After nearly a month on our South American trip, we arrived in Buenos Aires from Colonia Uruguay early evening Monday February 17th, 2020. The ferry ride from Colonia was less than 2 hours, when we arrived at the ferry terminal it was pouring rain and we joined a long line of people waiting for taxis. We waited about 1.5 hours before we got a cab to our hotel, apparently getting a taxi in Buenos Aires on a rainy evening is very challenging.
We stayed at the Anselmo Buenos Aires, a Hilton Curio Collection hotel. This is a lovely property and we had a balcony room overlooking Plaza Dorrego. Plaza Dorrego is a very popular square in the San Telmo neighborhood, a quaint area with 19th Century buildings. The square is surrounded by cafe’s, bars, restaurants, antique shops and Tango clubs.
Since it was raining on our arrival at the Anselmo Hotel, we decided to stay in and had a light dinner at the hotel’s wine bar which feature Tapas style selections and, of course, good Malbec wine.
Touring Buenos Aires
Tuesday morning was sunny and the forecast was for a warm, clear day. We walked from the hotel to the Plaza de Mayo, a little less than a mile. Along the way, we were taking in the splendid architecture of Buenos Aires. This city with its wide boulevards, large parks, and neoclassical architecture reminds one of Paris. At Plaza de Mayo we took our obligatory pictures of the presidential residence, Casa Rosado. The memory of Eva Peron "Evita" is still very much alive, her images are seen everywhere.
To get an overview of the city, we found our way to the Hop-on, Hop-off tourist bus stop and did the 2.5 hour loop.
On the bus tour we did get off at “La Boca” district to spend several hours walking around this well known, historic district. La Boca is an eclectic mix of colorful buildings, quaint cafés, art shops and spontaneous Flamenco and Tango street dancers. An incredibly fun and photogenic place. After about an hour walking around, we stopping for latte at a cafe to watch some Flamenco and Tango dancers. The colorful La Boca district is a very popular tourist attraction. When we got there it was a bit early so the crowds were not bad, but it didn’t take long before the cruise ship tours started arriving and the place became elbow to elbow. That was when we had seen enough and moved on.
Colorful and Quirky La Boca
Lunch and Tango
By mid-afternoon we headed back to the hotel. At Plaza Dorrego, the nearby restaurants had tables set up under the plaza trees so we decided to get some lunch. A good asado (steak) was in order along with some Malbec. Tango dancers from the nearby clubs were performing right next to our table, so we enjoyed a long lunch immersed in the Argentine Tango experience. Quiet a classy way to end our day.
Time to go home
Our fight home was Wednesday evening February 19th, 2020. The hotel checkout time was Noon, so we had lots of time to kill before heading to Buenos Aires Int’l airport. Fortunately, the hotel offered a special private lounge area for checked-out guests awaiting late flights. This was a nice amenity, the lounge had a TV, coffee, water and other refreshments as well as comfortable chairs and tables. Since most international flights (to North America and Europe) leave late at night, this amenity is a great idea.
We were taking a LATAM flight from Buenos Aires to Lima Peru to connect with our United flight to Houston. All flights were on-time and we had a long layover in Houston before our final Boston flight, which was a good thing since Kathie had an issue with Global Entry and ended up in a long immigration line. Since we traveled United Polaris Class (Business), we were able to use the Polaris Lounge at Houston during the long layover. This lounge offers both a large buffet or à la carte dining along with very comfortable seating in a quiet, relaxing environment.
It is now a year later, even after pandemic isolation we are still buzzing about our amazing journey.
Days away from home… 28
Air Miles Traveled……. 18,994 miles (30,568km)
Sea Miles Traveled…… 4,696 miles (7,557km)
Land Miles Traveled… 825 miles (1,328km)
Highest mountain drive elevation: 12,572ft. (3,832m)
Number of Ports Visited…. 8
Number of Airports Visited… 8
Number of Days at Sea………… 18
Glasses of Malbec Wine….. ??