Last updated on May 20th, 2019 at 08:51 am
Read below as Expert Travel Consultant Conrad McGarvey, who lives in the San Telmo area of Buenos Aires, gives his recommendations on the best historical tours of Argentina.
When it comes to the history of Argentina, look no further than Buenos Aires. The city is steeped in history, from the Spanish colonial era through the revolution to modern-day Argentina. The best way to uncover everything the city has to offer is getting on the ground and taking a walk back through time with the best historical tours the city has to offer.
Below are my top 3 recommendations on where you should go for a historic tour of Argentina!
Buenos Aires Argentina – Mysterious Underground Tunnels Tour
Apart from enjoying the traditional attractions, discover one of Buenos Aires’ best-kept secrets: the ancient underground tunnels of the city.
Plaza de Mayo & San Telmo Market
Begin at the foundation of the city: Plaza de Mayo. Visit the Casa Rosada, the Cabildo and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Then travel to San Telmo, an antique cobblestone street district with a throbbing bohemian atmosphere. What is San Telmo’s best-kept secret? The mysterious underground tunnels. Travel through the tunnel system and find the fascinating underground objects which tell the unique history of the city.
Underground Tunnel Argentina Tour
La Boca District & Puerto Madero District
Next, visit the colorful La Boca district. While here, walk through the famous Caminito Street, one of the most representative local icons. Then enjoy the Puerto Madero district, populated by sophisticated buildings, luxury hotels, and upscale restaurants.
Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires Argentina
After visiting the beautiful San Martin Park, tour the neighborhood of Recoleta. Recoleta includes the elegant Avenida Alvear, the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Basilica and the Recoleta Cemetery. The Recoleta Cemetery is the resting place of many important Argentinian figures, including Eva Perón. The tour ends at the Palermo Woods, designed by the renowned landscape architect Charles Thays. One way you can take part in a similar tour is through joining our Very Best Highlights of Argentina Tour!
Buenos Aires Argentina – Above the Ground, Walking City Tour
Plaza de Mayo
Travel back to the Colonial origins of Buenos Aires. Start at Plaza de Mayo and visit the buildings surrounding the square. The highlights include the Pink House, Argentina’s Presidential Palace, the Cabildo, the primitive town hall, and the Metropolitan Cathedral (the city’s most important temple).
Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires Argentina
Manzana de las Luces
Next, walk to ‘Manzana de las Luces’ (Block of Lights), nicknamed in 1822 after the ‘enlightening’ educational institutions located inside its perimeter. Here, find the San Ignacio Church (the oldest in town), and the prestigious Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, founded by the Jesuits during the Colonial era. In Montserrat, visit the antique La Estrella Pharmacy and the San Francisco Church.
San Telmo Market
Finally, head to San Telmo. San Telmo is a residential district for the upper class that was abandoned in the late 20th century. Walk across the traditional Plaza Dorrego and the Café Dorrego. After visiting the famous antiquarians in the area, see and shop around the old San Telmo Marketplace!
Recoleta Cemetery – A Recoleta Neighborhood Tour
History of Recoleta Cemetery
The exclusive Recoleta Cemetery, comparable to Paris’ own Père Lachaise, had, contrary to what one might guess, a humble origin. It was the city’s first public Cemetery, inaugurated in 1822. Beginning in 1870, the most traditional families moved from the historical quarters to Recoleta. Therefore, it became the final resting place of the Buenos Aires elite. A walk around this majestic necropolis, which houses 47,000 ornate mausoleums, vaults, tombs and funeral monuments in around five hectares, forces you to discredit the popular notion that everybody is equal in death.
Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Nuestra Senora del Pilar Basilica
Before entering the actual Cemetery, visit the nearby Nuestra Señora del Pilar Basilica. It’s the second oldest Colonial temple in town, built in 1732. It has been flawlessly restored and preserved, maintaining its important artwork.
Recoleta Cemetery Tour
Once in the Cemetery, admire the Neoclassical portico, with its tall pillars guarding the entrance to the necropolis. Walk across its wide, tree-lined avenues, stopping by some of the most illustrious tombs and vaults. Allowing you to trace back the history of Argentina with the personal aid of the important figures resting there. Presidents, dictators, Nobel-prize winners, many of the rest in this land of the death, including an extraordinary figure, Eva Perón. Whose mausoleum attracts pilgrims and visitors from all over the world, and witnesses her posthumous triumph over the aristocracy, who had hated and fought against her in life.
A nice addition to this historic tour of Argentina would be to visit the Evita Museum. For more information, read our list on the 10 can’t miss museums in Buenos Aires.
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