Founded in 1730, the town is proud of its gaucho (Argentine cowboy) tradition, and visitors can explore the surrounding villages and ranches. It was declared "The National Capital of Tradition" on January 29th, 2015.
The origin of the name of the city has two versions, some historians say that it takes its name from a soldier, named Areco, who fought against the aboriginal people on those shores. The version of a local historian affirms that the name of that river is due to the fact that on its shores grew the "areca", which was a kind of palm tree.
Tradition and history joined in this site, and Tradition Day was established in 1939. Nowadays this day is celebrated on November 10th, date of birth of the Argentinian poet José Hernández. The protagonists of this celebration are the countrymen with their horses, but also the artisans, musicians, dancers, painters. The folkloric events are the reason for meetings at any place and time of the year. As you walk through its streets you will discover, behind its colonial bars and narrow paths, the history and tradition of the country.
Other dates of its tourist calendar are: Easter (April), the Horse Party (May) and San Antonio Patron festivities (June).
Pullman and Chevallier run buses from the Retiro Bus Terminal in Buenos Aires between 6.05am and 12.45am, with approximately 18 daily departures. The journey costs between Ar$29 and Ar$37 and takes about two hours. There are also several daily departures from Rosario, costing Ar$60 and taking about four hours.
San Antonio de Areco is accessible by car from Buenos Aires along National Route 8.
The city centre is compact and can be easily covered on foot, but there are also several radio taxi companies available for hire if one wishes to explore the nearby ranches.
Alternatively, the tourist office at the junction of Arellano and Zebroni on the north side of town has four free bicycles available for hire between 8.15am and 6.45pm.
It is a beautiful place to spend a weekend and get to know a city that seems to have stopped in time, protecting our customs and traditions.
There are eight museums on regional and traditional themes which can help a visitor form a complete idea of the history and culture of this town.
- 1 Museo Las Lilas De Areco, Moreno 279, at junction with Alem, ☏ . Th & Sa 14:00-19:00, F 16:00-20:00. Museum celebrating the life of folk and humorist Argentine artist Florencio Molina Campos (1891-1959). The exhibition includes paintings, advertisement posters and personal artefacts. Every hour on the half-hour between 10.30am and 5.30pm, life-sized sculptures recreate episodes from the life of Don Tiléforo, a fictional character from Campos' stories. Ar$20 adults; Ar$10 students with ID and seniors above 65; Free for children under 12.
- Carriage tours, Ricardo Güiraldes, at junction with Nogueira, ☏ , (mobile). Stage horse carriage tours of the city centre are available, but previous reservations are usually required. Ar$40 per person.
- Rowing, Puente Viejo, at junction of Moreno and the Areco River, ☏ . Flexible hours, by appointment. Rowing supervised by bilingual instructors, available for both individuals or groups. Ar$40 per person.
- Bamba Chica, Paraje El Tropezón, National Route 8, ☏ , . Traditional gaucho fair with lunch, tea, horse rides, Indian horse taming demonstrations, music and dancing. Ar$160 adults; Ar$85 children.
- San Antonio de Areco Cultural Tour, Camino Ricardo Güiraldes 159, ☏ . You can combine a morning tour of San Antonio de Areco with an afternoon horseback ride/intro to gaucho culture with Areco Tradicion Turismo who will pick you up from your hotel in Buenos Aires or some such logistical arrangement.
- Posada de la Plaza, Alvear 480, ☏ . A historic building made into a hotel. 350.
The tourist office at the junction of Arellano and Zebroni on the north side of town is open Mondays to Fridays 8.00am to 7.00pm, and on weekends and holidays 8.00am to 8.00pm. It can be reached at (54 2326) 453165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pullman and Chevallier run buses to the Retiro Bus Terminal in Buenos Aires between 5.30am and 11.15pm, with approximately 18 daily departures. The journey costs Ar$26 and takes about two hours. There are also several daily departures to Rosario (including at 2.20pm, 6.10pm and 8.50pm), costing Ar$60 and taking about four hours.