Local guide: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Local guide: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Buenos Aires, Argentina by A4A guest writer, Ivana Leturia.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Overview of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. It is an autonomous district, this means it is not part of Buenos Aires Province. It is often called “the Paris of South America”, because of its beautiful European-style architecture.

Other nice places to visit close to the autonomous city are Tigre, San Isidro and Olivos.

Planing a trip to South America? Read our highlights of South America from travelers.

Top 5 places to visit

5. Avenida 9 de Julio

Take a stroll along 9 de Julio Avenue. It is the widest avenue in the world! Some buildings of interest located on this avenue are:

  • Colón Theatre – One of the world’s best opera houses, located in a beautiful building. I really suggest to do the guided tours.
  • Obelisco – The icon of the city, located in the intersection with avenue Corrientes. This is another nice street to stroll along and discover theaters and bookstores.

Obelisco, Buenos Aires. Photo credit: A4A guest writer, Ivana Leturia

4. Puerto Madero 

Puerto Madero is one of the newest barrios (districts) of Buenos Aires. It used to be a port and now it’s the area where all the modern and luxury buildings are. The landmark of this district is the Women’s Bridge by Calatrava.

Puerto Madero is also the place for all the fancy restaurants and hotels. But behind all the luxury, Puerto Madero is the location for Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve. A 865-acre reserve bordering the Río de la Plata River which shows a great contrast.

Puerto Madero. Photo credit: A4A guest writer, Ivana Leturia

3. Recoleta Cemetery

You may wonder why a cemetery is on the top places to visit. The mausoleums are elaborated with marble, decorated with art noveau and deco statues, and the graves of notable people like Eva Perón are here. This cemetery is actually a nice place to visit!

After this, you can walk Recoleta district which is one of the most beautiful and also priciest in the city. Floralis Genérica is located in this barrio: a giant flower made of steel that closes its petals at night and opens up again in the morning.

2. San Telmo & La Boca

The most traditional barrios and the origin of the city. You can start the visit at Plaza de Mayo, a square surrounded by all the main government buildings like Casa Rosada (Pink House). Then you can continue strolling along San Telmo quaint paved streets. This historic neighbourhood is really worth a visit: colonial houses, street antique markets, vinyls and tango.

La Boca is immersed in futbol (soccer) and of course, tango. Its most famous street is Caminito, attractive because of its tiny colorful houses, where the immigrants lived when they first arrived to the city. Some areas in La Boca are not so safe, so just try to be careful and stay in the touristic places.

La Boca, Buenos Aires. Photo credit: A4A guest writer, Ivana Leturia

1. Palermo

Palermo is the bohemian, chic neighbourhood of the city. It’s a great place to enjoy cool restaurants, bars, open- air markets, fashion boutiques and street art. Palermo is also home to a series of immense gardens worth checking out: Botanical gardens, rose garden, Japanese gardens and Palermo woods. If you’re into museums, MALBA (Museum of Latin American art) owns a unique collection of work by artists such as Berni, Diego Rivera, Frida Khalo and others.

Eating and drinking

Argentina has delicious food, and you can’t leave the country without trying the following:

  • Asado – It may look like a barbecue but it isn’t! Meat is cooked in a “parrilla”(grill) using carbon and wood. The best place to eat an asado is in a house really, because it is a social gathering for us, but there are many “parrillas” that also serve good asado.
  • Dulce de leche – A thick caramel, result of condensed milk. We put it in everything. Try dulce de leche ice cream.
  • Empanadas – A typical food served as entry. A pasty stuffed with beef, chicken, veggies, cheese, etc.
  • Alfajores – Sort of a biscuit, usually made with chocolate and dulce de leche. Try it in Havanna Coffee with a submarino (Argentine hot chocolate).
  • Milanesa – Basically breaded beef, chicken or soy. Everyone loves milanesas.

The best neighbourhoods to eat are Palermo and Belgrano. Try BurgerJoint for hamburgers, Guerrín for pizza, and NEGRO or AllSaintsCafe for coffee.


Public transport is the most common way to get around Buenos Aires. Buses (bondis or colectivos), subways and trains work with the SUBE card. The SUBE is a rechargeable card available at post offices, kioscos (small shops selling confectionery) and tourist assistance centers. The cost of the card is 25 pesos and they can be charged with credit at subways stations, national lottery spots and kioscos.


