Karina Martinez-Carter

Correspondent

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina

Karina Martinez-Carter is a correspondent who lives in Buenos Aires and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Bloomberg Businessweek, Time Out Buenos Aires and on TheAtlantic.com, among others. She moved to Argentina’s capital in 2010 after graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in both journalism and Spanish. You can follow her adventures all over social media, including Twitter and Instagram (@KMartinezCarter).

  • On June 24, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What is the one must-do activity when visiting Buenos Aires?

    Buenos Aires is a tirelessly lively city offering countless activities for those of all ages and interests and at all times of day. The number one must-see place is the Recoleta Cemetery, so the one must-do activity is taking time to aimlessly wander its hushed rows. With larger-than-life, ornately carved mausoleums and a roster of who’s who of all of Argentina’s most powerful through history, there is always more to see.

    The cemetery is only open during daytime hours, and for obvious reasons it is best to visit when the sun is shining. While the cemetery would impress even someone uninterested in a history lesson, it is most rewarding to learn a little along the way, whether with a self-guided tour or group one.
  • On June 24, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What are the best museums in Buenos Aires?

    MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires)
    This is one leading museums of Latin American art in the world, featuring work culled from the 19th and 20th centuries. Contemporary exhibitions from high-profile artists complement what is on display from the permanent collection. Even the area where this museum is situated is worth visiting, which includes leafy parks and Belle Epoque mansions that now house embassies.

    Museo Evita
    The ornate building once served as a foundation and home for single mothers, and it now pays homage to the life of Argentina’s most famous first lady Eva (or Evita) Perón. A number of Evita’s designer outfits are on display, and this is what most people come wanting to see. Schedule a visit around breakfast or lunch: is a restaurant that operates indoors as well as on an attractive terrace on the ground floor.

    Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
    This museum sits near some of Buenos Aire’s marquee sights in the Recoleta neighborhood, including the Recoleta Cemetery and Alvear Palace Hotel. Inside are more than 20 galleries containing a collection of European and Argentine art, the latter of which is the largest collection in the world.

    Fundación Proa
    There is more drawing tourists to La Boca than the colorful El Caminito, and it is this modern art museum. Artistic types and the culturally curious are drawn to see what is on inside the whitewashed building, which sits at the edge of the water. An outdoor café operates on the roof, offering lunch with a view.
  • On June 24, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What are the best wine bars in Buenos Aires?

    Despite its standing as the capital of a country world-renowned for its wines, Buenos Aires has surprisingly few wine bars. Sure, you can uncork a great bottle at any corner parrilla (steakhouse) or even café, but when it comes to sitting down and ordering by the glass, options are scarcer. That said, there are some stellar wine bars, which double as the perfect place to school yourself (or learn with the help of a sommelier) about the tastiest varietals from Argentina.

    The most stunning setting goes to the wine bar at the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt, which, as its name implies, is palatial and offers top wines befitting of the grandeur. There also is Bar du Marché, which has one of the widest selections of wines by the glass (and all the artisanal cheese pairings to be desired) and La Cava de Jufré in they city’s up-and-coming Villa Crespo neighborhood. Aldo’s in San Telmo, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, offers page after page of wines, as well as wine flights. Gran Bar Danzon in Recoleta, which is both a happening restaurant and nightlife destination, also has a robust wine list, which the restaurant’s sommelier can help you navigate.
  • On June 2, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What are the best luxury hotels in Buenos Aires?

    The opulent Alvear Palace Hotel is the standard-bearer of luxury hotels in the Buenos Aires and also one of the city's most historic. The property also includes two of the finest restaurants in the city: L’Orangerie and La Bourgogne. Also in elegant Recoleta is the Algodon Mansion, an aristocratic hotel housed in a former mansion where guests are tended to with a private concierge and butler. Edging closer to 9 de Julio in Recoleta are the Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau and Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires, both of which incorporate restored mansions in the properties and offer the genteel accommodations expected of their names.

    A contemporary contrast of elegance of Recoleta is the otherworldy Faena Hotel designed by Philippe Starck, which is a favorite among visiting celebrities and anchors empresario Alan Faena’s Faena Arts District in Buenos Aires’ newest neighborhood, sleek Puerto Madero. Another option is the boutique property Fierro Hotel in Palermo Hollywood with spacious, comfortable rooms and an onsite restaurant Hernan Gipponi, one of the city’s top restaurants.
  • On June 2, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What are the best festivals in Buenos Aires?

