Update on the Puyehue volcano and flights within Argentina

A jet covered in volcanic ash sits grounded at the Bariloche airport.

A few readers have written us recently  asking the status of flights within Argentina.  In case you haven’t heard, the in Chile has been erupting since June of this year and the volcanic ash in the atmosphere has caused the cancellation of thousands of flights, both domestic and international.

Well unfortunately the volcano continues to erupt and flights to parts of Patagonia continue to be cancelled.  The airport in Bariloche is closed for repairs until late December, but flights are being rerouted to Esquel.  From Esquel there is free bus transport to the airport in Bariloche. 

Esquel is about 4 hours by bus to Bariloche.  The countryside between the two cities is gorgeous.

And with the airports in San Martin de Los Andes and Neuquen also closed, the only way to get to the Lakes district other than flying to Esquel, is by bus or auto.    

Now as we have said countless times before, the option of taking a bus to Patagonina might not be as bad as you think it is.  Buses in Argentina, especially the first-class Cama buses, are confortable and quiet.  It is entirely possible during a long trip to get a full night’s sleep, eat well and watch a couple of movies.  Overnight 12 hour trips can be completely comfortable. 

But after 12 hours one starts to get anxious, and the bus ride from Buenos Aires to Bariloche is a 20-23 hour journey. 

If you do decide to travel by bus and have the time, we suggest you break the trip up with a stopover in Santa Rosa or even Neuquen.   Now we will be the first to admit that neither of those towns is among the most exciting cites in the world, but if it’s just for one night, you should be fine.

If you decide to fly to Esquel make sure you reserve your tickets in advance.  Even though currently it is not high travel season, prices for foreigner passengers on these flights can get quite steep  if not purchased in advance. To check on availability of flights to Esquel, use the search box on the right. The code for the airport at Esquel is ESQ.


Introduction to Belgrano

One of the most upscale neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, Belgrano is both a residential area and a shopping district. Strolling through the streets one finds many well-maintained houses and businesses lining the leafy streets. There are also plenty of smart restaurants and cafes where you can rest your weary feet after a day of shopping.

Due to its distance from the microcenter, Belgrano is better suited for travlers who plan on staying longer in Buenos Aires than the average traveler. And those who do generally love it.

Where to stay in Belgrano

Hotels in Belgrano

To check availability and prices of hotels in Belgrano on Booking.com, Click here.

To comprare prices and read reviews of hotels in Belgrano on Expedia, click here: Hotels in Belgrano

Hostels in Belgrano

Budget accommodation is a bit thin in Belgrano, but not totally nonexistent. La Pampa hostel is a good option: Hostel in Belgrano

How to get to Belgrano

Althgough Belgrano is further away from the center than Palermo, Recoleta or San Telmo, it is well served by public transportation and taxis. Two commuter-rail train lines also have stops in Belgrano.The D line of the Subte runs under Avenue Cabildo and most things of interest would be a short walk from one of its stations. Many bus lines also run up and down Cabildo or nearby parallel streets. Locations further away from Cabildo might be tougher to get to.

There are too many buses passing through Belgrano for us to detail all the routes here, but here are a couple of the most popular ones:

  • 152: Runs between La Boca and Olivios, outside the Capital Federal. This line is good for
  • 59: Another company that runs between Belgrano and the Microcenter.
  • 118: Passes by Barrancas de Belgrano, Recoleta and eventually Once.

Trains leaving from Retiro’s Mitre train station pass through Belgrano. The two Belgrano stops are apty named Belgrano C (Commercial) and Belgrano R (Residential), but they are on different lines. The former is the second stop on the train to Tigre while the latter can be reached by any train to Bartolomé Mitre, José León Suárez, Zarate or Capilla del Señor.

And as always, we suggest you consult the city’s interactive map webpage or download the CómoLlego app to you phone.


Shopping in Belgrano

Shoe stores, clothing boutiques and sporting good stores can be found on either side of Avenue Cabildo. Despite being in a upper class neighborhood, prices in these stores remain competitive and they generally have a good selection.

Restaurants in Belgrano

The restaurants that line Avenue Cabildo cater to the wealthy and are generally not a good value. The lunch specials they sometimes advertize in the windows might only be a hotdog on a plate with a few chips and a glass of Coke. If you are craving a hotdog, you can get one from a street vendor at about a quarter the price.

Nightlife in Belgrano

Salsa dancers can show off their skills at Azúcar on Cabildo 2040. Lessons daily at 9PM, Saturday at 11PM. Dress sharply, those wearing tennis shoes have been turned away at the door.

Things to do in Belgrano

Just off of Cabildo on Juramento is the round church Redonda de Belgrano. Despite its modern look the building dates back to 1870. Inside is just as impressive as the exterior, with many paintings and even a replica of the Last Supper by Da Vinci.

A bit further down Juramento, one comes to another park designed by French architect Carlos Thays, the Barrancas deBelgrano. It’s a nice place to sit in the sun or shade for a bit and look at statues and sculptures. On one side of the park there is a mini replica of all things, the Statue of Liberty.

Crossing the railroad tracks brings you to Buenos Aires´ Chinatown, or Barrio Chino as it is called in Spanish. It’s not huge, only a few square blocks, but definitely worth a visit. Most shops there are closed on Mondays.

The Monumental, or better known as the River Plate stadium is located in nearby Nuñez. It´s a short pleasant walk and close to parks and the Costanera Norte. if after visiting the stadium you wish to explore further you could potentially walk all the way to Palermo and almost Retiro passing only through parks.


