The City Tour is the best way to get to know Buenos Aires. The tour of Buenos Aires starts with the splendid Plaza San Martin and the surrounding Belle Époque architecture pierced by the Kavanagh building, the first skyscraper of Latin America. Next up, we explore Palermo Chico, the most exclusive neighborhood in Buenos Aires, with its luxurious French style mansions and its parks designed by renowned French landscaper Charles Thays.
Once we get to Recoleta you will be amazed by a miniature Paris frozen in time. Recoleta was built in the first quarter of the 20th century by the most powerful Argentine families who held French culture and style so dear that their children were taught to speak French before Spanish. Traversing the elegant Avenida Alvear, pay special attention to the many French style palaces where the aforementioned powerful families once lived. In Plaza Francia, we will visit the Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, a remarkably well preserved colonial era church. Finally we will walk through the famous Recoleta cemetery, a labyrinth of monumental sepulchers where the principal figures of Argentine history now rest, including the celebrated Eva Perón.
Next, we cross the center of Buenos Aires to arrive at the Plaza de Mayo, surrounded by monumental buildings that form the historical core of Argentina: the Casa Rosada presidential palace; the Cabildo, where the seeds of Argentine independence were sown; and the Metropolitan Cathedral, an imposing neoclassical temple housing the mausoleum of Jose de San Martin, the founding father of Argentina. The next stop is San Telmo, which was the first aristocratic neighborhood of Buenos Aires until it was abandoned due to an outbreak of yellow fever in the late 19th century. San Telmo became a neglected and marginalized area for nearly a century until the 1970s when it started attracting artists, intellectuals and other bohemian types. It is now one of the most sought after places to live in Buenos Aires thanks to its extraordinary architecture and vibrant bohemian atmosphere. We will stroll along its enchanting little streets, where the colonial past of Buenos Aires comes to life, and make a stop at the celebrated Plaza Dorrego, where the antique flea market is held every Sunday.
Our next destination is La Boca, one of the most authentic and picturesque neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, the old slum that gave birth to the tango. La Boca was the gateway for the flood of Italian immigration that transformed the late 19th century Argentine society in into what you see today. We will make a stop at Calle Caminito, the most recognizable urban icon of Buenos Aires, an open air museum that combines the fundamental cultural elements of football (soccer), tango, and art.
The last stop on our tour is Puerto Madero, a far more glamorous area than the one we just visited. But it wasn’t always like this. Up until 1991, Puerto Madero was a rundown mess of warehouses and storage silos. In the last 20 years Puerto Madero, has been transformed into a playground for the Argentine elite and the international jet-set with corporate and residential skyscrapers, upscale clubs, hotels, and restaurants, as well as private yacht clubs.
There is an extended version of the city tour which includes lunch and a two hour cruise aboard the Humberto M following the conclusion of the itinerary described above. The cruise will take you through the Canal Costero of the Río de la Plata, up until the River Plate Club. You will get to see the interior of the Buenos Aires harbor, the Yacht Club Argentino, the Hotel de los Inmigrantes, the Club de Pescadores with its typical architecture, the Aeroparque Jorge Newbery airport, and the Ciudad Universitaria campus.
You can reserve these tours at FlapsUpArgentina.com