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Trip Report trip report- Buenos Aires at Christmas time

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We are just finishing ten great days in Buenos Aires and I wanted to share some of our highlights.

1. First of all, San Telmo is a great neighborhood to stay in....comfortable but not chic.
2. We rented an apartment from Friendly Rentals Agency ....It's a two bedroom place - called the Discepolo apartment. There's a doorman/super named Antonio who has been extremely helpful. The agency was great... from booking the place to getting us checked in as early arrivals. It cost us about $100 a night.
3. Dining-wise: For an elegant meal, I'd recommend El Club Espanol in Monserrat.. For an old-time feel, don't miss El Bar Federal in San Telmo. If you want to try mate, go to Cumana in Recoleta in the late afternoon.
4. Entertainment -We saw a wonderful (and inexpensicve) tango show in Plaza Dorrego on Chrismas eve , topped off by fireworks set off by the waiters and had a fabulous evening of folk music at La Pena de Colorado in Palermo.
5. Christmas day- The guidebooks do not exagerate... Virtually all restaurants , parks and stores are closed so plan ahead. We ended up at the racetrack in Palermo .... no entrance fee... bets start at only 3 pesos.
6. An outing to the pampas- We spend the night at San Antonio de Areco. It's a lovely old colonial town. We stayed at a beautiful B/B called Paradores Draghi. We took a cab from there to El Ombu Estancia . I would highly recommend this outing. For $70 US, we spend the entire day at El Ombu. This included horseback riding, access to two swimming pools and a billiard table and of course, a great parilla lunch under the trees. We worked our way through 6 types of meat and a delicious bottle of Malbec wine.
7. Plan on it being hot.... Our trip coincided with a real heat wave- high 90's but apparently, it is often that hot during the summer.
8. Transportation- We found the bus system very good. The fare is only 1.25 $( about 35 US cents) and the buses we took were not crowded. Taxis are also cheap. Most of the cab rides we took across this very large city were about $35 pesos,/9 U.S. including tip.
I did not like riding in the subway ( called the Subte). It was extremely crowded ( think sardines in a can...) and had no airconditioning.
Hope this is helpful...

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