For budget accommodation, you’ll find cool hostels in Palermo and San Telmo area. Another neighbourhood with plenty of places to stay is Microcentro, but as it’s a financial area it is really crowded during daytime and there’s no one after 8 pm. A positive point is you will be within a walking distance to many main attractions.

A4A guest writer - Ivana LeturiaA4A guest writer – Ivana Leturia

I’m a 22 year old travel and photography lover from Buenos Aires. I study architecture and blog in my free time. While I’m not travelling, I’m discovering new places in BA.

Follow Ivana at http://www.postcardsfromivi.com, on Facebook and Instagram.

If you would like to work with Adoration 4 Adventure, contact A4A.

All photos in this article are the property of A4A guest writer, Ivana Leturia.

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Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

Have you visited Buenos Aires or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

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Highlights of South America from travelers

Highlights of South America from travelers

Adoration 4 Adventure’s collection of South American highlights from travelers.

A collection of traveler’s favorite places within the South American continent, including many “off the beaten path” destinations. To be used for your next South American itinerary, travel inspiration or just a good read.

Also read a collection of African highlights from travelers

Highlights of South America

Morro Branco, Ceara, Brazil


Chantell Collins

One of the destinations I remember most fondly from my 7 month stay in Brazil is Praia de Morro Branco. Translating from Portuguese it means “Beach of White Hill” to represent the many sand dunes in the area. It is also well known in Brazil as the filming place of a famous telenovela (soap opera) “Final Feliz” during the 1980s.

Here visitors can take an exhilarating buggy (or “boogie”) tour of the sand dunes, beautiful beach and filming locations. Along the beach there are various mysterious caves with water trickling down through the rock crevices to create mini waterfalls.

The highlight of the area for most is the Labirinto das Falesias, which is a maze formed into the dune-shaped cliffs. This provides an opportunity to clearly see all the different colors of natural sand in the rock. Nearby there are market stalls which sell glass jars containing patterns created from the different colored sands.

Morro Branco, Ceara, Brazil

Easter Island, Chile

Adam Hubka


Easter Island, Isla de Pascua on your boarding pass, or Rapa Nui if you ask the locals – is a truly incredible place to visit. A five hour flight from Chile, the South American island is one of the most remotely inhabited islands on the planet. Home to the iconic Moai head statues, Easter Island is brimming with adventure and history – it’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The main city, Hanga Roa, has a nice selection of bars, tourist shops, and restaurants (the pisco sours and ceviche were fantastic). The triangle-shaped island is small, about 24.5 km (15 mi) long by 12 km (7.5 mi) wide, so you can cover most of it on one of the many guided tours. You can also rent bikes and cars if you prefer to explore at your own pace.

Only 50,000 people make the trip to Easter Island each year, and they only allow one flight to the island each day. Watching the sun set into the Pacific Ocean behind the silhouette of the Moais will always be one of our favorite travel memories. It is definitely our favorite city in South America- and possibly the world!

Easter Island - Highlights of South America. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Adam Hubka

Cartagena, Colombia

Katie Hughes


Cartegena is a great mix of historical Colonial buildings, vibrant salsa scene and Caribbean beaches. Basically it has something for everyone! I love being able to wander around the old walled city. With all the historical buildings refurbished, everything was very pretty and photogenic, albeit expensive for a backpacker (perfect for the middle aged tourist though!).

Out in the newer part of town, I stayed in Getsemani area. This is the bar and salsa scene where backpackers mix with locals, and lots of vibrant street art brighten things up. The main draw of Cartagena is its location on the Caribbean coast, which means that the weather is humid, but you are striking distance from fabulous beaches and national parks, and it’s easy to get a boat to Panama!

If you prefer your activities on solid (that’s questionable!) land there is also a mud volcano that can be visited for a full body mud pack, which comes with a mama (local lady) to wash you off in the lake afterwards!

Cartagena, Colombia. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Katie Hughes

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Meg Jerrard


The most amazing destination in South America is easily the Galapagos Islands. And while many opt for a cruise to island hop and explore the whole archipelago, we based ourselves on land and enjoyed everything the city of San Cristobal had to offer.

