Argentina – Buenos Aires Day Trips

This title is a little misleading, but the gist of it is that this post will be about the two day trips Jenny and I took outside of the city of Buenos Aires. If you’re following our Argentina trip through my posts, thank you!! If you haven’t had a chance to catch up, let me give you the links:

Buenos Aires – San Telmo
Ushuaia
El Calafate
Buenos Aires – Palermo (coming soon!)

Uruguay
This section of the post will begin on Thursday morning as Jenny and I make our way to the cruise port in the city. We were told to arrive an hour prior to departure but cut it a little closer by arriving 45 minutes before departure. We had to wait in a long line to check-in with our tickets and then go upstairs to pass through immigrations. The countries are smart in that you check out of Argentina and into Uruguay at the same place and before embarking on the ferry. That way, passengers can disembark and be on their way upon arrival. The ferry was quite luxurious with a cruise ship feel and the crossing took just over an hour. Jenny and I had decided not to push on to Montevideo (an additional 2.5 hour bus ride) but instead just to stay in Colonia, Uruguay. It is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and had plenty to do before our return trip that evening.

Our first stop in Colonia was the tourist information center to grab a map. Here, we met a nice German girl, Teresa, who was making the trek to renew her Argentinian visa. She tagged along with us for much of the day, which was welcome company! Our first place of interest was the historic lighthouse in the old center of town. This is a small place and the lighthouse gave us a nice panoramic view of this, once we climbed the narrow but fairly stable stairs to the top. The nearby streets were cobblestone and the buildings were quaint. It was a sleepy town that wasn’t overly run by foreigners but instead seemed to depict everyday life in Uruguay. Almost like the locals didn’t care if we were there or not. It was nice!

Temperatures were almost 90 degrees by afternoon, so I took advantage of the chance to dip my feet in the river. It was like bath water and I regretted leaving my bathing suit behind, but it was nice nonetheless. The three of us were starving by that point so we found a cute street cafe and sat outside. The typical Uruguayan dish is chivito, so we split a platter for two between the three of us. It was good… But hard to explain. Basically our sides of salad, French fries, pickled vegetables and potato salad were the base of the dish. Then on top were two thin slabs of lamb, each topped with a nice ham slice, white cheese and then an over-hard egg. Heaven in my mouth. Meat and meat and eggs… Yum!

For those of you wondering about my eating choices on the trip, I should mention that Jenny and I have been averaging over 17,000 steps a day! Case in point, after lunch we walked down the Street of the Sighs and then along the seawall for over three miles.

I would recommend a trip over from BA but I would also caution against high expectations. It’s a cute town but it’s not the most adorable I’ve been too. It was a nice introduction to Uruguay and I’d be game to see more of the country in the future. For now, we’ll hop on the ferry back to BA and you can read more about our adventures in Palermo in that post soon!

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Tigre River Delta
The second part of this post took place on Saturday. Jenny and I had booked a kayak guide on the Tigre River, which is about an hour west of Buenos Aires. So we got up early and headed (by bus) into the train station in the Retiro section of town. Trains to Tigre run every 10-20 minutes 24-hours and it costs $5 for two roundtrip tickets! The train lasts about an hour so we both dozed on the way out (and back). Unfortunately, upon arrival to the delta region we saw that it was raining. A lot. Our guide postponed the trip until later that day, weather permitting. So we hopped on the local commuter boat and sailed up into the river delta. The roundtrip cost for two was just under $10.

It was fascinating to see how people so close to Buenos Aires lived so differently from the city-dwellers. Homes on stilts and dilapidated piers with rusty boats. Not every home and boat were in disarray, some were actually quite nice! It was similar to bayou towns and people in the States. We watched locals literally hop on and off our boat when we paused by a dock and then performed the same maneuver ourselves at our stop. We had picked the “town” of Tres Bocas because the Delta Terra Natural Preserve is there. There’s a 1.5k loop that is partially paved and partially jungle trekking. We walked a good portion of the paced section, up and over the canals on rickety bridges, but decided to turn back before the jungle due to the rain.

We caught a boat back into Tigre and learned that the weather forecast for the remainder of the day had turned and our guide wasn’t willing to risk the water. We understood but we’re disappointed in the weather for canceling a boat excursion for a second time this trip. Instead, we walked up to see the stunning Museum of Tigre Art. Meaning to look at the building from the outside as we’d heard it was the best part of the museum. Then we had a quick lunch of milanesa (schnitzel) and tried the Argentinian drink of choice (when not Malbec). It’s fernet and cola, which is a whisky-cola drink that didn’t suite either Jenny or I… Like we each had a few sips from the same drink and called it a day.

Next, we walked down Saenz Peña street, which is two blocks of street art. The buildings were colorfully painted and very artsy. This section was on the way to Puerto de Frutos, the old fruit port, which is now a large handicraft market. Unfortunately, it’s become quite touristy but we each bought a few items and sampled a churro before returning to the train station and heading home. If the weather cooperates, this is a great (and cheap) day trip from BA and I highly recommend it!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Argentina – Palermo, Buenos Aires | Rays of Funshine

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