Monday, August 20, 2012

2012 South America Adventures: It's Buenos Aires, so Buckle Up

Somewhere I had read that arriving in Buenos Aires is like jumping onto a moving train. Wow!

Buenos Aires is situated on the southwestern end of the Rio de la Plata and is home to 12 million residents (or Porteños).   It is considered the tenth largest Metropolitan city in the world and has been compared to Paris because of its wide streets and sidewalk cafes.  But the more I read, the more I want to say that Buenos Aires has a unique personality all to it's own.    

The history of Buenos Aires and Argentina is quite interesting and is well documented in many resources such as Wikipedia.  But did you know that there is an Italian-Venetian connection to Buenos Aires?  I didn't.  Many thanks to fellow Slow Traveler and blogging friend, Annie (Churches in Venice) for telling me about this lovely bit of history.  According to the writer of  A Lover of Venice , from 1880 through 1930, the population of Buenos Aires grew when thousands of Europeans, many of whom were Italians from the Veneto region came to the city hoping to create a new life and in so doing they brought their own customs, food, language and even their architecture.   For example,

In Puerto Madero on Avenida de los Italianos, there is a Column of Saint Mark which was erected in 2001.  It was a gift from Guiunta Regionale del Veneto to the people of Buenos Aires. 

It is apparently not as tall as the one found in Venice as seen in my photo below, but it will be very cool to see this column of St. Mark outside of Venice.  I hope to find it and will look out for the other Buenos Aires-Venice attractions mentioned in this  wonderful article.  Thanks so much for the recommendation and for sharing the link Annie.  I really appreciate it.

There are 48 barrios (or neighborhoods) that make up the City, each with its own history, attractions and unique personality.  With so limited time, I won't be visiting all of them, but I have created my must see list and they include:  Palermo, La Boca, San Telmo, Monserrat, Recoleta, Downtown, Mataderos and Puerto Madero.

Palermo is the largest neighborhood in Buenos Aires and it is where my apartment is located.   It is a bit of a distance from the tourist attractions, but that's okay. 

I'll use a combination of the available transportation options (Subte , Radio Taxis, or Colectivos (buses) to get to the sites during the day.  And then after I'm done with my sightseeing, I will return to my apartment located in a subdivision of Palermo called Palermo Soho for a quick siesta before heading out to nearby cafes/bars/restaurants for the evening. 

As you can see on the map below there are lots of cafes/bars/restaurants to choose from and most of them are in close walking distance to my apartment. Apparently, the night life here in Palermo Soho and much of Buenos Aires doesn't really get going until 10:00 pm.  On second thought, I'm going to make that a long siesta! :)  

Only 2 blocks from my apartment is Plaza Serrano (officially Plazoleta Julio Cortázar). Here I will find cafes, restaurants, hip fashion shops and an energetic street culture and nightlife. It's supposed to have a bohemian vibe to it and on weekends there is an informal craft fair and street entertainment.

In a new area called Parque Tres de Febrer (Palermo Woods) I will visit the Rosedal (Rose Garden) and Japanese Gardens.  There's also a wondeful art scene in Buenos Aires and I want to definitely visit the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (Malba).

Next up the Barrios of La Boca, San Telmo, Monserrat, Recoleta, Downtown, Mataderos and Puerto Madero.

And then on to Iguazu Falls and the Perito Moreno Glacier.  I'm still deciding whether or not to take a long day trip to the Torres del Paine from El Calafate.

Stay tuned . . .


  1. I think you're going to have a blast exploring this city! Glad you got in the bohemian neighborhood. The Japanese Gardens sounds like a fantastic place to take photos.

    I just stumbled across this on Flickr - a pizza place in La Boca founded in 1932. The pizza looks great! This guy has some other good BA photos too.

    I know you must be getting so excited!

  2. Hi Annie, thanks so much for your comments. I like my bohemian neighborhood too. Will do loads of people watching during the evening hours for sure. I love visiting gardens and will love seeing their Japanese Gardens. Hope it is as good as the one in Oregon.

    Thanks so much for that link. I already checked out his photos and wow that pizza looks delicious. I think there are some great Italian food and Japanese food there both of which I love. I'm tempted to taste a nice juicy steak but I haven't had beef in 20 plus years and not sure if it'll sit right tasting it again. I will probably stick to the vegetarian, seafood and pasta/pizza choices just to be safe.

    I checked out that guys other photos from his trip and they were really cool. I think I'm going to have fun with my photography there.

    Yes, I'm getting very excited. Someone I met at work lived in Buenos Aires for 6 weeks on a Study Abroad and I have been asking her questions about the transportation and sightseeing. She did many things that I have on my must see list which is cool. And she's been helping me with my Spanish. She's really nice about that, especially putting up with my mispronunciation. Ha, ha.

    Thanks so much for the support, your wonderful tips and shared Links Annie. It's helping a lot.

    Have a great weekend.

  3. What an adventure, Kathy! And how clever of you to start practicing Spanish.

    I can't wait to hear more about your plans!

    1. Hi Sandra, Muchas Gracias! :) A new adventure in unknown territory. I love it too. :) Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. The vast majority of what visitors see in Buenos Aires today was built in the explosive period between 1880 and 1910, just after the city became the capital of Argentina, and in preparation for the country's Centennial. As a result, very little of Buenos Aires's colonial heritage exists today, save for Cabildo and Catedral Metropolitana surrounding Plaza de Mayo, both of which have been altered dramatically over time, and several churches within Monserrat and San Telmo. That is why I decided to get a buenos aires apartment in those neighbourhoods!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.