Once a lackluster cargo port, the waterfront area of Puerto Madero is now one of Buenos Aires’ most fashionable districts, teeming with upmarket restaurants and glitzy nightclubs. Marooned from the mainland by the Rio de la Plata estuary, the largely pedestrianized island is celebrated for housing some of the city’s most architecturally stunning buildings. Luxury apartments, plush hotels and high-rise office towers dominate the area, encircling a stylish waterfront plaza and backed by an expanse of naturally preserved parkland.
The barrio’s pièce de résistance is the iconic Puente de la Mujer, or the Woman’s Bridge, an artistic swing-bridge that connects Puerto Madero to the mainland hub of Plaza de Mayo. The futuristic design by Spanish sculpture Santiago Calatrava, is said to symbolize an abstract tango dance and casts a striking silhouette on the city skyline.
As nightfall arrives, the twinkling lights of Puerto Madero make an atmospheric place to spend the evening with an array of gourmet eateries and cocktail bars lining the waterfront, along with a popular cinema and a number of the city’s trendiest dance clubs.
While drinking, dining and dancing are the main reasons to frequent Puerto Madero, the neighboring Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve is the perfect place to alleviate a hangover. An 864-acre expanse of government maintained greenery, the park is as popular among picnicking office workers as it is with weekend cyclists, hikers and birdwatchers. Another perfect way to spend a leisurely afternoon is exploring the Sarmiento and Uruguay - two former naval ships anchored in the harbor that have now been converted into museums.