There’s no greater way to feel the pulse of a city than by walking or running its streets. The activity allows you to simultaneously explore with fresh eyes and feel like a local with an intentional purpose. No matter how busy your schedule, it’s surprisingly easy to grab 20 or 30 minutes in the morning or during an afternoon siesta for a quick run—or walk/run if you’re new to the activity. Looking up nearby parks or greenery or waterfront paths in advance is a great option, though if you want to stay local and not intrude on the rest of your plans for the day, you can also pound out any nearby streets to get to know the area. Just make sure you have a general knowledge of surrounding neighborhoods and a map on you, or loaded on your phone.
The Bosques de Palermo offers a great established running destination in Buenos Aires, especially the Rosedal. There is a path that circles the lake, and you will see lots of people out exercising at all hours of the day. For other options around the city, check out the docks of Puerto Madero for some expansive views by the water, or try running along Avenue 9 for an entertaining route, as it’s the widest avenue in the world.
Biking is possibly the best way to interact with as much of the city as possible, exercise benefits aside. You can get around quickly on a bike and therefore fit in more destinations in one day than if you tried to walk, but you’ll be more part of the streets and feel more engaged with the city than if you took a car or public transportation. Not to mention the feel-good euphoria of some easy pedaling and wind in your hair. You can rent a bike from different shops around the city, or from the EcoBici spots scattered throughout the metropolitan area, and bike around the parks or various scenic routes throughout Buenos Aires.
If you really want to intentionally schedule a sweat session and join the locals to see how they do it, drop-in classes are available. Pretty much every exercise class, whether it be spinning, boxing, Crossfit, or yoga, offers free trial classes, so you can sneak in a session or two without having to worry about memberships or large fees. Buena Onda Yoga offers classes in English and will only charge a small drop-in cost. Personal trainers are also a good option for one-off meetings, and Jungle Gym has an English speaking trainer that will put you through your paces. There is also an abundance of free outdoor gyms located in the parks and plazas around the city. Check out the Reserva Ecologica for some scenic running, walking and cycling routes.
If you want to go further, the countryside of Argentina offers the perfect setting for one of the most natural forms of exercising: hiking. Argentina is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with a wealth of trails and routes, so you won’t have to go out of your way to get your heart rate up in these beautiful landscapes. There are numerous options, whether you go down south to Patagonia around Bariloche or El Chalten, or up north to the desert regions around Salta. Intensity can vary depending on your hike. Whether you are looking to undertake some easy walks and day hikes to waterfalls and lookout points, or are willing to go the distance and take on the Patagonian mountains over a longer multi-day trek, your heart will thank you. Make sure you take good hiking boots, as well as rain and sun gear, with you.