Buenos Aires Trip Report

Old Nov 17th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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Buenos Aires Trip Report

Buenos Aires Trip Report 2008- Apologies for this belated report. We loved Buenos Aires. We spent two weeks in BA in late June/early July which was not enough time for me! Our group included 3 adults ages 50ish and 2 teen girls ages 16 and 17. BA is a fascinating and vibrant city filled with warm and generous people. Hope to visit again soon- there is so much more I would like to see in Buenos Aires and Argentina. Thanks to the many forum members who helped us plan our trip: avrooster, dr dawggy, BASandy, PuntaLugano,Scarlett, RicardoBA, karmalaw, Raquelz, Veritas, Bill from NYC, marulandia and more.

AIRPORT TRANSPORT
World Car- 196 pesos for 2 cars. Both vehicles were clean and comfortable. One was a small SUV. Very easy to arrange transport. No lines at booth and English was spoken.
Taxi Ezeiza- as my niece departed earlier than the rest of our group we used Taxi Ezeiza to accompany her to the airport. Fare to the airport was 95 pesos; return was 65 pesos. Easy to reserve taxi in advance tel 5480-0066. Taxi showed up on time at our apartment. Arranging return trip at the airport was efficient. Agent at airport booth spoke English. Only complaint was lack of two functional seat belts in the back on return trip.
La Diligencia Viajes- 7 passenger van – charged 130 pesos for transport to airport for our group of 4. This company also provided transport to Los Dos Hermanos. Comfortable and reliable. English speaking drivers. Tel 4892-0248 Cel 15-5228-4565

WEATHER- brisk but pleasant in June and July- a welcome relief from Arizona!

GETTING AROUND
Walking- We enjoyed walking in many areas of BA. Day 1 walked from Alto Palermo all the way to Recoleta Fair. After a late night at Salon Canning we walked from Palermo Viejo back to Alto Palermo at 2:30am and saw many others out walking as well. Other areas where we enjoyed walking: Belgrano, Palermo Chico, Palermo Parks, Puerto Madero, Plaza de Mayo to Parque Lezama in San Telmo, San Isidro and Parana Delta.
Subte- purchased subte passes and used them frequently- Lines D, C and A- fun to ride- 30 cents per ride-great entertainment in the subte- one night a young man playing classical violin on the subte train while it was in motion!
Buses- convenient cheap and reliable- we used public buses (29, 64, 152) Guia T was not difficult to use. Finding coins for bus fare was a daily challenge. My teen daughter and niece were able to extract coins from merchants when the adults in our group were not.
Taxis- we did use taxis a few times and never had any problem.

OUR APARTMENT- VRBO 106368- great location in Palermo Alto-very comfortable

RESTAURANTS
Guia de Restaurantes de Buenos Aires- www.guiaoleo.com.ar- I used this online guide extensively and found it to be reliable and helpful.

Lezama- San Telmo- superb beef and pasta-great service–professional waiters -traditional restaurant- views over lovely Parque Lezama-lunch for 5 with tip 111 pesos

La Provisión- Villa Devoto- simple, locals only "parrilla y hornito de campo”, forum members’ dinner on our 2nd night in BA- great food and fantastic company of AV Rooster, Dr Dawggy and Punta Lugano- meeting BA experts was a highlight of our trip. 280 pesos for 5 of us included appetizers, dinner, dessert, and wine and tip.

La Aguada-cocina regional- Billinghurst 1862- Barrio Norte- dinner for 4 with tip 127 pesos. Great carbonada, locro and tamales. Cozy- only 5-6 tables. Not a tourist in sight. Service efficient and friendly. Charming rustic atmosphere.

Garden- good inexpensive Chinese food in a very pretty setting in Recoleta. Excellent service. $126 pesos for 5 persons including tip.

La Cabrera- 5 of us ordered 2 sides and 2 dinners and could not finish it all! The best steak I have ever had! Great service too.- I resisted going here until our Cicerones guide- Mariana- mentioned that she had just been at La Cabrera with friends a few weeks ago- she insisted that we must eat at La Cabrera. Total with tip for 5 persons $209.35 pesos.

