Buenos Aires BLOG

Hello, those of us who live here have provided some free Buenos Aires Argentina information. If you want to respond or add something, we will be happy to post it. Just fill out the contact form below and we will post your reply.


May 1 – Just wanted to send a quick email to thank you for all the information on Buenos Aires. I enjoyed the city so much I plan on coming back soon. If I had it my way, it would be next month but the budget won’t allow it. So, it will have to be next year. I will keep your email address and will arrange another tour.

We are very happy with the information and service from this website and will use this tour service again when we return to Buenos Aires. The information we got from this website made our stay very enjoyable.

Take care,

Cheryl

April 22 – Just wanted to let you know how much Kevin and I enjoyed our tour with you. Well done, well appreciated!

Also- we went to Michelangelo’s for the Tango Show – as you suggested. We were shocked to be charged $560 for the show only – no dinner, no pre-drinks, and a small plate of tapas. Really disappointed. Then, they put us in a taxi that charged us $36 to Palermo SoHo. Just thought you should know about this one and perhaps think twice about recommending them, or at least call them on this one. We were quoted $140 for the “VIP” show – we opted for it since it was our last night – this was the worse evening of our trip.

But, again- your tour was tops

Mary – Virginia

Update: The VIP ticket is a completely different ticket for Michelangelo. And according to Mari, it is not worth it at all. The standard price is 140pesos. Make sure you get this service ONLY!!

Recoleta Park Recoleta Arts and Crafts Fair This is held every weekend in the park near the Recoleta Cemetery. It is the largest artisan fair in Buenos Aires and offers excellent booths and sidewalk shops to find a souviner. It is a fantastic area to spend some time in.

A Day Trip To El Tigre Argentina

If you are looking to get out of the city for a day, El Tigre makes a nice day trip. Buenos Aires is a massive city and although it often seems softer than other big cities around the world, it’s still overpopulated and the air quality can be terrible on some days. A one hour trip up North to the river region can set you straight.However the logistics for getting there can be complicated. There are many choices. Here is what I recommend.

1. Go to Retiro (Mitre Station) and find the ticket machines that look like vendor machines. Push “Tigre” and put in your 95centavos. (coins only) Then get on the TBA train headed for El Tigre. This is the bad train. It is loud and can be crowded, however it is somewhat quick with some nice views along the way.

2. After about 45 minutes you will arrive in El Tigre. As you leave the train take a left toward the small bridge. Do not cross the bridge. Just take a right and walk along the river. There are hundreds of boats lining this river on both sides that offer boat trips. Some go to Colonial Uruguay. Some just go around for about 90 minutes to the various rivers in the region. Others are 4 hour trips dropping you off to eat. The 90 minute ones run about 14 pesos and leave every 30 minutes. Take a boat ride.

3. If you go to El Tigre on the weekend, you will see about 10times more people there. There is an amusement park, closed on weekdays, and a gigantic artisan fair held at Puerto de Frutos. Also closed on weekdays. So while you are on your boat trip, you will see what is available to do that day. (If it is a weekday, not much except the boat ride)

4. After the boat ride, take a left towards the amusement park and there you will find amazing mansions in a glorious neighborhood. These old Spanish mansions are well preserved and worth a few pictures.

5. There are several casinos in this area you may want to spend some time at.

6. Next to the amusement park you will find the Tren De La Costa. This is an excellent train, one of the best in Argentina. It is small, nice and runs about every 20 minutes. Buy the all day pass for 6 pesos and you can get out and shop along the way.

7. Get out at San Isidro. There you will find a nice shopping mall. Just past it, you will see a great park that is on a small hill. Climb up this park and there you will find an amazing church. Follow the road to behind the church that is lines with trees and old mansions. Head down this road a few blocks and then take a right at Belgrano. You will be in the best suburb of Buenos Aires and discover excellent shopping in the downtown of San Isidro.

8. Get back on the Tren De La Coasta and get out when it ends at Maipo. Follow the people down the hallway to the connecting train. But a ticket for Retiro for 90centavos. This train is better than the first one, but not as good as the last one. It makes many stops and takes about 40 minutes to reach Retiro. Then you will be back where you started from.

SARAH – St. Louis

More About El Tigre Argentina

March 18 – I am staying in Buenos Aires for two weeks and have enjoyed living in the city in a cute little apartment in Recolletta. I took some of the walking tours and loved them. I should have just stayed with the walking tours.

