a glimpse of buenos aires

24 Mar

There is nothing so thrilling as going off the grid to go exploring in another country (and nothing quite as daunting as the inevitable return to the plugged-in life). I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the last week and a half in Argentina and a day in Uruguay, “for lunch”.  The premise for this southern hemisphere fling was an Acton conference on poverty and community development with an emphasis on economics and religion.

For most of the trip, I stayed in Buenos Aires. The city is bustling with locals (porteños) and tourists alike and the expansive city has much to offer any traveler. The architecture is exquisite, a mix of old European and modern buildings populate the various neighborhoods that each have their own distinct flavor.

Florida StreetDowntown is called the microcenter and it’s the perfect place for people who want to be close to many of the main historical spots. You’ll find Florida Street here, a pedestrian street that runs north-south from San Martin Plaza to Avenue de Mayo , just west of Plaza de Mayo and the Presidential Palace, La Casa Rosada. It’s a great place to window shop and people watch from one of the many cafes.

La BocaLa Boca is something of a tourist trap featuring its vibrant Caminito Street, but it’s not the safest place to visit at night. This neighborhood gives you a glimpse of the other side of Argentine lifestyle, lifting the veil of elegance a bit.If you visit the neighborhood you’ll be serenaded by singers and awed by tango dancers in the street. It’s worth your while to visit here if you have the time.

San Telmo

San Telmo boasts an extraordinary flea market on Sundays and a craft market throughout the week. There are a number of wonderful old-style architectural finds here and if you are looking to buy a few souvenirs this is the place to go. Be ready to haggle and separate your pesos beforehand so your not caught breaking a $50 when you’ve just haggled down to $25. As much as we all love the awkward turtle, it might be best to avoid flaunting large bills and floundering reptiles during financial transactions.


Recoleta was one of the most beautiful areas of the city that I had the chance to explore. It’s French architecture is simply eye-candy. The neighborhood is also home to the final resting place of Evita Peron, one of Argentina’s most famous women, at the Recoleta Cemetary. The cemetary is a maze of tombs and mausoleums with tiled walkways that have a very distinct and haunting sound when you walk.

Puente de la Mujer

If you’re looking for a good place to eat, you’ll probably find yourself in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires’ newest neighborhood with over 50 restaurants along its main road. The area is a reclaimed port and old warehouses are now upscale restaurants and shops. You’ll find Puente de la Mujer, or the Women’s Bridge, here – a walking bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava which can rotate 90 degrees to let water traffic pass if needed. The bridge’s name may come from the fact that all of Puerto Madero’s streets are named after women in Argentine history.

Buenos Aires Street Map

Click to view Buenos Aires Street Map


2 Responses to “a glimpse of buenos aires”

  1. 12 21 end of the world March 31, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    Good article. thank you

  2. jjMichael April 21, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    I shouldn’t be surprizing so hard at that.

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