Meet the Guide: Andres in Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires is a captivating, romantic place, often heralded as the “Paris of South America.” The city has special significance to ToursByLocals – a small but important part of our “Tour Experience” team lives and works here. Today we’re introducing you to one of our long-term guide partners in Buenos Aires: Andres.

My name is Andres, I was born and raised in Buenos Aires.

Why did you become a guide?
My career as a guide started many years ago, during the 90s. At that time, I used to work in Patagonia in adventure tourism as a mountain guide. For a long time that was my passion: to show that part of the end of the world to those who were passionate about mountaineering. I studied tourism at the University of Mar del Plata, but these were hard times for tourist guides in our country. In fact due to the unstable economic situation of those years (at that time there was a parity between USD and pesos) Argentina was a very expensive country for foreigners, and thus the tourism industry was nearly dead. But I was lucky enough to receive many customers interested in discovering our precious mountains, which boosted my interest in pursuing my career in this field. Unfortunately in 2001 I had an accident while climbing a mountain. I felt down and broke many of my bones. So when I recovered I said to my self: “It's over! No more climbing for me!" I moved back to Buenos Aires, probably during one of the worst periods for our economy. Many of you may recall the word "Corralito", when the parity between USD and pesos broke up and from one day to another our currency lost 5 times it value. Suddenly Argentina was a much more accessible country for tourists, and the industry started growing fast. People from all over the world came to visit Buenos Aires, interested in our history and our culture (especially looking for information about Evita Peron and Tango), so I began to work as a tour guide here. Now I work full time in tourism; this is my job, of course, but I don’t feel like working, this is my passion. I'm really happy with my life!

What’s your favourite thing about where you live?
Buenos Aires has, history, good food, nice places and of course, its people is its main treasure.

What top 3 things do you think first-time visitors should see when visit Buenos Aires?
You cannot leave BA without visiting Recoleta Cemetery, Tigre Delta and La Boca.

What’s your favourite “local” experience you encourage travellers to try?
Everybody should try to dance tango!

What’s one food you think everyone should eat when they visit your city/region?
Definitely steak and empanadas.

Do you have a favourite restaurant or cafe you like to recommend?
There are many famous cafes in our city, like Torotni café, founded in 1858, whose design is inspired in the luxurious French cafés from the 19th century. But Buenos Aires has a lot of old cafes, less famous and less touristic than Tortoni, where you can feel the real atmosphere of our culture. I will show you when you come visit.

Where is the best place for travellers to take a great photo to share with friends back home?
Puerto Madero, with the Woman Bridge in the background.

Curious what sorts of adventures Andres offers to Buenos Aires visitors? See what travel writer Heidi Fuller-Love had to say about her time with Andres on his friends' estancia - where she got to be a Gaucho for the day.
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