For many travelers, it can be hard to tear themselves away from the bustling city center and trendy Palermo cafés to discover what lies outside the city. However, if you are in the mood to get out of the city for a day to explore a different side of the Argentine culture and lifestyle, there are several day trips you can do easily for a change of scenery. Let us share with you a few of our favorites.
Very Accessible One Day Trip From Buenos Aires:
El Tigre is a small town north of the city located along the river near the Delta del Paraná. Many locals and tourists alike travel to Tigre to unwind and to take in some countryside fresh air. Tigre is a direct one-hour train ride from Downtown Retiro train station.
El Tigre is famous with the ladies (and other shoppers!) for its weekend market El Puerto De Frutos (more info on their site here). You could easily spend hours browsing the hundreds of stands selling handcrafted items, antiques, jewelry, furniture and everything in between. Outside of the market you can walk along the river which is lined with lush green grass and parks. There are restaurants, many of which specialize in Argentine cuisine. They are reasonably priced and located right on the water. On a nice day bring a picnic, your mate, and enjoy the afternoon on the lawn.
Another great way to spend a tranquil afternoon is to explore the Tigre Delta River by boat. There are water taxis and catamarans; or, if you are feeling being active, kayaks are available for rent throughout the day. There are many little island communities in the delta to explore that are only accessible by boat. If you choose to visit one of the islands, you need to plan your time better since the water taxis run on a prefixed schedule and it takes time to travel between the mainland and the islands. Many locals opt to get there no later than the mid morning so they can spend a good few hours enjoying an asado (Argentine style bbq) lunch and hanging out on the island before heading back to the mainland before sunset.
For those who prefer staying on land, El Tigre has its government-run tour bus which will take you to all the point of interests including the market and the many museums around the area. And for those who want a little more excitement, there are also an amusement park, Parque de La Costa, and a casino just a short walk away from the train station. For a small town, El Tigre really has something to do for everyone. If you are in Buenos Aires for a longer period of time, El Tigre definitely worth more than one visit.
One of the most unique experiences you can have in Buenos Aires for either a day trip or a weekend getaway is a ‘Día del Campo´ on an estancia (a traditional Argentine ranch). On an estancia you can learn about the history of gauchos (Argentine cowboy), eat asado (Argentine BBQ), and at certain locations, you can also ride horses or take horse riding and polo classes.
One of our favorites is an estancia called La Candelaria, located in Lobos about 2 hours away from the city. The best way to get there is by car or you can call and arrange a transfer with La Candelaria. La Candelaria is a huge place with cottages available for overnight stays. On the grounds there are a polo field, a pool, tennis courts, horses, a church and more. There are free daily bike rentals and plenty of green space and paths to stroll along. What we found most impressive was the small but very authentic castle, Castillo Normando, which is now used as a hotel for the estancia. Go on a Saturday and you will be able to make the gaucho festival, complete with an asado and horse show.
For more estancia trip ideas, also read our other experience at a gaucho town near Buenos Aires.
Bike ride to San Isidro
A beautiful and economic way to spend a weekend day out of Buenos Aires is by taking a bike ride. One of the nicer, more enjoyable routes is along the river through the northern suburbs to the elegant San Isidro. San Isidro is a scenic, tranquilo (mellow), easily accessible suburb north of the Capital. To get there on a bici (short for bicicleta) you can start by taking the bike path along the river called Paseo de la Costa.
Paseo de la Costa is a path that starts and runs through the park, Parque de Los Niños, in Vicente Lopez. It is exclusive for bicycles, rollerbladers, and pedestrians. The best way to get to the path/park is to go on Avenida del Libertador, passes the General Paz highway (which is the limit of the city), keeps right when Libertador splits. then bikes a little more till you hit the street Francisco Narciso de Laprida. Turn right onto it and it’ll take you directly to the park.
Once you are in this park there are playgrounds, ping pong tables, soccer fields, and kite surfing equipment available to rent. Palm trees line the side of the road; sand, umbrellas and beach chairs provide the coveted beach get-away. Keep cycling and you will see a harbor with hundreds of boats as well as food stands. Feel free to take a break from your bike to stop and watch the many sailboats in the river—be sure to try a choripan (popular sausage sandwich). During the summer months, there are always a lot going on in this huge Parque de Los Niños, you can stop your bike trip right here and enjoy all the activities available at the park.
If you’d like to continue, after Paseo de La Costa ends at the limit of the park, get on Hipólito Yrigoyen to take you back onto Av. del Libertador and turn right (going north). Follow Av. del Libertador for a while till you get to Roma and turn right. Turn on the next left onto Eduardo Ramseyer. This road pretty much runs along the river and you can use the river as the guide; it will eventually ends and becomes Juan Díaz de Solis. Once you get to San Isidro you can wander around the weekend art fería (fair), admire the mansions, and enjoy the peaceful scenery before turning around and heading back to the city lights.
For a more direct route, you can simply take Av. del Libertador all the way there from the city and back, but you would be missing out on all the beautiful views along the way and the nice breeze from Rio de la Plata.
Last but not least, before heading out on the bike, don’t forget to read our safety tips for riding a bike in Buenos Aires.