Buenos Aires and The Pampas
Why visit Buenos Aires and The Pampas?
Buenos Aires is the political, economic and cultural capital and largest city of Argentina. It is a port city located on the Rio de la Plata on the east coast of the country and was founded in 1536 by the Spanish. It is sometimes called ‘The Paris of South America’ due to its elegant, European-inspired 19th buildings and wide boulevards. Its inhabitants are known as ‘portenos’, literally people of the port, and are stylish, friendly people with undoubted joie de vivre. The Pampas surrounds Buenos Aires and are fertile flatlands with ranches, or estancias, many of which welcome visitors and offer various outdoor activities.
Reasons to visit Buenos Aires and The Pampas include:
- Buenos Aires is the birthplace of tango so where better to watch a tango show than in the streets of La Boca or at a club and maybe perfect your own dance skills at a class.
- The historic city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a grid of narrow streets, lined by well-preserved churches, convents and colonial mansions.
- Visit the main square, Plaza 25 de Mayo, named for the day Bolivian independence was declared in 1809, it is flanked by the town hall, metropolitan cathedral and the Casa de la Libertad, one of the city’s major museums.
- With its many shops, cafes and restaurants, the square is a good place to spend time sightseeing and relaxing.
- Other attractions include several historic churches and museums, as well as lively markets where you can mingle with locals.
- A 15-minute walk from the city centre takes you to La Recoleta, a former monastery which now houses a museum and offers impressive views over the city.
- Why not explore one of the world’s largest collections of dinosaur footprints, over 5,000 in all, just 5kms from the centre. A visit to The Parque Cretacico, where there are life-size dinosaur statues, a museum, and views of the footprints, adds an interesting dimension to your stay in Sucre.
- Potosi lies at the foot of Cerro Rico (‘rich mountain’) and has long been defined by its mineral wealth, especially silver.
- At one point in colonial times Potosi was the wealthiest city in the Americas and its fame reached legendary proportions with tales of streets paved with silver.
- A UNESCO-listed city, Potosi has plenty of fine colonial architecture including imposing residences adorned with family crests and ornately carved wooden balconies, and grand churches.
- Why not climb one of the many church towers for panoramic views of the city and Cerro Ricco, or visit San Francisco Convent, where there are catacombs that you can explore?
- The mines are still worked today, and you can take a guided tour, not for the feint hearted or the claustrophobic.
- Alternatively you can visit the Casa Nacional de la Moneda, a museum dedicated to the history of the silver mines.
- Stop at a café and watch the world go by as you enjoy some tasty refreshments.
When to go to Buenos Aires and The Pampas
Buenos Aires can be visited at any time of year though the weather is generally best in spring (November and December) and autumn (March and April), with temperatures in the mid-20s. Spring has the added attraction of colourful jacaranda blooms and cherry blossom. the summer months of January and February are hot and humid, while in winter it can get cold and rain is possible. The Pampas can be visited all year with September to March considered the best in terms of weather.
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facts and information
Time: GMT – 3 hours
Flight time approximately 14 hours from London to Buenos Aires on a direct flight, and around 16 hours via Europe.
Language: Spanish is the official language, with English, French and Italian also widely spoken
Visas – not required for British nationals for stays of up to 90 days
No vaccinations are compulsory but due to a yellow fever outbreak in Brazil in 2017 country certificate requirements may change at short notice