After a hectic few days in the sleepless city of Buenos Aires, you’re probably ready for some R&R. Whether it’s a quick ferry hop across the Rio de la Plata to Uruguay for the day or a short flight to the wine capital Mendoza for two nights, there are numerous getaways from Buenos Aires where you can relax, enjoy a glass of fine wine and recharge your batteries. Here are four of our favourites.
Colonia Del Sacramento/Carmelo, Uruguay
Reminiscent of a small Portuguese town, Colonia del Sacramento has been hailed as a UNESCO world heritage site charming visitors with its picturesque whitewashed houses, cobbled streets, iconic old lighthouse and views of the expansive Rio de la Plata. After you've spent the morning exploring the old town, we suggest you head to one of our favourite spots Charco Bistro for lunch. Get a table on the terrace overlooking the water, equipped with heaters and cosy blankets in the wintertime, order a bottle of the local Tannat, dine on some hearty contemporary cuisine and experience hygge at its best. Be sure to book on Saturdays as it is a hotspot on the weekend. If not, try across the street at A La Pipetuá Bistro where you can sit beneath orange trees in the sun and drink sangria whilst enjoying one of the best paellas mariscos we've tasted in Uruguay.
San Antonio de Areco
Venture off the beaten track around 100 km west of Buenos Aires and step into the laid-back lifestyle of this sleepy gaucho town. In the heart of the Argentine countryside, San Antonio de Areco is famous for its cowboys, sterling silverware and community of artisans specialising in traditional gaucho accessories and saddlery. It's was once home to Juan José Draghi, a master silversmith credited with rescuing the trade during the rise of industrialism. Be sure to check out the museum in Draghi’s name, a lavish gallery space devoted to the evolution of unique silverware. Or, if you’re shopping for something more contemporary outside of the Buenos Aires shopping scene, check out the handmade silver jewellery collections of Alquimia (created by artisan husband and wife Judith Gálvez and Horacio Sarli). Then live like a gaucho for a night at one of the oldest estancias (ranches) in the area, La Bamba de Areco, a grandiose family home and farm turned boutique hotel.
In just under two hours on a plane, you can be in the capital of Argentina’s wine country, Mendoza. Give yourself at least two days to explore the numerous wineries of this stunning region. Our pick for accommodation would be Entre Cielos that offers modern luxury in the heart of a Malbec vineyard complete with hotel, spa and hammam, pool and restaurant. It’s the perfect location to pamper yourself as you take in the dramatic sunsets, accompanied, of course, with a large glass of Malbec. We also recommend dining by the open flame at the fabulous Siete Fuegos restaurant at The Vines resort, the product of famed Argentine chef Francis Mallmann.
The Tigre Delta is the perfect city escape, just north of Buenos Aires. A jungle of narrow brown waterways, lush green islands and little cabins, Tigre revolves around boat rides, eating and nature. To escape the crowds of portenos on the water and immerse yourself in a luxuriantly verdant oasis, we suggest a day trip to Isla del Descanso, just thirty minutes from the Puerto del Tigre. With a microclimate of its own, the beautifully maintained gardens of the Isla del Descanso offer colourful flora and fauna all year round. Go for lunch or afternoon tea and take a tour of the impressive collection of sculptures and artwork installed around the gardens, collected by the art-loving owners themselves.
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