Instead, I decided to try some bus tours by some very well known Buenos Aires companies. What a disaster!!! The first one was to Uruguay and I was picked up by a driver who spoke no English even though I booked an English tour. He picked up more people and after an hour of shuttle, we finally arrived at the ferry. During the day, we were shuttled around in a large bus and taken to high priced shops just for the tourist buses. The tour guide wasn´t good and couldn´t be heard spoke very broken English, and all my pictures have clumps of tourists in them!

At the end of the day, the well known bus tour company didn´t even send anyone to pick me up at the terminal even though they were supposed to. I walked home!!! Thank God for those walking tours earlier in the week and I knew how to get home!

The next day, I was supposed to take an Eva Peron tour–ha ha…..the phone number to call and confirm was wrong and there weren´t enough people for the tour. So now I have to go back over to Palmera to get my refund. A waste of time!

My advice is to STEER CLEAR OF THE BIG BUS COMPANY TOURS, they are a rip off!

Instead, take the walking tours They are small, intimate, and give you great information about where to come back to on your own. Plus, the guides speak very clear English, not broken English with a heavy Spanish accent like the big bus tour company.

Both walking tours I took were great! In a tango tour, we went and danced real tango at a place with Argentina people, not tourists, ask if you want this to be set up, it´s challenging, but you´ll really get a feel for the flavor of Tango and the people of Buenos Aires, and I saw a great tango show. The city tour, we sat on the steps and the guide talked to us about Casa Rosa. Wonderful and refreshing!I highly recommend these guys for the walking tours, don´t waste your money on the large group tours!

Mindy – Seattle

March 17 2006 – I only had one day in Buenos Aires. I was on a cruise around South America. There were many tours to choose from and I had a hard time deciding. I did some price checking and opted for the Day Of Tango Tour from Tango-History-Tours.com

My husband and I ended up having a great time. The tour guides were warm and friendly and funny. They guided us through the city and into where Tango was born. San Telmo is so unique. It was my favoirte district of Buenos Aires. We also saw the Camintio and got to enjoy a relaxed Tango Lesson after buying some Tango shoes.

We went to see a Tango Show in an old building that was spectacular. The show depicted the history of Tango when it began in the brothels of Buenos Aires. The performers were magnificent.

I was very happy we decided to take this tour during our breif stay in Buenos Aires. And wanted to thank our tours guides for making it such a special experience.

Clair – Boston MASS

March 16 2006 – When taking a bus in Buenos Aires, you must first know which one to take and where you are going to get off the bus. You can go to any local news stand and ask for a “guia T” or a collectivos guia. There are many of these but the best ones are glossy and cost about 3 pesos. Look up the street address you want to go to. Then look up where you are. Then look at the boxs or quandrants to the left of the map to see which buses serve that area. Then match the numbers to find a bus that will get your from here to there. Then check in the back to see what streets the buses go down. Then go to that street and look for a bus stop with the number of the bus you want to take. When the bus comes, tell the driver “ochenta”. This means 80. Cents or centavos. If you are traveling a long distance, the price may be higher. If you are traveling a short distance you can save 5 centavos if you say 75. But just say ochenta. Makes things easier. Enjoy your ride and then after you pass where you need to get off, hit the buzzer and wait to be let off.

David from Dallas Texas

March 15 – Wanted to pass along a great Buenos Aires restaurant. Went looking for good restaurants from the Frommers guide and found that several were closed or not there at all. But I did manage to find one interesting Argentina restaurant called Casa De Esteban De Luca. It was the home of this man who fought in the independece wars with England in the 1800’s. And this man was also a poet and went on to write the first Argentina national anthem. Well, the house we ate in was steeped in Argentina history. Guns on the wall and lots of cool pictures of Buenos Aires history. The menu covered the basics with good salads. The cost with drink was about 30 pesos each. The bar in the back was beaurtiful. Overall it was a great experience. A little casual yet nice. Could be romantic or just a smart place to take someone. Good San Telmo restaurant. Defensa 1000.

