2013 WCO TI Forum



The province of Buenos Aires invites you to explore the countryside, enjoy the sun and the sea, serenity and adventures, Delta and its mysteries. There are estancias (large cattle ranches) featuring a great deal of architectural styles, located in the middle of the Pampas Plains, with a magical vast area far-off horizons. You will explore kilometers of sand caressed by waters of the Atlantic Ocean, endless dunes, lonely and crowded beaches, and busy nightlife. Peaceful golf courses, vertigo paragliding rides and trekking adventures — everything is possible in the hilly region of Tandil and Ventana. They are different and distant from the mouth of the Paraná River, where endless islands invite you to unwind and live through unexpected adventures.


Buenos Aires is one of the world’s biggest cities, a megalopolis with over eleven million inhabitants, including the suburbs. It is also the most elegant and active city of South America and the one that best summarises diverse and heterogeneous Argentine essence. With a modern structure and dynamic activity, Buenos Aires managed to preserve old traditions. Visitors are fascinated by its environment, individuality of each of its neighborhoods, warmth of its people and a wide range of cultural and commercial activities. Buenos Aires, surrounded by splendid Argentine nature, is a great cosmopolitan door to South America.  


Buenos Aires is a city with its own personality, open to the world's architecture, culture   and art; it is cosmopolitan and contradictory, dynamic and traditional, historical and avant-garde. It offers a wide variety of attractions: monuments, churches, museums, art galleries and theaters; squares, parks and gardens with ancient trees; typical neighborhoods; large commercial centers, typical restaurants and international cuisine.


Since Buenos Aires is a large city, you need to plan ahead where to go. Without a good guide, the city may seem too much to handle. This is why different itineraries are recommended depending on time availability.





The Obelisk, inaugurated in 1936, evokes four different phases of Buenos Aires history: the first foundation in 1536, the second and final in 1580, the first time the National Flag was hoisted in the city in 1812 (in the church of San Nicolás, which stood at the same location where the Obelisk is placed today); and the declaration of Buenos Aires as Argentina's capital in 1880. The works were directed by Alberto Prebisch, one of the main architects of the Argentine modernism, who also directed the construction of the nearby Gran Rex Theater on Corrientes Avenue and Suipacha. The Obelisk is made of white stone from the province of Córdoba. Through 206 steps and seven landings its only door leads to the four windows at its peak. It is one of the meeting points for political demonstrations and celebrations of sport achievements. Though having initially encountered resistance, today the Obelisk is one of the architectural symbols of Buenos Aires.


It is the oldest square of Buenos Aires, surrounded by historical and governmental buildings: the Cabildo (a former seat of colonial administration), the Cathedral, the Casa Rosada (the “Pink House”, seat of the National Government), the Palace of Government of Buenos Aires, banks and Ministries.

On 11 June, 1580, the Spaniard Juan de Garay celebrated the foundation of the City of the Santísima Trinidad (City of the Holy Trinity) and the Port of Santa Maria de Buenos Ayres over the lands occupied today by Plaza de Mayo. The village was built around this area. Until the middle of the XVII century its surface was half of its actual size; in 1884, a recova (a galley) which divided Plaza de Mayo in two sections was demolished, and the city received its modern name. The name is a tribute to the Revolution of 25 May 1810, when a group of neighbours gathered at the square to expel the viceroy and to name the first government of criollos (locally born people of pure Spanish ancestry). From the middle of the XX century, the Plaza de Mayo has become the place of important social demonstrations and as of 1977 it is the meeting place of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, who claim the disappearance of their children during the military dictatorship. The Pyramid of Mayo, an obelisk-shaped monument which was built in 1811 to celebrate the first revolution’s anniversary, stands in the middle of the square. In 1856 it was completely restored by the artist and architect Prilidiano Pueyrredón. The monument is 19 m high. 



Corrientes Avenue is one of the most representative streets of Buenos Aires and one of the most favourite among the porteños (people of Buenos Aires). Corrientes Avenue is full of bookstores, coffeehouses, theaters and pizza restaurants. During the 1940s and 1950s Corrientes Avenue witnessed the golden era of Tango. Corrientes starts at the neighborhood of Puerto Madero and ends at Chacarita; it is 70 blocks long. Between 1910 and 1938 the old street was widened and transformed into an avenue. Its name, as the nearby avenues Cordoba and Santa Fe, derives from the name of an Argentine Province. The avenue goes through the center and the areas of Once, Abasto, Almagro and Villa Crespo, very typical parts of Buenos Aires with a strong historical connection to tango. The majority of the most traditional pizza restaurants are located at Corrientes Avenue, especially downtown: Güerrín, Los Inmortales, Banchero, Las Cuartetas and El Palacio de la Pizza, but they also can be found in Villa Crespo, Almagro and Chacarita. In the Obelisk surroundings between Callao Avenue and Esmeralda street (downtown), Corrientes has the highest concentration of bookstores and theaters in the city. Practically all major theaters in Buenos Aires are situated in this area: Maipo, Gran Rex, Ópera, Avenida, San Martín, Astral, Lola Membrives, Multiteatro, Metropolitan and Alvear, among others. The Corrientes bookstores are open after midnight, especially during weekends; the biggest ones have bars and show rooms. This part of the avenue also concentrates a big quantity of bars and the most famous cafés in Buenos Aires, such as La Giralda, La Paz or El Vesuvio.



