Latin America

8 Great Day Trips from Buenos Aires

Argentina’s capital is an amazing city filled with incredible architecture, culture, and cuisine. It is a city packed with fine restaurants and plenty of luxury hotels to choose from. If you’re based there for a while and want to get out of town for a bit, however, you have quite a few options for day trips from Buenos Aires.

day trips from Buenos Aires - estancia visit

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day of sightseeing or a more active adventure beyond the city limits, we’ve compiled some great ideas for exploring Argentina (and nearby Uruguay) outside of the metropolis. Here are our picks for the best day trips from the city.

Tigre Delta Day Trips

While Buenos Aires is fairly urban, there are outside options if you’re looking for a bit of a break to connect with nature, one of which is the Tigre Delta. Also known as the Paraná Delta, this is a natural area located northwest of the City of Buenos Aires. This area is located between the Paraná and Luján rivers and is made up of an extensive network of canals, streams, wetlands, small islands, and rivers.

This protected area is characterized by its natural beauty, its abundant species of fauna and flora, and its important ecological value. The Tigre Delta is one of the main tourist day trip destinations in the City of Buenos Aires due to the variety of activities that can be carried out in this region. From taking a boat trip through the canals of the delta, to enjoying nature on your walks through the forests, the Delta del Tigre offers a wide variety of activities to satisfy, with plenty of tours to choose from. There are a variety of boat rides and delta trips originating in the town of Tigre or nearby, so pick a guided tour that’s suited to your ideal group size and span of activities.

If you want to stick around for a while, we have a detailed review of an upscale hotel in the region that will provide a relaxing stay away from the noise and bustle of the city.

La Becasina Delta Lodge

San Isidro

San Isidro is a residential neighborhood located in the northeast of the city of Buenos Aires, about 15 km from the city center. It is one of the main areas of the wider metropolitan region, known as Greater Buenos Aires.

Its name is due to the patron saint of Spain, and it is located near the Río de la Plata, in an area with many parks, lakes, and recreational areas. It has a large number of restaurants, bars, and luxury shops.

There are multiple day trip options for joint tours with both San Isidro and Tigre Delta if you’re looking to cover both in a day. Hire your own driver to take you or check out the tour options below:

Gaucho Ranch Day Trips From Buenos Aires

Riding horses at a ranch in Argentina

Gaucho ranch day tours are a unique way to explore the sights and sounds of the beautiful Buenos Aires province. These day tours offer you the chance to experience the traditional yet vibrant lifestyle of the gauchos, the Argentine cowboys.

You will get to ride horseback and explore the countryside, visit local farms and vineyards, learn about the interesting culture, and have a delicious traditional lunch with the locals. Plus, you can take part in a traditional “asado,” an Argentine barbecue, and learn about the art of traditional leatherwork. You will be treated to a full day of adventure and culture as you explore this fascinating region and you’ll usually be able to do some horseback riding.

An estancia visit gives you an opportunity to see Argentine farm life up close and connect with an important part of the country’s culture. Some of these estancias are also homes to polo clubs, so you can watch a match or even get a lesson in how to hit a ball while riding a horse. Others have swimming pools that you can enjoy in the hot months.

We have reviews of two estancias that can be reached on a day trip from Buenos Aires so check those out here if you want a luxury experience. Note that the one below is actually about the same distance from the international airport as the city center of Buenos Aires is, so you could spend your last night there and have a relaxing stay at the end of your vacation before flying home.

Estancia La Bandada

San Antonio de Areco

The town of San Antonio de Areco is located about 50 miles northwest of the city of Buenos Aires and is the capital of the Areco Partido. It is known as the “Gaucho Capital” since it is home to the traditional Argentinean gaucho and a setting for a lot of ranches.

The town was founded in 1730 and the historic quarter is known for its colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. It also has a beautiful main square and a museum dedicated to the gaucho culture—Museo Gauchesco Ricardo Güiraldes. In the past, San Antonio de Areco was a major producer of leather goods and wool. It is still a popular place to visit for its historical sites, traditional restaurants, and artisan shops.

Areco Argentina day trip

We have a detailed review of an estancia hotel located in this region, one of the most luxurious in the country, if you want to extend the day trip and spend a night or two here:

Estancia La Bamba de Areco

Colonia Del Sacramento Tour

Colonia del Sacramento is a city located just over an hour from Buenos Aires on the south-eastern coast of Uruguay, in the department of Colonia. It is the oldest city in Uruguay, founded in 1680 by the Portuguese as a trading post and fort. It then changed hands multiple times, mostly back and forth between the Portuguese and Spanish, before becoming part of an independent Uruguay in 1828.

The historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The old town is known for its cobblestone streets, colonial buildings, and old Portuguese fort, and is a popular tourist destination. This is partly due to the ease of getting here on a short ferry ride: multiple ferries per day shuttle across the Rio de Plata between Argentina and Uruguay.

Colonia del Sacramento Uruguay - via Unsplash

The city is known for its laid-back atmosphere and its beaches, which offer a variety of activities nearby, including swimming, fishing, kayaking, and windsurfing. It also offers a variety of cultural activities, such as festivals, galleries, and museums.

Book a guided tour to Uruguay from Buenos Aires

Carlos Keen & Luján

The two cities of Luján and Carlos Keen are located about 30 kilometers west of Buenos Aires and offer visitors a variety of experiences. A day trip to the provinces of Lujan and Carlos Keen from the capital is another way to experience the beauty of the Argentinian countryside.

You can take an unforgettable visit to the renowned Carlos Keen estancia, where you can get a taste of traditional Argentinian cuisine and take part in activities like horseback riding and sightseeing.

In Luján, you can experience the traditional Argentine culture and customs and explore the many attractions of the area. The main highlight is the awe-inspiring neo-Gothic Sanctuary of Our Lady of Luján. The Enrique Udaondo Museum contains a variety of items from the Spanish colonial era, plus the first hydroplane to cross from Europe to Argentina and Argentina’s first steam locomotive. Set aside a few hours because strangely enough, this is Latin America’s biggest museum complex.

You can also take advantage of the great outdoors just outside the city of around 100,000 people, with numerous activities such as hiking, cycling, and horseback riding.

Mar del Plata

Mar del Plata Argentina via Unsplash

Mar del Plata is an Argentine coastal city located on the Atlantic coast of Argentina, the closest beach resort city to the capital. The city is an important tourist destination for both Argentines and foreigners. The city has a major commercial port, numerous beaches, restaurants, and nightlife. It’s also a hub for the Argentina craft beer scene, with the brand Baum originating there.

The city is a mix of cultures, with a large number of immigrants coming from all over the world. This is reflected in the region’s food, art, and music, which is characterized by a mix of styles.

This is a great day trip in the summer months, which means December through March in South America, without a lot of reasons to visit the rest of the year. It’s best to come midweek then if possible as the beaches get packed on weekends with those escaping the city.

Feria de Mataderos

Most of the time, there aren’t a whole lot of reasons to travel a half hour or more from the tourist areas to the town of Mataderos. That changes each Sunday between April and December when the Feria de Mataderos is happening.

This weekly Mataderos Fair is here because the town is home to the National Livestock Market, which is a huge one in a country that leads the world in beef consumption (and the resulting leather production). More than 700 stands are set up at this lively market selling embellished mate gourds and silver straws with filters, woven blankets, ponchos, silver jewelry, and leather goods.

Another reason to visit is for the food, which is what another section of those stands is devoted to. You can try the local versions of empanadas, tamales, locro stew, and sausage sandwiches. There are usually performances going on during the day, on stages and in the streets. You’ll probably hear some live music, see some folk dancers, and watch various gaucho demonstrations.

Far-flung Day Trips (That We Wouldn’t Really Advise)

If you’re really pressed for time and willing to do a lot of travel in one day, you could see some more far-flung destinations on a day trip from the Argentine capital. Although we wouldn’t recommend it unless you have plenty of stamina, in theory you could take an early flight up to Iguazu Falls, see the great cascades from above and below, and then return on a flight that evening.

If you have your heart set on visiting the capital of Uruguay, you could leave the ferry dock and catch a bus or taxi to Montevideo from Colonia de Sacramento instead of hanging around that town. It’s a straight shot along the coast on a highway, but it’s two hours each way, so it would be a lot of travel to cram into one day. Ideally you’d arrange a private tour with a driver and guide in advance and set out before dawn on the ferry. Really though, it would be best to see our reviews of the best Uruguay luxury hotels and pick a place to spend the night.

These aren’t all the day trips from Buenos Aires of course, so if you’re hanging around for a while you can explore more options. These will provide some good places to start, however, if you want to get out of the big city for a day.

Story by Alina Leffel, edited by Timothy Scott. This post contains affiliate links that pay out a commission. (The price paid, however, will be the same as if booking direct.)

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