3 Alternative Delta Tours

tigre

PH: Miguel Vieira

The hot summer days are ideal for some riverside fun and the Paraná Delta in Tigre is well worth knowing. Below are our 3 picks of alternative tours in the area:

Bandoneon a Bordo: This tour company takes you out on a boat where you get to enjoy small intimate tango shows. They offer day trips, night journeys or 2-day expeditions and are perfect if you want to kick back and relax as you discover the region. 

Selknam Canoes: If you would rather try a more dynamic exploration you can take a trip with Selknam canoes and paddle in a handcrafted wooden Canadian boat through the beautiful Tigre canals. They offer two-hour day trip tours, night tours and custom made tours. 

Delta Unplugged: If you want to combine some sailing with homemade meals by a swiss chef and nutritionist, then Delta unplugged is for you. These tours are led by a couple who welcome you first to their home for a homemade breakfast and then take you out to explore the canals whilst tempting you with some more food on the way.

 

Off the Beaten Path: Day Trip to Luján

luján 2

PH: Julian Ortiz

Luján is a small town to the West of Buenos Aires province that is known for its stunning basilica which gathers thousands of devotees of the Luján Virgin Mary -Patroness of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay- year round. The beautiful basilica square is surrounded by cafés, small restaurants and santerías and is an interesting place because of its architecture and unique social activity.  Nearby the basilica is the Luján river where people gather in the weekends to make asados on the river banks, and if you’re into Stephen King kind of quirky there is also an eerie fun park and a haunted house in the town to explore.

If you’re travelling with kids, the Luján zoo is nearby the town center, has a small museum and is a great place for them to play with farm animals, pet a tiger, and enjoy some time outdoors.

How to get there:  The 57 bus to Luján/Mercedes leaves from Plaza Italia  every 30 minutes or so and drops you off at the Luján terminal which is right beside the Town square. Sube ticket is $AR 50 each way, so make sure to charge the full fare beforehand, and expect a long line on weekends on your way back. The bus ride takes approximately 1 1/2 hours depending on traffic.

 

Luján es un pueblo pequeño al oeste de la provincia de Buenos Aires, conocido por la imponente Basílica Nuestra Señora del Luján que todos los años convoca a miles de devotos de esta virgen patrona de Argentina, Paraguay y Uruguay. La hermosa plaza donde está ubicada la iglesia está rodeada de cafés, restaurantes y santerías y es un lugar interesante de descubrir tanto por su belleza arquitectónica como por su convocatoria social.  Cerca de la basílica está el Río Luján donde los fines de semana se junta gente a hacer asados en las orillas, y para quienes gusten de excentricidades al estilo Stephen King, también hay un parque de diversiones y una casa embrujada. 

Para los que viajan con niños, también existe la opción de ir al zoológico de Luján, a las afueras del pueblo, donde se puede jugar con animales de granja, acariciar a un tigre y visitar un pequeño museo. 

Cómo llegar: El colectivo 57 ramal Luján/Mercedes sale cada media hora aproximadamente de Plaza Italia y para en la terminal de Luján, al lado de la basílica.  El pasaje cuesta 50 pesos argentinos y se paga con SUBE por lo que es importante llevar la tarjeta cargada. El viaje en colectivo tarda aproximadamente 1 hora y media, dependiendo del tránsito, y suele ir bastante lleno de regreso a Capital los fines de semana. 

 

 

 

3 Parques para descubrir en Buenos Aires

Uno de los atractivos de Buenos Aires es que a pesar de ser una gran ciudad, está llena de parques y árboles. En la zona de Palermo, el Jardín Botánico en Plaza Italia y el Parque 3 de Febrero son populares y suelen atraer tanto locales como turistas, pero para aquellos que se quieran aventurar un poco más, elegimos tres parques que vale la pena descubrir en Buenos Aires.

1- Parque de la Memoria

pensar es un hecho revolucionario

PH: Gustav´s

Este punto situado en la costa del Río de la Plata, se irguió para conmemorar a las víctimas del terrorismo de estado. En él se encuentran monumentos y esculturas, exhibiciones de arte que invitan a la reflexión, y un centro de documentación por lo que es un lugar interesante para entender mejor la identidad local que lleva la marca indeleble de este momento trágico en la historia Argentina. Avenida Costanera Norte Rafael Obligado 6745, downtown.

2- Parque Centenario

parque centenario

PH Beatrice Murch

Ubicado en el barrio de Caballito, y diseñado por Carlos Thays, el Parque Centenario es muy concurrido donde la gente se junta para pasar un rato al aire libre y compartir unos mates.  En el centro hay un pequeño lago, y también cuenta con una asociación de astronomía en uno de sus lados, un anfiteatro en el que se programan conciertos gratuitos, un Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, y los fines de semana, una feria de libros.

