Category Archives: Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, literary city

Buenos Aires is proud of its literary history. Many cultural activities throughout the year contribute to its continuity over the years, making the city a unique literary tour in Latin America.


Buenos Aires is the cradle of national literature icons that marked entire generations: Jorge Luis Borges, José Hernández, Roberto Arlt, Rodolfo Walsh, Victoria and Silvina Ocampo, Alfonsina Storni, Ernesto Sábato and Julio Cortázar, among many others.

Borges & Cortázar, Argentine writers

The literary gatherings in the historic cafes that have once been a nocturnal home for writers and poets, have become unmissable points of the city for its architectural design and history, witnesses of characters that left their mark on the universal literary and artistic history.

The International Book Fair of Buenos Aires is visited by more than one million people every year; offering book signings and conferences of renowned intellectuals, professional lectures for the publishing industry, artistic shows and recreational activities for all ages.

International Book Fair

The Night of the Bookstores is another great event: one night a year, the mythical book stores scattered along Corrientes Avenue take over the city until midnight.

Night of the Bookstores in Corrientes Ave.

We cannot forget to mention the famous bookstore El Ateneo Grand Splendid, chosen by the British newspaper The Guardian as the second most important in the world in its field. Every day, hundreds of curious and avid readers pass by to marvel at its atmosphere. Built on the old Grand Splendid theater cinema in the Recoleta neighborhood, it opened in 1919 and still retains its former splendor and elegance.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid book store

In addition, daily you can find multiple used book fairs in different parts of the city; an excellent opportunity to find classics and lost jewels at more affordable prices.

Undoubtedly, Buenos Aires is a literary city par excellence. In Kallpa Tour we can help you organize a custom tour, to visit all these mythical places and learn about the country’s literary history guided by expert guides.


 

Enjoy the city like a real porteño

In Buenos Aires, we would like to tell you about an original tour that combines electric bikes, mate and tango. Sounds good, right?


As always, in Kallpa we look for and offer original and sustainable experiences that focus on culture and local traditions. That’s how we found Martin and Laura, with whom we share the same ideals and passion for traveling.

On a Sunday afternoon, we met at Recoleta Cultural Center. This spot itself is an attraction, given that we find the famous cemetery and that lots of people are strolling across the park and taking a look at the typical craft fair.

We mount the e-bikes and the tour starts. Without effort, we wander through Recoleta and Palermo neighborhoods and enjoy the city like a real porteño! As we ride, through intercoms we hear the guide telling us the city’s secrets and local traditions.

First, riding across Recoleta we can see French style palaces. Along Figueroa Alcorta Avenue we pass by the Buenos Aires University’s Law School; a monumental architecture building from the 1940’s. Right next, the famous Floralis Generica, a metal sculpture of a huge flower on the United Nations Park, made by the Argentinian architect Eduardo Catalano.

Following Recoleta, we move towards the Bosques de Palermo – Palermo Woods – and its great green parks. We pass by the Japanese Garden, the Palermo Horse Racetrack, the Argentinian Polo Field and the famous Rosedal. Then, we make a stop at the woods to taste and share some mate and pastries, like many locals do here on the weekends, as a traditional friendly and family ritual.

At last, back on the bikes we ride towards Palermo Soho, a trendy and bohemian area of this neighborhood, to visit one of the main milongas in the city. Milongas are the traditional places where locals attend to dance and listen to tango.

Here, a tango expert joins us. Thanks to his expertise, we learn about this intense and passionate dance history, codes and the milonga dynamics. Finally, a live orchestra entertains us with a dazzling tango performance following an instructor that teaches us some steps to introduce us to this dance.

This is the end of this original, fun and enriching experience, but if you want, you can stay and enjoy the milonga to keep on practising your steps until 4 am.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Operation: Sunday at 3:30 pm
  • Duration: 6 hs
  • Languages: Spanish & English
  • Meeting point: Across Recoleta Cultural Center, next to Nuestra Señora del Pilar Church.
  • Ending point: Armenian Center, Palermo
  • Min. 2 pax – Max. 6 pax
  • Min age is 16 and max is 60
  • Highlights: Recoleta – Palermo Horse Track and Argentinian Polo Field – Rosedal and Bosques de Palermo – Palermo Soho – Milonga.
  • Included: Electric bicycle with intercom – Bicycle tour guide – Insurance – Snack (pastries) & Mate – Water – Entrance ticket for the milonga – Tango guide – Live orchestra show – Tango lesson – One soft drink per person.
  • Not included: Roundtrip transfers – Food and extra drinks – Tips.

