Whether you’re escaping the stifling summer heat or just looking to get out of the city, there are plenty of great day trips to take from Buenos Aires. From galloping across the steppe with Argentina’s gauchos to floating through the idyllic Tigre Delta, here are a few ideas to get you started – they’re our picks for the best day trips from Buenos Aires.
The riverside town of Tigre, a 45-minute train ride from Buenos Aires, is the gateway to the picturesque Tigre Delta region, one of the world’s largest natural deltas, fed by the Paraná River. Explore Tigre’s lively port with its vibrant crafts market, casino and amusement park, visit the Museo de Arte Tigre, housed in a striking belle-époque building, then take a river cruise along the delta, where you can drift past the stilted houses, floating markets and delta islands that make up the fascinating Tigre Delta.
Separated from its neighbor by the Atlantic inlet of Rio de la Plata, hopping across the border to Uruguay is one of the most popular day trips from Buenos Aires, with high-speed ferries connecting the capital to a number of destinations. The closest port is the sleepy port town of Colonia del Sacramento, a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of cobblestone streets and colonial buildings, or else head to the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, where the windswept coastal city plays host to a lively Sunday market and the city center is a masterpiece of timeless architecture.
3. La Plata
The second largest in the state of Buenos Aires, the colonial city of La Plata is only an hour from the capital and offers a myriad of cultural and religious sights. Explore the expansive Natural Science Museum where you can marvel over dinosaur fossils and stargaze in the astronomical observatory, then take a walking tour of the city where you can admire the striking gothic façade of the Cathedral de La Plata, one of Argentina’s largest and most impressive churches.
4. Mar del Plata
The closest seaside resort to the capital is Mar del Plata, Argentina’s premier beach resort with 10 miles of sandy beaches and a lively nightlife featuring tango shows, theater performances and a casino. The resort’s alarming popularity throughout summer means you’ll be lucky to find a few square foot of sand to yourself, but once you tire of the sunbathing masses there’s plenty to keep you amused away from the beach. Marvel at the tens of thousands of seashells on display at the fascinating Museo del Mar Museum; visit the Zoológico El Paraíso zoo; or hit the shops and cafes on trendy Güemes. Buses and trains connect daily to Buenos Aires, but the quickest way to get there is to fly – a 55-minute flight from the city.
5. Estancias and horse riding
Argentina’s vast grassy plains and sun-scorched terrain yearn to be explored from the saddle and the countryside is full of working estancias (ranches) where gauchos (Argentine cowboys) still work the land on horseback. Take a horseback riding tour and visit a traditional ranch, where you’ll get to see the cowboys showing off their skills and tuck into a traditional asado (steak barbecue) after working up a sweat galloping through the wilderness. There are a number of estancias near to Buenos Aires but the Don Silvano Ranch and the Santa Susana Ranch are both great choices.