Things to Do in The Pampas - page 4
While San Telmo gets much of the attention as the center of tango culture in the Argentine capital, Barrio de Abasto has equally deep roots. It was in this barrio just outside the city center where Carlos Gardel, the nation’s most famous tango star of the 1920s and 1930s, lived. While off the typical tourist track, present day Abasto is home to many milongas where visitors can come practice the tango, as well as Casa Carlos Gardel, a small museum dedicated to the singer.
If you don’t come for the tango, come for the shopping. Barrio de Abasto is anchored by the Abasto Shopping Center, one of the biggest and best commercial centers. Formerly a produce market, the mall within the brilliantly restored historic building now features top local and international brands, as well as a cinema.
Barrio de Abasto is also home of the largest Jewish population in Buenos Aires. Scattered throughout the neighborhood visitors will find temples and restaurants, including the only kosher McDonalds outside Israel.
Every Monday, the percussion group La Bomba de Tiempo plays at Buenos Aires’ Ciudad Cultural Konex. It’s one of the more unusual attractions in the city, but more than five million people have seen the show over the past 12 years. Join the crowds dancing to the rhythms of the drummers.
One of Buenos Aires’s most famous landmarks, the Obelisco (Obelisk), is located in the center of Plaza de la Republica. Erected in 1936 to commemorate the first (and ultimately unsuccessful) founding of Buenos Aires by Pedro de Mendoza on its 400th anniversary, the monument stands in the center of Avenida 9 de Julio where it intersects Corrientes.
The obelisk, designed by Argentine architect Alberto Prebisch, is famously visible from Plaza de Mayo. When Porteños have something to celebrate, particularly a significant soccer victory, flag-waving fans flood the plaza surrounding the monument.
Before the obelisk went up, Plaza de la Republica was the site of the Church of Saint Nicholas, built on the spot where the flag of Argentina was first flown in 1812 after gaining independence from Spain.
The striking salmon-pink façade of Argentina’s presidential palace—the Casa Rosada (Pink House)—is one of the capital’s most iconic sights, presiding over the historic Plaza de Mayo square. Home of the Argentine President and government offices since 1862, it’s been the backdrop for some of Argentina’s most important political events.
Buenos Aires ranks among South America’s most popular ports of call, featuring on expedition cruises to Patagonia and trips through the Panama Canal. The Buenos Aires Cruise Port sits near the heart of the city, with both plenty to do in the surrounds and farther afield.
With over 350 different animal species and an acclaimed exotic breeding program, Buenos Aires Eco-Park is the go-to place for urban wildlife spotting, hitting headlines at the start of 2013 when one of its Bengal White Tigers produced a rare litter of four cubs. Located close to Plaza Italia in the heart of the city’s Palermo district, the zoo has been running since 1888 and today houses over 2,500 animal inhabitants, as well as spearheading Argentina’s zoological research, education and preservation efforts.
The 18-hectare park aims to mimic a range of different ecosystems, with a variety of unique enclosures and architecturally impressive buildings, set around a boating lake and island inhabited by a population of Madagascan Lemurs. Highlights include the subtropical jungle exhibition, where a suspension bridge offers a prime view of the lush vegetation and birdlife; an aquarium where piranhas, sea sharks and tropical fish are displayed alongside a penguin and seal pool; a Japanese style pagoda housing a family of Giant pandas; and a dimly-lit bat enclosure. Giraffes, rhinoceros, pumas, lions, monkeys and elephants are just some of the zoo’s animal inhabitants, along with some more unique specimens like Red Pandas, Orangutans and a colorful array of native birdlife. There’s even a petting zoo where visitors can interact and feed goats, donkeys, llamas and Shetland ponies. The zoo also frequently opens its doors during the evening hours with after-dark visits offering the chance to see a different side of the animals’ lifestyle as well as getting the rare opportunity to watch the zoo’s nocturnal animals at large.
This one-of-a-kind destination combines the best of theme parks, nature reserves and traditional mountain villages to create a 200-hectare adventure zone perfect for extreme adventurers and fun families. Travelers can explore the trails on a self-guided tour of the Penon del Aguila nature reserve, catch a colorful traditional dance performance, zip line through the jungle, navigate a high ropes course or horseback ride through the countryside of Argentina on a visit to Penon del Aguila.
While the park offers an exhaustive menu of organized activities, travelers can also enjoy a relaxing day here without planning in advance. Picnic areas, waterfalls, hiking trails and swing bridges offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun that don’t require an endless supply of adrenaline.
Boasting more than 99 acres (40 hectares) of lakes, open-air aquariums, and parklands, Mundo Marina is one of Argentina’s largest aquariums. A popular choice for a family day out, it’s home to marine animals such as dolphins, sharks, penguins, and orca whales.
Less than an hour from Buenos Aires, Campanopolis Medieval Village is one of Argentina’s quirkiest open-air museums. Eclectic buildings, castle-like towers, and cobbled lanes transport you to medieval times and make for unique photo opportunities.
Just a short stroll from the beaches of Mar del Plata, the Mar del Plata Aquarium is a large, important sea life center in Argentina that's part rehabilitation center and part aquarium. Visit to see a variety of marine creatures, including dolphins, penguins, sea lions, and a variety of seabirds.
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