Gastronomic & Cultural Tour in San Telmo

The experience we’re about to tell you promises the best of Buenos Aires history and gastronomy in only 4 hours, so you better keep up!


There’s something about the porteños and their local markets, food, wine and coffee. Many corners in Buenos Aires meet these three relevant elements but one place puts them all together within a special environment: San Telmo, a historic and gastronomic neighborhood by excellence. A spot where immigration, architecture and antiques tell a story and merge with contemporary design and colorful street artists and artisans.

The tour begins at the traditional San Telmo Market, which opened in 1897 to provide the new European immigrants with the necessary provisions. The building still preserves its original inner structure, made by metal beams, arches and columns and glass and sheet ceilings. In the year 200 the market was declared Historic National Monument by the city’s government.

Nowadays, visiting the San Telmo Market is an adventure into Buenos Aires’ past; an eclectic experience where unalike options and shops are the main attraction: antiques, old toys, exotic fruits and spices, fresh vegetables and meat, patagonian products…one picture isn’t enough to cover the many shops and secrets inside this market!

After learning about the history of this unique place and walking around a bit, we stop at Coffee Town. It is known that porteños love to spend their time in coffee shops reading the newspaper, working with their laptops, catching up with friends or just relaxing with a hot cup of coffee in their hands. That is why -after years learning everything there was to know and becoming coffee experts- the Coffee Town team decided to settle at this market, being the first specialty coffee shop in Argentina. Their philosophy: to offer the best coffee in the world at the right price and to propose a journey along the sensorial route with every taste.

At this cute little shop we have a coffee tasting along with a talk about the coffee transformation process -from the green bean to the moment where it gains its aromatic and flavor characteristics- and the different forms of preparation.

Later, we leave the market and walk along the streets of San Telmo towards Sagardi, a Basque restaurant. Here, a professional sommelier will take us through a tasting of a selected variety of excellent and unique boutique wines paired with pintxos (bite-size appetizers served in the bars and taverns of the Basque Country).

With a wine reminiscent taste in our palates, we continue our way to the final stop of the tour: the Pulpería Quilapán. In the old days of the Río de La Plata region, the pulperías were a place that combined a grocery store, a bar and a spot where gauchos, natives, peasants, creole and black people reunited to drink, eat and have fun. Today, Argentine people still take our time to gather with friends and family around the famous mate, a picada, the traditional asado or with a glass of wine.

Pulpería Quilapán is a restaurant, bar, social club and grocery store that uses and sells national, natural and organic products, all of them specially selected. With a country flair, in an ancient refurbished house with rustic environment, fresh patios, an organic vegetable garden, an urban small farm and flower garden, the countryside is reflected recreating a nice and relaxed ambience for people to get together.

We have a guided tour of this historic house and -to end the soiree- the Pulpería delights us with an exquisite traditional creole barbecue with drinks and dessert, while enjoying a live folklore show. Definitely a “back to the countryside roots” experience!

For more information about this tour, please contact your Kallpa Tour executive.


 

Street Food Tour in Buenos Aires

A walking gastronomic tour in Buenos Aires to try some of the national street food icons.


The influence of immigration and the creole imprint made of Buenos Aires an important gastronomic reference worldwide. The culinary diversity and creativity, each time larger and more innovative, have positioned the city as a gastronomic and cultural destination chosen by millions of tourists. This is why Buenos Aires is the 2017’s Iberoamerican Capital of Gastronomic Culture, a recognition given by the Iberoamerican Gastronomy Academy (AIG).

Chefs from all over the world choose the city to educate themselves and travellers arrive looking for the typical asado, Andean dishes, traditional inherited recipes and many other local flavours, textures and aromas.

Pizza al molde
Pizza al molde

We want to celebrate gastronomy in Buenos Aires introducing a special tour that takes you on the search for classic street food that we all Argentineans love. Exploring the city by foot, in the company of one of our expert guides and foodies, this four stops / four fast meals gastronomic experience will give you a taste of what this amazing and diverse city has to offer.

