Argentina travel blog by Mark Berman -
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First Impressions and La Boca
I arrived in Buenos Aires on my first trip not knowing what to expect apart from tango dancing and cheap steak. After getting a taxi to the
San Telmo district knowing there were some hostels there, I found a good one and booked in for 2 nights initially and extended it 2 more
nights after a couple of days.
Tango in San Telmo
San Telmo is a good base to explore Buenos Aires. I immediately met some other travelers who invited me to go
out and watch some tango dancing with them. It was a place where people were learning to dance with locals who already could dance in a relaxed
atmosphere and people could watch.
Plenty to Do and See
Buenos Aires is a big and busy city but you can see a lot by walking, renting a bicycle or taking a bus or train,
there is plenty to do and see!
I went to La Boca and saw the painted houses and the puppet characters on the balconies which is great apart
from all the tourist orientated shops and souveniers everywhere. There are only 1 or 2 streets that have the colored houses.
Around the city
you will see dog walkers with often 8 - 10 dogs, that would explain why the footpaths have obstacles on them.
Has It All
It's a great
place for shopping, studying Spanish and for leading a social life. There's plenty of statues, monuments and architecture to look at around
the city especially along Calle Florida.
Daytrip to Uruguay
It's easy to catch the ferry across the Rio de la Plata to Uruguay for a daytrip for an escape from the
The great thing about Buenos Aires are the many very different neighborhoods. Recoleta is an upmarket area full of cafes, shops and art
galleries, while Palermo Viejo is perfect for walking amongst nature and having picnics. San Telmo where I have stayed on 2 occasions displays much
traditional culture, while by the river the area of Puerto Madero has some great nightlife, clubs and restaurants.
On Sunday go to Plaza Dorrego
for an exciting fair with performers in the streets.
Plaza de Mayo
Eva Peron made her famous address to the workers in Plaza de Mayo in 1945
from the balcony of Casa Rosada.
You can find several interesting museums in the Belgrano district, in fact there are several museums in all districts,
you are never far from a museum here!
The Soccer Stadium
For a real taste of how much the Argentinians love their soccer, check out a game at La Bombonera
Soccer Stadium in La Boca!
BA Will Grow On You!
Buenos Aires has many attractions and is a city that will grow on you over time. I didn't love it the first
time but liked it more on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th occasions. I think understanding the layout of the city and how to get from one place to the next
is half the battle.
In May 2010 I again came to Buenos Aires but only very briefly, from the airport I took a co-op taxivan to the bus terminal
and spent 18hrs on a bus traveling north up to Salta
, be very careful in the bus terminal to hold on to and keep and eye on your belongings.
Zoo, La Recoleta Cemetery, Botanical Gardens & Park
In May 2012
I spent 2-3 days again in Buenos Aires. I saw some new things I hadn't seen before and as well took another visit to La
Boca. I enjoyed Buenos Aires more than ever this time, although the weather wasn't great.
Grave of Eva Paron
I visited the district of Recoleta and found the
grave of Eva Paron at La Recoleta Cemetery
. It's an amazingly
prestigious cemetery with many presidents, actors, writers, politicians, generals
and military officers buried there. The grave of Eva Paron (with her family) is the most visited grave in all of South America, the family
name is Familia Duarte.
By subway train I made my way next to the Palermo district to see the botanical gardens Jardin Botanico Carlos Thays
which are very nice with many trees, open spaces, statues and art (27 pieces), water features and cats roaming around. Gardens include those
from Africa, Europe, France, Oceania, Asia, America, Roman and a butterfly garden. It opened in 1898.
(1849-1934) was a French-Argentine
Buenos Aires Zoo
Across the road from the botanical gardens and Plaza Italia is Buenos Aires Zoo
the entry fee for adults is around $10USD.
Buenos Aires Zoo is quite big, you can easily spend 2-3hrs wandering around seeing all of the animals that live here! Pink flamingos, brown bears,
polar bears, lions, tigers and other cats, monkeys, tapir, llamas, bison, elephants, camels and so many more. There is also a reptile house with
some big snakes like pythons and boa's.
Buenos Aires has some lovely parks, the huge park called Parque Tres de Febrero is outstanding, a beautiful
space to enjoy. Here you will find the Poets Garden full of monuments to famous poets such as William Shakespeare, Amado Nervo, Ruben Dario, Alfonso
Reyes and many others. The park also has rose gardens, a Greek bridge, a lake and island, patio and pavilion.
La Boca Take 2
My visit to La Boca this time was
very early in the morning, around 7am before all the tourists arrived. I enjoyed it more without people trying to sell me stuff all the time.
There is a lot of art on the streets to take photos of, which I did. Take a look at my photos to see more.
Bus to Rosario
From Buenos Aires I travelled north / west
this time to Rosario
which took 4hrs.
Thieves Attack Me
In September 2013
I spent 3 nights in the city and had 2 days of sightseeing. I stayed in a different part of town than I had before,
about 1km from Plaza Congreso. My first day of sightseeing was actually cut short due to a problem with thieves.
At Plaza Congreso
While I was at Plaza Congreso
which by the way is an absolutely amazing space full of art, artists painting pictures and is surrounded by fantastic buildings like the Congress
I Hurt My Arm in Brazil
So, let me tell you the story! I had arrived in Buenos Aires this time by plane from Sao Paulo in Brazil. I had hurt my arm while there
and had it in a cast. Well actually on the plane I took the cast off and was now using a sling. What happened to me next while walking around
the plaza is an old trick usually done to tourists in Peru in places like Cusco and indeed it was 2 Peruvians trying this on me.
And Became An Easy Target
I was an easy
target with one arm in a sling and the other holding an expensive camera. I was walking underneath a large tree, there were pigeons on the
ground all around. Next thing a knew the pigeons went crazy flying everywhere and some stinky liquid came down all over me. Suddenly 2 Peruvians,
a man and a woman were right there saying that the pigeons had pooped on me and that they could help clean me up. Suddenly without warning they
were cleaning me with tissues and water. The woman was behind me, the man worked on my legs and while he was he was pushing my wallet up and up and
out of my pocket. Haha, luckily by the time he had my wallet half out of my front pocket he could see it was attached to a chain that was
attached to my belt. I was holding my camera tightly during this of course, my other arm was useless.
Haha Adios Amigos
After realising they were not going to
be getting anything from me they left very fast, each in a different direction. I knew what was going on during the process but it all happened
so fast there was not much I could do. Whatever it was they threw on me absolutely stunk, it was like vinegar or something similar. I went
back to my hotel after that for a shower and called it quits for the day. I went out that night for a meal and slept well.
A Miraculous Recovery
Overnight my arm
made a miraculous recovery and I was now able to hold my camera with both hands again and not look like an easy target for thieves! I had a
fantastic day of photography this time, walking for 7hrs and somewhere between 12-15kms around the city.
Statueland, Plazas and Street Art
I said to myself that I would not
take so many photos of statues but that is very hard to do in Buenos Aires because there are 100's and 100's of them everywhere. I wanted
mainly on this day to look for street art, architecture and interesting facades, that kind of thing. I wasn't disappointed. I found a ton
of street art and many awesome murals. I saw some great plazas and parks including Plaza Lavalle, Plaza Libertad, Plaza San Martin, Plaza Fuerza
Aerea, Plaza Roma, Plaza de Mayo (again) and the Plaza de la Constitucion. I had a great time and look forward to my next stop in good ole BA!
In October 2015
I was in Buenos Aires with my family. A great thing to do with kids is to take them to the zoo of course!