Buenos Aires

Published on May 2nd, 2016 | by Nick Dall


5 of the best Buenos Aires hoods

Buenos Aires is an enormous city. With 14 million inhabitants, you could spend a month here and feel like you hardly know the place. Fortunately it’s divided into neighborhoods, each one distinct from the other. We’ve rounded up 5 of the best…

San Telmo

For sheer chocolate-box charm it’s hard to beat San Telmo. Shabby-chic and redolent of the Mediterranean, it’s a favorite among both bohemians and yuppies. It’s a great place to watch tango in the streets, browse for antiques and eat traditional Argentine parillada, or mixed grill.

Mercado de San Telmo Jesus Dehesa

Mercado de San Telmo (Photo: Jesus Dehesa)

For the best steak (and other bits of cow) in town, look no further than La Brigada (Estados Unidos 465): you really can cut the meat with your spoon. San Telmo is also home to some of the best milongas or tango houses in town, and catching a show is an absolute must. Your guide will be able to advise on the best option as shows range from small, intimate experiences to large, Broadway-style productions.

La Brigada Phillip Capper

Parrilla La Brigada (Photo: Phillip Capper)


Most of biggest sights are in the Microcentro otherwise known as downtown or the city center. You can’t miss the obelisk which towers above the Plaza de la República, and it’s only a stone’s throw from the Teatro Colon, one of the best opera houses in the world. Guided tours are fascinating (the labyrinth of change rooms and costume stores has to be seen to be believed) and it’s often possible to get tickets for a performance: consult their website for scheduling.

Obelisco Jesus Sanchez

The Obelisco (Photo: Jesus Sanchez)

Another downtown must-see is the Casa Rosada, the president’s official residence and the setting for that scene in the film Evita.  Afterwards why not pop in to Café Tortoni for a coffee and a medialuna (croissant)? Established in 1858, it’s a real BsAs institution which has been frequented by famous writers, politicians and musicians for a century and a half. The waiters still wear bow-ties and the décor is original.

Casa Rosada Nicolas Beaurain

A different side of the Casa Rosada (Photo: Nicolas Beaurain)

Palermo and Recoleta

These are the so-called ‘leafy suburbs’ of Buenos Aires. Stately buildings and wide streets make for a decidedly Parisian feel, which is topped off by the Palermo park: a delightful green lung, where you can rent a pedalo.

Palermo Liam Quinn

Parque de Palermo (Photo: Liam Quinn)

Meanwhile the astounding Recoleta Cemetery is so enormous it even has a map with street names and numbers! But there’s no doubting it’s most famous resident: local and foreigners alike flock to the mausoleum of Evita Peron. Don’t miss the trendy enclaves of Palermo Soho (chic bohemian hood which is great for shopping and cafes) and Palermo Hollywood (very de rigeur and packed with restaurants and bars).

Recoleta Cemetery Phillip Capper

Recoleta Cemetery (Photo: Phillip Capper)

Puerto Madero

All glass and stainless steel, Puerto Madero is Buenos Aires’ answer to Manhattan. It’s located on the banks of the Rio de la Plata and is home to some of the city’s flashiest bars and restaurants. Perhaps the most outrageously ostentatious location of all is the Faena Hotel, which has several restaurants and bars as well the most exclusive tango show in the city.

Puerto Madero Pit Thompson

Puerto Madero (Photo: Pit Thompson)

La Boca

This portside hood is the beating heart of the Argentine working classes. Home to world famous football team Boca Juniors, guided tours of their La Bombonera stadium (bombonera means ‘chocolate box’ – so called because of its steep sides) are great and the museum is fascinating. Even better is going to a live game, especially if Boca are playing ‘El Clasico’ against arch rivals River Plate.

La Bombonera Juan EDC

La Bombonera (Photo: Juan EDC)

La Boca isn’t only about soccer though: El Caminito is a colourfully painted street with a carnival atmosphere which makes it one of the most touristy places in the city. Safety-wise it’s not a good idea to stray from the touristy heart of La Boca.

