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5 Best Day Trips from Buenos Aires
This is a popular place to visit an estancia near Buenos Aires.
The capital city of Uruguay is a three hour ferry ride away from Buenos Aires.
Take the train up the coast to the Tigre Delta
Buenos Aires, Argentina is a terrific city with a lot of activities for people with all different types of interests. You won’t be bored in this urban center while you’re there. However, it is still sometimes nice to get out of the city and see some of the other things that there are to see in the greater surrounding area of Argentina. If you get the opportunity to enjoy such an experience, here are five terrific day trip options that you may want to take advantage of:
1. Go to The Pampas and spend the day at an estancia. One of the most popular day trips away from the city of Buenos Aires is to the countryside known as Las Pampas. Here you can visit a working ranch. At the ranch you’ll be able to see gauchos, “cowboys” who live a traditional country life working with horses and cattle. Many people choose to stay overnight at one of the estancias, which is usually set up with bed-and-breakfast accommodation. A typical overnight stay at an estancia would include a traditional Argentina barbecue meal, an opportunity to go horseback riding, a folk music performance and a show of gaucho skills with their horses. The rest of the time you might wander the grounds, enjoy gardens, go birdwatching or swim in a pool on the grounds. On my own trip to Argentina I went to Estancia El Ombu in San Antonio de Areco, about two hours drive away from Buenos Aires. It’s a great option for a day trip without an overnight stay (although overnight stays are an option). I booked a day tour thought my hotel and took a shared van to the ranch. However, there are many estancias throughout the region surrounding Buenos Aires and you can also drive to them yourself if you’re so inclined.
2. Take a plane to Iguazu Falls. This is a set of famous waterfalls that are located on the border of Argentina and Brazil. In fact, it’s one of the leading tourist destinations in all of South America. The falls are approximately twice the size of Niagara Falls and often compared with Victoria Falls in Africa. It’s approximately a three hour plane ride from Buenos Aires to the falls so most people spend a few days in the area of the falls once they get there. Sadly I didn’t have the opportunity to see the falls on my own trip to Buenos Aires so I can’t speak from experience about what they’re like but I’ve heard only marvelous things from people who did this day trip. If you enjoy the natural world, and especially if you like hiking, then this is an ideal day trip option as a Buenos Aires visitor.
3. Ride the train up to the Tigre Delta. Spend a day on El Tren de la Costa. This is a train that makes about a dozen stops along the coast of the Rio de la Plata. You don’t see much of the river from the train but you can get off and on at the stations as much as you’d like. Each little station has its own appeal. For example one has a tango history display and another is a Dutch-inspired café. At the last stop you can get off and book a boat ride of the little islands on the delta of the Rio de la Plata. This is a very relaxing ride that is worth the cost (about $75 USD per person is what we paid). At this stop you’ll also find shopping, a small amusement park and a three-story casino to keep you entertained. It definitely fills up an entire day with activity.
4. Ferry across the river to Uruguay and visit the historic town of Colonia. You can take a fast or slow ferry across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires over to Colonia, Uruguay. (The difference is about an hour and a half each way vs. approximately twice as long.) I actually didn’t get the opportunity to do this day trip during my Buenos Aires vacation although I had planned on it. The ferry was all booked for the times that I wanted to go so I recommend making your ferry reservations online in advance of your trip. Remember to take your passport as you are going to another country. From what I’ve been told the day can be spent in Colonia visiting small museums. The museums include historic homes, old churches and a Portuguese history museum. Also be sure to go to “Calle de los Suspiros”, a historic street that is highly photographed by tourists. Colonia is reportedly very laidback and a nice retreat away from the urban bustle of Buenos Aires.
5. Take the ferry to Montevideo instead. It is also possible to ferry from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay. People who are interested in exploring multiple countries during their South America trip find this excursion appealing. The fast ferry takes approximately three hours to get from Buenos Aires to Montevideo so it’s possible to just go for the day but many people opt to stay overnight. As with any capital city, you’ll find many things to do once you’re here including shopping (especially at flea markets), hiking, nightlife activities, museums, churches and the historic “Old Town”.
Have you been to Buenos Aires? Did you do a day trip? I’d love to know about your experience!