Buenos Aires is one of the most popular travel destinations in South America, known for its lively culture, delicious food, and stunning architecture. However, as more people visit the city, it's important to ensure that we are travelling in a sustainable way that reduces our impact on the environment and supports local communities. In this blog post, we will explore how to enjoy sustainable travel in Buenos Aires while still having an unforgettable trip. I'll also share specific recommendations for where to stay, what and where to eat, and things to do!
Choose Sustainable Accommodations
One of the first steps to sustainable travel is choosing eco-friendly accommodations. Look for hotels and hostels that are certified as sustainable, eco-friendly, or socially responsible. These accommodations typically have programs in place to source locally, reduce waste, conserve water and energy, and support local communities through jobs and volunteering opportunities.
Recommendation: Casa Caravan
The first and only vegan accommodation in Buenos Aires, Casa Caravan serves as an eco-friendly home away from home for travellers looking to gather, connect, and embrace wellness during their time exploring the city.
During their stay, guests can expect access to:
Bicycle rentals and activities like tango lessons, yoga, and cooking classes
Fresh and tasty vegan breakfasts prepared with local ingredients
Complimentary eco-friendly products in bright and airy private or dormitory style rooms
Clean and breezy co-working spaces for remote work
This plant-based concept house is located in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Use Sustainable Transportation
To reduce your carbon footprint, consider using public transportation or walking or cycling to explore the city. Buenos Aires has an excellent public transportation system, with buses, subways, and trains that can take you to all the major sights. We found areas of the city, like Palermo and San Telmo to be fairly walkable. That being said, if venturing to areas like La Boca, be sure to stay safe and consider using a rideshare service or official registered taxi.
Note: Caminito is a famous street and open-air museum in La Boca neighbourhood, attracting crowds with its colourful buildings, shopping, tango shows, and more. Although Caminito is a popular destination for tourists in Buenos Aires, it is strongly recommended not to wander beyond the unmarked borders of the tourist area. Doing so can put you at risk as La Boca is commonly known to be one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires.
Support Local Communities
When travelling, it's important to support local communities and businesses to ensure that tourism is benefiting the local economy. Consider eating at local restaurants, buying souvenirs from local artisans, and participating in tours and activities that directly support local communities. Participating in tango lessons or cooking classes is a great way to experience the local culture. Local artwork and mate sets also make great souvenirs to commemorate your time in Buenos Aires.
When shopping in Buenos Aires, be sure to check out local thrift stores and secondhand shops. Known as the "Paris of the South" and often referred to as the most fashionable city in South America, you're sure to uncover some unique pieces!
Try Sustainable Food and Drink
Buenos Aires is known for its delicious food and drink, but it's important to choose options that are sustainable and eco-friendly. Look for restaurants that use organic, locally sourced ingredients, and avoid single-use plastics like straws or to-go containers. While Buenos Aires is known for steak and Malbec wine, below are some great plant-based restaurant options:
Sustainable Restaurant Recommendations
Casa Munay: Organic vegetarian restaurant with good vibes and a cozy atmosphere
Gratitude | vivir, disfrutar & regalar: Instagrammable restaurant with fresh plant-based and gluten free options, a market and shop
Artemisia: Comfy, health-conscious eatery specializing in organic vegetarian dishes, homemade bread & brunch
Las Flores: Cozy and charming restaurant offering vegetarian food in the heart of Palermo
Be sure to try drinking mate, a traditional South American caffeine infused herbal drink, most often enjoyed from a reusable natural gourd set.
Participate in Sustainable Tours and Activities
There are many tours and activities in Buenos Aires that promote sustainable tourism practices. You can take a bike tour of the city or explore public parks and green spaces, like the Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays. You can also learn about the city's history and culture through sustainable tour operators that focus on responsible and ethical travel practices.
A great way to learn about the history and sociocultural makeup of the city is by participating in free walking tours. There are a number of different tours available across the city that highlight different neighbourhoods, street art, and other iconic landmarks. If joining a free walking tour, be sure to tip your local guide kindly.
Buenos Aires is a fascinating city with so much to offer travellers, but it's important to ensure that we travel responsibly and sustainably to protect the environment and benefit local communities. By choosing sustainable accommodations, transportation, food, tours, and activities, we can make a positive impact on the places we visit!