Buenos Aires city tours are now easier to achieve for the ecotourist, due to the bicycle network paths that are available throughout the city.
Green travel has not always been possible in the major city of the Argentine Republic, but since 2009, Buenos Aries has invested in ecotourism by building a network of cycle paths that are continuously being developed.
Buenos Aires has developed a reputation for being a cosmopolitan and modern city and as such, there is a huge amount of city to be explored. Great food, historical monuments, nightlife and conservation parks are all waiting for the green traveller to discover.
Buenos Aires City Tours
There are a number of ways to get around on your Buenos Aires city tour; the fastest and cleanest of which will probably be the subway system. There are six lines in the capital and each are connected to the main thoroughfares, rail and bus systems and most popular downtown tourist areas. The subway runs from 5:00am to 22:00pm weekdays and 8:00am to 22:00pm on weekends and bank holidays.
Alternatively, or perhaps as well as, the bus service in Buenos Aires has more than 180 routes and is regularly available. Tickets can only be bought when you're on the bus though and make sure you have change or you won't be allowed to travel as only coins are accepted. The bus service can be a slow way to get about at peak times though and you may find yourself sat in traffic for some time, so avoid in busy periods. The bus service runs all day but decreases in frequency after midnight.
If you fancy sitting back and taking in all the sights without too much effort, a great introduction to the city can be enjoyed aboard the Buenos Aires Tourist Bus, which departs every 20 minutes from the corner of Florida and Av. Roque S?enz Pe?a.
Buenos Aires city tours can, as mentioned above, be taken by bicycle, either as part of an organised tour or by renting a bike. Organised tours cover both the north and south of the city, as well as excursions to Tigre and the Paran? River, an area of natural beauty where you can also explore the river in a Kayak as part of the tour. The trip is less than an hour from the centre of Buenos Aires and includes snacks and bottled water; you can also opt to stay outside of the city for a night if you prefer.
Food and culture in Buenos Aires
Truly organic food is easy to find in the Argentine capital if you just know where to look; the first thing any ecotourist should pick up in Buenos Aires is the Urbana & Org?nica map, which gives information on organic restaurants, food shops and everything sustainable.
The map is a comprehensive guide and even covers things like Reiki classes, as well as more than twenty companies that deliver organic food directly to your door.
For the gastronome, Kensho is most definitely worth a visit - they serve organic food to die for and comprehensive vegetarian menus, as well as offering cookery classes for those who want to take a taste of Buenos Aires home with them.
For lighter meals and snacks, Tea Connection serves a variety of organic teas as well as breads and cakes all made on the premises. 0800 VINO deliver a selection of organic wines to your door, for those who want nothing more than to put their feet up of an evening after a long day on a Buenos Aires city tour.
Shopping in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires has plenty to interest the avid shopper, each of the main shopping areas being very different and having unique goods to offer the gran traveller. In San Telmo you will find a plethora of antiques, whilst the best place to shop for books would be Corrientes Avenue. The main shopping areas are all open until around 22:00 each evening and some even stay open as late as midnight.
Kiosks (quioscos or kioscos) are dotted liberally around the city and are excellent resources for information. They sell lots of things from sweets to cigarettes and souvenirs and are generally staffed with exceptionally helpful city-dwellers who will be only too happy to answer your questions on the best spots to visit.
To get a real taste of the Buenos Aires culture though, you should visit one of the many markets and fairs that are taking place all over the city. Keep an eye out for them on your Buenos Aires city tour, especially at the weekends when artisan markets pop up in various parks and squares.
Accommodation in Buenos Aires
There aren't yet a great deal of options for ecotourism when it comes to hotels in Buenos Aires and as such it's wise to choose one which is close to the bus routes and subways so as not to raise your carbon footprint any higher than it has to be.
A great option to consider would be to rent an apartment direct if you're staying more than a few days. These can be found on sites such as Craig's List and represent excellent value for money as well as fully immersing you right into the heart of Argentine culture.
Buenos Aires is a wonderful city which really does have something for everyone; theatres, restaurants, a buzzing nightlife as well as museums and plenty of sites of historical interest. The term 'culture' really could have been coined for this city and it is well worth a visit for the green traveller. Whilst Buenos Aires is really just only woken up to ecotourism, it is to be found and the surrounding areas of the city offer a lot for the nature lover to explore in settings of outstanding natural beauty.