosquito bites when they have a higher concentration (percentage) of any of these active ingredients. However, concentrations above 50% do not offer a marked increase in protection time. Products with less than 10% of an active ingredient may offer only limited protection, often no longer than 1-2 hours.

The American Academy of Pediatrics approves of the use of repellents with up to 30% DEET on children over 2 months old. Protect babies less than 2 months old by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.

For more information about the use of repellent on infants and children, please see the “Insect and Other Arthropod Protection” section in Traveling Safely with Infants and Children and the “Children” section of CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about Repellent Use.

For more information on the use of insect repellents, visit Insect and Arthropod Protection in the CDC Health Information for International Travel 2008.

· Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Clothing may also be sprayed with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent for greater protection. (Remember: don’t use permethrin on skin.)”

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