If you are looking for a break from the fast pace of Buenos Aires or feel yourself craving the outdoors, think about spending a weekend in the town of Tandil, in the southwest area of the Buenos Aires province. Located in the Sierras de Tandil mountain range, its landscape is green and mountainous, yet it is only a 4 to 5 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires. It is inexpensive and picturesque, yet offers many advantages of a city—restaurants, spas, and a lively music scene.
Tandil is a combination of outdoorsy town and farmer pueblo with a hippie vibe. The town is actually larger than what you might expect with a population of about 200,000. Yet the entire city—restaurants, businesses, downtown and all, live by the traditional afternoon siesta. Each afternoon, merchants close their doors for an hour to go home, spend time with their families, rest, and then return to work later in the afternoon.
One of the best parts of this town is that no matter where you are, you are surrounded by hikes and walking paths. There are many hiking paths where you can discover waterfalls or cool rock structures, on trails that are often unmarked or hidden. The not-so-good news is that you will have to ask a local to help you locate these hidden wonders. The best news? A bit of an adventurous spirit will serve you well!
Tandil is also known as a “runners town,” has big parks everywhere with monuments honoring famous Argentine figures. Check out the Lago y Dique del fuerte, which is a huge park with a lake and a dam where you will find runners at all hours of the day, so don’t forget your running shoes. Also, there are kayaks and canoes available to rent by the hour. For a mellower option, bring your mate and cookies, rent some fishing equipment and lounge around the lake for the afternoon.
After spending the day outdoors, or even if you don’t, there is nothing better than to end the day eating their famous picadas (meat, cheese, bread platter) with a pint of ice cold beer or a glass of red wine. It won’t take you long to notice all the signs on shop windows featuring these delicious plates. Tandil is best known for its picadas with endless arrays of salamis, cheeses, and olives. After surveying many locals, we ended up at a place called “Boliche de No”. The menu was simple but sensational, featuring local meat, cheese, and homemade beer. Do not forget to try the locally brewed delicious artisan beer, Quarryman.
Slow down your pace and head out to the low key, under-the-radar but with a great vibe Tandil city . The people are friendly, endless activity options, and the food is delicious.