How to Detox (Without Cutting Out Fun) in Buenos Aires
It’s summer in Argentina’s capital, so you’ll want to continue your fitness regime outdoors.
Porteños, as Buenos Aires residents are known, love exercise, and they especially love doing it outside. With 15 parks—including an 865-acre riverside ecological reserve and 57 plazas, many sporting free gym equipment—the Argentine capital offers up a wealth of fitness opportunities under clear blue skies. The best part? It’s summer here, so you can tan while staying trim.
Explore on Bike
Even visitors on a short visit can sign up for the city’s free, 24-hour, Ecobici bike scheme. A perfectly flat city to pedal around, photocopies of your passport details and visa entry stamp are all that’s required to sign up. With 87 miles of bike lanes, January is the perfect time to explore the city on two wheels—plus, many of the city’s (rather loco) drivers are out of town on vacation, freeing up the roads.
January’s average 76ºF temperature easily soars to 95ºF, so diving into an outdoor swimming pool and powering out some laps is the perfect way to cool off, tone up, and tan. Snap up a day pass for around $10 at Parque Norte, and access three vast pools measuring 48,500 square feet each. You can also reserve one of 10 soccer fields or 16 tennis courts, as well as volleyball and basketball courts, at this sports complex.
Kayak the Nearby Rivers
With some 5,400 square miles to its name, the most surprising part about the vast Paraná Delta is its location—just 17 miles from Buenos Aires. Naturally, the best way to get to know this aquatic warren is under your own steam. Martín Schoo of Sudeste Kayak runs morning, afternoon, and even overnight kayaking expeditions. Trips for beginners involve paddling the Espera and Angostura rivers and Esperita stream. The jaunts along these tree-lined waterways take in islands and local wildlife, such as kingfishers and herons, enjoying the reeds and weeping willows while toning arm, back, leg, and core muscles.
If flying your PT out on vacation isn’t economically viable, personal trainer and Scottish expat Martin Ebner of Ebylife will step up to the challenge. Adapting to your needs, his flexible HIIT (high intensity interval training), free-weight exercises, and resistance equipment tones, sculpts, and burns fat in a single session. No matter how high-tech your hotel gym is, Martin will convince you exercising in one of Buenos Aires’ glorious open spaces, such as the blooming Rosedal rose garden in Tres de Febrero park, where he also leads AbFab group fitness classes, is far more fun. Feel free to ask for nutrition advice on dining out healthily in the world’s capital of beef.
Dance it Out
Working out every single leg muscle and buttocks while improving posture in one hit: There’s no better place to take tango dance classes than in the city that gave birth to this melancholic yet seductive genre. While milongas dance halls are open every night of the week until dawn, intensive classes will have you eight-stepping around the floor in no time. One classic haunt offering classes is Confitería Ideal, a century-old men’s wear store turned confitería, or teahouse, while La Catedral’s beginners classes cost $10; you can stay on to watch the pros at the milonga. For an outdoor dance session, check out El Bailongo de la Glorieta at Barrancas de Belgrano bandstand, at the cross streets of Juramento and Echeverría, on weekends from 8 p.m.
After all that energy spent paddling up streams and strutting around dance floors, a well-deserved spa session is in order. While Faena and Four Season hotels offer top-class facilities, Ahín Wellness and Spa at Palacio Duhau-Park Hyatt is the ultimate in zen. Located in the basement of its stunning belle époque mansion, massages and treatments are inspired by the Mapuche people; the Unam package includes a rebalancing skin facial treatment and massage.
Juicing took off several years ago in Buenos Aires, and while cold-pressed juice bars haven’t sprouted up quite yet (though serious detoxers can order Nutri Boost, created by Bahamas-born model Shakara Ledard), there are plenty of options prepping fresh jugos (juices) and licuados (shakes). The Factory’s Shiny—starring celery, carrots, and apple—helps remove excess water and uric acid from the kidneys, while Low Calorie is refeshingly tempting, made from strawberry, ginger, and apple. Those in need of their daily liquefied kale should head directly to Ninina Bakery.
Eat Vegan in the Capital of Beef
While carnivores revel in Buenos Aires’ meat-heavy menus, Kensho covers all bases for that rare (to Argentina) breed, the vegan. A puertas cerradas (closed-door restaurant, or supper club) located in a delightful private home, Máximo Cabrera’s seven-course tasting menu might include a Brazil nut and caramelized onion tarte tatin, mushroom ceviche with huacatay salsa, or Chori Nori, sausage made from algae. Other worthwhile vegetarian and organic eateries in Buenos Aires include San Telmo’s Naturaleza Sabia, Krishna Veggie, Green Eat for sandwiches on the go, Bio for romantic meals, adorable deli Hierbabuena and Fresco, coming in 2016, featuring salads by celebrity chef Fernando Trocca.