Chris

March 13 Going to a La Boca Football/Soccer game Just buying the tickets was an adventure. I went to the stadium to purchase tickets for a La Boca soccer or football game and found that they were not sold there. They kept trying to hustle me into buying a ticket through a football tour company but I did not want that. So after 2 hours of walking around the stadium, I gave up. Then I got lost in Caminito. And about 4 blocks away, in an unmarked brick one story building located on a large field, I spotted a long line. I waited in line and found out it was the general seating line. No seats. You stand. I did not want that. So I went to the other line that no one was in. The sign over the small window said, “Platea”. The cost of the ticket was $150pesos and I tried to find cheaper ones but could not. So I bought a ticket. The ticket said “Corporate”. I caught a taxi to the La Boca Stadium from Recoleta and paid 10pesos. Got there just in time. There was security at the entrance. Walked all the way up to the top of the stadium. Only to be told to walk down more.

They really pack em in at La Boca stadium. I had top crawl and climb my way into my seat. But was happy with the location. I sat looking at the feild in the middle tier. The first thing I noticed was the cheering section. IT was enromous. Took up a third of the entire stadium. And they never stopped cheering. EVER. The entire game, even through half time.

The game was great. When a goal was scored, the place whet crazy. It was fun. However there was no score board of any kind, so you had to keep track on your own. At half time it was 2 to 1 LA Boca. The halftime show was no show. About 10 cheerleaders in loose formation stood in front of the cameraman and did various poses.

I was amazed at how little the referees did. There were all kinds of fouls going on and not much was called. Very different that in my home country.

There was a very famous person who was standing above us and everyone cheered at him. I still don’t know who he was.

Then, people from the upper teir began throwing rocks down on the seats in front of us. This cleared almost the entire area around me. About 200 seats. I stayed in mine because I was under the lip of the teir above. But everyone left.

Due to no scoreboard, I had no idea how many mins left in the game. SO all of a sudden, it was over. And we all walked down to the gate.

Then a strange thing happened. The security would not allow us to leave the stadium. They made us wait in a huge angry crowd for 30 minutes. Finally, we all poured out of the stadium very upset for having to wait. Still not sure why they did that.

Getting back to Recoleta proved a trick. Finding a taxi was not easy. The buses were so packed that I refused that idea. Finally after searching for 45 mins, we beat out some other people for a taxi. And made it back to Buller Brewery in Recoleta for a nightcab. It was fun. I recommend going to see a La Boca Juniors football game in Argentina. It is a unique experience.

David – Memphis

March 12 2006 I went to the Piazzolla Tango Show last night. It was a little pricey at 200pesos per person however I did feel that I got my money’s worth. We had the dinner and the show. The dinner portions were small but good. A bottle of Melbec wine was included plus a glass of champaign. We were seated next to a group from Brazil and discovered that the later you arrived, the better the seats. There were balcony seats that never filled up. The theater was fantastic. The band was superb. The dancers were top notch. And the singers were truely marvolous. This is the sure thing. I enjoyed it. It was a little controled, and somewhat tame. There was a story line although I could not figure it out. But that was fine. The overall experience was quite good.

Julie, Seattle

March 9 2006 Evita’s Tomb I recently took the Recoleta Cemetery Tour and was surprised at how many people were waiting in line to see Eva Duarte’s tomb. The crowd was enormous. Our tour guide was able to get us into the beginning of the line so we could bypass the long lines. And then I was surprised at how uneventful the small family Duarte tomb was. In fact, Evita seemed to be the most famous person in the Recoleta Cemetery, however the experience of actually seeing her crypt failed to compare to those of other famous Argentina legends. Like General Rosas for instance. And the woman who was buried alive. Later we went to the Evita museum in Palermo and got a much better impact of Evita and her effect on Argentina and the world.

Amy – Santa Cruz California More info on the Evita Museum

March 6 2006 – Buenos Aires International Airport Information – Buenos Aires Airport Details. Ok, so now I know. If you are arriving to the Buenos Aires International Airport in Eieza, you will have some choices when you get off the plane as for ground transportation into the city. And folks, you want to be careful about this because I have heard some terrible stories of being robbed.

