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Monday, December 04, 2006

Getting Out of the City: Tandil

With the December 8 three day weekend coming up, I thought I'd offer an idea for anyone looking to get out of the city. I went to Tandil with my girlfriend a few months ago -- during the last 3 day weekend -- and it was a nice getaway. Its about three hours from Buenos Aires by car. There's also a long distance bus (these busses are much more comfortable than the city busses that are in Buenos Aires) that leaves in the evening if you don't have a car.

Where to Stay

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Posada de los Pájaros, a spa and hotel a few kilometers from the city center. In addition to all the things you'd expect from a spa, the hotel has its own small farm and a few hiking trails nearby. It is a very small hotel, with only 16 rooms. If you're looking to relax, it is a very tranquil environment.

The hotel has a very cabin-like feel to it. My girlfriend and I were the only guests under thirty as well. The hotel definitely caters to an older crowd. Nevertheless, we had a great time and took advantage of the cheap spa treatments (which are priced in pesos and are an excellent value).

What to Do

I was very impressed by Mount Calvario, which has 14 different sculptures that represent the different stages of the crucifixion. During Easter, Tandil is home to thousands of pilgrims who visit Mount Calvario and then make a procession to the main church.

Tandil is also home to Fort Independence, a Moorish castle that was built to celebrate Tandil's centennial.

Tandil is also famous for the 300 ton "moving rock", which balanced quite impressively on a hill until it fell and broke into three pieces in 1912. Not content to lose this tourist attraction, the city built a replica which has the same exact dimensions as the original.

Its worthwhile to visit because there's a chair-lift that operates near the rock that takes visitors to the top of a nearby mountain. At the top is a lookout of the nearby valley along with a pastry shop. Once you finish your pastries, there's hiking trails nearby to burn off those calories. Make sure you take good hiking shoes because some of the trails are pretty rocky and not completely stable.

That's all for now! Hope you enjoyed the trip report and feel free to contribute your own.