A couple of weeks ago I was kindly invited into the house of an Argentine family who live in the Province of Entre Rios ("Among Rivers").
Agriculture constitutes the bulk of the local economy (rice, soy, wheat, maize, cattle), but tourism is (according to the locals) steadily adding to the regions coffers. Due to the Argentines love of the coast most parts of Entre Rios are still relatively undeveloped and unspoilt.
It takes approximately 4.5hrs to get there from Buenos Aires by bus (I used FlechaBus, the total cost for a return ticket being 75 Pesos).
Founded by the Spanish Military Officer Don Tomas de Rocamora in 1783, the city of Cencepcion del Uruguay is located some 300Km North of Buenos Aires, to the west of the Uruguay River. My hosts had a small, but charming house a couple of Kms outside the city in the Barrio of Lobo...blissfully free of any housing greater then two stories high.
If you get to this region make sure you check out the sandy beaches along the Uruguay river. Banco Pelay and Paso Vera being the best known spots. A taxi from the city should cost you know more than 10 pesos, there's also a 1 peso per person entry fee once you get there. The main beaches can get a little crowded during the summer holidays (Dec-Feb), but being 5km long it's not hard to find a quieter spot if you desire. There's places to buy drinks etc, as well as several places to grab a meal/beer. Make sure you arrange a time for your taxi to pick you up at the end of the day in advance.
Another popular day trip well worth taking is a visit to the Palacio San Jose, built between 1848 and 1858 as the residence of General Urquiza. Here you can enjoy the fine architecture, walk through the beautiful gardens and peruse the museum.
My trip to Cencepcion del Uruguay coincided with the annual Carnaval, my first experience of such an event. Crazy colourful costumes and an abundance of beautiful scantily-clad Senoritas compensated for the 45min queue to get a burger.
Finally, you might want to spend a day relaxing at the Parques Termales (Thermal Parks). Kinda in the middle of nowhere (15min walk from the house I was staying in as it happens) this new development has outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a thermal pool and a decent restaurant.
Massive thank you to the family who took care of me. They were wonderful guides to the area and helped me improve my Spanish significantly (none spoke English), the kids being particularly amused by my frequent pispronounciations.
Bungalows/Cabanas to rent
www.airesdelcampo.com.ar, www.eldescansobungalows.com.ar, bungalowssantarita.com.ar
Car hire in the region
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