By Tamra Bolton
When I think about South America, I envision gauchos riding against snow-covered mountains …dense tropical jungles and rivers full of scary things…vast rocky fields of the high plains, that’s why I was surprised at the beauty I found in the “Paris of South America”, the city of Buenos Aires.
While I’ve always loved the wide open spaces, I was captivated by the diversity of things to see and do in Argentina’s capital city. The largest city in the country, Buenos Aires offers a decidedly European experience, with a definite Latin flair. From its famous dance, the tango, to its spectacular architecture, this South American city has a feel all its own.
What other city can boast a cemetery as its top tourist attraction, except maybe New Orleans? The Cementerio de la Recoleta is undoubtedly the most famous place in Buenos Aires. Past presidents, military heroes, the famous and infamous are all buried here. If you look long enough, you’ll find the grave of perhaps Argentina’s most famous personage, Evita. Strolling amid the huge and intricately carved mausoleums and statuary will give you an otherworldly experience you’ll not soon forget. If open spaces are more your style, you’ll want to visit the Bosques de Palermo or Palermo Woods, the city’s largest park. It is the destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Boasting green spaces, exquisite rose gardens, botanical gardens, a zoo, planetarium and much more, the Palermo Woods offers something for everyone in the family.
By far the best way to see Buenos Aires is by bicycle. Renting a bike or joining one of the many bicycle tours around the city offers you a chance to visit the colorful neighborhoods of B.A. and admire the unique mansions and French-style buildings throughout the city. You will discover along the way the rich history and unique lifestyles of this New World/Old World city.
Be prepared though, if you want to continue your experience into the nightlife of Buenos Aires, the restaurants don’t usually open until 9:00 pm, the bars at midnight and the clubs at 2:00 am! I have a plan though…sleep until 3:00 am, show up at the nightclub at 4:00 am and dance until dawn, then go out and enjoy some of that famous South American coffee!
Whatever you decide to do in Buenos Aires, you will have an unforgettable experience…that is virtually guaranteed!