BUENOS AIRES – Tourists and locals alike can now enjoy a rowboat ride on the River Plate, embarking from the docks at Puerto Madero, the most upscale neighborhood in Buenos Aires, and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the Argentine capital.
The rowboat rides set off from the Yacht Club and reach the Women’s Bridge, a rotating footbridge designed by architect Santiago Calatrava.
On the way there, the boats pass the frigate ARA Sarmiento, the country’s first training ship, constructed in 1897 and turned into a museum in 1964.
The rowboats are easily accessible from downtown Buenos Aires and started to be promoted by the Tourism Department two years ago in an effort to “stop turning our back on the river,” as officials said.
Demand for the rides is high, even during the low season.
The boat rides provide a perfect excuse to contemplate the architecture of the city’s port, designed by merchant Eduardo Madero at the end of the 19th century, when Argentina was growing rapidly.
Today, the port’s buildings have been turned into upscale restaurants, hotels, offices and apartments.
“It’s super nice and touristy, and it’s close to downtown, so you have it right here and you don’t have to go very far, which is great,” Daniela Gomez, a Venezuelan living in Buenos Aires, said.
Gomez said she valued the boat rides since they provide a “breather” from the city’s hustle and bustle.
The occupants are the ones who propel the boats, which hold 10 people, synchronizing their strokes, an undertaking that requires some practice, as it soon becomes clear to everyone.