La Boca Marissa Strniste

Caminito, La Boca (Photo: Marissa Strniste)

Credit for the cover photo of this blog goes to Nestor Galina.

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About the Author

Nick is a nomadic freelance writer with a particular passion for Latin America. He has lived in Argentina and Bolivia and traveled just about everywhere else. He gets excited about wine, language, literature, trout and cheese.

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    Qhapaq Ñan – Day 8

    *Versión en español abajo*

    In the end, we made the 170 miles walk from Jauja to Antioquia in seven days, two day less than planned. The improved management and behavior of

    In parallel with sharing the historical, ecological and cultural marvels, we aim to place the Qhapaq Ñan alongside the great long distance walking trails on the planet . The 2000 miles path from Cuenca, Ecuador to Cusco, Peru can become a vein of economic activity through tourism. A feat that will require persistence and common vision from local and national governments alongside private industry. The Pacific Crest Trail going from Mexico to Canada along the spine of the Sierra Nevada’s and Cascade ranges was a vision began in 1932 by Clinton C. Clark, which took 60 years to be considered complete and with a network of “trail angels” overseeing its maintenance.

    Although the Qhapaq Ñan has already been a contiguous stone trail along the spine of the Andean since the 1400’s at the height of the Inca Empire and the traditional communal work structure of the Andes, which road maintenance was a part of, is a cultural practice already in place that can be organized and directed just like the “trail angels” of the Pacific Crest Trail. This is not even mentioning that the Qhapaq Ñan is one of the greatest public works of ancient man, with millennial cultures still along its route.
    It will become one of the great long distance hiking trails in the world, and our explorations and stories along the way we hope will serve for generations of walkers who come after us.

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    Qhapaq Ñan – Día 8

    Culminamos con la expedición de 320 kilómetros desde Jauja a Antioquia en solo siete días, dos días menos de lo planeado. El progreso en el manejo y control de nuestras llamas en esta caminata significó poder dedicar unas horas extras al día explorando en lugar de re-ordenar la carga o tener otros retrasos que se producen con un equipo menos entrenado. Durante siete días caminamos en promedio alrededor de 40 kilómetros por día, distancia que equivale a la caminata de cuatro días en el tradicional camino inca desde el Valle Sagrado hacia Machu Picchu – 41 kilómetros en total.
    Si buscamos un punto de comparación podemos decir que caminar estos 40 kilómetros cada día por el Pacific Crest Trail desde Sierra Nevada hasta los andes Cascade en Estados Unidos es la misma distancia que caminaremos por día en la expedición que realizaremos por el Qhapaq Ñan en nuestro gran proyecto durante cuatro meses en Abril del próximo año,

    No solo queremos compartir las maravillas históricas, ecológicas y culturales del Qhapaq Ñan, si no también queremos establecer a este gran camino inca a la par de grandes caminos de larga distancia en el mundo . El tramo de 3,200 kilómetros de Cuenca, Ecuador hacia Cusco, Perú puede convertirse en una principal actividad económica a través del turismo. Una hazaña que requerirá persistencia y trabajo de la mano de los gobiernos locales y nacionales junto con la industria privada. El Pacific Crest Trail que va de México a Canadá a lo largo de las cordilleras de Sierra Nevada y Cascade fue una visión que Clinton C. Clark tuvo en 1932, la misma que tomó 60 años para ser considerada completa y con una red de trabajo de personales responsables que se encargan del mantenimiento de la misma.

    Desde el año 1400, el Qhapaq Ñan fue un camino de piedra del Imperio Inca construido a lo largo de la cordillera, su tradicional estructura y el mantenimiento vial era realizada con trabajo en conjunto de las personas de los andes. Esta práctica cultural era organizada y dirigida por los “ángeles del rastro” del Pacific Crest Trail. El Qhapaq Ñan es una de las mayores obras públicas del hombre antiguo, con culturas milenarias que existen aún a lo largo de la ruta.