Introduction to Recoleta

The recoleta cemetery
The recoleta cemetery
Home to museums, art galleries, gourmet restaurants and posh cinemas and theaters, Recoleta has long been associated with Argentine high society . Many Argentine aristocrats have chosen its world famous cemetery as their final resting place. Close to just about everything, safe, and full of things to see and do, it makes a great place to stay while getting your feet wet in Buenos Aires.

Where to stay in Recoleta

Hotels in Recoleta

Prior to the 2001 financial crisis, the only accommodation in Recoleta was of a few luxury hotels. But in the past ten years more affordable hotels and hostels have opened up and there are now rooms available for almost every class of traveler. Its proximity to the microcenter and the Retiro bus and train stations means that you should be able to walk to everything, and if your feet get tired there are no lack of taxis is this zone.

To check availability and prices of hotels in Recoleta on Booking.com, Click here.

To comprare prices and read reviews of hotels in Recoleta on Expedia, click here: Hotels in Recoleta

Hostels in Recoleta

There are a couple of excellent hostels in Recoleta and they are a good choice for young single travelers or anybody on a budget.Hostels in Recoleta

Transport in Recoleta

The Subte (metro, subway) D line passes to one side of Recoleta and should you need to go to Palermo or Belgrano, its your best bet. Tons of buses also pass through the neighborhood, many on Santa Fe or nearby parallel streets, but these are best avoided during morning rush hour as they are jam packed with people by the time they get so near to downtown.
In many cases your best bet may be to walk down to the Retiro train and bus stations. Although you could easily catch a bus in Recoleta to lets say, Olivos, in the province of Buenos Aires, a train would get you their more comfortably and quicker.

One further advantage of staying in Recoleta, or Palermo for that matter, is its proximity to the Aeroparque Jorge Newberry airport. If you plan on flying to another destination inside Argentina or in one of the bordering countries, chances are your flight will be leaving from that airport.

Where to eat and drink in Recoleta

Bars in Recoleta

There is a slew of bars on the streets that surround the cemetery. They tend to come and go though, as high rent forces them to close. There are also many posh cabarets in this area, and single men can expect to be harassed by touts trying to usher them inside.

Note that the Newport bar, with all its sexy women sitting near the front windows, is a place for men to pick up professional working women. Its best avoided unless that is what you’re looking for.

Shamrock – Rodriguez Peña 1220

A favorite among Argentines and tourists alike, Shamrock is about as close as you’re going to get to an Irish bar in Argentina. It’s also one of the few places with a lively happy hour. From opening until 12PM drinks and beer are discounted. Prices go up after midnight, but remain some of the most reasonable in the neighborhood.

The basement of the bar turns into a nightclub on weekends and cover is charged to enter.

Be aware that what little food that is on the menu isn’t very good. But you can always skip out to nearby La Cholita or Cumaná to get a bite. Just remember to go early enough (before 10PM) to avoid long lines.

Casa Bar – Rodriguez Pena 1150

While still not as popular as nearby Shamrock, American owned Casa Bar is beautifully decorated and serves good drinks, and should you need one, coffee. It also is one of the few places in BA which serve American style wings. Large screen TVs to watch American sports.

The bar is overpriced though, and the prices are not justified by the sometimes very slow service.

Across the street from the bar are the always packed La Cholita steakhouse and Cumana restaurant, which serves just about everything but steak. These restaurants are among our favorites in BA, but get there early as there is a line after 9PM.

The Alamo – Uruguay 1175

American owned and run, the Alamo was once an expat hangout, but recently seems to be dominated by very young Argentines. It still remains one of the best places to get really drunk, if that’s what your looking to do. And since the owners are American, you won’t need to slur anything in Spanish to get service. Also good for after work drinks or watching American sports on their large screen tvs.

There is an upstairs and a downstairs at this bar and the latter tends to get really smoky, so go upstairs if you don’t smoke.

Recently they have been charging 30 pesos cover charge at the door, but in turn they give you tickets worth 30 pesos of food or drink. It seems they have to do this to avoid the place filling up with young kids who takes up seats and don´t spend any money. It does however make it annoying if you just want to get one beer.

Milion – Paraná 1048

Set in a beautiful old mansion, Milion is worth a visit even if you just want to see the building. In the summer the crowd spills out to the back patio where a lovely marble staircase serves as overflow seating. They also serve food but it’s nothing special.

Jack the Ripper – Libertad 1275

This bar has changed location several times throughout the past years, and everytime its location seems to be more beautiful than the last. Has a good selection of beer and mixed drinks. Outside of happy hour, it can be a bit quiet though.

NotoriusJunín 1715

For musicians or anyone interested in music, this is one of the places we can’t recommend enough in BA. Live music shows throughout the week with everything from Jazz, Bosa Nova to Folkloric music. They also have a large collection of CDs for sale, with rock and pop music being the least plentiful.

Check out the schedule of shows at Notorius

Things to do in Recoleta

Central Cultural Recoleta

This city run arts center has good rotating art exhibits and sometimes plays. Entrance is cheap, and since you will undoubtedly be in the neighborhood to see the cemetery, you should go.

Bellas Artes Musuem

This is a great art museum for both Art buffs and those of us who don’t understand art. It’s the perfect size, not overwhelming like other art museums in the world, meaning you can see everything in about an hour. Has a good collection of both European and Argentine art. And it’s free, but donations are accepted at the door.


Downhill from the cemetery and Buenos Aires design there are a series of parks and plazas that almost connect with the Bosque de Palermo parks. Across the avenue from the Bellas arts museum one finds a massive reflecting flower. This metal sculpture opens and closes with the sun and is surrounded by a nice green park (no dogs permitted means a great place to lie in the grass and get some sun :) ).

More Information

The city has and information booth in Recoleta at Ayacuco 1958. The official internet site of Buenos Aires is a good source for information on cultural events in Recoleta and other neighborhoods in the Capital Federal