The capital of Argentina and one of the world’s largest cities, Buenos Aires is the cultural center of Argentina. The city has a distinctly European feel, with an architectural style reminiscent of Paris’. In the downtown core, one finds elegant promenades dotted with parks and fountains. Most of the city’s roads are arranged in a grid format, making it easy to navigate yourself around on foot.
During the summer months, especially January and February, the city can get quite hot and humid. This is when most of the locals take off for their own vacations. The most pleasant times to visit Buenos Aires are probably the spring (September to December) and fall (March to June).
Neighborhoods of Buenos Aires
El Centro is also home to many of the Argentine federal government’s most grandiose buildings; this is the capital after all. Many of these buildings sit in front of Plaza de Mayo, a prominent park in the heart of the federal district of Centro. Among these buildings are Casa Rosa (“pink house”), the official residence of the Argentine president. Buenos Aires is a patchwork of neighborhoods, each having a distinctive feel. In the heart of Buenos Aires lies Centro. It is the area around the famous Obelisco monument at the intersection of avenues Corrientes and 9 de Julio. Always bustling, this is truly the heart of the city. Nearby you’ll find pedestrian only streets, such as Lavalle or Florida, which contain a wide range of restaurants, shops, and street performers. Regardless of whether you plan to purchase anything, they are highly worth taking a stroll through.
Just to the south of Centro is the neighborhood of San Telmo. The once upscale neighborhood features crumbly cobblestone streets and colonial style townhouses. The rich abandoned San Telmo many decades ago in favor of some of Buenos Aires’ other neighborhoods. As a result, it has a bit of an edge to it.
To the northwest of Centro lie the upscale neighborhoods of Recoleta (home of the famous Recoleta Cemetary) and Palermo. There’s no shortage of fine restaurants, shops and other attractions throughout both of these neighborhoods. You can reach either easily by subway from Centro, though it’s a pleasant walk – with plenty of interesting sites along the way – from Centro (taking around 30 minutes to reach Recoleta). South of San Telmo is the neighborhood of La Boca. It’s got a bohemian feel to it and is somewhat rough. Don’t stray too far from the main streets and avoid it after dark. While it’s a bit raw, La Boca does have a lot of cultures and is a colorful place to walk through. It’s also the home of Argentina’s most famous football team, the Boca Juniors. While the area may be a little rough, going to a match is definitely doable. There’s seating specifically for tourists and many companies provide guided tours where they pick you up at your hotel and take you to the game, chaperone included (visit a tourist office in BA for more info – you generally don’t need to book too far in advance).
If you’re going to be departing Buenos Aires by bus, you’ll almost certainly pass through the neighborhood of Retiro, where Buenos Aires’ central bus station is located. To the northeast of Centro, Retiro begins right at the north end of av Florida. Retiro is a nice neighborhood, with plenty of upscale shops. But it can get a bit dodgy near the bus station, which is right on the border of Retiro and a shantytown.
Buenos Aires has an enormous range of accommodations at all price levels. All the neighborhoods mentioned above, with the exception of La Boca, have plenty of options for accommodation. If you’re looking to be right in the middle of it all, I recommend staying in Centro. The areas always alive and it provides quick access to nearly everywhere of interest in the city. San Telmo provides most of the benefits of Centro but it’s a bit cheaper. If you’re looking for a slower pace, opt for Palermo. Restaurants around there are a bit more expensive but almost all of high quality.
Buenos Aires’s restaurant scene is world class and there are outstanding restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat in Centro, a good place to head to is av, Lavalle. There is everything from fast food and cheap steakhouses to high-end French cuisine. If you’re looking for a good and cheap steak, try Parrilla al Carbón (on Lavalle). Steaks are huge and you can get a steak and a salad for around 5 USD.
Recoleta’s La Querencia (on the corner of Junín and Juncal) specializes in Argentine cuisine and does it very well for fairly cheap. The steaks are outstanding and they have the best empanadas I’ve ever tasted.
San Telmo’s Gran Parrilla del Plata has the best steak I’ve ever had (and is not too expensive either). It’s located in the 600 block of av Chile. If you’re a steak lover and in the area be sure to check it out.
