lunes, 24 de enero de 2011

What wikipedia says of Buenos Aires

"Buenos Aires is in the midst of a tourism boom, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, it reveals strong growth for Argentina Travel and Tourism in 2007 and in coming years, and the prestigious travel and tourism publication; Travel + Leisure Magazine, a monthly publication leader in the world-wide market of travel magazines, travelers voted Buenos Aires the second most desirable city to visit after Florence, Italy. Buenos Aires, regarded as the “Paris of South America,” offers elegant architecture, exquisite cuisine, a legendary nightlife, and fashionable shopping. Argentina has become famous for being rich in European flavor."


The City of Buenos Aires has various types of accommodations available from luxurious five star to quality budget located in neighborhoods that are further from the city centre, although the transportation system allows an easy and inexpensive access to the city.

There were, as of February 2008, 23 five-star, 61 four-star, 59 three-star and 87 two or one-star hotels, as well as 25 boutique hotels and 39 apart-hotels; another 298 hostels, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals and other non-hotel establishments were registered in the city. In all, nearly 27,000 rooms were available for tourism in Buenos Aires, of which about 12,000 belonged to four-star, five-star or boutique hotels. Establishments of a higher category typically enjoy the city's highest occupation rates. The majority of the hotels are located in the central part of the city, within close proximity to most main tourist attractions.
For the traveler desiring more independence and privacy, there is an abundance of furnished apartments for rent. These range from low-cost, small studios to expensive, luxurious apartments.

jueves, 13 de enero de 2011

Why Argentina?

Argentina offers a great life…as it’s supposed to be lived. We’ve tried to put our finger on why this is true, exactly. What is it about Argentina that keeps drawing us back? That attracts hundreds of thousands of travelers every year? Is it the wonderful food and the long dinners that last for three hours at a stretch? The best beef in the world…fabulous wines and entertainment that goes on into the early hours of the morning? Or is it that, every time we return, we find new sights to see and new places to explore?
It’s all of these things, of course. But right now, it’s primarily that it’s so cheap. It’s like Europe…but at a third of the price. It’s hard to go wrong there…whether you are thinking about relocating…or just investing. Now is the time to act.

miércoles, 22 de diciembre de 2010

Electric City : Buenos Aires

With its beautiful buildings, lively social life and colourful history, it’s no wonder that Buenos Aires is fast becoming South America’s favourite capital
If you want an idea of what to expect from the inhabitants of Buenos Aires (commonly called portenos), you can’t get any better than the common saying “Portenos are Spanish-speaking Italians, educated by the British and who want to be French”. They are the city’s life force, filling it with a lively (and distinctive) Spanish that’s unlike any other in the world and making the city the eclectic and enjoyable place it is today.
Soaring colonial buildings line the picturesque avenidas, flanked by numerous cafés and it’s easy to see the European influences on the city. But that’s where the similarities end — this is a city in which nights out rarely start before midnight, and last well into the early, or late, hours of the morning. Where tango rhythms float round corners leading to cafés where portenos, old and young, show off their skills.
It can be a difficult city to get to grips, so the best thing to do is to take a tour. Opcionsur’s Live Buenos Aires is an interactive tour that informs visitors about the history and peculiarities of the different areas (or barrios, as they’re called in Spanish). With videos incorporating footage from the past with commentary on the city as it is today, the tour is a must-do for those that don’t have time to discover Buenos Aires at leisure.
Plaza de Mayo is often recognised as the city’s most important plaza and should be the first on any visitor’s list. It’s played an important role in history, housing government buildings, witnessing protests and quirks of the ever-changing city surrounding it. It’s the place where Eva Peron (or Evita), the nation’s ever-continuing idol, made several of her public speeches to thousands of citizens.
Next up: the bohemian district of San Telmo home to Argentina’s beloved dance, the tango. Like the dance, San Telmo is beautiful to see and pulsing with emotion. Count yourself lucky if you’re in town for the weekly antiques market on a Sunday when the streets are lined with stalls selling everything from antiques to handmade jewellery and ponchos sold by artisans.
From there, it was on to La Boca — traditionally one of the Italian quarters of the city and the home of one of its main football teams, Boca Juniors. Every Sunday, the city grinds to a halt while fans dressed in the distinctive blue and yellow uniforms flock to the stadium to watch the beautiful game. But there’s more to La Boca than a kickabout — it’s also where you’ll find Caminito, the street that was turned into a work of art by Benito Quinquela Martín, one of Argentina’s most famous painters.
The houses and shops have all been painted different hues and colours, and there are several cafés dotted around, great for taking in the surroundings and having a few empanadas, a traditional Argentinean snack.
It’s only over the last few years that the Puerto Madero area has made it onto most peoples’ radars. Prior to an extensive redevelopment in the 1990s, it was a largely abandoned port area. Now, it’s home to some of the city’s finest restaurants, including the famed steakhouse Cabana Las Lilas. A nation of meat-eaters, the Argentine love of steak hearkens back to the days when gauchos ruled the plains. La Cabana, another famed parrillada (steakhouse) restaurant, serves up huge cuts of beef, paired with one of the country’s tasty Malbecs.
Not many cities can boast a graveyard as a central attraction, but Recoleta Cemetery isn’t like many others. Home to the (deceased) who’s who of Buenos Aires society, the mausoleums are a work of art in themselves. Past presidents, writers, politicians, Nobel Prize-winners are buried in the mausoleum, as is Eva Peron.
Places to stay in Buenos Aires are plentiful, no matter what your budget. The InterContinental is a top choice. It’s located in the heart of the city, a few blocks from the Avenida de Mayo. The perfect option for those who are looking for a luxury option at the centre of the action, the hotel has long been one of Buenos Aires’ leading properties. 
With 19 floors, bagging a room with a view isn’t a problem, and seeing the city unfurl before your window is the only way to truly appreciate its size.
I’ve been told that Buenos Aires is a place where time disappears. All too soon it was time to leave the city behind and pack my bags with a sigh of regret. But I’d learnt a few lessons along the way, the first being, one visit to Buenos Aires is definitely not enough.

