We were excited to hear that travel expert and luxury traveler Dr. Cacinda Maloney of PointsandTravel was making her way down to South America to visit her beloved Argentina. Come along with her as she shows you the top 6 experiences not to miss in Buenos Aires.
Having just returned from Argentina, I am completely enamored by its capital city known as the “Paris of South America.” And if you are like me, you will especially enjoy the European architecture of this capital city built in 1536 by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain. Buenos Aires is a stunningly gorgeous place to visit, and the Argentinian peso is currently low against the American dollar, so now is a great time to go. They also have so many things for visitors to do, including tango dancers, shows and quaint neighborhoods like El Boca, where colorful El Caminito (the little street) is located. Argentina also boasts the most beautiful cemetery in the world, a 100-year-old theater that has been refurbished into a stunning bookstore, delicious cuts of beef in the vibrant restaurant scene and the purely Argentinian Faena Hotel. For great weather, be sure to visit during winter (which is their summer), and don’t miss these top 6 experiences on your next Argentina vacation!
Top 6 Experiences Not To Miss in Buenos Aires
La Recoleta Cemetery
La Recoleta Cemetery is my #1 recommendation when visiting Buenos Aires. It is unlike any cemetery you have ever visited. It is similar to a small walled city with mausoleums, statues and a wide variety of famous architectural styles. It is here where Argentina’s most wealthy and famous denizens are buried. You can even take a peek at Eva (Duarte) Perone’s burial site. And the tradition continues today, as many wealthy families continue to maintain family burial sites here.
El Caminito is the centerpiece of La Boca, a neighborhood lined with colorfully painted houses, making it the perfect Buenos Aires postcard. It was actually named after a 1926 tango song, and now has a fair-like atmosphere full of tango dancers, restaurants, artists and photo opportunities. It has become a bit touristy since my last visit, but I still recommend at least going for a glance at all the commotion going on in the street also known as “the little walkway.”
The Argentinians have perfected the dances of Tango and Malonga, the traditional dances of Argentina and Uruguay. The shows, although also a bit touristy, are absolutely outstanding. I am still amazed that anyone can physically do what they do. There are quite a few options and styles of Tango shows, but I can recommend Tango Porteno for a larger venue, El Viejo Al Macen, and have heard El Querandi is great. There is also an unforgettable tango experience at the Faena Hotel called Rojo Tango. There isn’t a bad seat in the house with six couples, two singers, and other talented artists. Each show comes with the traditional dinner at long tables.
This little café is a jewel I found years ago and when I went to look it up I was surprised it was still there! It is the oldest café in Buenos Aires, established back in 1858, by a French immigrant. Back in the day it was frequented by artists, journalists, novelists and musicians, and today it’s the café you must visit! It feels as if time has stood still!
El Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore
El Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore is housed in a gorgeously refurbished theater built in 1919. Back then, when so many European immigrants came to Buenos Aires, this frescoed-ceiling theater with its elaborate decor and classic 1920s feel, helped fuel the culture and arts scene that Argentina is known for. I can just imagine the combination of these Spanish Latins with their Tango and Malonga right up there on stage, where the bookstore’s café now stands. Some call it the “most beautiful bookstore in the world,” and I would say it certainly has my vote!
This over-the-top hotel has to be seen and experienced to truly understand what an icon it is to Buenos Aires. Argentinian owner Alan Faena wanted a hotel that truly reflected the Argentinian spirit. And I think he did exactly that with its grand entrance—a long, red-carpeted hallway with a black horsehair bench and perfectly hanging red velvet curtains. The dramatic color palette of reds, blacks and white define his style and the charming ambiance you will find here. Plus, there is even a matching vibe in the Library Lounge Bar, the iconic crowned-fountain swimming pool and the red and white Bistro Sur, featuring unicorn heads on the walls. Faena Hotel even has its own award-winning Rojo Tango Show!
Each of the 6 items I have chosen for you are some of the best things to do in Buenos Aires and unlike anything I have seen in all my years of traveling. Buenos Aires has such a wonderful array of choices to lure tourists to this gorgeous European-styled city. And while you are in Argentina, be sure and take a trip to Iguazu Falls as well.
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