Rosario, San Antonio de Areco and Tigre.

We (Mog) are scheduled to return to the UK by ship from Buenos Aires around the 2007-04-08 (the date remains vague until the last minute). We plan to spend the last week in BA parked near the docks (there do not seem to be any real camp sites in BA, with water and electricity. We will probably end up in a 24 hour secure truck park. This has logistics problems if you are there too long.)

En route to BA we stopped off at Rosario, San Antonio de Areco and Tigre.

Rosario is a large city, and like many large city it can be difficult to find somewhere near the centre to park. Our guide books suggested "Camping Municipal" about 9km north of the city.

There is indeed a "camp site" here but it is only for day time use and is not "open to foreigners"!

Whilst looking for this site we were flagged down by two motorcycle policemen who were unhappy (in Spanish) about the absence of rear under-run protection on Mog (i.e. We want a bribe!). I explained (in English) that under the 1949 International Road Traffic Convention (that Argentina had signed) if a vehicle was legal in its country of registration then it was acceptable for up to six months in any participating country and they should check this with their boss (i.e. Piss-off, you are not having a bribe!)

After a ten minute stand-off the (fictitious?) 1949 IRTC won and the many "no brakes, no lights, no number plate, rust-buckets" on the road were again exposed to the additional risk of running under the back of Mog.

We did eventually find a different, very large, municipal camping site off Ruta 11on Ave. Lisandro de la Torre, about 12km north of Rosario in the suburb/town of Granadero Baigorria (S32.846158 W60.700683). (Cost $4USA per night). Having now visited Rosario (by bus) I think it might be possible to wild camp on the river bank near Parque Nacional de la Bandera (see photo top row, centre, below).

Easily the most impressive building in Rosario is the monument (centre, below) to the little known nineteenth century graphic artist Manuel Belgrano. This "conspicuously overbearing manifestation of patriotic hubris" must be the biggest monument to any graphic artist in the world.

Beneath the monument is a museum (bottom row, centre, below) devoted to the single surviving work of Manuel Belgrano. Manuel's work is displayed alongside comparable work from North, Central and South America. Rather unfairly only Manuel's single work is attributed to a named artist.

Rosario's other claim to fame is as the birthplace of Ernesto (Che) Guevara (bottom row, right, above), now the offices an insurance company.

San Antonio de Areco, an altogether smaller and more relaxed place than Rosario is dedicated to promoting the virtues of the gaucho. The Argentinian gaucho is a near mythical icon based on the hard riding, hard drinking "cowboy" of the Pampas. The town boasts a Gaucho Museum, a score of silversmiths making gaucho paraphernalia, some fine weaving shops and lots of good restaurants. We wild camped by the river near the tourist information office at S34.241117 W59.475550. Recommended.

We are now parked at Camping L'Hirondelle close to Tigre. I believe this is the nearest "real" campsite to Buenos Aires and is difficult to find.

  1. From Ruta 9, take Ruta 197 towards Tigre.
  2. Just before arriving in Tigre, Ruta 197 passes under an autopista that goes to Buenos Aires (there is a YPF fuel station on the left side of road before going under the underpass).
  3. Go under the underpass and staying in the left lane, immediately turn left and join the autopista going westward (away from BA). After about 500 metres there is a "Y" junction with a road leaving the autopista to the right. Do not take this, stay left on the autopista which ends in about two kilometres at a triangular intersection.
  4. At the intersection bear right onto Avda. Linears
  5. Approximately five blocks along Avda. Linears turn left at traffic lights on to 25th de Mayo (S34.423957 W58.589717) (the road crosses a bridge and then becomes Calle Santa Maria ).
  6. About 2.5 kilometres along Calle Santa Maria you will pass the fire station (Bomberos) on the right side.
  7. Two blocks after the fire station turn right (S34.411043 W58.611112) onto Calle Ugarte and drive to the end of the road (about 1.7 km) at Rio Lujan. Note: Calle Ugarte becomes a dirt road towards the river.

(Thank you Carl, without your original instructions we might still be on the other side of the river looking at our GPS!)

Camping L'Hirondelle (S34.395477 W58.610647. Phone: 4731-4927, Spanish only. Email: campinglhirondelle(at) Costs about $7USA per van per night.) is a small, slightly ramshackled campsite run by a very friendly retired couple (Angel and Beatrice Vasquez). As well as catering to campervans it is also used by families for picnics, barbecues and fishing, particularly at weekends.

The owners will call a taxi to take you to the center of Tigre or you can catch the launcha (water bus) that will stop for you on the river.

There is a very good commuter train from Tigre to the Retiro train station in BA.

Tigre is a pleasant touristy town with an attractive market (so I am told) and a selection of boat tours round the rivers and canals of the delta. The catamaran that leaves from the market seems to provide the best views and the best route. (The house in the glass box belonged to an ex-president.)

Post Script: The graphic artist Manuel Belgrano's single piece of work is the Argentinian flag.

Stephen Stewart.

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