jueves, 9 de diciembre de 2010

Don't cry for me Argentina … unless I never had a chance to visit you

As the second largest country in South America [and sixth in the world], it has four seasons and enough variety of ecology, culture and activities to satisfy most any traveler.

Since we arrived in August, and had no interest in skiing, spending time in Patagonia was bypassed for a longer stay in Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls.  Argentina was experiencing a colder than usual winter, and just a few weeks prior to our arrival, it snowed in Buenos Aires for the first time in ninety-seven years!

We stayed at the Hotel Paname-ricano which was across from the Obelisco, a sixty meter high monument, built in the thirties, where people come to celebrate sports or political events.  The Panamericano is a five star hotel with an excellent and attentive staff who were very helpful in assisting us in navigating the city.  It is centrally located and near the famous Florida Street where the shopping is easy and the cars are banned.  It has a spacious lobby but the real attraction is the rooftop health club and indoor pool from which one has a spectacular panoramic view of the city.  We enjoyed the extensive buffet break-fasts and afternoon coffee breaks in their lounge, made all the more tasty with an assortment of complementary chocolates.  In fact our most memorable dining experience was at the renowned Restaurant Tomo 1 which has been in the hotel for years. First class service and first class cuisine make this dining Mecca second to none. Check out their menu at and learn more about the hotel at

How about kosher food choices you may ask? The answer is as easy as It will tell you places to eat, such as a kosher McDonalds, as well as Jewish sections of Buenos Aires and synagogues. Argentina has one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, and the flag of Israel is visible on the facade of several buildings.

One of our cab drivers spoke to us in Yiddish [which was barely better than our Spanish], and told us that his family came to Argentina from Warsaw, Poland.  There is, in fact, a European ambiance in this city that is not surprising as so many of its inhabitants emigrated from that area.  Buenos Aires is referred to by many as the Paris of South America.

There are several different neighborhoods in Buenos Aires to explore.  The Recoleta section is best known for its Cementario de la Recoleta, the burial ground for the rich and famous, as the nation's great leaders are buried there. One of the most visited tombs [under the name of Duarte Familia] is that of Eva Peron.  The architecture of the mausoleums is quite elaborate and reflects the wealth of the families buried within them.  It is suggested that you have a guide or purchase a map to appreciate the history of the cemetery.  Recoleta is also known for its parks, variety of restaurants, and for its flea market which is held on the weekends.
The place to go for a delicious dinner is Puerto Madero, a waterfront neighborhood that is undergoing a vibrant transformation with the construction of upscale restaurants and housing.  We found the food to be consistently good.

