48 hours in Buenos Aires.
Paris of South America.
Named after saint Maria del Buen Ayre in the 16th century, Argentina’s capital and commercial hub has far more to recommend itself than “good airs” (buenos aires) and a balmy climate. A hotbed of cultural and culinary surprises, the “Paris of South America” is considered the most European of all Southern American cities – spiced with a healthy dose of Latin temperament.
Cruising the city in a pristine 450 SLC.
To scent out the city’s delectable secrets, we decided to trail two porteños (locals) in the know: Up-and-coming actors Gimena Gutierrez and Fabian Carrasco take us for a spin in a pristine 450 SLC. Our trip kicks off with a detour to the La Boca, San Telmo and Puerto Madero neighbourhoods.
While the latter lures creatives with cobbled streets and upscale watering holes, we make a beeline for San Telmo where bohemian flair and crumbling colonial charm attract a more eclectic crowd. The district’s famous Sunday fair, the Feria de San Telmo, not only provides an option for antique addicts, but also lures pros, amateurs and spectators alike with outdoor tango performances.
Multi-sensory delights in La Boca.
A short drive away, San Telmo segues into La Boca. Still slightly rough around the edges, La Boca boasts a riot of colours, flavours and sounds: On El Caminito, a curved pedestrian street, azure sky meets teal, orange and sunflower yellow while bands, dancers, cooks and artists treat the milling crowd to multi-sensory delights.
Letting Blacklane take over.
After weaving our way through narrow lanes and alleyways, we now crave some green and a gentle breeze. Palermo’s Parque 3 de Febrero offers just that – a verdant oasis replete with a zoo, Japanese garden, planetarium, several lakes and a botanical garden.
Tired from our exploits, we decide to let someone else do the driving – and use our smartphone to hail a Blacklane cab. The pro car service’s sleek black Merc takes us to our next stop in no time at all.
Nightlife at the epicenter of Palermo.
Not the worst place to start is Palermo’s Plaza Serrano with its plethora of bars, restaurants and diverse ethnic eateries. Stuffed to our gills, we decide to take a quick time-out – and drink – at nearby Café San Bernardo. Open non-stop and around the clock since 1957, this bar hosts a great mix of old regulars, who pop in for a leisurely drink or a game of dominos, and the young media crowd drawn to the bar’s ping-pong and pool tables.
Now ready to work off some calories with pumping beats, we head for our last stop of the night: a cool and slinky Palermo club with a party crowd that knows no tomorrow. Still buzzing from this adrenaline rush, we take another Blacklane home – and now to return in double time.