If you are by yourself, you should take Manuel Tienda Leon. When you exit the slidding doors, go around to the right and there you will see their ticket both. A one way ticket into the city center will cost 25pesons. It’s called Vida. They leave every hour. Exit the airport and walk around teh block to the Argentina Airlines and there you will se the Manuel Tienda Leion bus. The trip is about 30 minutes into the city to an area called Retiro. There you can walk to the subway station, catch a decent cab, or get on a bus to where ever you are going. If you are staying at the Sheraton or near to it, you can walk to your hotel

If you are traveling with 4 people or less then take a Taxi. But be careful. You must do what I say here. After getting your luggage, you will exit the sliding doors and see a big white sign for Taxis. The cost is 53 pesos for a taxi and it is garunteed to get you where you are going. A driver will come and excort you to theri taxi. You may be asked for tolls, but that should be included in the price. Tipping is unusual for taxis in Buenos Aires.

But before you buy a taxi or a bus ticket. KNOW THIS.

YOu should use pesos. So the first thing you do after exiting the slidding glass doors, is go to the right and all the way in the back in a Banco that will exchange your money for pesos. It is the best exchange rate in the airport and rivals the prices in the city. DO this first. Stand in a small line and get your cambio, or change, and then buy your taxi or bus ticket.

And enjoy Buenos Aires Argentina.

Sam

March 4 2006 – Hello, I took the Recoleta Cemetery and Cemetery Tour today with our guide Tom. It was quite lovely. I am writing to recommend this tour for others who might be interested. We really learned a lot and were amazed at the interesting Argentina history that so few people know about.

Tom was telling us about the eleite neighborhood of Recoleta when we witnessed a robbery. It made the trip unforgetable.

A man grabbed a women’s purse and then jumped on the back of a motorcycle except that he fell off. He jumped on again but with just with his arms and as they sped off, his feet were draging. A huge crowd gathered and scremed as they raced away. A few blocks down we could hear a car crash and later we saw that 2 cars a hit eachother after trying not to hit the theifs. What a day.

Tom gave a great tour and we are going to take the Daily City Tour Tomorrow. Who knows, maybe there will be more crime on the city tour.

Hold onto your purse in Buenos Aires.

Rose Montgomery – Chicago March 2 – I went to a fantastic Buenos Aires tango show last night at Taconeando in San Telmo. The food was nice. Typical Argentina menu. I had the lomo and vegatables with some Melbec. The show lasted about 2 hours. I ate first and spoke with a beautiful women who was visiting Argentina from Austrailia. Then we sat back and enjoyed the show. The storyline was that of how Tango began. And at the end, the whole crowd chanted the last lines.

Feb 25 – Carnival in Buenos Aires 2006 is great. The kids with the white foam spaying all the girls so dressed up. The parades are really something. The Argentine spirit and playfulness is great to see. I am not sure of the figures but there are a ton of tourists in town to see the show. Various neighborhoods put on different shows. My favorite is at Ave. de Mayo. A couple of stages with entertainment. The whole street is wired for sound. Good stuff. It all calms down around midnight. Recommended highly.

Feb 20 – the train to Mar Del Plata is not very pretty but is only $22pesos a piece….regular (not 1st class or anything)…..the bus CONDOR ESTRELLA $33pesos, regular service with air conditioning. the train has no air, so the windows are open and you get a little dirty like riding a motorcycle. we took train there bus back. bus is more comfortable, but they turn off the air once you get on the freeway, so you get hot anyway. both options have bathrooms. the train bathroom is a hole. The bus is faster, i would do that. but 11pesos difference is still $ that could be spent on something else. catch my drift?

Suz

Feb 11 – I just got back from my trip to Iguazu Falls and will share a little bit about it.

To buy a bus ticket from Buenos Aires to Port Iguazu, you must go to the giant bus terminal in Retiro. Go to the second floor and look for companies that go to Iguazu or Cataratas. There are many. On the way there, I had a decent one called Tigre-Iguazu. I got the semi Cama seat, alone, next to a window. There was a nice dinner and a small breakfast the next day. After 12 hours, the bus stopped and allowed us to stretch our legs.

Once in Iguazu, it is best to buy your return trip ticket. I went with Expresso Singer, which ended up being a mistake because the bus broke down and we stopped 5 times to fix it. There were also 2 stops where police boarded the bus.

Finding a place to stay in Iguazu is easy. My traveling companion and I walked 4 blocks and a women asked us if we needed a room. My companion (Jessica from Louisiana) spoke great spanish and negotiated a price of 40 pesos per night. The women tried to give us the wedding suite but Jess was not keen of the idea. So we got a room with two small beds, a bathroom, a ceiling fan and a nice view of the woods.