Interesting boutiques and restaurants are plentiful in the San Telmo area, Argentina's equivalent to New York City's Greenwich Village, where artists and intellectuals reside.  A major event is the Sunday flea market in the central plaza where one can find a large selection of handmade leather goods and jewelry.
We ventured back to San Telmo one evening to attend the La Ventana Barrio de Tango show [].  One must not leave Buenos Aires without a Tango experience.  In addition to the sensual tango dancing there were gauchos and performers in native dress entertaining us with music and twirling bolos.
The Italian influence is strong in La Boca, which is famous for its brightly colored houses made from sheet metal. It is also known for its Boca Junior soccer team - a sport that is a passion for Argentineans.  If you have a chance to see them play, hopefully against their rival, River Plate, do not hesitate to do so.  
In order to get a sense of the city it is suggested that one take a city tour.  One company that combines video displays in addition to a description of the various areas by their guide in both English and Spanish is Opcionsur [].  The tour is well worth the $30 charge.

From Buenos Aires, there are several side trips that can be arranged.  We visited the town of Tigre, situated at the mouth of the delta, which is especially popular during the summer months for the water activities offered.  A trip to a gaucho ranch where one can observe the life of a cowboy is another popular attraction.  For assistance and suggestions there is a well established company specializing in Argentina tourism that can help arrange the ideal side trips at
Even though the economy of Argentina has improved over the last several years, the American dollar is still strong, and one can get great bargains in leather goods, silver and certain gems.
We had leather jackets custom made at a cost of a little more than $100 each!  While there are many places to shop for these items, we felt comfortable staying away from the "factories" and perusing the popular shopping districts.

miércoles, 1 de diciembre de 2010

A Walk in Buenos Aires, San Telmo

I leave La Boca, wander off in the general direction of San Telmo, quickly lose myself in a grey maze of streets that don’t seem to lead in the right direction. The sun seems to have disappeared for good, and all of a sudden a tall man in his mid-thirties and a tracksuit is at my side.

“Where are you from?”

I answer his questions in short sentences, a little nervous in abandoned, unfamiliar streets. He stays at my side for a few blocks, quizzing me on my life, my visit to Buenos Aires, my job. Telling me I’m beautiful. Wondering about my civil status. I’m beginning to feel the tiniest knot of fear, scanning the streets ahead for any sign of life, or passage through to a main road. It’s not like me to be so frighten so easily, and this makes me more uncomfortable still, wondering if animal instincts are trying to tell me something.
But we reach a corner, and he stops.

“It was lovely to meet you. I just wanted to talk to you and tell you you’re gorgeous.” And he kisses me on the cheek, and is gone, and I feel guilty for being so suspicious.
I reach a main road, and follow it north to Parque Lezama. Here there is life; Sunday afternoon wanderers, picnic-ers, lovers, tourists. A tall man is walking a ridiculously tiny dog, and a troup of musicians is in full swing beneath a tree with low, sweeping branches. Some of them play real instruments – guitar, violin, trumpet – while others are keeping beat on percussion instruments improved from buckets and crates. The sun has come out again, so I sit on a nearby park bench and listen to the wild gypsy music.

A girl in a pink tutu runs past me to grab the hand of her boyfriend, dressed in a tux and a monster mask, and as I watch them dance it takes me one dizzyingly surreal moment to remember that today is Hallowe’en.
The tall man with the tiny dog hugs his young daughter, and they wander off together as the band pauses, and the guitarist swigs a beer. I listen a little longer, and wander off as well.
On the corner of Defensa and Juan de Garay is Café Crema, with today’s menu scrawled on lined paper and taped to a window. We had eaten there before and loved it, and I push open the door and find a seat by the window, order a coffee and media lunas, croissant-like pastries that completely fail to reach the light perfection of a real croissant but are delicious nonetheless.

The waiters are grey-haired, clad in black and white, corteous without being obsequious. They give the impression of having worked there fifty years, and as I sit in the black-and-white tiled, red-trimmed interior, I have the feeling the only things that have changed in those fifty years have been prices and hairlines.
I sip my coffee, watch the comings and goings, nibble on my pastries.

