Crossing the worlds widest river is an interesting activity that doesnt take longer than 3 hours... so why not go see some of the neighbouring country during our stay in Bs As? Colonia is a magical, historical, beautiful town that i highly recommend for a weekend escapade.
Here you have the schedules when the ferries leave Bs As... be aware that you must be there one hour before departure...
A cicerone is a nonprofit agency spearheaded by the government to have locals who love the country show tourists and advise tourist on what to do and see in Buenos Aires. They try to match you up with someone of similar interest as you. Fill out the profile and they may take a week or two before contacting you.
The service is FREE
Argentinians have a passion for "futbol" -soccer- that can only compare with Brazilians passion for it.
River Plate (colours red and white) is the main opponent team to Boca Juniors, and its stadium called "El Monumental" -the largest in Argentina, where Argentina won the World Cup in 1978- holds concerts and other major events from time to time, but its mainly the place to go watch a game.
River Plate players included: Gabriel Batistuta y Hernán Crespo.
There are tickets from 15 to 40 pesos.
Once every two weeks there will be a good match, so you cant miss it, just go and watch a passionate (soccer) game on a Sunday in River Plate Stadium, and feel it vibrate!!!
Take a look at the website and check out the right top corner for English.
Estadio de River Plate: "El Monumental". Its located in between Belgrano and Nuniez neighbourhoods. In Capital Federal
Address: Av. Figueroa Alcorta 7597 - and Udaondo street...
Its very easy to access...
The most direct way is by taxi or bus (28, 29, 42, 130) but you can also go by the Retiro-Tigre train -its airconditioned and very comfortable- from Retiro train station, just get off at Belgrano C station and walk 14 blocks, or by subte -underground- the D line, getting off at Congreso del Tucuman station and walking some 15 blocks
Take a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. It's real easy. Organise a package that includes the ferry, the tour and the meal all for one price (oddly enough, drinks alcoholic and otherwise are not included). Colonia del Sacramento is the first place Europeans settled in present day Uruguay. It was owned by both the Spanish and the Portuguese, they fought over it and the Spanish won it. Colonia del Sacramento is a good day trip to take that is a change from the hurried city life in Buenos Aires.
Colonia del Sacramento is the full name of this Portuguese colonial town just opposite Buenos Aires on the border of the Rio de la Plata in Uruguay. An interesting destination for a day trip from Bs As, but be aware to take the fast ferry, which will take about 1 hour (the slow ferry takes about 3 hours one way!!).
Be in time at the Buquebus office/wharf at Darsena Norte, because before boarding we had to do a lot of ‘paper work’ :
- we got a boarding pass and visa at the check-in counters;
- we had to fill in a form for the Argentinean immigration service;
- we changed money at the changing booth; recommend to change money before in a bank or get your Uruguayan pesos from an ATM in Colonia; the changing booth is robbing you
- check of passports with a lot of stamps.
Just outside the harbour building in Colonia are offices of car rental companies and a Tourist Information Centre, where we got a map of Colonia. Outside the ferry area one can rent a bicycle or scooter, but we decided to discover this rather small and compact town on foot.
It is about 1 km to the historical part of the city. We entered ‘la colonia portuguesa’ through the restored Puerto de Campo (a real town gate) and just wandered around over the cobble stoned narrow streets, enjoyed the old colourful houses, the flowers, the shops and cafés. It is also possible to take a look in one of the museums. We had a lunch in one of the restaurants near the waterfront.
Afterwards we had a taxi for a couple of sights outside the centre: the small Iglesia San Benitol and the Plaza de Toros with an arena, which is not in use anymore.
Colonia (an Unesco World Heritage Site) with its pleasant pace of life was a relief after the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires.
For information about schedules and rates see:
http://www.coloniaexpress.com/ar/ (did read some negative reviews !!)
In the early years of the 20th century, Argentina was the one of the richest countries in the world and Buenos Aires was the showpiece of this wealth and promise. Money was no object when it came to building private palaces and public buildings. Drawing inspiration from the best of various fashionable European styles - mostly variations of the style generally known as Art Nouveau - wonderful buildings were erected all over the central city area. Years of financial disasters and political upheaval have seen many of these treasures fall into decay. Some have survived well, others are currently being restored but conservation still isn't really an issue here, and there are many buildings still at risk.