    Se convertirá en uno de los grandes senderos de larga distancia en el mundo, y esperamos que nuestras exploraciones e historias a lo largo del camino sirvan para las generaciones de caminantes que vienen después de nosotros.

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    The journey continues…

    *Versión en español abajo*

    Qhapaq Ñan – Day 1

    The team departed this morning from Jauja with 12 llamas heading along a transversal Qhapaq Ñan towards Pachacamac, 200 miles west, near the

    In three days by foot west, we’ll arrive to the great Inca stairway in the shadows of the great Apu Pariacaca (mountain deity). The set of 1800 steps will be the entry to another three days on some of the most spectacular Qhapaq Ñan anywhere on the 25,000 mile network. Ten days from now, we should arrive to our finish point at Antioquia, where the Qhapaq Ñan starts to disappear closer to the coast. The terrain for most of our trek will float between 11,000 and 16,000 feet above sea level, perfect for the llamas with plenty of Ichu grass along the way.

    Our first day on the route covered 15 miles and with better behaved llamas and more efficient llameros (llama handlers). Our llameros, Flavio, Nicolas and Valentine are getting better at their craft. We also have two local llameros, Tito and Antonia, the latter being our first female llamero in 500 miles of Qhapaq Ñan we’ve trekked thus far and adds an interesting dose of female energy into the group. She’s probably the most able llamero of the group and it’s her animals were working with while in the region. The majority female team at SA Expeditions might find this amusing that even on the Qhapaq Ñan I find myself collaborating with strong and talented women.

    Nick Stanziano
    Chief Explorer
    SA Expeditions
    Qhapaq Ñan – Día 1

    Desde Jauja, esta mañana el equipo inició la expedición junto a doce llamas a lo largo de una transversal del Qhapaq Ñan en dirección hacia Pachacamac, 320 kilómetros al oeste, cerca de la costa sur peruana en el Océano Pacifico.

    Hace 600 años, en la cima del reinado del Inca, Jauja fue un importante centro de administración que apoyó la expansión del imperio hacia el norte desde su capital, a 770 kilómetros al sur, en Cusco.

    Pachacamac, fue un importante centro religioso que se remonta a dos milenios e influyó en las siguientes culturas incas. Tiene sentido que el camino que une estos dos centros antiguos haya contado con tal planificación y grandeza. Es un ejemplo que se suma a la lista de obras extraordinarias a gran escala del imperio.
    Luego de tres días de caminata en dirección al oeste, estaremos llegando a la gran escalera Inca localizada en las sombras del gran Apu Pariacaca. El conjunto de mil ochocientos escalones será la entrada durante tres días a uno de los lugares más espectaculares de todos los 40,200 kilómetros que conforman el Qhapaq Ñan. En estos diez días de expedición llegaremos finalmente a Antioquia, más cerca a la costa donde el Qhapaq Ñan comienza a desaparecer. La mayor parte de nuestra caminata se realizará en alturas que van desde los 3,350 y 4,900 m.s.n.m, lo que es perfecto para las llamas ya que encontraremos abundante hierba de Ichu a lo largo del camino.

    En el primer día de ruta se ha cubierto 25 kilómetros. Las llamas se han comportado mejor y los encargados de ellas, los “llameros”, están realizando su trabajo de manera más eficiente. Flavio, Nicolás y Valentín están mejorando en su labor. A ellos se han sumado dos llameros locales, Tito y Antonia, siendo esta última la primera mujer en acompañarnos luego de 800 kilómetros de expediciones por el Qhapaq Ñan. Ella añade una interesante dosis de energía femenina al grupo y debo mencionar que, probablemente, es la cuidadora con más capacidad dentro del grupo.

    La mayor parte del equipo de SA Expeditions, conformado por mujeres, encontrara divertido que incluso en el Qhapaq Ñan me halle trabajando de la mano con mujeres fuertes y con mucho talento.

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    4 months ago

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