Tourism here is quite low compared to other hubs in the Galapagos, and it is wonderful to explore away from excessively large tourist crowds. We snorkeled close enough to touch enormous sea turtles, were slapped around under water by playful sea lions, and swam through schools of sharks, rare coral, and colorful fish while frigate birds circled overhead. At the end of each day we would collapse onto the beach next to equally exhausted sea lions, enjoying an afternoon nap under the warmth of the fierce Equatorial sun.

The wildlife on display here is equal to none. Blue-footed boobies were a highlight, as were the massive Galapagos tortoise. This really is nature’s greatest showcase and is one of the few destinations left in the world which actually lives up to its hype.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Meg Jerrard

Olon, Ecuador

Anna Faustino


Nestled right next to the busy touristy town of Montanita is a quiet little surf town called Olon. As soon as we stepped foot in Olon, we immediately fell in love! Unlike its neighboring town, the beach here was long and empty, giving you loads of space to relax and unwind. When we stumbled upon this gem of a place, we were looking for somewhere to live for a month while we learned Spanish and surfed. The town itself is very quiet with a few good restaurants here and there.

However, out of everything, the best thing about Olon is the people! Every morning when I go for my morning walk by the beach, the people in the streets greet me happily. There was even one particular time when Tom just finished surfing and badly wanted a beer, a store owner happily gave it to him and just said pay me tomorrow. People are laid back, the beach is stunning and the surfing is fun. We couldn’t have picked a better place to learn Spanish and live for a month. Definitely don’t miss this place when heading to South America!

Olon, Ecuador. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Anna Faustino

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia



The journey to Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia takes three days of travel from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, and although you reach high altitude (over 4000m) which can easily translate into sickness, it is all worth it. The trip is amazing and culminates with the sunrise which is absolutely spectacular!

The tour takes you through a variety of places like amazing Lagunas – Laguna Blanca, Laguna Verde, Laguna Colorada – the Dali desert, thermal baths (more than welcome if you suffer from altitude sickness), geysers, canyons and cute villages. So how can it get better than that?

The days before reaching Salar de Uyuni are a preparation, a beautiful and varied one, but the most breathtaking place is this huge salt land – the biggest in the world – transformed into an endless mirror when covered by rain.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Cristina

Atacama Desert, Huacachina, Peru

Joanna Davis


What would you expect to see in a village of 115 inhabitants and how many days would you plan to spend there? Huacachina is one of these place, where once arrived, you don’t want to ever leave! A small oasis in the heart of the desert, both its day and nightlife are fantastic!

Do you like wine or pisco? There’s a tour for you, where you can see how the liquors are made and learn how to taste the wine. Do you prefer adventure? Go on a dune adventure at sunset! Your adrenaline levels will go sky high when the buggy you’re in will take a sharp curve on the edge of a high dune. You’re also in for a treat with sand boarding! Lay down on the board (or keep it under your feet if you’re brave enough) and let go down the dune, whilst the sun is setting behind you.

Do you want to surprise your girlfriend? Endure the sand and climb the highest dune around the oasis after dark. It will be just the two of you, watching the stars, seeing the lights of the towns behind the dunes. Look into each other’s eyes and share a long, romantic kiss!

Atacama Desert, Huacachina, Peru. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Joanna Davis

Valparaíso, Chile

Fran Opazo


Oh my dear Valparaiso. I hate you and love you at the same time. You are like that hipster handsome guy, with no money in his pockets, always having fun, too busy to shave and to take life seriously. But I still keep coming back to you, attracted by your bohemian magnetism and vibrant hues.

Just 90 minutes from Santiago, the Chilean capital, Valparaíso used to be a wealthy city, prior to the opening of the Panama Canal. But who cares if it’s not rich anymore. Its vibrant personality and fading architectural glory earned the port a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 2003. Valpo, as locals called it, was then reinvented with pretty boutique hotels, amazing street art, bars and museums. All spreading across a series of hillsides forming an amphitheater that overlooks the sea. This city has inspired a bunch of artists, intellectuals and poets, like Pablo Neruda.

I might have been to nicer places, like San Francisco or Capri. I’ve been in safer cities like Tokyo and Seoul. I’ve been around the world, but there is no place like Valparaíso.

Valparaíso, Chile. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Fran Opazo

Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 Adventure's collection of South American highlights from travelers. A collection of traveler's favorite places within the South American continent, including many "off the beaten path" destinations. To be used for your next South American itinerary, travel inspiration or just a good read.

Have you traveled within the South American continent or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.