3- Parque Avellaneda

casa olivares

PH paula soler-moya

Un poco más alejado de Palermo, ubicado en el barrio de Flores, se encuentra el Parque Avellaneda que tiene un trencito que lo rodea y un centro de arte contemporáneo en la Casona de los Olivera, una hermosa casa antigua del 1800.  Av. Directorio and Lacarra, Flores. 

Off the Beaten Path: Day Trip to Gouin

gouin-1

PH Mauricio Genta

Buenos Aires is a large province, and although known for its vibrant city capital, there are many small towns in the city outskirts that preserve a local feel which remits to another time in history. One such place is Gouin where the old train station, traditional lunching spots and open countryside make for an inviting quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The town is a 2 hour drive away from the city center,  10km off from the larger Carmen de Areco (not to be confused with San Antonio de Areco), which is also an interesting place to stop by. It has only 122 inhabitants, a small church, a park, an old train station and three lunch spots:

Restaurante La Estación in the old train station. 02273- 15-406056

Pulpería Don Tomás which serves cold cuts, homemade pasta and asados prepared by the owners.  02273-15-406865 / 02325-15-657425

Pulpería “La Mora” on Calle Andrade y Rivadavia  attended by a lady called Carmen López. Cel: 02273-15-409706

The town’s attractions include the chapel, the San Martín park and a fair with regional products in front of the park that opens on weekends.

Guest Blogger: Ana López Furst

Ana López Furst shares some out-of-town spots to go biking in.

 

DSCN1253

 

One of my favourite activities is riding my bike.

I’ve lived in the northern suburbs since I was a small child and one day, not too long ago,  I became a northern suburbs blondey (a fake one, I must confess). At least that´s what a good friend of mine likes saying – and laughing at! But I don´t mind… I keep biking and he keeps waiting for the bus.

This sarcastic expression refers that some northern suburbs in Buenos Aires are considered upper-class areas. Blonde hair here is associated to Saxon “aristocratic” races, foreign to our mainly aboriginal-Spanish-Italian origins, and many wealthy families chose this area for their “weekend houses”.

That said, I’m really thankful my parents once decided to move out of the city as I honestly, don´t think I could ever make it back.

IMG_2711

My schooldays were spent coming and going around beautiful Vicente López neighborhood. Walking along its beautiful tree lined streets and avenues all those years, together with my mom´s love for gardens and green, made me the nature lover I became.

I was never very sporty, but as a young mother I discovered the possibility of biking my girl to kindergarten instead of using my car for just a dozen blocks – and that was how it all started.

Not hard to imagine the freedom a bike may bring: no parking, you make it through every little space, no gas needed, almost no maintenance expenses, you take care of the environment, you burn some of those pastries you just had (well, unless some of them!), it helps your legs look toned and even longer (that’s good when you are only 5.18 feet tall) and it is good for your health!

I have always thought it is a pity tourists usually don´t visit this areas. If you are fond of nature and serene picturesque settings, you shouldn’t miss it. Lots of  companies offer  bike rental in Buenos Aires, renting per hour, half day, full day… they even bring it to your hotel door! So, no excuses!

Perhaps you’ve heard of Santa Fe. This long avenue, changing its name several times, will take you straight into Vicente López, the first neighborhood adjacent to Buenos Aires City, and then into Olivos, Martínez, Acasusso and San Isidro. However, no doubt I suggest you make it north following Libertador Gral. San Martín Avenue, which will offer you nicer views of parks along its way (please always remember to be extremely careful with traffic, carry helmets and a lock to secure your bike while enjoying a coffee, lunch, ice-cream or a beer at one of the many spots you can visit).

The landscape won’t be the same everywhere around, for sure, and the best to be seen is by the coast line, between the trails of Mitre railway line and the river itself (Río de La Plata), because, yes! there are very nice coastal spots to be enjoyed right by the river too, with amazing views of the city during clear days!

IMG_2736

Beautiful pebble stone streets and a hundred greens will greet you: Tipas (tipuana tipu), Jacarandás and Palo Borrachos (ceiba speciosa), also Ombúes (phitolacca dioica) and some palms are easy to find down town and could be considered the most abundant in Buenos Aires, while when you adventure into this area you will discover many others dressing the streets, as the perfect outfit for a most enjoyable ride – autumn will add amazing bonus of yellows and ochres up and down).

