Destination: Buenos Aires, Argentina (Part 1)

Finally, almost three months later, I’m getting around to recapping my epic trip to Argentina from last November! Argentina had been on my travel bucket list for years (i.e. Top 3), and I was so glad to make it over following the worst of the pandemic. I’d been planning the trip since August, communicating and consulting with my travel agent with a local company (based in Buenos Aires). It was a matter of booking flights and the packaged 15-day tour, and soon I was off!

I had an evening flight, first from Los Angeles to Lima, where I had a whopping 13-hour layover in the Lima airport. I’d originally booked for a city tour that would pick me up and drop me off at the airport, but due to massive protests, my tour got cancelled. That said, I had no choice but to wait it out at the airport: I ended up paying for a lounge, which was a first for me, but it was a new and cool experience! Very clean facilities, from delicious self-service food (including Peruvian specialties like relleno de pollo and coca tea) to a swanky bar (where I got a free Pisco Sour!) to even a sleeping pod and showers! Plus, fast and reliable Wifi…so glad I got the opportunity to experience an airport lounge: I ought to check out more of them on future travels!

Any case, I finally passed the 13 hours and got on the second leg from Lima to Buenos Aires. I arrived into the Argentinian capital at 3h00 local time, where my transfer guide picked me up– despite arriving in the dead of the night, the airport was bustling! So many people checking in and otherwise waiting for flights…it was about a half-hour ride to the city center, to my hotel in Recoleta where I would spend two nights in town. The hotel was absolute luxury, and I almost couldn’t believe it! Marble and gold everywhere, and I got put in a massive suite with lovely views of the skyline from the top! Given that I’d never stayed in luxury hotels, it was a huge shock but I was loving every minute of it.

20221111_083124Views from my hotel room!

Exhausted after over 24 hours in transit, I had just enough energy to brush my teeth and knock out for about three hours before I had to wake up to start my city tour in the morning. The tour picked me up at 9h00 and I spent about three hours on the city tour around three to four major neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. It was a small tour group of five of us, including an American couple from St. Louis. Our tour guide was a cheerful woman who took us around, and given it was springtime that part of the year, it was actually quite warm!

We started at Plaza de Mayo, a major square where we learned a bit about the history of Argentina and Argentinian politics (as it goes for many countries in the world, many Argentinians aren’t satisfied with their current government– not a surprise!). We admired the main sites around the square, including the Casa Rosada (the president’s office), Diagonal Sur, Buenos Aires Cabildo, and the Pirámide de Mayo.

20221111_094007Buenos Aires Cabildo and Diagonal Sur

20221111_095130Casa Rosada

It was then a ride over to La Boca, a working-class neighborhood near the port. It’s especially famous for its colorful Caminito, a small, two-street affair with many colorful houses filled with cafés and tourist shops that’s specifically catered to tourists. Very Instagrammable, and at times, you can see tango dancers perform in the area. It’s only this small area of La Boca worth seeing, as outside of it can be quite dangerous, given it’s known for petty crime. I took a few selfies and photos before we were off to the next site.

20221111_102941La Boca

We ended the city tour in Recoleta, near the eponymous cemetery, where the tour guide gave us some tips of what else to see during our stay. I opted to pay $14 USD to check out the Recoleta cemetery, which was quite large! Hundreds of tombstones loomed above the ground, and the layout draws inspiration from le Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. I saw a few notable tombstones, but the most-famous was the one of Eva Perón, the former First Lady of Argentina during the 1940’s and 1950’s. There was a notable crowd surrounding her tomb, including an older woman who was taking a long time in front of it, almost praying to the tomb of Perón– goes to show the former First Lady left a huge influence on what is Argentina today.

20221111_115638Recoleta Cemetery

20221111_121100Eva Perón tombstone

Just down the street from the cemetery was a gelato shop that my tour guide had recommended trying out. Considering that the country has a notable Italian immigration history, there’s a lot of delicious Italian food to be had– gelato included. I tried two flavors for about $5 USD: pistachio and dulce de leche (the latter a must when in Argentina). I’ve had Italian gelato before, but WOW! Gelato in Argentina just hits differently– the flavors seem more intense, almost floral, and absolutely creamy. The dulce de leche was delicious, but I absolutely loved the pistachio: extremely nutty in taste and texture. It was so good that I returned to that same gelato shop for pistachio gelato again before I left Buenos Aires!

20221111_123314Dulce de leche and pistachio gelati– SO good!

I’ll save more of my time in Buenos Aires for the next post. Stay tuned! 🙂

— The Finicky Cynic

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3 thoughts on “Destination: Buenos Aires, Argentina (Part 1)

  1. A very interesting first round of BA with some major sites. The warmth of the South American spring is great when you come in from the winter in the North, I’ve experienced this several times coming from Toronto.

    1. rebbit7

      Yes, very true! I haven’t traveled to too many countries below the equator so far, so it’s always a little surprise going from, say, the winter chill to balmy warm weather– it was much-appreciated in Argentina!

  2. Pingback: Destination: Buenos Aires, Argentina (Part 2) – The Finicky Cynic

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