Colonia de Sacramiento
Tranquil and charming are words that are often used to describe this little village located on the coast of Uruguay. It is less than three hours away from the city center of Buenos Aires, but it is a completely different world. You can easily reach it crossing the harbour via ferry.
On summer weekends hundreds of Porteños cross the waters of Rio del Plata to escape the hot and humid city heat. They walk its tranquil cobble stone streets, watch the beautiful colonial houses and old-time cars, have lunch at one of the cosy restaurants, and enjoy the stunning sunsets on one of its quiet beaches. It is a fact, Colonia is both literally and figuratively a whole other country.
Colonia, officially Colonia de Sacramiento is founded in 1680. It is a tiny little village but has a large history. It is for this reason that UNESCO declared it a world heritage site in 1996. Exploring its cobble stoned streets lined with picture perfect colonial houses and colourful blossom trees is like travelling back in time. It is easy to discover Colonia on foot, but it is also possible to rent bicycles, cars, and golf carts at the ports entrance.
Number of habitants: 30.000.
Distance from BA: 60 km.
Travel time: 1 to 3 hours by ferry.
How to reach it: Buquebus has fast and slower ferries to Colonia.
Price: Between 155 and 250 Pesos for a return ticket.
Tigre and the Delta
Tigre is one of the most popular and important getaways for the Porteños. When they look for quick weekend break out of the hectic city of Buenos Aires they often choose the tranquil suburb of Tigre which is located near the riverside. The city itself is quite nice, but actually it is all about the Delta del Parana and its river channels. On the rivers, which originate from the inland jungle streams out of the North and go into the delta, boat trips can be made. The boat trips offer stops at colonial mansions which you can visit or you can just get off and explore along some peaceful trails. Along the shores there are many water activities offered like sailing and kayaking.
At Sundays it is market day and many souvenirs, flowers and lovely food is sold.
Tigre is a perfect spot to enjoy the weekend and the tranquil Argentinean waters.
Number of habitants: 300.000 approximately.
Distance from BA: 28 km.
Travel time: 1 ½ hours.
How to reach it: Bus 59 or 60 or the train from the Retiro station. If you are interested, you can change to the very pleasant ´Tren de la Costa´ at the Maipu station. This train is geared towards tourists so it moves a bit slowly and makes short stops at the little markets.
Price: By bus 3 pesos by train 8+2 pesos.
San Antonio de Areco
Just two hours from the hectic downtown of Buenos Aires you can find what you are looking for. A town located about 110 kilometers away in the Buenos Aires province called San Antonio de Areco is exactly what you need. This Gaucho village, sometimes named Los Pagos de Areco, is a peaceful and serene town that dates back to the early 18th century.
Number of habitants: 23.000.
Distance from BA: 110 km North of Buenos Aires.
Travel time: More or less two/two and a half hours.
How to reach it: The bus from the Retiro station (several companies) or by a train/bus combination.
Price: Between 20 and 26 pesos, depending on the day and bus company.