Spending Time in Buenos Aires

spend-36-hours-in-buenos-aires-with-the-new-york-times-2The Río de la Plata, which is the location of present-day Buenos Aires, was first reached by a European – the Spanish Juan Díaz de Solís, in 1516. Over time, there has been a steady stream of immigrants and visitors from Europe and all other parts of the world to this fascinating city. The locals are called Porteños, and their city is comprised of a myriad of intriguing neighborhoods, all of which are worth a visit. Visiting in the spring or autumn will reveal Buenos Aires at its best, although its climate is rather mild all year.

Traveling by air is the best means for reaching Buenos Aires. Although the city is connected by highway to neighboring countries and to the interior of Argentina, the distances are long and the roads are not always well maintained. Two airports service the city – one for international and one for domestic routes. Buenos Aires is a port of call for cruise lines, and there is ferry service available to neighboring Uruguay.

Most of the major historical sites are located around the Plaza de Mayo, but you’ll find points of interest in the neighborhoods of San Telmo and La Boca as well. A walk along Puerto Madero’s riverfront and a stroll around the plazas of Recoleta and Palermo will give you a true ‘feel’ for the authentic Buenos Aires. A visit to the Recoleta Cemetery is highly recommended, where you can visit the grave of Evita Peron, an Argentinean legend.

There are quite a few options for exploring the area around Buenos Aires that make comfortable daytrips. Colonia is a lovely colonial town of narrow cobbled streets and whitewashed buildings, just a short 2-hour ferry ride away.

Alternatively, an hour north of the city by train is the peaceful suburb of Tigre, where the Porteños come for a weekend away from the city. It’s a perfect base for viewing canal life on the Delta del Parana.