Buenos Aires, Argentina
Showcase Buenos Aires
Local Sightseeing, All
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Approximately 24 Hours
This comprehensive visit to Buenos Aires takes in many of the city's most popular attractions as well as less-known places that are quite special but are often missed on single-day excursions.
Exploring Barrio Norte -- the up-market northern neighborhoods of Palermo and Recoleta -- is the perfect way to ease into an appreciation of the life and times of Buenos Aires. As you travel by coach, you will pass through Palermo's wonderful parks and skirts its beautiful lakes, which cover more than 200 acres of the city. Keep an eye out for the National Polo Fields, the City Zoo, the Japanese Gardens, and the richly ornate racetrack where the Argentines watch the Sport of Kings. Near the Rose Gardens, you will leave the coach to see a peculiar 75-foot-tall metal flower sculpture.
Continue to Recoleta, perhaps the city's most élite neighborhood. Palatial buildings, built at the turn of the 19th century by Argentina's powerful gentry, grace shady lanes and perch among manicured gardens. The architectural style here is predominantly French, and many of the buildings today house luxurious hotels and embassies. You will visit the Recoleta Cemetery where Evita Perón is buried and stroll the café-lined streets to the craft market.
Pass the meticulously restored Colón Theater and the Obelisk, and head down Corrientes Avenue -- Argentina's own version of Broadway -- home to the city's many theaters.
In the Puerto Madero area, you will have free time to purchase a snack or early dinner (at your own expense) at any one of the numerous restaurants and cafés that line the waterfront. Puerto Madero is the old docklands of the city. The area fell into disrepair after construction of the new port in 1926, but a recent renovation has been hugely successful, turning this district into the most sought-after real estate in the city. It now incorporates an 800-acre ecological reserve alongside luxury apartments and ultra-modern skyscrapers, and is an extremely pleasant area to explore on foot.
Your guide will point out the impressive Congress building en route to one of the capital's most famous Tango theaters. Here the passion and stamina of Argentina's legendary tango will captivate and enchant you -- it is a spectacular show organized exclusively for Holland America Line guests. You will be amazed at the intensity of the dancers, singers and live orchestra as they take you on a journey of pure extravagance through the ages of Argentina's most celebrated cultural asset. Enjoy a beverage during the show; then you will return to the ship.
This morning, head to the Plaza de Mayo to see the Casa Rosada (Government House), the Cabildo (Town Hall) and the cathedral -- three of Buenos Aires' most important landmarks.
In the city's southern suburbs, you will discover the lively, colorful neighborhoods of San Telmo and La Boca. These are widely regarded as Buenos Aires' most historical and artistic centers.
San Telmo is crammed full of quirky colonial houses dating back to the 1700s, many of which are now home to art galleries, restaurants and antiques shops. At the picturesque Plaza Dorrego, where Independence from Spain was sworn in 1816, take some to explore on your own or have a coffee (at your own expense) on the Square.is crammed full of quirky colonial houses dating back to the 1700s, many of which are now home to art galleries, restaurants and antiques shops. At the picturesque Plaza Dorrego, where Independence from Spain was sworn in 1816, take some free time to explore on your own or have a coffee (at your own expense) on the Square.
Continue by motorcoach to La Boca, with its distinctive, brightly painted buildings. Between 1880 and 1930, almost six million immigrants landed at the port of La Boca -- mostly from Italy, Spain and Central Europe. The diversity of the population had a huge effect on the area and, as the new settlers started constructing their homes, paint supplies were very limited. The obvious solution was to use any and all leftover paint that could be scavenged from the shipyard. The result of this painting frenzy was a one-of-a-kind neighborhood that is today adorned with every color of the rainbow. Stroll through the El Caminito open-air art market and you might run into street performers and couples practicing the Tango. The vibrancy and cheerfulness of La Boca is evident everywhere. You may find yourself practicing a few dance steps of your own before re-boarding the coach to return to the ship.