BYT Buenos Aires City Tour
Description of BYT City Tour of Buenos Aires, Argentina
We headed north up
Avendia 9 de Julio to the neighborhood of Recoleta. We were given very
brief descriptions of the monuments and buildings as we drove through the
main streets of Recoleta. Basically the tour guide would say ‘to your
right you will see
Recoleta Cemetary, Evita Peron is buried there and it is the first
public cemetery of Buenos Aires’. Although I was disappointed in her
descriptions, I was able to jot down things I wished to see again and which
neighborhoods I wanted to avoid.
Plaza de Mayo
We circled back through Recoleta on Libertador and headed South on Avendia 9 de Julio. We passed the obelisk, and then stopped at Plaza de Mayo. Before exiting the bus she told us that the Presidential Palace was painted pink because the two parties of the time were represented by the colors red and white, the president decided to paint the house pink to represent a compromise between the two colors. We were lucky enough to tour the plaza at the same time the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo were marching. We took a quick picture before they scattered in different groups. I wonder if they were offering each other words of encouragement and support.
After the 15 minute stop at Plaza de Mayo we passed El Viejo Almacein, which the tour guide said was the oldest café in the city. I would love to go back, but the neighborhood looked a little shady as this was on the way to La Boca. As we entered La Boca we could see the soccer stadium, which is known as La Bombonera. It is called this because of its small size and chocolate-box shape. An interesting thing the tour guide pointed out was the black and white Coca-Cola advertisement on the side of the stadium. Other stadiums have the traditional red and white logo plastered on the walls, but because the team colors of River Plate, a rival team, are red and white, Coca-Cola made their advertisement black and white so they didn’t appear to support an opposing team.
El Caminito Street
We stopped at El Caminito
in La Boca. This is a small block and a half of vibrantly colored
buildings, which interesting decor is often photographed and printed on
the covers of Buenos Aires Guide Books. Although La Boca was once a
beautiful neighborhood full of streets with the splendor of El Caminito, it is
a run down ghetto with only a small section maintained for tourist. I am
thankful that we visited this area with a tour, because entering and
exiting the little tourist trap was a nightmare. People were living in
shelters made of cardboard and sheets. Families would sit along the road
watching the tourist filled busses pass. Seeing the poverty is
heartbreaking and scary. I wouldn’t want to be in that area without the
protection of twenty other tourist and a big bus.
My Overall Opinion of the BYT City Tour
At the end of the tour
you could choose to be dropped off at the Galerias Pacifico Mall or
Recoleta Cemetery. I thought it was a little strange they don’t drop you
off in the same location they pick you up, but I guess they want you to
spend money shopping and sightseeing in the city.
Cost $35 USD per person through BYT - (54 11) 4821-6057 – look for buy one get one free coupons
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