Buenos Aires, Argentina
Name: DP World’s Terminales Rio de la Plata (TRP)
Address: Av. Ingeniero Huergo 431
Phone: (54) 11 4342-1727
Buenos Aires is located on the southern shore of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent and across the river from Montevideo, Uruguay. The cruise ship terminal is just minutes away from downtown. You can, in fact, walk from the terminal entrance right into the heart of the city.
The Buenos Aires Jorge Newbery International Airport is located 20 miles south of the city. While the easiest way to downtown and the cruise terminal is to hire a cab, there are alternatives. As soon as you have picked up your luggage and emerge into the ground transportation area, you will see a large booth for the Manuel Tienda Leon shuttle bus service into BA. Cost is about $8US.
There are two car hire companies at the airport: Avis and Hertz, both located in Terminal A Arrivals. There is a taxi stand at the airport with municipal taxis for Buenos Aires available outside both terminals at authorized taxi ranks. Travel time into the city center is about 45 minutes. The taxi fare will be about $18US, including tolls. Exit Customs and proceed straight ahead. Pass the roped off area reserved for arriving passengers and enter the main terminal where locals are waiting to pick up friends and relatives. Straight ahead there is a white/blue booth with Taxi Ezeiza written on it. Go to the booth and arrange for a taxi.
Companies Transfer-Express and Manuel Tienda León operate a chauffeur service between the airport and Buenos Aires, departing from both terminals. Luxury transport is available from VIP Car, available outside the Arrivals areas of both terminals.
A number of public bus services operate to Buenos Aires and the surrounding area, but you might want to be secure in your Spanish. Bus 394 runs to Monte Grande railway station and Camino de Cintura. Bus 502 runs to Ezeiza City. Bus 51 runs to Constitución via Monte Grande. Bus 86 operates between the airport and central Buenos Aires, Plaza de Mayo. Manuel Tienda León provides a shuttle service from the airport.
There are 135 hotels in downtown Buenos Aires ranging from high-end properties like the Intercontinental, the Golden Tulip Savoy, Four Seasons Carmelo, and the Hotel Claridge. But there are many mid-priced and budget hotels and apartment suites. For character, try the Posada de la Flor or the Hotel Plaza Mayor.
The outward facts about Buenos Aires, with a population of over 2.8 million, are fairly obvious to even the casual observer. It is the capital of Argentina and its largest city and port. But, scratch the surface and you’ll find one of the most sophisticated cities in the world, one that’s both South American and European in character.
Influenced by European culture, Buenos Aires is also referred to as the “Southern Paris”. It is one of the most sophisticated cities in Latin America, known for its nightlife and cultural activities. It is home to the world’s largest opera house, the Colon Theater.
It has been said that Buenos Aires is 75 square miles of 19th-century homes, green parks, and small cafes – to say nothing of the Tango. And there’s more than a grain of truth to that.
This is a city of many segments, each own distinct flavor and you can spend weeks exploring them. There are, in fact, 48 barrios, or neighborhoods, and each has architecture that reminds one of somewhere else in the world.
During the day the lively sidewalk cafés, parks, gardens, and pedestrian malls are busy. When the sun sets, traditional tango bars and phenomenal Argentine cuisine – steaks and Malbec wine – entertain with the sensual character the city flaunts.
The heart of the city – as it was originally — is the Plaza de Mayo, a fascinating part of the city. On one side of the Plaza is the Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral) which was built on the site of the original colonial church. This massive cathedral, with 12 pillars for the 12 apostles, is not only an important religious landmark, but General Jose de San Martin, Argentina’s most popular and revered hero, is buried here. Uniformed guards continually watch over the tomb.
On the east side of Plaza de Mayo is the Casa Rosada, the Pink House of Buenos Aires, which is the presidential palace and dates to the mid-19th Century. Eva Peron (Evita) rallied the Argentine people from the balcony of the Casa Rosada, as did her husband Juan Peron and many other politicians who have convened throngs of Argentines in the plaza over the decades. In the movie, “Evita,” the Plaza de Mayo was the setting for many of the key scenes.
The city was built around and outwards from the plaza and some of Argentina’s most important historical events took place here. Surrounding it is the Government House, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Cabildo. These buildingscreate an architectural timeline. The Cabildo, or Old City Hall, and Metropolitan Cathedral date from the 18th and early 19th centuries while the Pirámide de Mayo (Pyramid of May) and other national buildings reflect the styles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Most restaurants open in the evening at around 8 p.m., but you might find yourself as the lone customers since most Argentines don’t go out to eat any earlier than 10 p.m. Most restaurant kitchens close around midnight during the week, though at weekends many keep serving till the small hours.
Puerto Madero, the recently renovated port area, has plenty of glitzy themed restaurants, although these are hardly the capital’s most exciting eating options. You’ll find far variety and originality in restaurants around the hugely popular and trendy Las Cañitas area in Palermo, where eateries are located in elegant late 19th- and early 20th-century buildings.
All the streets of Puerto Madero carry the names of women. The Boulevard Azucena Villaflor directly connects the city to the river and every weekend the Calle Vera Peñaloza becomes a pedestrian-only zone, where the public can skate, ride bicycles or stroll. Nearby one will find the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur, a natural green oasis in the heart of the concrete jungle.
The Palermo area is the most fashionable place in Buenos Aires to dine and is adjacent to the Cementario de la Recoleta, Eva Peron’s final resting place. Along with Evita’s much-visited grave, there is Our Lady of the Pilar Church, the Cultural Center, and the Palais de Glace, a major gallery. Walk along the Pilar and you’ll find an endless choice of restaurants and venues featuring live music every night.
When it comes to shopping, Buenos Aires can be one of the most charming places anywhere. From its grand boulevards to the winding streets of Arroyo, the city offers an endless variety of boutiques, galleries, and antique shops. The Sunday Flea Market in San Telmo provides excellent, leisurely people-watching and shopping, and there is a very good Sunday Antiques Fair at the Plaza Dorego.
Things to do:
Florida Street is one of the city’s best tourist attractions. It features a variety of malls and shops selling leather goods, jewelry, books, and souvenirs.
Close to where your ship is berthed, you’ll find a variety of activities along the docks lining the old port of Buenos Aires. The area – Puerto Madero – is rife with modern residential and business lofts and offices, bars, restaurants, an eight-theater cinema complex and a university. The whole area was restored to its previous glory in the mid-1990s after being in virtual ruin for decades.
The 15-block area running two kilometers along the river bank is dotted with fine dining, including the Parolaccia di Mare restaurant. Two historic ships from the Argentine Armada, the Corbeta Uruguay and the Fragata Sarmiento, are moored quayside as floating naval museums.
The present Colón Theater is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. The present theater opened in 1908 after 20 years under construction. It has 2,367 seats and standing room for 1,000. It opened on May 25, 1908 with a performance of Verdi’s opera, Aida. The elaborate finishings, stained glass dome, a sweeping staircase, sculpted busts with gold-leaf details, frescoes, French furnishings and gargantuan chandelier in the theater hall make this one of the most spectacular opera houses in South America and the equal to the finest examples of Europe.
Performances include touring ballet companies as well as the Colón’s own Ballet Estable, the Filarmónica symphony orchestra and opera during seasonal performances.
– By Ray Chatelain