Monthly Archives: January 2008

Gift-Buying in Tigre

Tigre So, you’re visiting Buenos Aires and need to take gifts back to friends and family. Normally I’d send you to the fair in Mataderos, but during summer they move it to Saturday nights instead of all-day Sunday, and there are other things to do on a Saturday night. 

After all, it is summer (although the picture here was taken in winter), and getting out of the city to enjoy a bit of nature and sunshine is always a good idea. So I recommend a day-trip to Tigre (just north of Buenos Aires). Plus, you can literally buy every present you’ll need right there at about 1/3 the price in the city. 

 Take a 40-minute train ride from Retiro (the train station in the center of Buenos Aires) up to Tigre. Once there, you’ll probably want to head over to the tourist information office. It’s probably the most well-stocked one I’ve seen in Argentina. Head out the station and look for the McDonald’s arches. The tourism office is next door.Tigre is in the Delta. It was once the vacation spot of the elite. Now, it’s the weekend getaway for those who can’t spend the summer in Punta del Este. But I almost prefer it to Punta del Este. 

Boat rides through the rivers. Walks or bike rides along the islands. Rowing through canals past beautiful homes and screened in porches (bring mosquito repellent). Delicious restaurants. And, the amazing fruit market at the port of Tigre. They sell much much more than fruit. 

The market is huge. People from Buenos Aires often go there for furniture (particularly wicker furniture and hammocks). But you’ll also find great souvenirs.Here’s a list of presents I’ve taken back home that seemed a success. 

For men: belts, knives, ponchos, gaucho hats, bolero tie clasps, wallets, or soccer shirts for sports fans.

For women:jewelry, leather anything, or shawls made of wool or llama. 

Standbys: dulce de leche (a type of caramel that’s fantastic on bread. It’s sort of the Argentine nutella), alfajores (cookies with dulce de leche inside… to die for), CDs (of tango or Argentinean folclore if you are buying for country music fans), mate and yerba (the haylike infusion you’ll see Argentines drinking EVERYWHERE).  

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Filed under argentina, fairs, shopping, tigre, tourism, travel

El Federal in San Telmo

If you’re roaming around San Telmo in this heat, you’ll surely want to stop off for a fresh drink. The most visited cafe in the area is Cafe Dorrego on Plaza Dorrego, but it’s often hard to find a seat. Instead try El Federal on Carlos Calvo and Peru. Built in 1864 and incredibly well-kept, the bar itself is stunning, as are the cash registers.While there two weeks ago, a tango trio played a few songs before passing a hat, a young couple snuggled in a dark corner, a table of four elderly women laughed and drank lemonade, and my friend and I had a refreshing beer before heading back out into the crowds and sweat.   El FederalOriginally uploaded by DIDS’  

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Filed under argentina, buenos aires, cafes, san telmo, tourism, travel