California Burrito Company- bustling hip little place on Florida Street owned by an ex-pat Californian- great fun and decent burritos-$92 pesos for 4 persons

Filo- Excellent Italian food- trendy atmosphere. Service a bit slow. 100 pesos for 4 meals at lunch. We arrived just as the lunchtime crush was ending about 2:30pm.

Chaja- excellent pizzeria near our apartment- fantastic empanadas too

TANGO
Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro- We saw this orchestra on a Wednesday night. The venue was packed! Loved them! Very theatrical performance. “…not your typical tango show… 12-piece Orquesta Típica Fernandez Fierro … passionate and edgy”.
Salon Canning Milonga and Tango Championships- typical porteño milonga and tango championship sponsored by city of BA- got to vote for the best dancers- dancers from ages 20s to 80s dancing passionately-fascinating!
MUSEUMS
Museo de Artes Plasticas Eduardo Sivori- My husband and I agreed that this was our favorite museum. Free on Wednesdays. Extensive and stunning contemporary art collection.
Museo Xul Solar-small but fascinating museum in the home of the artist. Definitely worth visiting.
MALBA- eye-catching building and some magnificent art- definitely worth a visit even though half of the exhibits were unremarkable

NIGHTLIFE- We are not really much into nightlife but enjoyed experiencing the late nights in BA a few times. On several nights we were out walking well after midnight and were amazed to see many others of all ages out walking. My teens went to a disco one night- Club Wet- they stayed until 2:30am and said the dancing was just starting at 2am!

Rent - The Musical at Ciudad Cultural Konex Theater-in Abasto- top-notch professional production- contemporary theater- third row seats $20 each!

Trans-noche movie- Great fun seeing a movie at 1:45am at upscale Recoleta cinema - teeming with portenos of all ages even families with young children.

DAYTRIPS
Los dos Hermanos- all the accolades are well deserved- great day of horseback riding on a beautiful farm- My teen girls loved rounding up a herd of horses and yelling Vamos! at the end of the day. I finally learned how to gallop!

Parana Delta- spent a day in this lovely and tranquil area - many small islands with charming summer homes- transportation is by boat from island to island. Took a boat from Tigre to the Tres Bocas area-disembarking at Muelle Publico Santa Rosa. We walked around two islands for about an hour- very pretty and serene. Had lunch outdoors at El Hornero a small restaurant at the intersection of two canals. Salads and pasta were tasty, filling and cheap- lovely setting. $87 pesos for 4 meals.

Transport to and from Delta: From Palermo bus #152 north to Av. Maipu and Carlos Gardel –walked 7 lovely blocks through residential Olivos to Estacion La Lucila
Took TBA train from Estacion La Lucila to Tigre- 0.65 pesos- 20 minutes duration. Train was comfortable clean and safe. Not crowded at all at 11am on a Friday.

Boat to Tres Bocas departed 12:45pm- nearly full. Pleasant ride. Lovely views along river-charming houses- fascinating variety of watercraft. Arrived Tres Bocas 1:30pm.

San Isidro- rode the comfortable Tren de La Costa from Tigre to San Isidro. Visited beautiful San Isidro Catedral. Walked through residential area toward Rio de La Plata. We hoped to reach the Reserva Ecologica Municipal on the river but ran out of daylight.

RECOLETA AREA
Recoleta Cemetery- Fascinating-we arrived just before sunset –spent about an hour before closing time- the lighting was perfect for photos – almost had the place to ourselves. My teen girls really enjoyed this.
Recoleta Feria- My teen girls enjoyed buying inexpensive leather accessories here. Not as much street entertainment as the San Telmo Fair but still a festive atmosphere.
Centro Cultural Recoleta- spectacular photography exhibit
Basilica Nuestra Senora del Pilar- elaborate interior, gorgeous altar and handsome young priest greeting visitors with hugs and kisses

SAN TELMO AREA
San Telmo Feria- went two Sundays-excellent entertainment- classical guitar, tango orchestras and dancers, Andean music, jazz bands and more. Some crafts and artwork were quality. My teens also enjoyed shopping for accessories here. We all loved the stuffed bread sold on the street- 6 pesos for freshly baked bread with variety of fillings.
Parque Lezama- lovely park in San Telmo- filled with local families on a Sunday afternoon- bordering the park was a beautiful Russian church with striking blue onion shaped domes

