When I sat down to write this post, my first thought was: “What can I possibly write about Buenos Aires that has not been written before?” Good question.
My visit there was triggered by its being the location of two children’s homes we were going to help via a trek to Patagonia with Trekking for Kids. I was not disappointed in that being the location as my prior visits to Buenos Aires, even the overnight trip one, were always good: good city, good vibe, good food, and good wine.
I decided to go two days ahead of the official start of the group trip so that I would have some time to tool around some. Tooling around soon turned out to include a day trip to nearby Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, across the river from Buenos Aires.
So, I turned my attention to determining where to stay. I had already paid a good bit to be able to trek in Patagonia after the time in Buenos Aires so I was looking for a good alternative to just paying a hotel room. Two others from the trek decided to come early too so, immediately, I decided that an apartment rental was the best option. Using FlipKey, I found a great 2 bedroom apartment in Palermo on a high floor and with some good views. Mercifully, it had A/C as it was summer in Buenos Aires. (FlipKey did a great job of showing me apartments based on my criteria which included not only location and price point but availability of A/C and wifi!)
The landlord was very friendly and flexible but was spot on on restaurant recommendations – bonus! And when I looked out of the balcony, I recognized the small square by the building as one I had seen on HGTV’s House Hunters International a couple of years ago.
After the couple of days on our own, we moved to the hotel were the group was going to stay while we worked with the children’s homes outside of Buenos Aires in Moreno. The hotel was located in Recoleta, another nice neighborhood in Buenos Aires. The hotel was located across from the Recoleta cemetery where Evita is buried. I lucked out with the room assignment and had a great view of the cemetery and could even see the ocean, er, the river.
I had visited the cemetery in 1991 but still went back in to look for Evita. Of course, there is a sign indicating where the famous’ tombs are but if you look for Evita under “P” for Perón, you will not find her. You must look under Duarte, her maiden name.
Eva looms large in the Argentine psyche – and on the side of buildings too…
The other plus for the hotel -and another thing that loomed large for me- is that it was a few storefronts down from my favorite ice cream place in Argentina: Freddos, first discovered by me in 1991!
Oh, the food in Buenos Aires…
Maybe the city should be renamed “Buena Comida”, instead of “Buenos Aires”… In my time in Buenos Aires, I probably gained weight. The likely contributors certainly included my almost daily Freddo’s ice cream cup but it also included the incredible beef, pastries, desserts, and wines enjoyed at places like Cabaña Las Lilas (which serves some of the highest quality of beef I have ever had as well as an incredible appetizer plate), Campo Bravo (where we enjoyed a highly diverse plate of cow components…), El Trapiche (a locals place with not only great beef but amazing pasta), and even Biking Buenos Aires (a bike tour that provided delicious pastries during our break)!
A place to stroll around – and bike around!
Buenos Aires is such a walkable city. Trees and parks everywhere and, as I shared before, PLENTY-O monuments in this South American metropolis. Walking down Ave. Libertador, which is bordered by a park between it and the river, is a good way to stretch the legs after an overnight flight – or after a massive lunch on beef and wine… #justsayin
One thing I had not contemplated to do is in Buenos Aires is to ride bicycles. I mean, ride a bicycle in a large metropolis in Latin America? Nuts, right?? Well, let me tell you, it was so much fun and, actually, safe! I did not realize it but Buenos Aires has built bike lanes in some parts of town which meant that about 80% of the bike tour I did with Biking Buenos Aires was on bike lanes. For about 13 of us, we had the main guide who shared a lot of great information about the sights, and two additional guides who supported the group, handled crossing intersections, and were just great guys.
I had never visited La Boca (more on it later) and got to re-visit the Plaza de Mayo and ride around the Casa Rosada. We rode around Puerto Madero were we had a snack. And then we hung out at the bike tour office to eat delicious empanadas that we had bought. Enjoy these final pictures of what we saw during my bike tour and don’t forget to eat and explore to your hearts’ content in incredible Buenos Aires!