For us, Puerto Iguazu was reminiscent of the Virgin Islands. It’s very humid and tropical and touristy. A small town of 45,000 people, there are many shops, restaurants, bars and a few local breweries. The national parks of Iguazu Falls are only a short bus ride away and they close at 5/6 pm so it was nice to come back into town and have the evening to explore.
Finding our Airbnb was a challenge since none of the buildings here had address numbers and we have no cell service so we stopped by the Police station and got some directions lol.
Patagonia is a big craft beer brand here in Argentina and has made a splash in some craft beer markets in the US like Colorado. We had their weissbier and pale ale. They were decent but you can tell this brand is more aimed at the pseudo craft beer market for novices that don’t like the depths of flavor we beer geeks love.
Lecker Public Bar was our first brewery stop. They had some good and some bad beers. The food was significantly better though. We had some empanadas, fried chicken, and bruschetta. My favorite beer was their IPA (no surprise there). It was very light in color and alcohol – at only 5%, it drank like a summer IPA with lots of bright fruity notes.
Our second night we ate at Holy Brewery. Interestingly, the brewery’s namesake comes from the original name of Iguazu Falls. A Spanish conquistador who first discovered this area in the 1500s declared them the Holy Mary Waterfalls. We started with a degustacion (beer flight). It was a better beer experience here having only one oxidized beer and one infected beer, everything else was pretty tasty. For dinner we ordered hamburguesas y papas fritas (hamburgers and fries) and they were artisinaly delicious to say the least. Argentina knows best when it comes to beef! Gabrielle’s favorite beer was the Trick wiessbeir and I liked the NE IPA.
We have discovered a new favorite drink that is everywhere down here: Yerba Mate! It is a type of hot tea made from the leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant grown primarily in Paraguay. It is very popular in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. The drink itself is just called mate and you drink it from a calabash gourd carved into a cup referred to as a mate cup. It is drank through a metal straw with a strainer on the bottom called a bombilla. People carry their mate cups around with them all day and bring a thermos of hot water for resteeping. It has a little bit less caffeine than coffee, but contains antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals with many health benefits. Mate is very much a daily cultural practice to be shared with friends and family in their homes or gathering at a park to enjoy some mate and each other’s company. SO of course we had to get some of our own!
Our last night we went to the Hito Tres Fronteres, the spot overlooking where the Iguazu and the Parana rivers meet and you can see Brazil and Paraguay on either side. We ate at Bocamora Grill & Wine that has a terrace with this fantastic view!
We had a fabulous dinner with a great waiter from Mendoza that spoke very good English. He gave us recommendations for a good Malbec wine, dishes of Surubi river fish, and a papaya caramel dessert. He also wrote down names of wineries and cool spots we should visit when we get to Mendoza.