Of all the small towns in Buenos Aires province, San Antonio de Areco might be the most famous one, often referred to as the gaucho capital or quintessential Buenos Aires province small town. I finally visited in March of this year, and now, in August, I figured I should get something online! We had horrible weather when we went, it rained all day except for right at the end. But I recommend a visit, it is a beautiful place and great to combine with some estancia tourism. It also made me think that if other small towns, like Cañuelas, had cared a little bit more about preserving the old feel, they could easily have become something similar. (San Antonio does have a river, though.) We visited the Museo Taller Draghi, which exhibits beautiful silver typical of the area, checked out the river area (not so great in pouring rain!) and the Parque Criollo y Museo Gauchesco Ricardo Güiraldes. The park is beautiful and there is an old-school pulpería (tavern) with many cool artefacts. The museum is a tribute to author Ricardo Guiraldes, who wrote the quintessential guacho novel, Don Segundo Sombra. Quoting Wikipedia here: “Don Segundo Sombra does not romanticize the figure of the gaucho, but simply examines the character as a shadow (sombra) cast across Argentine history.”
We had lunch at a completely non-descript place, so I won’t even mention it! But I really want to go back with sunshine to stroll along the river and ride horses at one of the nearby estancias.