After securing lodging, we walked the small rustic streets of Iguazu and found many hostels in our area. There was one with a pool, and internet and AC. The cost was 26 pesos per night in a multiple bunkbed situation. We ended up staying in the double bed room instead of the hostel because we felt our stuff would be safer. And I prefer my privacey. There was also one nice hostel with a pool table that I spent a good 3 hours at getting drunk and beating a few Irish tourists.

There are some great restaurants in Iguazu. The menus are often superior to those of most corner Buenos Aires restaurants. Jess and I ate like kings every night at Port Iguazu and met some Americans whilst we fested on lomo from a sword.

The park where the Falls are located is a 20 min bus ride from town. The cost is 5 pesos for the round trip. Once at the park, go to the right of the entrance and buy a ticket for the day. 30 pesos for a tourist. Keep that ticket and your return bus ticket from getting wet while at the falls.

In the park you have countless options. Jessica and I took the free train to the Devils throat. On that day, it was warm and clear and there were more tourists than I had expected. We often had to wait in line for a good view and then were asked to step aside so people could take pictures.

We spent the first day going to the 4 basic areas of the park just taking snaps. Jess took over 200 and was forced to stop when her camera began acting up. Surely due to the spray. I took about 30 snaps that day and was happy with that. Some people are more camera happy than others.

The second day at Iguazu, Jess and i woke up and bought some water and some breakfast in town, then hit the park again using our ticket from the day before and getting a 50% discount. I bought a waterproof camera and took the boat ride under the falls. Cost was 45 pesos and worth it. The ride lasted over 30 minutes. Much less people on that day due to overcast skies. Jess went to Brazil and took about 200 more pictures of that side.

On our final day in Iguazu, we went to the 3 corners where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet. It was about a 20 min bus ride from town. Jess gleaned the info from a local who said I looked like Antonia Bandero and Jess sounded like she was from Spain. Overall, the locals were great. Some tourist harrasment exsists, but if you give them some steely eyes, they leave you alone.

I said goodbye to Jessica from Louisiana, gave her my share of the hotel fee, 60pesos, and boarded the broken bus from hell.

A great time was had by all.

Thomas

Feb 2 – Miles wrote to us asking this: Are there any day trips to and from BA to iguazu Falls? how can it be done?

Hello Miles! Iguazu falls is not really advisable as a day trip from BA, due to the large distance involved. Also, it is best to have at least a couple of days there to do it justice and make the long trip worthwhile. Personally I would recommend going there by coach, because flying is very expensive, at around USD$300 (900 pesos) for the round trip.

I actually went to Iguazu with the coach company “Expreso Singer”. Their tickets cost 90 pesos one way for the “cama” service, where the seat reclines most of the way back, or 105 pesos for the “cama total” service, where the seats turn into a bed. they serve you good food, lots of drinks etc, and show films throughout the journey. Its a bit like being on a first class plane journey actually! I would recommend the “cama total” because you will want to be comfortable on such a long journey – it takes around 17.5 hours, but with the full bed you should be able to sleep for a lot of that time, especially if you travel through the night. The “cama total” service leaves Retiro bus station in BA at 7pm and arrives in Puerto Iguazu at 12.30pm (lunchtime) the next day.

It is best to buy the ticket in person at Retiro bus station, in advance if you can. You can get there on the subte (line C has a stop there, named Retiro) or by taxi, which is cheap from the centre. When you get inside the bus terminal, ask at the desk where the Expreso Singer ticket stall is. From memory it is up the stairs on the first floor, some way down the right hand side. Or, if you Spanish is good, you could try giving Expreso Singer a call on 4313 2355.

If they don�t have the tickets you want, some other companies that do similar services that you could ask for at Retiro are Expreso Tigre Iguazu, Via Bariloche, Crucero Del Norte, Greyhound or Eurolines.

Once you get to puerto Iguazu, there are a number of hotels and hostels are dotted around the town where you could stay – there will be people at the bus terminal advertising these, or you can ask at the information desk there for more details.

Dave the Rave

 

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About the author of this blog.

Tom Wick is an American expat living in Buenos Aires. An expert travel consultant and tour guide offering free travel inforamtion and private guided tours of Buenos Aires.

Contact Me

Please write to me about any Buenos Aires Argentina travel information or about living in Buenos Aires as an expat. tangohistorytours@gmail.com

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