A Unique Experience in Buenos Aires

What’s new, Buenos Aires? A lot, apparently! It’s been close to 15 years since I was last in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and this lively city is both still the city I love and also shockingly different, all the same. What I love most about Buenos Aires is that it is a big, colorful, liberal city filled with wonderful animal-loving people and incredible experiences, both artistic and musical, to participate in. Around working with penguins in Patagonia this year, I spent close to a week in Buenos Aires doing a bit of my usual Evita Peron history exploration while also checking out some new and exciting adventures that pushed me outside of my comfort zone, too. While Buenos Aires is modern, lux, artsy, and fun, it also has many strange and unusual things to do on top of all the mainstream chaos. So, I give you my favorite things to do in Buenos Aires after spending some time there again earlier this year.

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La Casa Rosada

Peron Peron

If you’re a history buff or an Evita Peron lover like I am, you can get an exceptional Evita experience while exploring Buenos Aires. Be sure to stay close to the Recoleta area, as this nice, upscale neighborhood is where most Evita Peron monuments, landmarks, and experiences are near, as this is the area where Eva lived with Juan Peron back in the 1940s and 50s. I’d recommend staying at the Sileo Hotel, myself, as it was classy, modern, chic, and it came with a kitchenette so I was able to make my own select meals while I was traveling when I didn’t feel like going out. If requested through the hotel, you can guarantee a room that overlooks the eerily gorgeous landscape of Recoleta Cemetery, and you are less than a five-minute walk from groceries, stores, the Recoleta Mall, and the cemetery entrance, of course.

If you’re a Peron buff like I am, you know that a visit into Recoleta Cemetery is a must to pay your respects to Evita’s final resting place. But aside from the Duarte family crypt in the cemetery, Recoleta is such a bizarre array of monumentally elaborate mausoleums. From the stained glass to the sculptures to the surreal designs, it’s no wonder they say that you weren’t anyone if you weren’t buried within the walls of Recoleta.

From poor Rufina, who was said to be buried alive, to the bride who died on her wedding day and is memorialized as a statue with her beloved dog, Recoleta is a real treat for those who love the macabre, the strange, the eerie, and the beauty of elaborate architecture. It’s important to note that since the cleanup in 2020, the community of cats who lived in Recoleta is effectively gone now. According to Reddit, they were caught and fixed, and most were adopted during the pandemic when people were looking for new hobbies and livelihoods.

Aside from Recoleta, you can’t miss a stroll down to La Casa Rosada to see Evita’s infamous balcony, a trip into the Museo Evita, which has such an elaborate collection of Evita’s dresses, and a visit to the restaurants Santa Evita and Peron Peron. I must say, I paid a visit to Santa Evita and was floored. It was such a wonderful experience featuring wall to wall Evita with guests writing messages to her on the walls. There are Evita shrines everywhere, and when you visit the restrooms, you have to decipher if you are a “Juan” or an “Eva”, a very nice intricate touch. The food at Santa Evita was also absolutely incredible. I lived for that asparagus.

And the new hidden treasure I found on my adventures was the Nacional Institute de Juan Peron. While quite impossible to find in any English searches, and almost just as elusive in Spanish, a guide we had at DeTour BA recommended this place to me. While the Perons’ home was torn down in the revolution and the National Library was put up in its place, there is a small back building that still contains some of the original architecture of the Perons’ home, and the Juan Peron Institute is what sits in it now. You can go visit, get a quick tour, and see the part of the Perons’ house that is still in place. You can also enjoy a coffee or tea in the Café Juan Peron and watch a short video about the Perons’ home to see what is used to look like. And in the courtyard of the old home is now the Plaza Evita which has the statue of Evita overlooking the street below it. It’s a quick adventure but most definitely a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the Perons. Getting to see a small part of their home still intact was a dream come true for me in my Eva obsession.

