What to Do
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Colorful houses in El Caminito

Located in La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, “Caminito“ (little walkway in Spanish) is a spectacular traditional alley and a street museum.  The houses on the street are of traditional conventillo boquense, a type of popular housing in this neighborhood from the 19th century. With the large wave of European immigrants pouring in, there weren’t enough homes for everyone. Conventillos were made from materials found in the shipyard and painted with the same paint used for the ships; a tradition brought in by the Genoese.

Because of their cultural value, the houses are subsidized by the state. This way, their maintenance is ensured because the locals don’t have enough financial power to preserve them. The houses are painted in bright colors, an initiative brought by Quinquela Martin. Some of them are mounted on piles or high foundations due to frequent floods.

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The Weekend Market in San Telmo

Nestled in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, the San Telmo Fair is bustling with unique artisans and antiques every Sunday from about 10am to 4pm (depending on the season and the weather). Perhaps its greatest qualities, besides the architecturally beautiful neighborhood which it calls home, are its exclusive goods and reliable nature. Never a Sunday will there be without tourists pouring into the cobblestone streets of San Telmo for one of a kind antiques, trinkets, art, tango and delicious food.

Many booths house truly one of a kind relics where a handmade backgammon board, full dinette sets and antique garments make you feel like you’re looking through your grandmother’s attic rather than a street fair. Antique knives, old jewelry and a myriad of figurines earn a spot in nearly every booth and soda siphons, artwork, mate trinkets and leather goods are in abundance. While the latter may begin to feel redundant all of these effects are an excellent example of Buenos Aires’ charming nature and rich history, and all of them deserve a spot on your shelf.

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Malba

The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) should be at the top of the museum list for art lovers visiting Argentina’s capital. Since its founding in 2001, The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires has dedicated itself to the preservation, dissemination, and integration of modern and contemporary Latin American art worldwide.

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Ferry to Uruguay, Knock it off your list

Head to Colonia del Sacramento

Most ferries from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento are run by Buquebus. It’s by far the most popular company doing the crossing, and the one I used on my trips most of the time. They also have direct ferries to Montevideo (3 hours), or you may choose to take one of the company’s connecting buses from Colonia. This service doesn’t allow you time to enjoy the town, though.

The fastest Buenos Aires-Colonia crossing with Buquebus takes one hour and a quarter, and the slow service takes three hours. The ferries themselves are comfortable and have a duty free shop and a small snack bar. Seats are not assigned, so you can choose to sit wherever you please. If you want to use this time to charge your camera, phone or laptop, do choose one of the corner seats on the last row, by the wall. Electric plugs are few, and make sure you have an adaptor.

The ferries depart from their own terminal in Puerto Madero. A one-way ticket on the fast ferry will cost anything between 200 and 600 Argentine pesos (£23, €27, USD36 on the official exchange rate). When you travel, you must arrive at least 30 minutes in advance, since you’ll be clearing Argentinean customs and immigration, which includes checking your fingerprints.

urugay

 Recoleta Cemetery

Considered one of the most unusual cemeteries in the world, the site was declared the city’s first official public burial place in 1822. Aside from being the resting place of the deceased, it is completely unlike a normal cemetery. The place is full of elaborately carved scroll-work and stately pillars that only reach up to your shoulder because all the structures are weirdly mini; it’s more magical than macabre. The burial site of Argentina’s most famous figures, including Evita herself, the cemetery is a must-do while in Buenos Aires.

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