Buenos Aires arguably has the best nightlife in the country. Club Sunset, in the suburb of Olivos, is a huge club featuring indoor and outdoor sections and several huge dance floors and bar areas. You’ll need to take a cab if you’re staying downtown. The plus side of this is fewer tourists venture out there so you’ll get a more authentic experience than at some of the more centrally located clubs.
Pachá is a huge, world famous club that’s often home to world-renowned DJs, crazy laser shows, smoke, etc. It’s very popular and considered a “must see” for those into the club scene. It’s a high-end place and the clientele acts like it.
If you’re looking to have a night out, be sure to ask around. There’s inevitably going to be some hot place that the guidebooks/internet have not yet gotten around to talking about.
Buenos Aires is, for the most part, quite safe but there are some rough patches. As mentioned above, if you’re in Retiro near the bus station be careful since it’s right on the border of a shantytown and some sketchy characters can be seen wandering around there. Centro is generally fine to walk around at all hours since it’s generally crowded. As you get closer to San Telmo it becomes a little more deserted late at night and thus requires a bit more caution. From Centro towards Recoleta and Palermo is very safe and you should be fine there anytime. If you’re venturing around San Telmo late at night keep track of your surroundings. If a street looks deserted, you should probably avoid. At nighttime, La Boca is probably best avoided (and even during the day, be cautious in La Boca).
Getting In and Out
Buenos Aires is the center of Argentina and serves as a hub for the rest of the country. So you can travel directly from Buenos Aires to pretty much anywhere on the continent (and much of the world, for that matter). There are daily direct flights from Buenos Aires to every destination within Argentina. There are also multiple daily bus connections to almost everywhere in Argentina.
The following table gives the approximate cost and time it takes to get from Buenos Aires to various other destinations by bus.
|Destination||Approx. cost (USD)||Duration (hours)|
|Mar del Plata||25||6|
Córdoba Travel Guide
715 kilometers (444 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires, Córdoba is Argentina’s second largest city. Home to six universities, Córdoba has a lively feel due to the thousands of students in town. The city is rich in culture, home to many museums, theaters, festivals and markets.
Córdoba also has many historical monuments preserved from the Spanish colonial times. Notably, this includes the Jesuit block, a group of buildings dating from the 1600s which have been declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
Sights & Attractions
Downtown Córdoba is full of colonial buildings, shops, elegant plazas, and universities. So allow yourself at least a few days for just wandering around. The streets are lively and it’s a great walking city. The city is centered around Plaza San Martín, from where you can walk to pretty much any of Córdoba’s attractions.
One of Córdoba’s most distinctive features is La Cañada, a small stream that runs directly through the center of the city. Nearly every cross street has a bridge over this stream so you’re never stranded on one side or the other.
The city’s cathedral, the Iglesia Catedral, is a beautiful structure dating back to the 1500s. The domed building features a lavishly painted interior which you can visit at the corner of avenues Independencia and 27 de Abril during daytime hours throughout the week.
In memory of Argentina’s dark days as a military dictatorship is Museo de la Memoria. This museum was once a detention center for the Argentine dictatorship’s feared Department of Intelligence, where political opponents were often taken to be tortured.
Nueva Córdoba, a couple kilometers south of Plaza San Martín, is where most of the city’s many young people live and hang out. This lively area is an excellent place to check out if you’re searching for a good restaurant or looking to have a night on the town.
Córdoba has a wide selection of accommodations, suiting every type of traveler. If you stay in one of the many hotels/hostels near Plaza San Martín, you’ll be very close to all of the city’s daytime attractions but will have to walk a bit if you want to partake in some shopping or find more restaurants. If you’re more into the nighttime scene, considering staying in Nueva Córdoba, where you’ll have countless restaurants and bars just a stone’s throw away.
One of Córdoba’s most famous parillas (steakhouses) is La Parrilla de Raul, located at 728 Jujuy – around 2 kilometers northwest of Plaza San Martín, just across La Cañada. You can get a delicious mixed grill for two here for around 10 USD, a great value for such amazing food.
