Getting Out of Town
Buenos Aires, Argentina
After familiarizing yourself with the capital city, perhaps you want to take a break from the action and go on a side trip out of town. There are several options for doing this, but it mainly depends on the time of year you visit. During the summer months (Dec-Mar) many people prefer to endure the heat at the beach. I wouldn’t say neighboring Brazil has anything to envy in terms of best beaches, but the country does have a few pleasant options. The most popular by far is Mar de la Plata, a favorite among locals and tourists alike. An old retreat for the aristocracy, this city now draws in droves of people every summer to take in the sun and enjoy the beach from its scenic location of rolling hills. This seaside resort city is about 250 miles south of BA with a population hovering around half a million. You can reach it by bus (5 hours AR $80, round trip) or remise (4 hours, AR $300).
A nearer non-beach getaway, is Tigre, about 20 miles from downtown. This working class town, colonized in the 16th century for its calm-watered shipping area, now boasts rich sunsets on the delta as a popular getaway on the weekend. And as with any popular area, you will find goods and crafts for sale as well as carnival eats; there are also a number of nice restaurants and places to have a seat and take a moment to relax on quiet waterfront benches. Getting here won’t take long either. Bus number 60 from BA will get you here in about an hour, and the 50-minute train ride from Retiro, departing every 15 minutes, is also a fun option.
Farther-off destinations include the impressive Falls de Iguazu, an incredible site of enormous waterfalls and tropical jungle, and the Mendoza region, which rests against the Andes and is surrounded by the country’s great wineries. Both of these regions can be visited over a weekend if you are flying. I was able to find round trip airfare with 2 nights accommodation and meals included for around $250 to each place from one of the local agencies in Buenos Aires. Of course if you have time and are planning on traveling to Brazil or Chile, taking the bus and continuing onward is the best option. And if you simply cannot go at all, at least try some of this countries excellent Malbec in town. For a good price, I recommend Terrazas Reserva Malbec; you should find it in any of BA’s winebars.
Recently returned a few short months ago from his year-long adventure in South America, the author of this guide is currently living in San Diego, California, where he is saving up to begin his next writing/traveling adventure. During his year in Latin America, he volunteered in Ecuador, visited 10 South American countries, and spent three blissful months in the city of Buenos Aires. While in town he tutored English to university students and attempted to live in the city’s cafés and bars. In this way he was able to pass a season, make some great Argentine acquaintances, and learn much about the urban culture of his soon-to-be favorite city on the planet. He is presently working on a collection of essays from his Latin American travels, which he is extremely excited to have the time to do. An intimate secret: at night he dreams about finding a way to earn a decent wage in the Argentine city he’d rather be in than anywhere else. For now he’ll just have to put his dollars together back home and write from memory.