 Located on Cerrito Street, between Viamonte and Libertad, in the center of Buenos Aires, this outstanding theater was inaugurated on 25 May, 1908 with Giuseppe Verdi's Aïda.

It is one of the world’s main lyrical theaters. During the XX century, the most famous directors, singers and dancers of the time performed on its stage. Its first inauguration was in 1857 in front of Plaza de Mayo, but in 1888 the theater closed its doors to become a branch of Banco de la Nación.

It was then that the city authorities called for tender to build a new theater. The government intended to inaugurate it in 1892, but although the works had started in 1889, they could not be finished until 1908. As Franceso Tamburini, the architect hired for the construction of the theater died, his collaborator Victor Meano directed the works until 1904, which were continued by the Belgian Jules Dormal, who finally finished the construction. The main hall of the theater is horseshoe-shaped and it is regarded as having one of the world’s best acoustics. The cupola of the theater was decorated by the artist Raúl Soldi. The theater has permanent staff, a corps de ballet, orchestras, scenography and costumes workshops, a library and a museum. It has a capacity lo accommodate 3,542 seated spectators and 700 standing spectators. The most famous musicians, singers and dancers performed on this theater’s stage: Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Camille Saint-Saëns, Manuel de Falla, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim; Enrico Caruso, Feodor Chaliapin, Maria Callas, Alfredo Kraus, José Carreras, Placido Domingo, Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev, Maya Plisetskaya, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Julio Bocca, Maximiliano Guerra and Paloma Herrera.

The National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA)

It is the country’s most important Fine Arts Museum and is among the world’s major museums. In the end of the XIX century, the Argentine artists were educated in Europe (especially in Italy, France and Spain), and having returned to the country, they started exposing their works and organising exhibitions. In 1885 the first one-person show by a national artist Cándido López was held in Buenos Aires with 29 pieces available for a public viewing.  In 1893 the first national painting hall was established. No statue was made in Argentina until the creation of the “Falucho” monument, by Correa Morales in 1897, located in the intersection of Santa Fé Avenue and Luis María Campos Street. The MNBA was inaugurated in July 1896 in a rented space (today “Galerías Pacífico,” in Córdoba Avenue and Florida Street). Due to the museum’s growth, the MNBA moved twice, and in 1933 the current site was opened in the old building of the “Casa de Bombas,” built in 1870. The architect Alejandro Bustillo was in charge of restoration: he designed spacious, well illuminated, and simple rooms. During the 1960s and 1980s, several rooms and halls were added to the building. The MNBA collection is the largest in the country and one of the most remarkable in Latin America. The most important international pieces in the museum include works by El Greco, Rodin, Goya, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, and Picasso, among others. The pieces of art by Argentine artists, such as Cándido López, Spilimbergo, Pueyrredón, Fader, Quinquela Martín, Xul Solar, Berni, Alonso, de la Vega, Gorriarena, Seguí, and many more can also be found there. The museum has a photography hall, a Pre-Columbian Andean art hall, two sculpture terraces, and a library holding over 150,000 items.


Covered with paintings and sculptures, the Caminito street is one of the favorite walks for tourists and porteños. It is surrounded by typical houses from La Boca, with painted sheet metal walls of different colours. The street follows the course of a stream that flowed there until the beginning of the XX century. The area was traditionally known as "Puntin" (diminutive of a bridge in Genovese dialect). In 1950s, a neighbor decided to clean and recover the land. He called for help of a painter from La Boca, Benito Quinquela Martín, who named the 100 m street as "Caminito", due to the famous tango from 1926 by Gabino Coria Peñalosa and Juan de Dios Filiberto (the tango lyrics refer to a road in La Rioja's Province). Other works by artists such as Luis Perlotti, Roberto Capurro, Juan Leone, Ricardo Sánchez and Julio Vergottini were added to the walk by 1959 when Caminito was officially inaugurated as an open-sky museum.


On 7 November, 2007 the inauguration of the Parque de la Memoria, a monument commemorating victims of State terrorism, took place. The President of the Argentine nation attended the ceremony along with the local and national authorities. The Parque de la Memoria is a public space of 14 hectares located at the coast of Rio de la Plata, as many victims were dumped into its waters. The Baudizzone-Lestard-Varas Studio and architects Claudio Ferrari and Daniel Becker carried out the work that shelters the monument to the Victims of State terrorism, the PAyS Hall (present Now and Always), the victims information center and a room for artistic and cultural activities. The Parque de la Memoria is a place for commemoration and testimony: all names of the loved ones that the dictatorship sought to erase can be found there.



This pedestrian bridge is the first work of the Valencian architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava built in South America. It is 160 m long and 6 m wideIts metallic mast is 39 meters high. The bridge weighing around 800 t is designed to move each time a vessel needs to go through. Its pivoting mechanism is one of the biggest in the world. It has 20 electric and computerised motors in the main axle. The bridge (granted to the city by a businessman) was made in Spain and transferred to Buenos Aires in several shipments. The artistic profile of the work is interpreted by the author as a representation of a couple dancing tango, where the white mast represents a man and the curved profile of the bridge is a woman.



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