Urban biking Buenos Aires: What a great eco-friendly, healthy way to explore a city. In this post, our Buenos Aires and South America expert Susana takes us on a ride through the Argentinian capital with Urban Biking, one of the leading companies engaged in responsible tourism in Argentina. We love their bamboo bikes!
Cycling through buzzy Buenos Aires – The Urban Biking Experience
As much as I love to ride my bicycle around Buenos Aires, I understand when some visitors think twice before hitting our sometimes messy streets. You might have been warned about our “latino” way to drive and perhaps that’s enough reason for you not to give it a try. Which would be unfortunate, since you’d miss out on our new and vibrant “bici” culture (bici is how locals call bicycles).
The truth is that Buenos Aires is a big metropolis with over a million cars commuting daily from the urban areas. Plus, there are over 200 bus lines and of course plenty of taxis. No need to worry!
In recent years, Buenos Aires city authorities have constructed over 100 km of bike lanes that allow residents and visitors to escape from – at first glance – a nefarious transport system.
Of course you can go an explore on your own, but I felt like a more relaxed experience, and followed an invitation from Urban Biking, an eco-tour company that offers bicycle tours throughout Buenos Aires.
South Tour: Down the Pavement, Into the Forest
It is a sunny and bright early afternoon when I get to the new office of Urban Biking, right next to Plaza San Martín and only a few blocks from Retiro Train Station.
Gabriel Gasparrou, one of the company owners, tells me about the success of a new tour that combines biking and kayaking, known as Tiger Tour, while I take the handle bars of a blue giant – my two-wheeled companion for the next four hours.
Together with a visiting American couple and our tour guide Carolina, we start our urban adventure around Southern Buenos Aires.
Puerto Madero is the first sight as we cross the bridge, leaving behind the city center. This neighborhood used to be all about recycling and old dock warehouses, now been transformed into elegant offices, trendy hotels and restaurants.
We marvel at “Puente de la Mujer” (Woman’s Bridge), built by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and enjoy the fresh breeze coming from Rio de la Plata (Plata River).
Soon later we reach the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, located just beside the river. Riding a bicycle is the best and greenest way to drive from Puerto Madero to the reserve and to enjoy the many trails inside.
Entering old Pampa wetland – a former landfill now turned into recreational park – we drink our ecological “mate” (sort of herbal tea), enjoying the company of locals. La Boca neighborhood is next, where residents give us a special welcome – it is La Boca Foundation Day. Keeping to side streets, we circle famous La Boca football stadium, before we head over to San Telmo district to enjoy the art and music that flourishes at every corner here.
Mafalda pictures (famous Argentine cartoon) are everywhere and after cycling down a colonial cobbled street, we finally arrive at Plaza de Mayo. We have been biking for over three hours!
An energizing chat in front of the “Casa Rosada” (Pink House – the executive office for the President of Argentina), and we are ready to tackle the last stretch of the tour through the streets of Buenos Aires, painted yellow and orange by the starting sunset.
Ready to go?
About Urban Biking
Sinc 12 years, Urban Biking offers tours respecting cultural heritage, being well known locally for its bamboo bicycles. Bamboo is one of the most environmentally-friendly construction materials available, is stronger than iron and produces a different experience while pedaling. The Bamboo bikes used by Urban Biking are produced by an Argentinian entrepreneur and are made with local resources.
The company owners are also active members of the Buenos Aires Responsible Tourism Network and part of the Argentine Association of Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism.
Susana Sandoval is our South America expert, having lived and worked in famous Patagonia, Southern Argentina and now Buenos Aires, the capital. Susana has visited and reviewed many sustainable hotels and activities for her website Viajero Responsible (Responsible Traveler). Follow her on Twitter (@sandovaltur).
You are a passionate city traveller with some expertise in sustainable tourism and want to help us tell the world about your favourite green city destination? Get in touch!