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Santa Fe

(Altitude: 25 m / 82 ft, Population: 489,773, Phone Code: 0342)

Although Santa Fe is the capital of its province it is drastically upstaged by the city of Rosario. Even the tourist offices have more information on Rosario than the city of Santa Fe itself. However there is still a bit of stuff to do if you find yourself stuck in town for a few days.

Santa Fe has a turbulent and exiting history and has played an important political and religious role in the region and the country. Founded officially for the second time in 1651 after moving from the original sight of "Santa Fe Vieja" due to attacks from hostile indigenous groups, Santa Fe became an important outpost for spreading religion and Europeanism to the remote Argentine interior. A wealth of historical religious sights including the Convento de San Francisco are located around the city and a self guided tour of the "six most important religious historical places" can easily be completed on foot, spanning around 20 blocks of city and 300 years of religious history. Check with the Tourist office branch located right across from the Convento de San Francisco for a map of the sites.

The foot mall section of Calle San Martín bisects the center of town, running from north to south for about six blocks. Pretty much anything can be found on this strip from restaurants, shopping, internet cafés, banks and money exchanges, to street vendors. If you keep following San Martín southward you will hit Plaza 25 de Mayo where the governmental power in Santa Fe resides. Just a few steps farther on will find the famous Convento and beyond that, still heading south you will run into the Lake which has some nice walking and lounging available around its shady shores.

The Siesta or mid day nap is deeply entrenched in Santa Fe culture and definitely rivels anything that Spain has to offer as far as heat of the day shut downs go. Pretty much everything from Kioscos to laundry services takes a substantial break from 12:30 until 4:30 in the afternoon. Follow their lead and catch a nap cause at night you will definitely be up late.

For the nucleus of nighttime action Recoleta area is where most of the bars and many a restaurant can be found. Head towards Calle Pelegrini to get started, about eight blocks north of the San Martín foot mall. On weekends Recoleta turns into a lively scene which starts late.

To get to the beach head north along the riverfront on Avenida Alte G. Brown where you can find a number of places to lay your towel. The water is supposedly clean enough to swim in, but do as the locals do and if no one else is in the water it is probably best to avoid it. Another beach option is across the bridge to the west of town where you will find Costa Este and a number of private riverclubs with bars, swimming pools and other services.

On a final note Santa Fe locals claim the best beer in Argentina comes out of this town, so take on a mission to find it and treat it like a treasure hunt—or simply take a tour of the cervecería to have a free taste of the suds.


Other places nearby Santa Fe: Rosario, Mburucuyá, Esteros Del Iberá, Corrientes, San Cosme, Itatí, Paraná and Santa Ana De Los Guácaras.

By Shawn O'Bryant
I am always on the road, always trying to observe and always facinated with my surroundings. I love adventure and luck, both good and...
06 Aug 2010

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