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.

We Recommend: San Antonio de Areco

(Photo by Eduardo Amorim)

To the North of Buenos Aires province, just 113 Km’s away from the city, lies a little town abuzz with visitors looking for a bit of history and a taste of gaucho life. The homeland of Segundo Ramirez, a local gaucho who poet and novelist Ricardo Güiraldes was inspired by when writing Don Segundo Sombra, one of the pillars of Argentine literature, is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of the typical countryside  gaucho life, to find native silverwork and traditional crafts, and explore historic landmarks.

 

Our suggestions:

Check out historic Gaucho artifacts and learn more about this Argentine archetype at the beautiful Museo Gauchesco y Parque Criollo Ricardo Güiraldes which is structured like an eighteenth century hacienda.

The Pampa Indigenas were already adorning their wives with silver bracelets way before the Spanish colonized the area so it should come as no surprise that one of the local specialties should be silverwork.  The Centro Cultural and Museo Taller Draghi showcases some of the finest examples of the elaborate designs of renowned silversmith Juan José Draghi.

Visit the historic bridge (Puente Viejo) and the San Antonio de Padua church, two of the first constructions of the town.

Take a canoe down the river, ride a horse through the open fields or go sports fishing to enjoy the natural environment San Antonio de Areco has to offer. Contact services here.

Stop for a sweet treat at La Olla de Cobre, where Carlos and Teresita make their own chocolate starting from the processing of the cacao bean to the delicious end product. Don’t miss their fantastic alfajores!

 

How to get there?

Two options are available to get to San Antonio de Areco, one is by car, the other by bus.

By car take Ruta 8.

By bus: Head to the Retiro Bus Terminal where  bus companies are grouped together by region. Chevalier  has a bus to Areco that takes about two hours.  During the summer season it is advised to buy tickets ahead of time.

 

Where to stay?

There are various estancias, inns  and Bed & Breakfasts to choose from. Some of the more known options are  Estancia La Porteña de Areco, El Ombu de Areco, and Paradores Draghi.

 

Tips:

Go on a weekday to avoid crowds and if you’re traveling in November don’t miss Tradition Week where festivities and local customs are celebrated all month.

Sightseeing off the beaten path: A unique Bookshop

Librería El Ateneo

The old theater on Santa Fe Avenue was turned into a bookstore in the end of the 90’s. Now the stage is a cafe and there is plenty of room to sit and enjoy your books. Great to find photo books about the city and the contryside for your coffee talbe at home. Librería el Ateneo, Santa Fe 1860