Our guide will pick you up and take you towards the first stop. Then, you will walk around for about 3 hours making a few stops more on the way while he/she tells you all about Argentineans and food, out traditions and tastes, our legacy and influences, and also the full story behind what you’re about to try.

1024px-Choripan_mariposa_By David (Choripan) [CC BY 2.0 (httpcreativecommons.orglicensesby2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The famous choripan!
The first tasting stop will be at a food truck in the Costanera Sur for an exquisite and unique choripan. Its name is an acronym from the words chorizo (spicy sausage) and pan (bread), which are the two basic ingredients. It is said that the choripan goes back halfway through the XIX century, when in the countryside the gauchos organized asados to celebrate any occasion, and then started the habit of eating chorizo inside a bread. The choripan has three fast food main characteristics: it’s easy to cook, fast to eat and relatively cheap. Today it’s a main character in any Argentinean barbecue and it’s usually the first treat to serve while waiting for the rest of the meat to be done. Without a doubt, it’s a national classic street food and one of the Argentineans’ preferred dishes.

1024px-Empanadas_salteñas_By travelwayoflife [CC BY-SA 2.0 (httpcreativecommons.orglicensesby-sa2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Baked empanadas salteñas
Then you will try an empanada, which is actually a traditional dish from most of the Spanish speaking kitchens. An empanada is, basically, a piece of fine dough stuffed with a salty or sweet filling and cooked in the oven or fried. In Argentina, the empanadas usually have a semicircular shape, a distinctive repulgue (the technique used to close the piece of dough and give it shape) and the filling varies: meat, ham & cheese, corn, tuna, spinach & cheese…these are the classics but there are many more. There are also many varieties of empanadas in most of the country’s provinces, such as the famous empanadas salteñas or the tucumanas, with different kind of doughs, fillings and condiments. We strongly recommend to taste empanadas wherever you go in Argentina.

The last two stops of the tour will pair you up with two Italian inherited and adapted delicacies.

As the final salted course, a slice of pizza. Of course, this is an international specialty nowadays, but what makes it different in Buenos Aires is the dough’s thickness. From the Italian recipe disembarked presumably in La Boca, we created the pizza al molde, which literally means “mould pizza”. This version has a thick dough, maybe 2 o 3 cm thick, and very oily mozzarella cheese drips on the sides. It’s typical from the pizzerias in the neighborhoods, where hungry people in a hurry pass by and have a slice standing up. The main flavours for the porteños are the fugazzeta (cheese, onions and oregano), ham and peppers and the plain but eternal mozzarella. Probably you didn’t know this, but Argentina is one of the biggest pizza consumers.

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Mozzarella pizza
choc_frutilla_httpwww.afadhya.com.ar
Strawberry & chocolate artisanal ice-cream

Up to this point you should be not only thirsty but also craving for something sweet, which takes us to the final refreshing tasting of the tour: ice-cream, or as we call it, helado. Also brought to the city by Italian immigrants halfway through the XIX century, more and more artisanal ice-cream shops appeared all around. The national ice-cream flavour king (and it is said for foreigners visiting too) is the dulce de leche (caramel). Probably there is no other classic flavour as famous as this one. And although you may find original and new flavours, even seasonal ones, the classics are ever present: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, lemon and crema americana (plain cream). You can’t miss the tramontana (cream with dulce de leche and crunchy pieces of biscuit).  

Empanadas, choripan, pizza and ice-cream. As we like to say, panza llena, corazón contento: a full belly makes a happy heart!

Now that you had just a taste of what Argentine cuisine can provide, you surely want to try some more. There are many options in the city and throughout the country where you can enjoy delicious meals. Make sure to contact us for suggestions!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Private service up to 8 people.
  • Includes described street food meals with drinks, roundtrip transfers and bilingual guide.
  • Operation: Daily tours year round.
  • Pick up at 11.00 am (by taxi or van, depending on the number of pax).
  • Duration: 3 hs
  • The places to visit and/or order of the meals may vary depending on the guide’s criteria and pax preferences.
  • The last stop can be replaced for a coffee instead of ice-cream.
  • We recommend to dress informal and to wear comfortable shoes for walking.
  • Published rate valid from 30/06/2017 to 31/12/2017.