Only 45 minutes from the city by train, Tigre is one of the most popular spots for people wishing to get out of the Buenos Aires. An island oasis made up of waterways and rustic pockets of terrain with cabins and private beaches along the river, the town of Tigre is itself charming and quaint, and a weekend spent on one of the islands is a definitive porteño pursuit in the spring and summer. Go for a long weekend to get the full experience, and if you are lucky enough to know someone with a boat, that’s even better.
San Antonio de Areco is Buenos Aires’ answer to the Wild West, being that it is true gaucho country. Gauchos are Argentine cowboys, and San Antonio de Areco is a cute little town located in Buenos Aires province about an hour and a half away from the city. Full of saloon-style bars and cafés that have all the charm of a bygone era, San Antonio de Areco is perfect for those wishing to experience life on the pampa and is the site of the Festival of Tradition, a long weekend in November that celebrates the gaucho in all of his glory.
Take the 2.5-hour boat ride from Tigre through the river delta until you reach Carmelo, Uruguay. A great alternative to Colonia del Sacramento, also in Uruguay, Carmelo is a sleepy town that typifies the Uruguayan experience. However, it has the added benefit of having a host of vineyards that make it an ideal destination for anyone looking to get out of Buenos Aires but not willing to go all the way to Mendoza for their wine fix. And you also get to tick Uruguay off your travel list.
If you take a short drive into Buenos Aires province, you will find yourself in Carlos Keen, one of those typical villages located outside the big city that you would miss if you weren’t looking for it. Carlos Keen has a beautifully preserved stationhouse and a weekend market where you can find locally produced honey and mushrooms, and there are lots of estancias close by where you can spend the weekend eating typical Argentine fare, such as empanadas and clay oven-cooked beef and lamb. The centre of this tiny village has a host of idyllic restaurants and cafés should you decide just to spend the day.
Located about an hour and a half from the capital, Capilla del Senor is a well-maintained provincial town that is a holiday destination for relatively wealthy Argentines, who build houses on plots of land with pools and ample space for barbecuing and sunbathing. It’s another sleepy town through which the railway line used to run, and there is plenty to keep a weekender occupied if they tire of rest and relaxation.
Another popular weekend destination, Tandil is also known for being the birthplace of the current Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, as well as a host of Argentine football players. Five hours south of Buenos Aires, this small locality is subdued and tranquil, but it does have a significant claim to fame: cheese. Tandil is not only famous for producing lots of cheese but also for its traditional ‘picada’, or local version of a charcuterie board. It is also a pleasant spot for hiking and trekking, making it popular with outdoorsy weekenders.
Located near Mar del Plata in the south of Buenos Aires province, Balcarce is a country haven, boasting its own lagoon and hill, which is perfect for climbing if you want to get active during your weekend away. You can also rent kayaks and explore the lagoon by yourself, or simply chill out at one of the many cabins or houses that you can rent close to the lagoon itself. And if you need some more entertainment, the beachside city of Mar del Plata is not far away.