Cementerio de la Recoleta | Recoleta Cemetery
Junín 1790 (@ Vicente López); Tel. +(011.54.11) 4803-1594
Some of the oldest and most beautiful tombstones in Argentina are here in the Recoleta Cemetary. Photo by Greg Roden.
Even if you land in South America knowing nothing about Buenos Aires, a likely first stop will be the Cementerio de la Recoleta. The cemetery is world famous and is the pride of the city’s living and dead. And why not when it is so glamorous and appeals to art lovers and weirdoes alike? It is also one of the few ultra user-friendly attractions in Buenos Aires, going so far as offering guided tours in English. The cemetery in Recoleta is the hippest zip code in town and there have been blood, sweat, and tears in this city’s history vying for a space.
The immense unfolding passageways of marble tombs range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Many wealthy porteños have used their place in the cemetery to splash their money around like it’s a party in Vegas. The crypts are a fantastic sight to see so strap on your camera and make sure you explore beyond Evita’s grave (just follow the crowd). This is the place to rub noses with presidents, authors, one unlikely sports hero, and anyone else that the cruelties of society may have removed you from. Interestingly enough, the recent economic rollercoaster has not just had an effect on Argentina’s living. Once-wealthy families have been left penniless and as a result, many crypts have been left in disrepair (think crumbling walls and, yes, caskets cracked open). Also adding to the spine-chill factor are the many feral cats that roam the concrete corridors, protecting their domain, with their bright eyes on you.
Leave yourself plenty of time to explore or come on a weekend when you can leave your cemetery experience and step into the bustling feria outside in the Plaza Francia to ponder your experience over delicious pan relleno.
—Cementerio de la Recoleta | Recoleta Cemetery review by Clare Nisbet