San Isidro is very much off the beaten track for international travelers visiting Buenos Aires. Mostly, you will hear recommendations to go to the Tigre Delta.
While San Isidro doesn’t quite beat Tigre with activities to do, it is a nice day trip. And it’s a great place to hit to experience life outside Buenos Aires.
As with Tigre and La Plata, San Isidro can be accessed with a quick train ride from Buenos Aires. Actually, San Isidro is closer to Buenos Aires than the two others. So, it is just a perfect destination for a day trip!
Let’s dive into what San Isidro has to offer for a day trip away from Buenos Aires:
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Where is San Isidro?
San Isidro is located on the coast up north of the city of Buenos Aires in direction of Tigre. The city belongs to the Province of Buenos Aires.
The first settlements date back to 1784. Most of the historic center is from the 1850s, including the impressive neo-gothic Cathedral.
San Isidro is famous for being an area where the better-off parts of the Argentine societies go to live.
What to do in San Isidro?
San Isidro isn’t as big a tourist attraction as Tigre or La Plata. But the city has a couple of interesting things to do.
Visit Villa Ocampo
Villa Ocampo is a huge mansion located in the San Isidro neighborhood of Beccar. Villa Ocampo used to be the home of the Argentine writer Victoria Ocampo.
The massive Villa Ocampo mansion was built in 1891 by Manuel Ocampo, Victoria Ocampo’s father. The mansion was used as the family’s summer residence.
By 1940, Victoria Ocampo moved permanently to Villa Ocampo. By then it became a meeting point for influential Argentine writers and artists of the time – including the famous Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges.
Today, the house stands more or less as Victoria Ocampo left it when she died in 1979.
Since 1973, the house has belonged to UNESCO and is used as a museum and cultural center open to the public.
Even though you might not be into history and Argentine writers, the house itself is worth a visit.
Villa Ocampo is open to the public only with previous online reservations.
The opening hours are:
- Fridays from 12:30 pm to 6 pm
- Saturdays, Sundays, and Argentine holidays from 10 am to 7 pm.
Visit Villa Ocampo’s website for more information about COVID restrictions and ticket prices.
The Cathedral of San Isidro
The cathedral of San Isidro is definitely worth a visit too!
The beautiful neo-gothic construction was built in 1898. The style of the cathedral is highly influenced by the European styles of the same time.
The cathedral is located right in the center of the historic quarter by the central square called Plaza Mitre. However, most people actually refer to the square as Plaza de San Isidro.
Explore the historic quarter
The area around the cathedral is the historic quarter with cobbled stoned streets and old mansions. However, most of them though hidden behind tall walls.
The historic quarter is a beautiful place to stroll around and experience the more laid-back nature of the city far away from the hectic streets of Buenos Aires.
The Dock and Riverside Park
Since San Isidro is located right by the river banks of the Río de la Plata, boats and sailing is an integrated part of life here.
Head to the dock or the riverside park to enjoy the sun and people-watch as the Argentines enjoy their mates.
The Pueyrredón Museum
In San Isidro, you also have the opportunity to experience a traditional Argentine farm (or estancia).
Normally, you would have to head to the countryside to places like San Antonio de Areco to experience a traditional estancia. But the Pueyrredón Museum is the old estancia of the former Argentine General Juan Martin de Pueyrredón.
The museum is located a few meters from the city center of San Isidro. It showcases historical artifacts from the General’s life.
And if you do recognize his name, it’s properly because an important street in Buenos Aires is named after him.
I have to be honest and admit that we didn’t take out the time to visit the Pueyrredón Museum. So, please let me know what you think of it if you choose to go!
You can read more about the museum on their website.
Jump on Tren de la Costa and visit Tigre
Around the corner from the cathedral, you will find the train station for Tren de la Costa. Directly translated it becomes “the train of the coast” which describes it pretty well.
Tren de la Costa is a light rail line that runs all up the northern coast of Buenos Aires towards Tigre.
So, jump on Tren de la Costa and do 2-in-1 and visit Tigre on the same day!
You will have to get on the train at San Isidro R. The end station is Delta, which is the stop in Tigre.
How to get to San Isidro from Buenos Aires?
It is easy to get to San Isidro from Buenos Aires with public transportation. Depending on where you are staying in the city, you will need to catch the Mitre-train line towards Tigre.
The train leaves from the Retiro Train Station. The trains can also be caught at the stations Lissandro de la Torre (in Palermo) or Belgrano C. in Buenos Aires.
Get off at either the stop called San Isidro (if you want to visit the city first) or Beccar (if you want to visit Villa Ocampo first).
The ride from Retiro Train Station takes around 30 minutes. You pay for your ticket with the same SUBE-card as you use for subway and buses within the city.
If you don’t feel like using public transportation, most Uber drivers and taxis will also be able to drive you up to San Isidro.
Have you visited San Isidro? Or would you like to visit? Or maybe you are already planning to take a day trip here? Share your thoughts and knowledge below!
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