Buenos Aires holds a very special place in my heart. It’s one of the first places I visited outside of the US. It’s filled with all things Evita. And, to be honest, it’s a fun, friendly place filled with vibrant energy. This piece will be short and sweet, as I visited Buenos Aires over 12 years ago, but I still feel it’s worth the discussion even today, as it’s one of the many places I want to head back at some point in my travels.
When I visited Buenos Aires, I stayed in Recoleta, and I felt that was the perfect place for my specific visit. We were within walking distance of many key places, and we were within a short taxi ride to pretty much anywhere else we wanted to go. What’s even more interesting was that our hotel happened to be immediately across the street from Recoleta Cemetery (which wasn’t planned), so I ventured into the city of the dead regularly to visit Evita and the hordes of stray cats that seemed to guard the graves of those who have passed on.
Unlike a conventional cemetery, Recoleta is filled only with the finest family statues and mausoleums. It was very much a real city for the dead. Family vault after family vault lined street after street within Recoleta. The cemetery was attached to a church that used to be a Franciscan Monastery, so that was also a very exciting place to step into and visit. Perhaps it was that or perhaps it’s because the Argentinian culture looks at death differently than we do, but the energy at Recoleta was surprisingly positive.
While staying in Recoleta, when we were up for a walk, it wasn’t too long of a stroll that would lead us down the city and towards the capital. Unfortunately, La Casa Rosada was closed when we were in town, but there was still plenty of vendors and locations of interest around the city center.
And, by taking a short taxi ride the other direction, we wound up at the Museo Evita and the Jardin Zoologico (the zoo). Of course, there was a power and presence that I admired at the Evita Museum. I couldn’t tell you much about what was there (perhaps besides the unbelievable pieces of fashion) but I was left in awe of the people visiting and crying still to this day about the death of Eva. The imprint she left in Argentina is unmistakable. In fact, we traveled in on the anniversary of her death, and people were still having memorial services for the anniversary of her death over sixty years later.
The zoo was really something else, too. While there was a wide variety of animals that we are used to (but still enjoy seeing- such as wild cats, penguins, llamas, etc), I was thrilled to be introduced to the Patagonian Mara. These adorable little guys wandered around the zoo like a squirrel would have in the US.
All in all, Buenos Aires was a special place for me. The trip was wonderful, but the lasting imprint of Evita was another thing entirely. It really left a mark in my heart, and I can’t wait to return here one day. If you’re looking to visit Buenos Aires and experience the city center along with the history of Evita, Recoleta is a very good section to stay in!