Buenos Aires Travel Planet

Buenos Aires visitor’s guide

Side Trips

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If you are staying in Buenos Aires for more than four to five days you may want to consider taking one of several possible side trips from Buenos Aires.  You can take a quick trip to the river delta in the outskirts of the greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area, go a bit further north to visit a small town in the countryside, cross the Río de la Plata to experience a colonial town in Uruguay or travel south to Argentina’s main tourist resort on the Atlantic coast.

Delta del Tigre

The Delta del Tigre, just 32 kilometers north of downtown Buenos Aires, offers a dramatic change of scenery.  Lush vegetation and a labyrinth of rivers and creeks make up this large delta area.  It is ideal for a relaxing overnight retreat at one of its cabin/spa facilities or it can be an enjoyable day trip.

Delta del Tigre has a diverse selection of attractions.  The Puerto de Frutos offers a popular fruit and crafts market; there is an amusement park, Parque de la Costa; the Trilenium Casino is open 24 hours; and there are several art, nautical and history museums free of charge or for a nominal fee.

You can get to Delta del Tigre from Buenos Aires in about an hour, by bus or train.  The Estación Fluvial Domingo Faustino Sarmiento is the fluvial station that centralizes motorboat, water taxi, and catamaran transportation to the many islands that comprise the delta area.  Excursions and free tourist information is also available at this station.

San Antonio de Areco

A visit to the small country town of San Antonio de Areco provides a look at the lifestyle of the Argentine gaucho (cowboy).  There are a wide variety of activities to enjoy in San Antonia de Areco.  There are numerous historic buildings, artisans workshops, art galleries, museums and original antique bars to visit.  Tours are available and the municipal tourism office loans bicycles so tourists can easily get around town from site to site.  Among the most noteworthy attractions are the Museo Molina Campos de Areco which has numerous original paintings created by the famed artist Florencio Molina Campos.  The Centro Cultural y Taller Draghi features a silversmith workshop and a small museum highlighting the history of Argentine silverwork.   The Museo Gauchesco Ricardo Güiraldes, just outside of town, allows tourists to explore a traditional estancia, complete with a pulpería (old country store and tavern) which dates back 150 years, a replica of an 18th century hacienda, an old chapel, and plenty of gaucho artifacts.

There are also several outdoor activities to choose from.  Visitors can go horseback riding in the country, take a canoe ride down the Río Areco (Areco River), or enjoy a Día de Campo (country day) at one of the local estancias where one can savor lunch, hear guachos play guitar and see folklore dancing.  The local zoo, Zoológico Carlos Merti, is an attraction for both children and adults.

San Antonio de Areco also has delicious restaurant and parrilla options, is an ideal place to shop for handicrafts and gifts, and even has a boisterous nightlife.  San Antonio de Areco.com (Spanish only) and Visite Areco.com (Spanish and English) offer a complete guide to San Antonio de Areco.

This picturesque town, situated 113 kilometers north of Buenos Aires off of Route 8, can be reached via a two hour bus ride from the Terminal de Omnibus Retiro.

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

A one hour ferry ride crossing the Rio de la Plata places visitors in the charming 17th century colonial Portuguese city, Colonia del Sacramento (commonly referred to simply as Colonia).  Its well-preserved architecture and shiny cobblestone streets are its main attraction.  The Portuguese architecture makes it distinctly different than the more commonly found Spanish colonial towns and cities.  Colonia has been named Human Cultural Patrimony by the UNESCO.

The Portón de Campo, the reconstructed city gate, is a good spot to begin a walking tour of the historic city center.  The Calle de los Suspiros (Street of Sighs), a block away, is a cobblestone stretch of one-story colonial houses.  Bougainvillea clusters decorate walls from which old lanterns hang, while art galleries and antique shops line the street.  At the end of the street lies a lovely vegetated square, Plaza Mayor.  Any one of the many cafés offer an ideal spot to sit and soak in the quaint atmosphere.

Three museums surround Plaza Mayor.  The Museo Portugués reveals the city’s ties to Portugal.  The Museo Municipal  exhibits the city’s historical artifacts.  The ruins of the Convento de San Francisco Javier are also nearby.  The convent, built in 1683, was destroyed by a Spanish bombardment.  A climb up the steps of the faro (lighthouse) reveals a great view of the old city.

The ferry companies Ferrylineas and Buquebus provide daily ferry service from Buenos Aires to Colonia.

Mar del Plata

Along the Atlantic coast of the province of Buenos Aires there are a number of beach resort communities that attract large numbers of national tourists every summer.  The largest and most popular is Mar del Plata which has a significant stable, year round population and offers attractions year round.

You can also read about museums in this Buenos Aires travel guide.

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