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Private City Tour & San Telmo Fair & Snack At The Café Tortoni

Country: Argentina
City: Buenos Aires
Duration: 5 Hour(s) - 0 Minute(s)
Tour Category: Half Day Tour

Package Itinerary

The Café Tortoni, which bears an Italian name but was founded by a Frenchman and is located on an avenue colonized by Spanish immigrants, perfectly synthesizes the elements that constitute the Porteño identity. This tour, which combines the city’s traditional attractions with a visit to the classic San Telmo fair and a snack at the Café Tortoni, will allow us to trace back in time and observe the development of those elements in history, and to visit the fascinating San Telmo Fair, where almost everything can be purchased, from groceries to used clothing, old records, antiques and art pieces, and where we’ll get to see why diversity and mixes are a key component to the Porteño identity.

Our journey starts at Plaza de Mayo, the city’s foundational site and witness of our country’s political history. There we’ll visit the Pink House, our Presidential Palace, the Cabildo, our primitive town hall, where the idea of independence was born, and the neoclassical Metropolitan Cathedral.

Built in late 19th century, Avenida de Mayo, a tree-lined boulevard full of gorgeous Art Déco and Art Nouveau buildings was just what Buenos Aires needed to finally become a great metropolis. The Café Tortoni, founded in 1858 by a Frenchman, is arguably the most traditional in town –and in Argentina. There, we’ll have a wonderful snack and enjoy its exciting atmosphere.

We’ll then head for San Telmo, one of the oldest and yet most modern neighborhoods of Buenos Aires: formerly the residential district favored by the upper classes until late 19th century, when a yellow fever epidemics in 1871 caused the wealthier families to leave northwards, the area was utterly marginalized, until the 1970s, when many artists and artisans came to San Telmo to install their workshops. Nowadays, thanks to its amazing architecture and chic, Bohemian atmosphere, this ancient neighborhood is really blooming, and there’s a ton of cool spots to visit or to go shopping. There we’ll visit the San Telmo Fair, when you can find everything from art and antiques to used books, toys and clothes. Here we will open a window to the past, and get a glimpse of the life of the city in earlier times. Upon visiting the Ezeiza House, we’ll see how the aristocrats of yonder used to live. Finally, we’ll admire the Café Dorrego, one of the oldest and most traditional in town.

La Boca is one of the most characteristic and authentic barrios of Buenos Aires. It is a working-class port district, where most of the Italian immigrants settled during the last decades of the 19th century, who gave the neighborhood their distinctive personality. Tango and soccer, the country’s most recognizable icons, seem to float in the air in La Boca. If we are lucky enough, we’ll catch an outdoors art exhibition at mythical Caminito Street, or a couple spontaneously dancing Tango on the streets, while the protective figure of La Bombonera, Boca Juniors’ Stadium, watches us from above.

Puerto Madero is a formerly abandoned port area, which was renovated in 1991, when a series of huge warehouses and silos were transformed into trendy apartment buildings, restaurants and nightclubs. The neighborhood has currently expanded beyond the docks, and a series of high-end hotels and state-of-the-art residential buildings have been erected. With Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires has ceased to turn its back to the river.

Once in Retiro, we’ll visit the magnificent Plaza San Martín, where Jorge Luis Borges used to take his walks. Then we’ll head northwards to the traditional and aristocratic neighborhood of Recoleta, where we’ll walk down Avenida Alvear, Buenos Aires’ Champs Elysées. Once in Plaza Francia, we’ll visit the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, one of the city’s oldest churches, which dates to the Colonial era and is surprisingly well-preserved, and the celebrated Recoleta Cemetery, a true labyrinth of ornate mausoleums, and the eternal home of the most important characters of Argentina’s political and cultural life, including the mythical Eva Perón.

Our visit ends in Palermo Chico, the area of Palermo best known for its large parks, where only a few of the most traditional Argentine families live in the French palaces they built in the early 20th century.

Itinerary: Montserrat, San Telmo, La Boca, Puerto Madero, Retiro, Recoleta, Palermo.

Approximate duration: 5 hours.

Included services:

• Bilingual guide specializing in Buenos Aires’ History, Arts, and Architecture.

• Transportation and transfers in a comfortable, top of the line vehicle. Uniformed driver.

• Snack at Café Tortoni.

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