Whether you want to explore the fashion and arts districts, or fancy more the ornate churches, cobblestone streets, and authentic culture, Argentina packs the full punch. Welcome to the birthplace of Tango, and the home of the worlds 3rd largest concentration of ice, there is literally something for everyone from trekking a glacier to exploring river canals. This is the type of place that just seeps into your soul, and you’re never quite the same after having been.
Meet & greet at Ezeiza International Airport. Private transfer to HOTEL with English speaking guide.
Overnight at hotel in Buenos Aires for 2 nights.
BUENOS AIRES HALF DAY CITY TOUR (4HS)
Our journey begins in The Palermo residential neighbourhood: with its quiet curvy streets, wonderful parks and rose gardens, monuments, lovely town-houses and city mansions it is an oasis to the city. It holds the city’s zoo and the Botanical Gardens. Today Palermo has developed new areas under popular names such as Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood where signature designers have their trendy boutiques offering clothes, home accessories and more. The area offers an array of dining options: think chic and gourmand.
Next we head to the posh Recoleta District. Stroll along Avenida Alvear, the most palatial street in Buenos Aires. With its elegant architecture and tree lined promenades, this distinct area was once home to the porteño aristocracy who gave it buildings such as the Pereda Palace (Brazilian Embassy), the Ortiz Basualdo Palace (French Embassy), Unzué de Casares Palace (Jockey Club) and more.
A visit to Recoleta Cemetery, an amazing above-ground cemetery lined with mausoleums and statues, is a must. This is the final resting place of Eva Duarte. Known throughout the world simply as Evita, she is perhaps Argentina’s most famous figure. The neighbouring El Pilar Church is one of the city’s oldest and most beautiful churches with its wonderful woodcarvings and silver altar from Alto Perú.
The historical and financial centre of Argentine politics, referred to as “la city” by locals finds its heart at the famed Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada (the presidential palace). From here the Avenida de Mayo leads to the National Congress
building. The avenue is flanked by architectural gems and the historical Cafe Tortoni, a legendary coffee house that still attracts diverse crowd of intellectuals and tango aficionados.
Towards the banks of the river plate, Puerto Madero, once the old city docklands, is a completely updated area with modern buildings and avant-garde restaurants.
San Telmo, the old quarters of the city, keeps the traditional charm of its colonial houses, cobblestone streets, churches, museums, antique shops and the renowned Sunday market of antiques in Plaza Dorrego.
La Boca grew around the first Port in Buenos Aires. It was inhabited by immigrants, and gave birth to the Tango. Today its colourful buildings on the popular “caminito” street give it character with street dancers and souvenir shops. The area has grown as a cultural centre of artistic activities and is also popular with football (soccer) fans who visit the famous Boca Juniors Bombonera Stadium.
OPTIONAL VISITS DURING CITY TOUR:
BEHIND THE SCENES OF COLON OPERA HOUSE (50 MINUTES)
Take a behind-the-scenes look at the Colón Theatre, praised by Pavarotti for its flawless acoustics. The world famous Colón Theatre is the heart of opera, ballet and concert life in Buenos Aires. Hiding a secret in every single corner of its impressive building, a guided tour of the theatre takes guests to discover its century old history, the legendary artists who performed on its stage and the polemic shutdowns it suffered over the years.
The Theatre’s sublime architecture stands out in every single detail, captivating guests with its luxurious flights of stairs, sculptures and stained-glass windows. The building incorporates a great many styles that are associated with European theatres. Do not miss the Salon Dorado (Golden Room).
Breakfast at Hotel
FULL DAY AT LEISURE or OPTIONAL FULL DAY PROGRAMMES:
FULL DAY WITH THE GAUCHOS AT ESTANCIA LA BAMBA
Delve into the gaucho culture with a full day at a traditional “estancia” (ranch) in the outskirts of Buenos Aires and come close to the local traditions and history in a calm atmosphere surrounded by nature. Argentina’s wealth came from its farmlands producing quality cattle as well as agricultural goods. A visit to a traditional ranch provides a glimpse of life on the pampas where the gauchos (cowboys) take pride in their coin-studded belts and baggy pants, and offers the chance to join in and share the country’s farmland customs, traditions and asados.
As one of the oldest estancias (ranches) in Argentina dating from the 1830s, La Bamba de Areco is a 90-minute drive out of Buenos Aires on the Camino Real (royal road) that originally connected the capital city to Northern Argentina. At the heart of the area that gave birth to the gaucho (horseman or cowboy), La Bamba became a pioneer in opening its doors to welcome guests and today its renovated facilities keep its original charm intact.
Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with homemade empanadas (traditional turn-over pies) and invited to explore the premises: strolling around the gardens, visiting the local “gaucho” museum and the church.
Lunch invites guests to savour a typical argentine asado (barbeque) with a variety of cuts of beef and salads paired with argentine wine and then guests are invited to saddle up for a leisurely ride on traditional horse-drawn carriage or enjoy horseback riding in the company of gauchos.
FULL DAY VISITING THE NORTHERN SUBURBS AND EL DESCANSO ISLAND
Head North from town to the tranquil, residential areas of Olivos (where the Presidential Residence is located) and San Isidro with its neo-gothic cathedral, beautiful historical area with colonial architecture which nowadays also houses contemporary properties.
Continue to Tigre and be marvelled by its beautiful canals, elegant promenades and aging buildings. The Tigre Delta is a tribute to a time gone-by. Sale past classic casonas, big rambling houses that were built at the end of the 19th century as meeting places and weekend getaways for the aristocracy. Watch rowers past by as wooden speedboats chug there way taking passengers or housing a floating grocerie store! The islands are covered with exhuberant vegetation: note the amazing variety of trees and flowers.
Lunch finds us at Isla El Descanso, a private weekend retreat. Isla el Descanso is a paradise-like island nestled in the intricate water canals of the Delta of the River Plate. Featuring lagoons, channels and designer gardens dotted with outdoor works of art, it welcomes those who want to experience nature & outdoors only a 90-minute voyage out of downtown Buenos Aires.
Enjoy a 90-minute leisurely walk around El Descanso Island discovering the grand variety of species that cover its gardens and frame impressive pieces of art and sculptures as they hide secret spots, quiet sanctuaries and give home to a myriad birds. The programme includes lunch with Argentine cuisine specialties that are enjoyed al fresco, weather permitting.
Return to Tigre Port and ground transfer back to Hotel.
EVENING PROGRAMME: DINNER & TANGO SHOW
It has been said that only in Buenos Aires could the tango be born. Only in this city of immigrants could music of such emotional depth spring forth and take hold of a population. In the early days, tango was most often heard in brothels and seedy cafés and the dance was performed by two men. Today, the tango remains an important part of Argentine culture, although not quite as prevalent as during its peak in the early part of the 20th century. While a few clubs still reflect the glamour and passion of the Gardel era, more often the spirit of tango is captured in small milongas tiny and bars where an aging porteño sings of a love long-lost.
Tango is still everywhere to be found in Buenos Aires ranging from Florida street in downtown and the San Telmo antique market on Sundays to the fancy shows which offer a more modern, but no less impressive, vision of the tango. Get ready to watch dancers embraced in passion as they dance to the strong beat of Tango. The show is paired with a three-course dinner and wine.
Breakfast at Hotel
Private transfer to Iguazu Airport for flight: Iguazu (IGR)- Mendoza (MDZ). 4:25 hour flight (with stop in Salta)
Meet and greet at Mendoza airport and private transfer with English speaking guide to Hotel.
Overnight at hotel in Mendoza for 3 nights.