    Buenos Aires has a lively arts and culture scene and its calendar is studded with a number of highly anticipated annual events. Below are some of the city's standout festivals.

    Buenos Aires International Film Festival (BAFICI): April
    Buenos Aires is home to an impressive film industry. (Fun fact: The Palermo Hollywood neighborhood name was inspired by the concentration of production companies in the zone.) This annual 10-day film festival features independent flicks with a strong showing from local talent.

    International Book Festival (Feria Internacional del Libro): April- May
    The land of Borges and Cortázar puts on Latin America’s largest book fair that includes readings, signings and lectures and stretches over three weeks.

    arteBA: May
    The contemporary art fair, which brings together the works of more than 500 artists and displays from more than 80 galleries, is one of the most influential in Latin America.

    Buenos Aires Tango Festival: August
    Buenos Aires is the world’s tango capital, and this is the grandest tango festival. The nine days include performances, classes, competitions and more. Shortly after in late August, the World Tango Championships play out across stages in the city.

    Polo Open: Weekends November-December
    People are crazy about soccer, but polo also is a widely played and avidly followed sport. This is the sport’s crowning event and a chance to see some of the best players and teams in the world compete.

    Fashion Buenos Aires: March & September
    The twice-yearly fashion week events in Buenos Aires gather all of the stylish and beautiful in one place. In addition to runway shows, associated nightlife events are thrown throughout the city.
  • On June 2, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What should I pack for a trip to Buenos Aires?

    Buenos Aires’ neighborhoods are best explored on foot, so pack accordingly. While comfort is likely a priority for touring around, this is a stylish city and locals get decked out even for their daily errands. Outfits that include running shoes and sweats, for example, are obvious signs of a tourist. Layers also are wise, because even at the peak of summer and winter temperatures can vary drastically day-to-day.

    While Argentines love to look their best and outfitted in all the au courant styles, you will want to leave your nicest bags and jewelry at home. Petty crime is unfortunately prevalent throughout the city, and opportunist filchers tend to have their eyes out for tourists, though locals often also are victims. Keep cameras and electronics close. Also, pack adapters and converters for 220 volts and the straight, rounded as well as angled prongs. (Argentina has two outlet shapes, each commonly found.) Should you forget, adapters can be purchased from street vendors and stores throughout the city.
  • On June 2, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What is nightlife like in Buenos Aires?

    You will need to mentally, and probably physically, prepare for the nightlife in Buenos Aires. Much like the meal schedule where it normal to be dining out past 10:30 pm for a three-hour dinner, nights start late but last long. Most people will head out for drinks no earlier than 10 pm unless it is an after-work (“after office” as it is called here) outing. Those planning to hit the clubs (or “boliches”) will gather with friends at an apartment, house or bar to “previa,” or socialize among close friends and throw back some drinks before making their way to the clubs. Night owls arrive at the clubs around 2 am, where they are likely to stay until dawn. Argentines are an attractive, image-conscious bunch, and they dress to impress for a night out, whether their destination is a bar or club.
  • On June 2, 2013
  • On May 23, 2013
  • On May 22, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What is the best time to visit Buenos Aires?

    High season in Buenos Aires runs September to May, or South America’s spring through fall. It peaks December through February, which also coincides with the city's dog days of summer. The humidity and heat climb, and though Buenos Aires is located along the Rio de la Plata, it is necessary to leave the city to get on the water, and many people do. Most locals skip off to beach destinations along the Argentine coast (Mar del Plata, Pinamar) or over to Uruguay’s beaches like the well heeled Punta del Este. If people stay for work they leave for the weekends, and a number of local businesses close for a month or so, including restaurants and bars. Visitors who arrive in October and November can see Buenos Aires at its most beautiful when the bright violet buds of jacaranda trees lining the city’s streets and parks are in full bloom.
  • On May 22, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What are the best attractions in Buenos Aires?

    Buenos Aires is more of a city to experience, rather than to see. Visitors are often recommended to spend time meandering around unhurriedly and exploring neighborhoods, rather than run through must-see sights. That said, some attractions tourists will not want to pass up, starting with Recoleta Cemetery. The hauntingly beautiful urban plot is filled with mausoleums that constitute architectural masterpieces and is where the city’s rich, famous and influential are laid to rest. The aristocratic surrounding area anchored by the luxe Alvear Hotel also is stunning for a stroll. Over in city center is Plaza de Mayo, the city’s most politically and historically important plaza. The Casa Rosada (Pink House) bookends one end and the Mothers of May Plaza still circle the plaza with white handkerchiefs every Thursday afternoon. Walk the length of Avenida de Mayo to the Congress building, passing other standout architectural works like Palacio Barolo and Café Tortoni, one of the oldest cafés in the city where bowtied waiters still turn tables. On the other side of one of the world’s widest avenues, 9 de Julio, is Teatro Colón, an opulent opera theater open for tours during the day and when in season (April-December) performances at night.
  • On May 22, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What are the best attractions in Buenos Aires?

