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Private Foundational Buenos Aires Tour

Country: Argentina
City: Buenos Aires
Duration: 3 Hour(s) - 30 Minute(s)
Tour Category: Half Day Tour

Package Itinerary

It’s a known fact that Buenos Aires was actually founded twice (in 1536 and 1580); nevertheless, it could be said that the city experienced at least two refoundations: the massive arrival of immigrants in the late 19th century, and the modernization and internationalization of the city in the late 20th. This tour will take us to see with our own eyes the different historical and cultural layers that nowadays constitute Buenos Aires.

Our journey starts, of course, at Plaza de Mayo, where Buenos Aires was definitively founded for the second time. Its architecture will allow us to trace the city’s development. The Cabildo and the Cathedral are from the Colonial era, while the Pirámide de Mayo (May Pyramid) and the Pink House are from the late 19th and early 20th.

Following the city’s historical development, we arrive at the elegant Avenida de Mayo, painstakingly built in the late 19th century, to rival with Paris’ boulevards. Alongside the Avenue, spectacular buildings were erected, the Palacio Barolo, the Inmobiliaria, the La Prensa Building and the Café Tortoni, among others. The Tortoni, opened in 1858 (actually before the construction of the Avenue) is a true symbol of the Porteño spirit: founded by a Frenchman, with an Italian name and located on an avenue built by Italians, imitating the French to be later inhabited by Spaniards, it certainly showcases the melting pot that produced our country’s identity. At the Tortoni we’ll also enjoy a snack, before we visit the Plaza de los Dos Congresos and the magnificent Congress House.

San Telmo, our next stop, was the residential district favored by the upper classes until the 1871 yellow fever epidemics. The area was utterly marginalized when the newly arrived immigrants occupied the colonial buildings and turned them into tenement houses where they lived tightly crammed together. The crime rate skyrocketed and the neighborhood turned into a sort of ghetto. But in the 1970s, many artists and intellectuals moved to San Telmo and installed their workshops and studios, drawn by its low land value and great architecture. Since then, the neighborhood started to bloom. There we visit Plaza Dorrego, the second oldest in Buenos Aires; the San Pedro Telmo church, the Casa Ezeiza, which keeps its original appearance, and that will allow us to learn how the upper classes lived in the late 19th century; and the peculiar Casa Mínima (Minimal House), the tiniest in town and target of many myths.

Visiting La Boca is essential to understanding the history of modern Buenos Aires. There settled the largest part of the working-class Italian immigrants who arrived at our coasts from late 19th century to early 20th. Considering the fact that at times they even outnumbered the local population, we could say it was a sort of refoundation of the city. There also, thanks to the intense mix of languages and cultures, Lunfardo was born, the popular Buenos Aires slang; and with it Tango came along, our city’s urban music. In La Boca we’ll visit the old port where the immigrants arrived; we’ll admire the colorful houses they built with leftover materials from the nearby shipyards; we’ll see the colossal Boca Juniors Stadium towering over us; and we’ll walk across the Tango-esque Calle Caminito, one of the city’s most popular attractions.

Leaving La Boca, we head to a rather contrasting port district: Puerto Madero, a large-scale urban project which started back in 1991 with the renewal of a series of silos and cereal deposits located on the docks of an old deep-water port which was utterly abandoned and marginalized. Nowadays, the area has become a very exclusive recreational area, with trendy restaurants and nightclubs. Arguably, this sort of international district represents Buenos Aires’ fourth foundation as a global city.

Itinerary:

  1. Montserrat, San Telmo, La Boca, Puerto Madero, Costanera Sur.
  2. Approximate duration: 3.30 hours.

Included services:

  1. Bilingual guide specializing in Buenos Aires’ History, Arts, and Architecture.
  2. Transportation and transfers in a comfortable, top of the line vehicle. Uniformed driver.
  3. Snack at Remarkable bar Café Tortoni.
  4. Brochure with extended information of the tour and Buenos Aires postcard.

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