Later I wander up Defensa, pass a man painting a low wall with a tango scene. Half a block beyond, a gorgeous old blue and green car (a Cadillac, I wonder?) is parked in the middle of the pedestrian street, a man in brown hat and sports jacket seated on a stool a few metres away, strumming on a guitar and singing. A woman of indeterminate age, with curly, bleached blond hair sits on a smaller stool in the shade of a grey and yellow beach umbrella that extends from the trunk of a car.

I push through the crowds thronging the market in Plaza Dorrego, the clicking cameras, more tango. I spend ten minutes admiring old jewellry and vintage clothes before the inevitable claustrophobia amongst all those people sets in, and I push my way back out again, heading for Independencia.
The streets of San Telmo are wide and clean, lined with cafes and boutiques and antique stores and vivid street art. I zigzag, knowing I’ll hit Independencia sooner or later and can follow it home. On Bolívar, just half a block up from its corner with Estados Unidos, I come across El Ruffián Melancólico, and lose myself among its second-hand books for almost an hour.

Stacks of old magazines spill across the floor, and the dusty, musty smell of old books closes in as I run my hands along their cracked spines, pause over some, pull them out and breathe in their pages. Freud is there, and de Beauviour, and Hemingway, and Neruda, and Engels and a whole pile of Latin American applications of Marxist theory. I briefly lust over a beautiful old edition of Don Quijote, reluctantly place it back on the shelf thinking of budgets and a pile of still-unread books waiting for me in Cusco.

Every corner and niche and untidy pile of books and maps and newspapers scoured, its treasures identified and pined after, I return to the street, set bearings for the hostel, start thinking of Palermo, and parties.


jueves, 18 de noviembre de 2010

Places to go in Buenos Aires

There are plenty of places to visit in Buenos Aires, while a weekend seems not enough. From a tour of their different but identifying neighborhoods to an afternoon of shopping on Avenida Alvear flirtatious and a tour of the impressive Recoleta Cemetery are some of the plans that we expect there.

Want a guide to what to visit in the capital of Argentina? Below is a list of places to visit in Buenos Aires to help you organize your visit to this great city.
Take a tour of the different neighborhoods. Buenos Aires is a big city with distinct neighborhoods, each with distinct characteristics. You have the color and the joy of La Boca, where you can not miss a walk along Calle Caminito, the distinguished Recoleta, an elegant modern Puerto Madero and Palermo, filled with shops, pubs, restaurants, theaters and cafes: the downtown, where they found almost all the entertainment, hospitality and entertainment and the famous obelisk on Avenida 9 July.
The Teatro Colon. This is a classic and famous opera house, the second largest in the southern hemisphere, only surpassed by the Sydney Opera House in Australia. In addition, houses an Art Institute which have formed the most distinguished artists of Argentina.
Walk the Recoleta Cemetery. One of the most visited cemeteries in the world is the Recoleta, in Buenos Aires. There are the tombs of historical figures of the country as President Perón and Evita. In addition, it is highly distinguished by its architecture and sculptures. We've already talked about it, here.
Visit the Plaza de Mayo. In front of the Casa Rosada, which is the seat of executive power, and the Cathedral, the square is one of the most important city. Has been the scene of many political rallies and protests, including the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo. This is a gathering of mothers who have lost loved ones during the military dictatorship in the late 70's.
Visit the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. Better known as Malba, it is a private museum with an impressive collection of Latin American works. In addition, there are temporary exhibitions and activities for children.
Go shopping. Buenos Aires is a city of shopping. From Florida Street to Avenida Alvear, the downtown, you find the best fashion houses to buy.

jueves, 4 de noviembre de 2010

The Spanish prefer Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is among the 25 cities preferred by the Spanish, according to travel search engine Skyscanner.
Skyscanner is internationally among the leading European travel search engine for its power and flexibility. Lets compare current.

The trip marked tendency to Buenos Aires and New York are the most required in non-European destinations, Buenos Aires is in the post 19 and New York in 22.Una explanation is how the City developed a good positioning strategy in Europe and especially in Spain, the organization of the Rally 2010 received a lot of influx of tourists from around the world, it will again in January 2011, the tango world, and numerous other cultural activities, gastonomicas, etc.
Spain accounts for the City of Buenos Aires the first emissive European market and that despite the economic difficulties Spanish shows how our city is becoming more attractive for travelers who decide to choose faraway destinations.