Buenos Aires Travel  

                   

Buenos Aires Luxury Getaway
4-nights/5 days

Buenos Aires is the most "European" city in South America. From the wide avenues to the sidewalk cafés, it has earned the nickname of "the Paris of South America." Discover the shopping areas where locals buy the finest local leather goods and delight in typical cuisine paired by well-known Argentine wines, and be serenaded by street jazz, tango or world-class opera. Argentina is not only about Buenos Aires however! Its lush flora and fauna create a land rich with jungles and forests in the north, generous agricultural and farming areas in the central zone, vineyards close to the Andes and the endless deserts of Patagonia region.

Trip Itineraries Include: airfare from MIA, 4-nights at the Deluxe Sofitel Hotel or similar in the fashionable Recoleta district; limousine/ Mercedes transfers; full day tour to a working farm with "gaucho"entertainment and lunch; ferry crossing and tour of Montevideo, in Uruguay;   tickets to fabulous Colon Opera House and more! Fill Out Our Travel Request Form!

Introduction to Buenos Aires:

Buenos Aires is a queen situated along the banks of the Río de la Plata, pulsating with a unique culture filled with fascinating art, sensual music and incomparable nightlife. Buenos Aires is often likened to Europe, described as a pleasing mixture of Madrid and Paris. Despite the city's European similarities it definitely offers its own twist, the tango districts! In addition to tango the city's magic is evident in the many coffeehouses, and above all, the dynamism of the proud locals, the "Porteños."

LA BOCA: A favorite among visitors this picturesque district is rich in history and vibrant colors: greens, yellows, reds and purples highlight the urban scenery. Genoese immigrants chose these colors for their classic "conventillos" or tenements. These colors also dominate the works of the painter Benito Quinquela Martín, who immortalized his beloved barrio. In La Boca, you can eat lunch in a picturesque cantina while enjoying a fine tango show. Other attractions of the district include the exhibitions organized by the Proa Foundation, and the Museo de Cera or wax museum. Up the street in the so-called Vuelta de Rocha area where the famous street called Caminito is located; this famous street is known to have inspired the popular tango song of the same name. Every weekend Caminito hosts a craft fair where you can purchase anything from a painting to a typical Argentine mate drinking gourd.

PUERTO MADERO: A recently transformed district gaining popularity with the social scene. The locals favor this area for its numerous restaurants, cafes and discos.

Prior to its transformation, this section of the port had fallen into disrepair. Today, travelers will find elegant restaurants, businesses and theaters have replaced the run down buildings, making this the city's most exclusive district, preferred by tourists and business travelers. All the streets of Puerto Madero carry the names of women. The Boulevard Azucena Villaflor directly connects the city to the river. Every Saturday and Sunday, another street, Calle Vera Peñaloza becomes a pedestrian-only zone, where the public can skate, ride bicycles or stroll. Nearby one will find the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur, a natural oasis.

SAN TELMO: Travelers will find beautifully preserved colonial-style houses along picturesque cobblestone lanes, illuminated by pretty wrought iron lanterns. In San Telmo, one breathes the history of Buenos Aires. Visit the church of Santo Domingo or investigate the city's cultural heritage in the Museo de la Ciudad.

The Bohemian character of the district flourishes every weekend at the antique fair held in Plaza Dorrego and the quaint cafés that surround it. Also worth visiting are the Pasaje de la Defensa, an 1880 mansion converted into an art gallery, and the charming Balcarce, a street with a wealth of bars, restaurants and tango houses.

MONSERRAT: Another historic district where evidence of Buenos Aires' past surprises travelers at every turn. In colonial times, Monserrat was the political, economic, social and cultural center of the city. Here the Porteños defended themselves against English invasions. One can still experience history in Monserrat today just by touring a few of the buildings, streets and underground tunnels that traverse the district. Take a stroll through Manzana de las Luces, contemplate the architecture of the Iglesia de San Ignacio and pass by the Old Cabildo. Then take a rest in the historic Plaza de Mayo. Another option is to sit down for coffee in one of the many cafés. Lovers of dance can learn the two-four rhythm in a tanguería.

RECOLETA: Without a doubt, this is the city's most elegant district. The opulence of the houses and manors symbolizes the splendor of the Argentine aristocracy. The area is a meeting point for tourists and locals with an interest in international design and aesthetics.

