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ARGENTINA - EXCURSIONES

BUENOS AIRES - Special Covitour´s city tour

Itinerary: We begin a journey across time, from Buenos Aires´ first years, when it was made up by only a few blocks, to the beginnings of the 20th century, when a progressive political generation tried to turn the city into a blooming metropolis in order to place it at the same level that the main capital cities of Europe.
We start our visit in the May square, the site chosen by Juan de Garay in 1580 to found the city. As time went by, many buildings related to the political and religious life of the community were located here: first the Cabildo, former seat of the colonial power, and then the Casa Rosada, or Pink House, and the Metropolitan Cathedral. The first owes its name to the bright pink with which it is painted. The most important figures of Argentinean politics, such as Eva Perón, spoke from its mythical balcony. The Cathedral is richly decorated in its interior and houses San Martin's spectacular mausoleum, freer of Argentina and many other Latin American countries.
We continue to San Telmo, the main residential area in the 19th century, where all the traditional and rich families of Buenos Aires lived. In 1871 a terrible epidemic of yellow fever compelled them to move and extend the city northwards. Soon floods of European immigrants began to arrive, and they fastly populated the original constructions of colonial times and turned them into tenements. Nowadays San Telmo is a bohemian and intellectual district, well known for its artistic and avant-garde spirit. We will stroll along Plaza Dorrego, where the most popular antique fair takes place every Sunday. We will also find a great number of antique shops and ateliers where the artists show their work.

Later, we visit Mayo Avenue, built in 1884, when Argentina shaped as one of the richest countries of the world and Buenos Aires was beginning to turn into a booming city. This avenue joins Plaza de Mayo with the Congress, as a symbol of Republican power. Along its blocks solid Art Nouveau and Art Decó buildings were erected, as well as cafés, like the famous Tortoni, hotels, theatres and tea-rooms. The avenue soon acquired its intellectual identity; along its sidewalks many important writers and artists used to stroll, like Borges and Arlt. The famous Spanish poet Federico García Lorca lived in one of its hotels, and many editorial offices of the main newspapers settled there in the first decades of the 20th century. We will admire the Plaza de Los Dos Congresos (Two Congresses Square) and the building of the National Congress.
Our tour continues in La Boca. A great number of European immigrants settled here on arrival, in the last decades of the 19th century. These immigrants, mostly Italians, came with the dream of succeeding in America, but soon found that the situation was not as good as they had imagined. This neighborhood attracted them because of the working opportunities the port offered, and because it was not very populated. The colorful houses and tenements they built with the remaining material from the nearby shipyards give the place a very particular and genuine appearance. Soon in this area people began to dance tango, which was born of the influence and mixture of the local culture. Lunfardo was also born, which is the slang porteños still nowadays use in their informal conversations. We will walk along mythical Caminito that sums up the passion this neighborhood has for tango, art and football.

We continue our visit in Puerto Madero, a very sophisticated area very close to the river that was totally remodelled and redesigned in the nineties, and continues to grow with residential and commercial projects. At the moment it houses the most elegant and chic restaurants and bars in town, as well as exclusive apartment buildings. Our visit ends in Costanera Sur that, like Puerto Madero, was also remodelated in its promenades by the river and its streets. There we find Buenos Aires´ Ecological Reserve, a green area abounding with samples of different flower and animal species, only a few steps away from downtown. This allows porteños to take a break from their offices and enjoy lunch surrounded by Nature without having to go too far.

Some of the tour's highlights: Montserrat - San Telmo - Congreso - La Boca - Puerto Madero - Costanera Sur.

Approximate duration: 4 hours.

Included services:
* Bilingual tour guide that specializes in the city's history, art, architecture and tourism.
* Transport during the tour and transfer from and to the hotel in a modern, comfortable and top class vehicle. Uniformed chauffer.

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