Argentinians love the outdoors. I suppose that comes from living in one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world. Even in the cities, Argentinians make a point of spending a great deal of their time, especially in the summers, outdoors. Buenos Aires, a huge sprawling city of a couple million people, is surprisingly green and one of the greenest cities in the world for its size. Parks pop up in every neighborhood and not just the kind of local playground most North Americans are accustom to. These are huge parks with acres of green space, public sport fields, public swimming pools, lakes, and plenty of weekly activities as well. If you have some extra time on your Argentina travel vacation, grab some mate, a blanket, and a book and go check out these popular Buenos Aires parks.
Reserva Ecologia Costanera Sur
This park, located just a short walk from the centrally located Puerto Madero, was once the city’s landfill. Along with the renovation of the port district, the park was converted into a wetland nature reserve. The area has turned from a polluted eyesore into a beautiful park providing refuge for endangered plants and hundreds of different bird species.
The park is relatively empty during the week but fills up with locals on the weekends. Due to it’s cool riverside location, it’s a great option for escaping the summer heat.
Located right on Avenida Santa Fe, in the middle of Palermo, the city’s botanical gardens are an intimate space with quiet pathways and towering old trees. The park is very relaxing and a change from the other parks in the city in that it doesn’t have the same large open grass fields but rather focuses on lush, garden paths. It also has a great playground and large historic greenhouses.
People don’t always visit for the plants though. The park is actually considered one of the best make-out spots for young couples. The small, quiet paths don’t quite give enough privacy but it seems to be enough for the not-known-to-be-shy porteños. The park also has an interesting nickname – the park of the cats. In the past many pet cats where released here when their owners could no longer care for them. Over the years, quite a herd had developed. The city of Buenos Aires had tried to cut back on the issue by catching many of the cats and neutering others. There are plenty of cats still roaming the gardens though and they are not shy – bring treats and you might have a new cat by the end of the day!
Bosques de Palermo
Also known as Parque Tres de Febrero, this huge park is located in Palermo. With over 400 hectares of space, a lake, planetarium, running tracks, and more, Bosques de Palermo is one of the most popular parks in the city. It actually bumps up against the Buenos Aires Zoo and is right next to the Botanical Gardens, creating a even larger green space.
The park is also famous for its free activities. There are multiple running clubs, yoga lessons, roller blading groups, and even a weekly poetry group that meets in the Poets’ Garden. Every weekend the large path running around the lake is filled with families and couples. Watch out for the people learning to roller blade and if the crowd gets too much, take a walk over to the much quieter and calmer Jardin Botanico.
Couple Travel Tips
- The parks in the summer are a great place to practice your Spanish. They get really crowded with sun bathers; just sit close to a fun looking group of friends and ask a few questions. Porteños are pretty friendly people and will likely start up a conversation.
- If you are planning on doing a little jogging on your trip to Buenos Aires, be sure to stay on the main park paths. Buenos Aires has very safe parks but there are a number of secluded spots and paths that are best avoided if you are running alone.
- Treat your significant other to a nice Argentinian picnic. Grab a blanket, a thermos of mate, some dulce de leche with bread, and head to any of the city’s many parks.