Buenos Aires For the First-Time Visitor

Argentina’s Presidential Palace is called Casa Rosada, or Pink House, for good reason. Located on the Plaza de Mayo.

BUENOS AIRES — It may be a commonplace, that Argentina’s capital is South America’s most European city. To see it for the first time is a revelation of sorts, nevertheless.

Other cities on the continent offer plenty of evidence for their European roots, too, but in this case, uniquely, think Paris.

Buenos Aires stands apart in other ways, as well. A higher percentage of the population is of European descent (as is true for all of Argentina) than elsewhere on the continent, and, although the country was a Spanish colony, it attracted a broader mix of European — and even American — immigrants. [Read more…]

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El Zanjón, San Telmo, Buenos Aires

El Zanjon in Buenos Airesby Kelly Monaghan

In the San Telmo district of Buenos Aires, on Avenida Defensa, lies what must be the city’s most enigmatic tourist attraction. El Zanjón (the term translates as “deep ditch” or “ravine”) is a . . . well, what exactly is it?

Twenty-five odd years ago, Jorge Eckstein bought a derelict house in the once fashionable barrio. Actually, ruin would be a better description. His motivation was commercial. It could be a restaurant, something. But then fate intervened.
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Bus Travel in Argentina

Argentina Bus Travel via Andesmarby Kelly Monaghan

Argentina is blessed with an elaborate public transportation system of long-haul intercity buses. In this vast country, people apparently think nothing of hopping on a bus and heading out for ten, twelve, even twenty-two hours across the Pampas or the wide open spaces of Patagonia.

When I heard that there is a regular schedule of high-end overnight “executive” service buses featuring “Cama Suites” with lay-flat seats similar to those found in first-class airline cabins, I was intrigued. I’m a great fan of overnight train travel and have sampled a wide variety of rolling stock, so I was curious to see how a bus would compare.
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Buenos Aires Museums: Museo de Bellas Artes

A short stroll from the Recoleta Cemetery and the Hard Rock Café (there’s a combo for you!), across Avenida del Libertador, lies the imposing hulk of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (the National Museum of Fine Arts).

Inside lies an embarrassment of riches that’s not to be missed.

One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to look for works of favorite European and American artists that have found their way to far flung corners of the globe, and the Museo de Bellas Artes doesn’t disappoint.
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Buenos Aires Museums: Museo Evita

Eva Duarte Peron was quite a gal. And if all you know about her is Madonna’s portrayal in the film version of the musical Evita, then a visit to the Museo Evita in Buenos Aires’ posh Palermo neighborhood is definitely in order.
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Practicing Spanish in Buenos Aires

One of the most enjoyable aspects of visiting any foreign country is trying to speak the language. Not only is it good mental exercise, but the locals will appreciate the effort you are making, no matter how halting it may be.

Unfortunately, for most of us, the opportunities to try out our language abilities are limited to restaurants, shops, and asking directions. If you’d like to expand your horizons while in Buenos Aires, help is at hand in the form of Spanglish.
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Rare White Lion Cubs At Buenos Aires Zoo

Sofia, the lioness, is showing off her three gorgeous white cubs at the Buenos Aires Zoo.

White lion cubs are rare and rarer still in South America. In fact these are the first born on the continent.

The cubs, a male and two females, were born on November 16, 2010.
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Buenos Aires Museums: MALBA

Buenos Aires may be in the antipodes for North American and European visitors, but a visit to MALBA affirms that when it comes to modern art we really do live in a global village.

The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires showcases the work of artists from the Spanish-speaking New World and, while many of the idioms have European accents, the quality reveals that South America is no mere artistic backwater.

Thanks to a smashing building by a trio of local architects, Gastón Atelman, Martín Fourcade, and Alfredo Tapia, the museum is a bright and airy jewel box for the art on display and the ambiance contributes a great deal to the pleasure of a visit.
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