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La Plaza San Martín - City Park Buenos Aires - Argentina

In the heart of downtown, La Plaza San Martín is one of the city's best places for immersing yourself in the life and tradition of the locals. Two tiers - the lower one leading up a grassy slope from Avenida Leandro Alem – give the park a dynamic geography in a city lacking hills.



Trees are thick, old, and spectacular- some 300 of them representing 37 species. In the middle of the upper tier is one of the city’s largest ombu trees, its massive limbs growing close to the ground and creating a canopy of shady respite. Not far from the ombu is a large bronze statue paying tribute to General San Martín.



A line of tilos, high-growing trees that give a yellow blossom, create the eastern border of the upper tier, and numerous palos borrachos – a thorny, pot-bellied tree whose twisting limbs are often weighted with large pink blossoms – dot the grassy hill. On summer days when the trees are flowering and playing against a blue sky, the images are astounding.



There is a war memorial to the fallen of the Falklands/Malvinas War, and just across Avenida Alem is the Torre de los Ingleses, a smaller replica of Big Ben given to Argentina by the English. After the war, the government insisted the tower be called the Torre Nacional, but most Argentines still use the old name.



The massive and majestic structure of the Retiro train station can be seen, and the Edificio Cavanaugh – a towering art deco building that was once South America’s tallest structure – looms over the southern end of the plaza.

City Park

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