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5 Best Day Trips from Buenos Aires

Updated on December 12, 2010
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A markerSan Antonio de Areco -
San Antonio de Areco, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
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This is a popular place to visit an estancia near Buenos Aires.

B markerIguazu Falls -
Puerto Iguazú, Misiones, Argentina
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C markerColonia del Sacramento, Uruguay -
Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay
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D markerMontevideo, Uruguay -
Montevideo, Uruguay
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The capital city of Uruguay is a three hour ferry ride away from Buenos Aires.

E markerTigre Delta, Argentina -
Delta, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
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Take the train up the coast to the Tigre Delta

View from a boat on the Tigre Delta
View from a boat on 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!

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  • Ashley Hejsan profile image

    Ashley Hejsan 2 years ago from UK

    I visited almost all those places. Iguazu Falls maybe in my next trip. Me and my friends have been to Buenos Aires in last January. I´d like to add the Pope Francis Tour we took. We visited the "barrio" where Bergoglio lived as a child, where he played soccer on the corner playground, an amazing church where he was baptised and where he lived before being elected Pope and changed his name to Francis 1. The staff was so accommodating in planning our tour. For just a bit extra, the driver came to pick us up at a local residence. Our driver was amazingly helpful and kind. Our english-speaking guide was excellent, we could understand every word. The company is Kangoo Tours www.kangootours.wix.com/tours Hope I could help with my comment .

  • fruitunderatree profile image

    fruitunderatree 7 years ago from Cambridge, UK

    lived in BA for 4 years and did all those things except the Montevideo ferry. I loved Argentina and Uruguay. I loved particularly 'La Boca' where you could eat the best calamari in the world whilst watching Tango. Or tripping out to SanPedro and camping by the Parana with the stars over the asado. What great nights we had.!!!! Besos.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you for such a wonderfully descriptive hub.

  • lindacee profile image

    lindacee 7 years ago from Arizona

    Another excellent hub! I have done an overnight visa run from Montevideo to BA. It is a fun trip, but would like to stay longer next time. I have a couple of friends there and really need to spend more time.

  • yourdailytask profile image

    yourdailytask 7 years ago from Mumbai

    Hey really great post on the places that can be visited in BA. It was great to read about it here.. The Google map really helped to understand the geographical location of the places from each other.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Nilesh Shukla

    http://www.yourdailytask.com/

  • s.carver profile image

    s.carver 7 years ago from San Francisco

    B.A. is on my short list of places to visit. These look like great suggestions, should I ever make it there!

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