During the day, take a stroll through the gardens of Plaza Francia, which fills each weekend with dancers, living statues, street artists and astrologers. At the adjacent Buenos Aires Design, the traveler can find souvenirs and a plethora of fine restaurants. Other areas of interest located around Plaza Francia include the Centro Cultural Recoleta, the Palais de Glace, and the famous "City of the Dead."

BELGRANO: During the middle of the 19th century, this was the summer home of many local families. Today, it contains much of the city's social and cultural activity. Attractions include the Museo Histórico Sarmiento, the Casa de Yrurtia, and the Museo Enrique Larreta. And for those who prefer outdoor activities, there is the Barrancas de Belgrano, four hectares of undulating ground where one can sunbathe, jog or enjoy the dog show provided by the dog walkers.

Belgrano is one of the busiest, most dynamic areas of the city, with people coming and going by train, bus and subway, and with bars, cafes and kiosks everywhere. If you want to shop, Belgrano is a paradise for the modern consumer. Cabildo gives the impression of an authentic open-air market street. "Chinatown" is one of the area's newest attractions. In addition to the typical Chinese restaurants, there is a Buddhist monastery, and every February there's a celebration of the Chinese New Year.

PALERMO: In Palermo, there is something for everyone. Here some of Buenos Aires' most expensive restaurants intermix with the bars of the Plaza Serrano. On weekends, the Bosques de Palermo and Rose Garden are ideal spots for walking, playing soccer, and for boat rides. Other nearby attractions include the Jardín Zoológico, the Planetario Galileo Galilei, and the tea offered in the impeccable Japanese gardens.

History of Buenos Aires

On February 2, 1536, the conqueror Don Pedro de Mendoza arrived by land at the coast of Buenos Aires. His mission was to populate the lands of the Rio de la Plata, which were of great interest to the Spanish crown. Mendoza christened the city Espíritu Santo and named its port Nuestra Señora del Buen Ayre. He was faced with food scarcities and hostilities from the indigenous people that stifled his progress. For these reasons, he decided to leave and return to Spain.

Nearly forty years later, Juan de Garay arrived on a second attempt: on the 29th of May 1580, he made the second founding. Garay and his crew began working to organize the city. They selected the highest ground as a defensive point against potential attacks. The acclaimed monument, Palo de la Justicia, was built on what today is the Plaza de Mayo. In addition, they organized the Cabildo, which was the highest administrative institution, and they erected a church where the Metropolitan Cathedral now stands. The city was then named Santísima Trinidad, and its port, Santa María de los Buenos Aires. THE ERA OF VICEROYALTY

Not until the 18th century and the creation of the viceroyalty did Buenos Aires cease to be a village. The first viceroy of the transformation, Juan José de Vértiz, installed street lamps, cobblestones and the first printing press. The fort was used as the seat of the viceroy, located on the site of the current government offices. Another point of reference from this era is the church of San Ignacio. Constructed by the Jesuits, it is one of the oldest buildings in the city.

Buenos Aires played an essential role as the main connecting port for goods between the New World and Europe. Tempted by the growing business of the port, the English tried to take control of the river, invading the city of Buenos Aires in 1806 and 1807. Both attempts failed.

In 1810, with King Fernando VII in prison and the Seville council in French hands, the town of Buenos Aires rose up in the famous May Revolution. The people revoked the viceroy's title, and on May 25, the First Government Council was formed with Cornelio Saavedra presiding. This was the first step toward the independence of the provinces of the Rio de la Plata, proclaimed on the 9th of July 1816. This date is still celebrated as Argentina's most important national holiday. THE FIRST CHANGES

Buenos Aires grew. In 1857 the first railroads appeared, in 1865, the streetcars, and in 1876, the first shipment of wheat left for Europe. The bonanza prompted the declaration of Buenos Aires as the country's capital (1880). The city extended from what is now the Plaza Once to the Riachuelo River.

The Romantic style and the latest Art-nouveau design from the old continent began to appear in buildings such as the Children's Hospital and the Escuela Normal de Maestras. The typical Buenos Aires tenement houses or "conventillos" that housed the European immigrants clashed with the new palaces. Slowly, Buenos Aires had grown from a small port town into a large city that emulated the cities of Europe, and European immigrants fed this growth. First arrived the Italians and the Spanish, the majority of whom were poor farmers. Afterwards came the Jews, Poles, Croats, Czechs and Ukrainians, among others. By 1895, 72 out of every 100 Buenos Aires inhabitants were foreigners.

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