Tango

I can’t begin to bring up Buenos Aires without at least mentioning Tango. I will say that Tango can be found all over from the most touristy of places to the streets of the locals, as it’s such an imprint in the country’s history. However, if you want to get involved in the local tango scene, I recommend taking the Tango with the Locals tour with DeTour BA. It was such a lovely experience, and our guide was super knowledgeable. We got to do a little local tango lesson before trying out tango in one of the local bars in the residential side of Buenos Aires. While I am the worst dancer known to man, the tango instructor was so sweet, and he humored us and took turns dancing with us throughout the night. There was also plenty of wine and delicious food that came along with the tour, so it was a great way to get an authentic experience in the Buenos Aires food, tango, and drink world.

Food and Dining

If you’re looking for a really special dining experience, I can’t recommend the Argentine Experience enough. Located in a beautiful building in the Palermo district of Argentina, it was a fabulous night of eating, drinking, and enjoying great company. Conducted in English, we learned how to make empanadas while getting to taste the traditional appetizers, drinks, cocktails, wines, sides, meats, and desserts of the region. I’m not generally a meat eater, but the beef served with the meal was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, and I’m not just saying that. It melted in my mouth in the best possible way. The potatoes, cheeses, and cauliflower that accompanied it were so rich in flavor and just a real treat. And in this course, we also learned the right way to make mate.

What is mate? Yerba mate is a traditional tea of the region that is more social experience than it is a drink. The tea herbs are organized loosely in a specialized cup and served with a metal straw called a bombilla. The trick is to not touch the bombilla at all with your hands, as you don’t want to move the leaves around, as they are particularly placed. One person prepares the mate and then pours the water into a precise area by the straw, and the mate gets passed around from person to person. Each person must drink their mate all the way down before handing it back to the preparer for them to add water for the next drink and pass it to the next person. It’s not just a tea, it’s a full experience, a social event, and a way to be considered part of the group. It was an important part of our bonding with our team when we were working with the penguins. The person in shotgun would pour the water, and the mate would be passed back and forth throughout the van as we all partook. Once you know the secret of mate, you will see it all over Argentina. I loved it so much that I had to bring my own mate cup and straw back home with me… as well as some for my closest friends.

Other History and Art

Of course, Buenos Aires is filled with other historical centers and artistic treasures just waiting to be explored. And there are many national museums found around the city. One of my favorites is the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes which contains authentic Degas, Monet, Manet, Picasso, and Pollock along with many other modern and Argentine artists.

There are so many wonderful things to do in Buenos Aires. From taking a tour of your favorite places to exploring the local cuisine and tango scene, no two people will have the same wonderful experience. From the bizarre to the historical to the bizarrely historical and artistic, I heavily encourage you to experience the magic of Buenos Aires. Honestly, if I had to live anywhere else in the world, it would be here.

Malorie Mackey is an actress, published author, and adventurer. Malorie grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she loved sports, the outdoors, animals, and all forms of art. She took to acting at a young age, so it was no surprise when she decided to go to college for theatre. While in college, Malorie studied body movement with the DAH Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, voice in Herefordshire, England with Frankie Armstrong, and the business of theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Malorie moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles after receiving her BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon arriving in LA, Malorie participated in the Miss California USA 2011 Pageant where she won the “Friend’s Choice” Award (by popular vote) and received a beautiful award for it.

While living on the West Coast, Malorie accumulated over 40 acting credits working on a variety of television shows, web series, and indie films, such as the sci-fi movie “Dracano,” the Biography Channel show “My Haunted House,” the tv pilot “Model Citizen” with Angie Everhart, and the award-winning indie film “Amelia 2.0.”

Throughout her experiences, Malorie found a love for travel and adventure, having journeyed to over a dozen countries experiencing unique locations. From the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre mountain range to the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Malorie began adventuring and writing about her unique travels. These travel excerpts can be found on VIVA GLAM Magazine, in Malorie’s Adventure Blog, in Malorie’s adventure show: “Weird World Adventures” and in the works for her full-length travel book.

In 2022, Malorie was thrilled to become a member of the Explorer’s Club through her work on scientific travel. Her experiences volunteering on archaeological and anthropological expeditions as well as with animal conservation allowed her entry into the exclusive club. Since then, Malorie has focused more on scientific travel.

Malorie’s show “Weird World Adventures” releases on Amazon Prime Video in the Spring of 2024! Stay tuned as Malorie brings the strangest wonders of the world to you!

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