A walking tour of Art Nouveau Buenos Aires was one of the best things we did in in the city. Taking us through the barrios of Monserrat, Congreso and Tribunales we walked for hours, looking at buildings in tucked-away-streets that we would probably never have found our way to ourselves. Italian, Spanish and French influences were all pointed out to us. Tiny details, architectural features, grand palacios, boarded up ruins, putti over a doorway, Catalan symbolism, irises and orchids bedecking a house. Whole streetscapes, single buildings, rooflines, doors and windows, internal fittings - all were considered. With a story for every one and a fund of other information about the city, the tour was absolutely fascinating.
Robert Wright, an expat American, who took us on our walk has now left Buenos Aires so his wonderful tours are no longer available. Currently, most of his BA stuff in archived and not available online but, fingers crossed, he may post some of it back up again some time soon. At present the only post he has is about L[http://www.recoletacemetery.com/]Recoleta
We made a brief stop in San Isidro, to stretch and see the cathedral, and we discovered a craft fair in progress. The vendors set up tables in the park by the cathedral on weekends (summer only?) and they had some beautiful merchandise. There was a good variety of products--jewelry, metalwork, fabrics, artwork, mate cups, etc.--and I was impressed by the quality of it.
Estancia Santa Susana is a 2900-acre working ranch that has been in the same family for 3 generations. One small part of it now hosts visitors. Available activities include wagon rides, horseback riding, and visiting the original owner's home (which is now an interesting museum) and its accompanying chapel.
The huge meal was followed by songs, dancing (including one with boleadores) and a gaucho show on horseback. They began by demonstrating how their horses were trained to follow a bell, and then played the ring game. Evidently it is traditional for the gaucho who successfully spears the ring to give it to a lady in exchange for a kiss on the cheek. The youngest rider (a teenage boy) gave me a ring! Maybe I reminded him of his grandmother...
Santa Susana is just under 50 mi. (78 km) from Buenos Aires
Ruta 6 Km. 188 - (2814)
Tigre is in the delta within commuting distance of Buenos Aires. We hired a great tour guide for a fraction of the cost of hiring onto a boat tour. 2Portenios.com is how you contact him. We met Gustavo, who is different because he takes you on a tour as if he were your friend showing his town to you. Proud of his city he shows you what he thinks you will like. Instead of taking an expensive boat tour (there are many), he takes you by train to the commuter ferry and you go all the same places for a fraction of the cost. Plus you have your friend showing you around. No prepackaged tour bus--we took the local train and took bikes on the train to see the sights up close.
How to choice a spa in Buenos Aires?
The number of spas is growing in Buenos Aires. After the 2002 crisis many clinics and aesthetic doctors were reconverted to medical spas. Today, there is a lot of high-class spas over the city, most of them in Recoleta, Palermo and Belgrano.
Beside the spas located into the large 5-star luxury hotels, there are several day spa or urban spa with good services and affordable prices.
One of my favourite places is Aloe-Spa Salute per Aloe. This is an urban spa located at the heart of Belgrano district in Buenos Aires. The distinctive element of this spa is that all treatments are performed using aloe vera leaves or cosmetics containing high proportion of aloe vera into the formula.
I visited the venue three times and experienced a swedish massage -with aloe massage oil-, an aloe facial and an aloe body scrub. I enjoyed too much the body treatment, because they cleansed my entire body with an aloe lotion, then exfoliation was made with an aloe moisturizing cream and organic brown sugar (green coffee is also an option). After that, the mask is prepared with volcanic Andean clay, honey and aloe juice. They also mix blueberries, açai or mangosteen as antioxidants.
When the mask has worked and gets dry, the therapist remove it with aloe juice, and use and aloe vera moisturizing gelly to wrap all the body. Finally a smooth massage is applied.
It is a unique experience because you may feel the aloe products into the body. I highly recommend this spa treatment.
Tucked away in Barrio Tribunales and taking up a whole block, Palacio de las Aguas Corrientes (Palace of Running Water) really is a palace - one built to a very practical purpose. When first built , the fabulously coloured exterior concealed the tanks and pumps that once supplied the whole city with fresh water. This is the Versailles of waterworks, the grandest of all the amazing Victorian-era waterworks to be found anywhere in the world.
After a disastrous yellow-fever epidemic swept through Buenos Aires in 1877, British engineers were commissioned to design a waterworks that would ensure a clean, safe water supply for the future. Most of the engineering components came from Belgium but England's famous Royal Doulton ceramic company were contracted to make no less than 300,000 faience-glazed bricks, some plain, some highly ornamental, each one carefully numbered, and then imported to be installed like an enormous jigsaw around the entire building. The result is truly extraordinary, a multicoloured, highly decorative example of the ceramacist's craft.
Of course, the city outgrew the supply from here and the engineering works are long gone. Nowadays the offices of Aguas Argentinas, the building also houses a most unusual museum -one devoted to sanitation that displays hundreds of loos as well as taps, basins, pipes - anything and everything related to keeping a clean water supply functioning.
Address: Av. Cordoba between Riobamba and Avochucho.
Subte D: Callao
Liz had nevr had a Caipirinha before Buenos AIres. She saw a picture of it at Temple Bar and decided she must try one. After one drink she was hooked. Liz isn't much of a drinker and rarely wants a mixed drink so I was happy she found a drink she enjoyed.
Unless you were looking for the Piazzolla Tango Centro de Arte, you could easily pass by the entrance to the arcade that leads of Florida at No 165, down near the Peru subte station but, believe me, the very ordinary entrance and parade of shops down the length of the Galería Güemes hide a real gem of Buenos Aires early 20th century architecture and the one of most beautiful interiors in the city.
A splendid mix of styles, Art Nouveau, Neoclassical and a touch of Gothic, all marble, bronzes and magnificent glass, the 14 story building was designed by the same Italian architect as the Cafe Molina. With a lower level theatre, cabaret venue and restaurant, the 116 meter long shopping arcade on the ground floor, offices overlooking calle San Martin, apartments overlooking Florida all culminating in another restaurant with an observation deck on the 14th floor, there was nothing to in the city to compare with it when the doors opened in 1915. One famous resident French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
As with so many of BA's wonderful buildings, the depression and political upheavals of the 20th century saw it fall into neglect and disuse, the theatre close and the grand fittings become shabby and worn. A recent restoration has restored all the wonderful details to their former glory - the glass domes in the roof are stunning, the marble gleams and the gilding looks like new. Even the theatre has ben reopened to house the Piazzolla Tango show in what is considered by many to be the most beautiful Tango palace in the city.
Just over an hour across the steely waters of the Rio de la Plata, and a world away in atmosphere, La Colonia del Sacramento, in Uraguay provides a wonderfully restful escape from the hurly-burly of Buenos Aires. Unless your time is very limited, this trip is really worth doing.
La Colonia was founded by Portuguese in 1680, ceded to the Spanish in 1750 and became a full-blown Spanish colony in 1777. Things haven't changed a lot since then. The old town is a protected UNESCO site these days. A walk along the riverside (Calle Florida) from the ferry port takes you past the old railway station, over a drawbridge and through the ruined gateway, last remnant of the city walls to the Plaza Mayor. You'll have time to wander the cobbled streets lined with pretty colonial buildings, visit the historic Iglesia Matriz (Uraguay's oldest church )), find a restaurant for lunch (you might like to try a bottle of Tanat - Uraguay's answer to Malbec), potter around the little shops, visit one of the small museums, take a walk into the new town maybe ... this is a day for ambling and taking it easy - La Colonia's sleepy atmosphere is very infectious. Just don't miss the ferry.
If you're only going for the day, the fast catamaran or hydrofoil is the way to go, though it is expensive. The river crossing is an experience in itself, after you've left Buenos Aires far behind you it's over an hour before you sight land ahead. You also get to see how the river got its name - Rio de la Plata - Silver River - even on the sunniest day the water is the colour of dull silver plate. Crossings are very well patronised - advance booking is advisable at busy times, summer and holidays. You can do this from the ferry terminal at Puerto Madero, or by phone with a credit card. You'll need your passport, all immigration formalities are conducted within the ferry terminals on either side.
Argentinian pesos are accepted everywhere so there's no need to change money.
if you love starbucks! guess what? there is one shop in Argentina!
it's located next to Alto Palermo Shopping, in Palermo Neighborhood ( Av. Coronel Diaz and Av. Santa Fe)
so for what i was told, it's kind of different from the ones in United states, because there are more tables and seats where to sit, due that Argentinians are used to have coffee in a Cafeteria ( sit in the cafeteria, ask for the coffee to the waitresst, drink the coffee, chat with a friend and finally pay for the coffee on the table, that's a little summary of the usual way of having coffee in Argentina)
So it's kind of strange to us just buying the coffee and leave, because we like talking and for us the best place is a cafeteria!
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