Buenos Aires, Argentina
Cultural Highlights of Buenos Aires (A Small-Group Tour)
USD USDPrice between $51-$100
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Approximately 4 Hours
Set out with a small group (maximum 25 privileged guests) to take in some of the cultural and architectural wonders of Buenos Aires.
Head to Recoleta -- an upmarket residential neighborhood close to the heart of the city. This is an area of great historical and architectural interest, most notably because of its cemetery. It is one among city's most affluent neighborhoods, featuring some of the priciest real estate in South America. The name comes from the Monastery of the Recollect Fathers -- an 18th century Franciscan Order. When Buenos Aires suffered terrible cholera and yellow fever epidemics in the 1870s, the population of the city spread out to avoid contagion. The wealthy settled in the Recoleta area, where a higher elevation meant fewer disease-bearing insects. They built mansions in several European architectural styles, so Recoleta is often referred to as the 'Paris of South America'. Nowadays, the surviving traditional buildings coexist with elegant modern constructions, private family mansions, foreign embassies and luxury hotels.
Visit the Recoleta Cemetery -- an outstanding display of 19th- and 20th-century funerary art and architecture, with private family crypts of the bourgeoisie and mausolea of the landed gentry. Presidents of Argentina, Nobel Prize winners, the founder of the Argentine Navy and a granddaughter of Napoleon are buried here. Perhaps the most popular tomb is that of Eva Perón -- her grave is visited by large numbers of people every day.
Continue by motorcoach to a literary gem of the city -- El Ateneo. This iconic building opened in 1919 as the Grand Splendid Theater. It hosted many important shows before being converted to a cinema in 1929, where it screened the first sound films presented in Argentina. The building was recently acquired by one of the country's most prominent publishing houses and in 2000 it was converted into its flagship bookstore. More than a million books now fill the private boxes, wings and stalls of this opulent playhouse which once had seating for 1,000 people. Beautiful frescos cover the ceiling, and the theater stage now hosts a wonderful café. Enjoy a coffee and a light snack while taking in the grandeur of this cathedral of literature.
After some free time to browse and purchase a souvenir, head back to the ship by motorcoach, taking in many more panoramic highlights of the city.