CENTRAL BA
Palacio Barolo Tour- Fascinating tour of an extraordinary building -15 pesos per person for tour in English with Miqueas Tharigen ([email protected]) cell 15-5027-9035.
Plaza de Mayo- ongoing farmers’ strike fascinating to witness- Madres marching-
Catedral Metropolitana- beautiful interior and altar- worth a visit after Plaza de Mayo
Café Tortoni-touristy but still atmospheric-enjoyed coffee and sweets after touring Palacio Barolo

PALERMO AREA
Palermo Parks- spent 2 afternoons in these lovely oases- walked from our apartment- welcome escape from frenzy of the city- our favorite was Parque 3 de Febrero-picturesque lakes, bridges, rose gardens, trails, public art, paddleboats and the fabulous art museum Museo de Artes Plasticas Eduardo Sivori
Botanical Gardens- exquisite park filled with lovely sculptures, pathways and wild cats
Palermo Viejo- charming atmosphere- fun area to explore
Palermo Chico- stunning mansions on quiet tree shaded lanes

RETIRO AREA- spent a morning exploring a few of the sights in this fascinating area
Museo de la Immigracion- photos, momentos, films of immigrants- evocative setting in the old Hotel de Immigrantes-off the beaten track but well worth a visit
Retiro Train Station,Torre Monumental,Falklands/Malvinas’ War Memorial
San Martin Plaza- gorgeous plaza shaded by magnificent trees

BELGRANO
Tour with Cicerones- pleasant tour of Belgrano area- with an English speaking local [email protected]- Belgrano is an attractive and much less hectic area- lovely buidings set back from the street with garden areas in front- beautiful residential areas

PUERTO MADERO- I loved strolling along the waterfront although I imagine it would be even more pleasant in warmer temps- Puente de la Mujer is striking-

SHOPPING- prices and selection disappointing at Alto Palermo Mall and Abasto Mall- prices were about the same as USA and quality unimpressive
Palermo Viejo- charming architecture but no shopping success-designer boutiques with outlandishly high prices- did find a few boutiques with reasonable prices but unimpressive design and quality
Outlets on Cordoba 4000-4900- better prices and quality than the mall but still not any great bargains
Street Fairs- my teen girls enjoyed shopping at both the San Telmo and the Recoleta while my husband and I were impressed with the art at the San Telmo Fair


marymarathons is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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I will repeat myself here
This is one of the Best trip reports I have had the pleasure to read... full of great information and interesting and fun.
I would say this even if you had not mentioned my name in the beginning lol...

Thanks for posting !!
Scarlett is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2008, 11:42 AM
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Great reading, thanks!
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 12:57 AM
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Thank you, Mary, for a great trip report!

It was a pleasure having dinner with you and your family, plus TOP BA experts Dr Dawggy and Punta Lugano.

You say elsewhere: "I am so drawn to Buenos Aires". What are you waiting for?
avrooster is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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Very helpful, thank you so much for sharing!
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Great report - I have wondered if I had missed your report.

It was fun to meet you!
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Teach2travel also attended that forum dinner! I apologize for not having mentioned her.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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I love this site you recommended for restaurants, thanks
Guia de Restaurantes de Buenos Aires- www.guiaoleo.com.ar-

My Spanish is dismal, can someone please tell me about the price. When it says $84ar, I understand that is in local currency, what I can't figure out is what it is for, 1 or 2 people, with or with our wine? I am assuming one person without drinks? Thanks for the help
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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Sussanna: The Guía Oleo also has an English version.

Go to http://www.guiaoleo.com.ar/about.php
to find the answer to your question about prices.

Have a great time in our town.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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I apologize, it is Susanna, not Sussanna. LOL!!
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 11:09 AM
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Thnak you Mr. Rooster!
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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avrooster

So nice to hear from you! You ask "What are you waiting for?" re: a return trip to BA. My teen girls would like a warm weather beach trip next summer i.e. next June/July.

I'm hoping that on our next trip to BA we'll be able to stay longer- at least a month!

teach2travel
Enjoyed meeting you as well at the dinner- what a great memory!


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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 02:35 AM
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Mary: I suggest you talk your teen girls into going to Iguazú and Salta next summer. It's not the beach, but....
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