Get off the beaten path in Buenos Aires by renting an inexpensive bicycle and cruising the cobblestone streets of San Telmo. Our final destination is Reserva Ecológica, a nature reserve on the edge of Buenos Aires and the Río de la Plata.
As I grasped the handlebars of my newly rented orange bicycle, the sinking afternoon sun cast a warm glow on the stone buildings throughout San Telmo. I pushed off and rambled down the cobblestone streets bobbing up and down along the century old stones.
Instantly I was entranced by the magic surrounding me as my bicycle whisked me past two-story buildings crowned with rot iron railings and stone balconies hanging over the narrow streets.
I leisurely made my way through the narrow side streets of San Telmo thinking of my final destination – the nature reserve on the edge of Buenos Aires.
In the distance I could hear the late afternoon clamor of cars and buses whizzing along the multi-lane artery that is Avenida Paseo Colón. As I contemplated crossing the teeming thoroughfare on my self-powered, thin two wheels, reality set in changing my mood from one of bliss to sheer survival as I headed towards the avenue.
A narrow bike lane marked my path carrying me the 15-minute ride from San Telmo to the Reserva Ecológica on the edge of Buenos Aires at the Río de la Plata.
It was only diez cuadras (ten blocks) from the bike rental shop to the reserve, but it might as well have been 10 miles. I could count down the cuadras as I crossed the intersections – each one taking me a little closer to the peace and safety of riding the trails of the reserve.
Arriving at the entrance of the reserve, I could finally relax and thoroughly enjoy my orange beach cruiser, complete with basket and bell, comfortably carrying me along the trails of the reserve past wetlands, cattails, butterflies and birds.
Reserva Ecológica is a much welcomed natural oasis adjacent to the metropolis of Buenos Aires. There are four trails that you can walk or bike through the park, most of them connecting to each other and all leading to the Río de la Plata.
For an extended cruise, exit the reserve and ride along the pedestrian friendly Avenida Costanera Carlos M Noel – a wide walkway accessible to walking and biking which shares a border with the reserve. There are several food carts along the walkway – most with umbrella covered tables to shield you from the hot sun. Download a free bike map from La Bicicleta Naranja for the San Telmo Area (PDF)
Note: Below is an independent opinion for renting bicycles from “La Bicicleta Naranja” based on the writer’s personal experience. Her own dollars (and a coupon from her hotel) were used to finance the afternoon.
No compensation or freebie was given to the writer for this article.
Two locations for La Bicicleta Naranja in Buenos Aires:
** SPECIAL PROMO – (Check website if still available) Monday to Friday in San Telmo – Rent a bicycle after 2pm and return by 10am the next day for only AR$180 ($12 USD)! **
Tandem bicycles are also available. View latest cost for bicycles on La Bicicleta Naranja website.
You can also take one of their bicycle tours around the city that last about three to four hours. Tours leave from two locations – San Telmo and Palermo.
Tours Leaving from San Telmo
Buenos Aires to the South – $40* USD – Monday – Sunday at 2pm – Includes San Telmo, La Boca including the famous futball stadium “La Bombonera”, Ecological Reserve and Plaza de Mayo.
Buenos Aires to the North – $40* USD – Monday – Sunday at 2pm – Includes Puerto Madero, Retiro, San Martín Square, Recoleta and Palermo.
* Prices include bikes, helmets, locks, maps and drinks during the trip.
Now that you’ve read the article, are you ready to go? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Map of San Telmo & Reserva Ecológica