We took an 17 hour overnight bus from Puerto Iguazu to Buenos Aires. This bus trip was incredible, but I’ll save that for a separate post.
The day we arrived in Buenos Aires we did a free walking tour in the city center. In this tour we saw the congress building, Palacio Barolo, Plaza de Mayo, the cathedral and the infamous pink government house. Our guide Martin was great, and so informative. Since arriving in Argentina we had been battling with money because one, we could only withdrawal small amounts of cash and two, things where incredibly expensive. For example a can of coke and a bag of chips would cost R80 (USD 6). Martin explained how last year Argentina had suffered from an inflation rate of 45 %. Yes 45 %!! So if we had travelled to Argentina this time a year ago, we would have essentially payed half the price for everything. This was extremely interesting to learn about, and to hear his perspective on how the Argentinian people were handling this situation.
On our second day we went to explore the San Telmo flea market. We all had fun looking for clothing, jewelry and souvenirs. After this we went to the La Recoleta Cemetery. This cemetery houses countless graves of intellectuals, socialites, ex presidents, nobel prize winners and other important Argentinian historical figures (such as a Eva Peron). At first we thought going to visit a cemetery was a strange concept, but as soon as we got there we understood why this was such a famous tourist attraction… The time and money that went into making the architecture for the tombs was incredible. After this we went to Plaza de las Naciones to look at the giant metallic flower sculpture and to relax in order to regain some energy for our evening activities.
That night we went on a search to find a genuine Argentinian steak served with chimichurri sauce. We searched for a while and eventually found a restaurant with reasonable prices. We enjoyed the delicious steak with several bottles of Malbec wine. After this, we went and joined a pub crawl. It was a Sunday night and hence not very busy, but we had fun with a New Zealander and our guides who were from Venezuela and Colombia. Our Venezuelan guide was very informative of what was happening in Venezuela at the moment, and it was interesting to hear his perspectives on the country.
On our last day in Buenos Aires we went and did a tour of La Boca. This is the neighborhood in which tango was founded. La Boca was originally the neighborhood in Buenos Aires that housed immigrants from around the world. There was a mixture of religion, culture, food and languages. Our guide explained to us that the one common language the people had was dance, and out of this tango was born. We found the tour very insightful and beautiful to walk around with all the colorful buildings.
Our guide from our free walking tour told us that Buenos Aires is more of a feeling than a city with multiple sites one must see. I can definitely appreciate this. Every street had a mixture of fascinating architecture and the cobble stone streets made it a fun city to explore.