Santa Fe, Argentina
Attractions in Santa Fe, Argentina: What to do and where to go
Santa Fe is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Argentina, filled with architectural, artistic and cultural treasures, along with uncountable exciting attractions. The locals, known as "Santafesinos", are warm, kind people, due largely to the fact that they're lucky enough to live in a place surrounded by spacious natural areas, historic gems and a comfortable climate throughout the year.
This stunning city, famous for its numerous natural charms, is a true paradise for those in search of fun with the family, for travelers who enjoy an amazing restaurant experience, and for those who wish to explore colonial architecture and historic treasures. You're sure to love this city's European-inspired style!
Granja La Esmeralda
If you're traveling with your family, one especially beautiful spot to visit is Granja La Esmeralda. This fascinating zoo/park is situated north of the city on 32 acres of land, densely covered in lush vegetation and fruit trees. It's strongly dedicated to the preservation of native Argentinean animal species, along with a variety of mammals and plants from the Amazon region and from all over South America. The park has excellent facilities for holding important cultural exhibits along with outdoor concerts, often featuring traditional "pampas" music.
The park also offers play areas for kids, interactive tours so that you can get to know the animals up-close, walks through botanical gardens and educational exhibits to learn more about the fascinating history of Argentina.
El Cristal Lagoon
Kids and adults alike will have a blast at this beautiful swimming destination, located north of Santa Fe in the Calchaqui district. This lagoon can be found within the resort area of El Cristal, which features sandy beaches, great spots for swimming and an extensive stretch of native woods housing animals that can only be found in Amazonian-type habitats. The lagoon is also a huge attraction for fishermen, and here you can rent out fishing boats for enjoying a spectacular day out with family or friends. The area boasts an excellent climate throughout most of the year.
Santa Fe La Vieja Archaeological Park
This archaeological site holds great historic and cultural value, displaying the spot where the city of Santa Fe was situated since its founding in 1573 until the 1660s, when it was moved about fifty miles south.
Here, you'll be able to see two zones that once had distinct uses: the "Plaza de Armas" area (dedicated to religious and administrative buildings along with some residential areas) and the "cuadras", which were originally designated as the urban Jesuit residential areas. Over the years, the San Javier River has eroded the sector near the main square, which used to hold churches such as the Compania de Jesus and San Roque, along with the home of Juan de Garay, the founder of Santa Fe.
This old city still contains many of its original constructions, which were built using tapia and rammed earth techniques, along with fragments of earthenware ceramic, some with drawings and inscriptions from the times. Today, the area of this site covers 170 acres, about two-thirds of the original city. In this sector, you'll find the convents of San Francisco, Santo Domingo and La Merced, along with the old city hall and a large number of antique colonial residences. Among these residences is that of Cristobal de Garay, the grandson of the city's founder.
Juan de Garay Park
This stunning recreational park can be found where the streets of Paraguay and Salvador Caputto meet, in the southern part of the city. It's a popular spot among the local Santafesinos for spending time with the family and enjoying a day surrounded by nature. Here, you'll come across flowery gardens, gazebos, lakes and children's play areas. During the summer months, the park features music festivals, plays and art exhibits. The city of Santa Fe often uses this park as a stage for recreational activities and puppet theater for kids.
Bathing Resorts in Santa Fe
A warm climate, beautiful water and tons of fun are the ideal combination for a perfect summer vacation. With some of the best weather in the entire country of Argentina, this city is like a magnet, drawing in those who love exciting water activities under the warm sun. The wide range of bathing resorts, locally known as "balnearios", offers the perfect experience for every vacationer. Come and enjoy this capital city, where you can visit romantic and secluded spots as well as sites exclusively geared toward kids and teens.
In these relaxing bathing resorts, tourists can enjoy beach activities and water sports, while the waters of the Setubal Lagoon and the Parana River cool you off from the warm summer days.
San Francisco Museum
This museum is situated in the historic center of the city of Santa Fe, featuring exhibits with distinctive items from the city's colorful history. It's situated in a building constructed in the year 1676 by the indigenous people that inhabited the area. The museum holds an extensive collection of sculptures, paintings and religious artwork related to the founding of this old city.
Among the various items held in the museum, the most intriguing are a Nazarene Jesus donated by the queen of Spain in 1650, along with an image of the Virgin Mary donated by the daughter of Juan de Garay, the city's founder. The "Sala de los Constituyentes" (Constituents Room) is a fascinating space, whose name is derived from the fact that it holds life-size plaster figures of people who played important roles in the founding of the Constituent Congress during the formation of the Argentine Republic.
Rosa Galisteo de Rodriguez Museum
This fascinating art venue is the result of personal initiative by an important Santafesino, Dr. Martin Rodriguez Galisteo. In 1918, he began to construct the building that four years later he would donate to the state under two conditions: first, that it would house a library and a museum, and second, that it would be named after his mother. The sculptures and images that best represent contemporary Argentinean art are situated inside this beautiful, rose-colored building, located in the picturesque southern part of Santa Fe.
The Rosa Galisteo de Rodriguez Fine Art Museum holds more than 2,500 works of art: paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, photographs and ceramics, representing key elements in artwork from twentieth century Argentina.
Santa Fe is a true paradise for sport fishermen. Professional and amateur fishermen from all over the world and of every skill-level are impressed when they see the abundance of animals that inhabit the waters of the flowing Parana River, benefiting from the extensive coastlines, lagoons and islands in the area. Here, you can catch indigenous species such as dorados, surubies and bogas, among others.
Come and explore this natural paradise! If you can't bring along your own fishing equipment, don't worry; there are a variety of different places where you can rent small boats and fishing rods. Santa Fe is without a doubt an ideal place for sport fishing throughout the year.
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