Let me suggest a first stop right at Vicente López train station. Go to the corner of Azcuénaga and Roca Streets (across the railroads) and you will see one of the most picturesque settings. The Café de Paris is a beautiful old building and the many small stores around will remind you of some hidden corner of that European city. But please! If you have a sweet teeth as I do, follow Azcuénaga Street just a few meters towards the train station and, weather at their beautiful outside sitting area or inside this small but sophisticated cafeteria, choose your selection of their best delicacies, at Confitería Vicente López  – most well known for their amazing medialunas de grasa pastries, an absolute must.

Then you can make it along Libertador again and visit the Paseo de la Costa for your first sight of Río de La Plata. That will be Vito Dumas Street between Laprida and H. Yrigoyen streets.

Back to the avenue once more, ride straight until Paraná Street and once there (you are arriving in Martínez now), enjoy getting lost around the so many streets full of beautiful houses and gardens and look for Alvear Street this time, to take you again to the river side. Once there you will be at Barrancas de Alvear, a very popular parrilla, thanks to its gorgeous City views and very extensive and tidy lawn. This is another extraordinary spot maybe for lunch, some beer or nice piece of cake at tea time.

IMG00071-20120616-1505

Perhaps this time you will need to “walk” your bike up the slope back to the avenue (hehehe…downhill was easy, wasn’t it?) or you make it along Juan Díaz de Solis Street or Elcano, two quiet streets parallel to the Tren de la Costa railway, that will take you into Acasusso and San Isidro neighborhoods.

On weekends, Barrancas station boasts a really nice and colorful antiques fair, and right opposite on Elcano Street (Elcano 648) you can enjoy once more, some nice parrilla and other traditional dishes, at a very telluric setting: El ñandú restaurant. If you fancy checking out even more antiques, do not hesitate to visit Gabriel del Campo, a preferred space for interior designers and you may find real hidden gems (Elcano 564).

IMG_2757

You may also notice brave courageous northern young ones don’t fear the dark and cold river waters! A couple of water sports schools find their place here also, like the very well-known Perú Beach.

Now keep it rolling way north, until you reach San Isidro station on Tren de la Costa, and once there stroll up Plaza Mitre (there’s an arts and crafts fair at the weekend) and visit beautiful San Isidro cathedral. If you care for a local northern lunch at this point, then make it La Anita, a homemade choice and very friendly people! (Tiscornia 843).

Now, for a perfect ending, go back on your steps and look for Roque Saenz Peña Street and then towards the river. You made it to Barisidro this time, the best option for sunset and my guarantee for romantic scene: sailing boats, colorful kitesurf sails and Buenos Aires city silhouette all there for you  ith your choice of beer, shakes, coffee or a great burger after such a long day!

Warn you: northern suburbs are much more relaxed than most down town areas. Don´t look for fancy. Just enjoy!

bikeAna López Furst mans the front desk at Hotel Fierro. All photos are taken by her.

 

Fierro Loves Hollywood: Dorrego Flea Market

(Photo by jikatu)

The Dorrego flea market in Palermo, not to be confused with the outdoor antique market surrounding Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo, is a great place to look for knick-knacks, antique furniture and unique finds. The market, which opened approximately 25 years ago, is one of the largest in South America, and offers all sorts of distinctive objects from all around the globe due to the colorful migratory history of the country. There is also some interesting urban art in the surrounding area.

The market is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm and is located at the corner of Dorrego and Alvarez Thomas, at the limit between Palermo Hollywood and Colegiales.

Fierro Loves Hollywood: Palermo’s Hottest Blocks

Palermo is divided into all sorts of funny sub categories (most unofficial) and new ones keep popping up all the time. Some of the better known ones include Palermo Viejo (or “old” Palermo), Palermo SOHO (where all the designer shops are), and Palermo Hollywood. New sub-Palermos also include Palermo Botánico (where the Botanical gardens are, you guessed it!), Palermo Zoo (another self-explanatory one), Palermo Queens (better known as Villa Crespo but rebaptized by some because it is supposedly one of the city’s transvestite epicenters), and Palermo Freud/Sensible (because a lot of psychologists have their practice in the area). Regardless of names, it is important to know that the popular neighborhood is divided into North and South of Juan B. Justo, Between Libertador Avenue and Santa Fé, and between Santa Fé and Avenida Córdoba.

Fierro Hotel is located in the glamorous Palermo Hollywood, which coined its name after radio stations and production companies began to open up in the area in the nineties. Its limits are Av. Córdoba, Santa Fé, Dorrego and Juan B. Justo and it is one of the liveliest areas in town in terms of dining, nightlife, shopping, art and more. Over the following weeks we will be reviewing the hottest spots for coffee, drinks, and why not even a manicure. Of course, brunch and dinner are always best at Hernán Gipponi Restaurant, but there are some pretty great neighbors to get to know too.