    Buenos Aires is more of a city to experience, rather than to see. Visitors are often recommended to spend time meandering around unhurriedly and exploring neighborhoods, rather than run through must-see sights. That said, some attractions tourists will not want to pass up, starting with Recoleta Cemetery. The hauntingly beautiful urban plot is filled with mausoleums that constitute architectural masterpieces and is where the city’s rich, famous and influential are laid to rest. The aristocratic surrounding area anchored by the luxe Alvear Hotel also is stunning for a stroll. Over in city center is Plaza de Mayo, the city’s most politically and historically important plaza. The Casa Rosada (Pink House) bookends one end  and the Mothers of May Plaza still circle the plaza with white handkerchiefs every Thursday afternoon. Walk the length of the avenue to the Congress building, passing other standout architectural works like Palacio Barolo. On the other side of one of the world’s widest avenues, 9 de Julio, is Teatro Colón, an opulent opera theater open for tours during the day and when in season (April-December) performances at night.
  • On May 22, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What are the best activities in Buenos Aires?

    Argentines are a passionate people, and many of the city's best activities allow visitors to experience that characteristic fervor firsthand. There is of course, the song and dance synonymous with the city and its spirit: tango. Dinner shows like La Esquina de Carlos Gardel or the contemporary Rojo Tango at the Faena Hotel cater to tourists in the city, but after performance hours professional dancers slide out to milongas, which are like tango free-dance sessions held in halls. While the dinner show performances' frills are gone, talent is on full display at milongas taking place at spots like Salón Canning and La Viruta. Despite the stereotype, the average Argentine might not dance tango, but that person definitely is crazy about fútbol (soccer). Snag tickets to a game to cheer and jeer with the best of them, and if it is one of the two most popular clubs, Boca or River, even better. Polo is another popular sporting activity, and visitors can catch a game in the city or book a trip to a nearby estancia (ranch) to play.
  • On May 22, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    What are the best restaurants in Buenos Aires?

    There is more to Buenos Aires’ culniary scene than a fine slab of red meat and flavorful Malbec, but steakhouse dining is a definite must. People point visitors to parrillas (steakhouses) like La Cabrera, Don Julio and Miranda, which while often tourist-filled, have well earned their stripes. Some of the best meals to be had are behind closed doors at puertas cerradas, which are reservation-only restaurants, often operated out of a chef’s home where guests are served a fixed price, multi-course meal with wine pairings. Paladar Buenos Aires and I Latina are two of the favorites, though it is hard to go wrong with any. While ethnic food is less prevalent than in a city like New York—puertas cerradas like Cocina Sunae offer one place to find it—casual restaurant Sarkis serves some of the best Middle Eastern food to be had anywhere. Two of the city’s top restaurants with esteemed, inventive chefs at the helm (both happen to be located in hotels) are Tarquino and Hernán Gipponi, the latter of which offers a brunch to write home about.
  • On May 22, 2013
    Karina Martinez-Carter answered the question: Karina Martinez-Carter

    Where is the best nightlife in Buenos Aires?

    Buenos Aires’ residents often boast of having one of the most pulsating nightlife scenes in the world, and with good reason. For the uninitiated, the first thing to know is that everything gets started late—very late. Thursday through Saturday friends commonly begin to gather for drinks around 11 pm and head out to dance generally no earlier than 2 am. Dressed in their nightlife best, they are destined for places like Costanera Norte by the regional Aeroparque airport where many of the city’s top boliches (as they’re called) are clustered like chichi clubs Jet and Tequila, as well as gargantuan Terrazas del Este and the local Pacha outpost. The streets Honduras and Niceto Vega, stretching from Palermo Soho to Palermo Hollywood, and the surrounding area are populated with evening options for drinking or dancing, from upscale lounge Isabel to speakeasy Frank’s, edgy Unicorn Huset and also Niceto Club, which puts some of the best local and international music acts on stage.