If you’re looking for a delicious snack in Nueva Córdoba, try Mega Doner. Specializing in Lebanese cuisine, they serve delicious wraps for great prices.
If you’re looking to splurge, try the upscale Las Rías de Galicia, located at 271 Montevideo. This Spanish restaurant is delicious and has some of the best seafood in the city. They have an excellent set menu at lunch where you can get a full meal for around 10 USD. At dinner expect to pay 15 to 30 USD for a full meal with wine.
In our Buenos Aires travel guide, it was said BA had arguably the best nightlife in the country. That’s because Córdoba’s outstanding nightlife rivals that of the nation’s capital.
Nueva Córdoba is home to many excellent bars and clubs. But Mitre, located right on La Cañada, is extremely popular, especially with the university aged crowd. This multi-floor disco is enormous and features numerous bars and a huge dance floor.
If you’re willing to endure a bit of a commute, there’s another nightclub district around 12 kilometers north of the Córdoba’s center. Roughly around the intersection of avenues Rafael Nuñez and Emilio Pettoruti, you’ll find many bars and clubs along Rafael Nuñez. One such club, perhaps the city’s most popular among the locals, is Kontacto Disco, located at 3700 Rafael Nuñez.
As is the case all over Argentina, keep in mind that clubs do not get busy until quite late. Many clubs won’t even be open before 11pm and will be quite tame until after 2am.
Getting In and Out
As Argentina’s second largest city, Córdoba is very well connected with the rest of the country. It has frequent flights to most of Argentina’s other major cities, which almost all have a stopover in Buenos Aires.
Cordoba’s bus station is about a ten-minute walk from the city’s center. There are multiple daily connections with most other destinations within Argentina. Approximate times and costs of trips by bus are summarized in the following table.
|Destination||Approx. cost (USD)||Duration (hours)|
Reminiscent of the tropical Amazonian rainforest, the forests in which the falls are set is packed with exotic plants and animals. It’s very common to see monkeys, iguanas, toucans, various species of parrot and other tropical birds are commonly seen. There’s also the rare jaguar encounter, though these are rare as the animals are quite shy of humans. The wide network of paths and bridges throughout the forest make it easy to navigate your way around all the vantage points from where you can observe the falls.Set in a lush rainforest teeming with flora and fauna and among the world’s largest waterfalls, the Iguazú Falls are simply astounding.
Patagonia Travel Guide
Patagonia’s diverse terrain varies from the sharp peaks of the Andes, dry arid plains dotted with stunning blue lakes, and the grinding ice-fields of the far south.
Overall, Argentine Patagonia’s climate is cool and dry. The Andes mountains in the west of Patagonia shield the Argentine region from most Pacific storms, causing there to be less rainfall in Argentine Patagonia than in the Chilean part. As you would expect, the further south you go, the colder it gets. In the northernmost portions of Patagonia, summers can be quite warm – with highs exceeding 35°C (95°F) – with cool winters, where the temperature often dips below freezing. The extreme south of Patagonia is cool year round, with summers typically just above freezing (and occasionally dipping below) and temperatures well below freezing during winter.
Sights & Attractions
Unsurprisingly, Patagonia’s greatest attractions revolve around nature. Argentine Patagonia’s many national parks are home to a wide array of stunning landscapes and wildlife.
Monte León National Park, in the south of Patagonia, is home to much of the region’s unique wildlife, including penguins and cormorants, pumas and large, flightless birds called rheas and roaming herds of llama-like guanacos.
In the west of Patagonia at the base of the Andes is Los Alerces National Park, where you’ll find one of the oldest forests on the planet; many trees in the park are over 3,000 years old. The park is just outside the town of Esquel and provides easy access to nearby La Hoya which is a popular ski resort.
In Patagonia’s south is Los Glaciares National Park, home to the region’s stunning giant glaciers.
In the foothills of the Patagonian Andes is Nahuel Huapi National Park, the oldest national park in Argentina. The park is also home to Bariloche, a beautiful city with an Alpine-like feel and the most popular tourist draw in Patagonia.