Some of Buenos Aires’s best guided tours are available through the municipal tourist office on Saturday and Sunday, often but not always with English-speaking guides. The complete schedule appears on the city government’s website (www.bue.gov.ar). In case of rain, the tours are canceled, and they usually do not take place in the summer months of January and February.
For conventional tours of the capital and vicinity, including the Microcentro, Recoleta and Palermo, and San Telmo and La Boca, a frequent choice is Buenos Aires Visión (Esmeralda 356, 8th floor, tel. 011/4394-2986, www.buenosaires-vision.com.ar).
Highly recommended Eternautas (Avenida Presidente Julio A. Roca 584, 7th floor, tel. 011/5031-9916 or 011/15-4173-1078, www.eternautas.com) is an organization of professional historians who offer inexpensive walking tours and longer half-day excursions, such as “El Otro Sur,” a fascinating three-hour bus tour (US$30 pp) through working-class southern barrios like Barracas, Nueva Pompeya, Parque Patricios, and Boedo. They also go farther afield to such places as La Plata and San Antonio de Areco.
By its very name, Tangol (Florida 971, Local 31, tel. 011/4312-7276, www.tangol.com) combines those two porteño passions, tango and soccer (¡go-o-ol!), in its offerings. It also does excursions farther afield in Buenos Aires Province and elsewhere. For a commercial website, it’s surprisingly informative as well.
Travel Line Argentina (Esmeralda 770, 10th floor, Oficina B, tel. 011/4393-9000, www.travelline.com.ar) conducts specialty excursions, such as its “Evita Tour” (4 hours, US$55), which takes in the CGT labor headquarters, Luna Park Stadium, the Perón and Duarte residences, and other locales associated with Evita’s meteoric career.
One unique option is Cicerones de Buenos Aires (J. J. Biedma 883, tel. 011/5258-0909, www.cicerones.org.ar), a nonprofit that matches visitors with enthusiastic non-professional guides who can provide a resident’s perspective on the city.
For self-guided visitors, a good new option is Buenos Aires Bus (Avenida Roque Sáenz Peña 846, 10th floor, tel. 011/5239-5160, www.buenosairesbus.com), an on-and-off transportation system that links various attractions and destinations, with a dozen stops throughout the city from La Boca to Palermo, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. A one-day ticket costs US$13 pp, but a two-day ticket only US$2.50 more; there is also a nightlife bus through Recoleta and Palermo.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition