The Costanera Sur was once one of the city’s most beloved destinations long before the neighborhood it now is adjacent to, Puerto Madero existed. From the 1920’s to the 1960’s citizens would come here to cool off in the River Plate at the Baleanario Munipal Sur riverside beach and pass the evening listening to music at places such as the Munich Brewery.
The days of taking a dip in the River Plate are long over but the Costanera Sur is still a classic place to pass a relaxed weekend afternoon in Buenos Aires. Located between the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve and central Puerto Madero, its rambling promenade is visited by sun-worshiping families, caressing couples and friends drinking mate. Its also famous for having some of the best choripán stands in the city—eating the huge sausage sandwiches with piles of condiments is pretty much a requisite for non-vegetarian visitors.
The coastal road is tucked behind Buenos Aires’ wealthiest neighborhood, Puerto Madero and alongside of its poorest, the slum neighborhood of Rodrigo Bueno and further afield, La Boca. The juxtaposition means there is always an interesting array of people here and thanks to a good police presence in the area there’s very little street crime.
The parks along the Costanera Sur contain an outdoor amphitheater where the city sponsors summer film showings, and hosts international music acts such as Air and Juana Molina. Here there are also some of the city’s nicest playgrounds, sprawling well-coiffed greenery to kick a ball around, and a lovely rose garden.
While at the Costanera you can’t miss the Fuente de las Nereidas, or Water Nymphs’ Fountain, one of Buenos Aires’ most enchanting monuments. It’s on the corner of Tristán Achával Rodríguez and Padre Migone, near the entrance to the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve.
The renaissance style sculpture, built in Rome by Argentine sculptor, Lola Mora represents the birth of Venus. The nude figure of the Love Goddess emerging from a seashell and held up by two mermaids was considered quite racy in its day. Moralistic city officials even had it relocated from Plaza de Mayo to a more discreet location in Montserrat before finally settling on its current location in 1916.
Before the revitalization of Puerto Madero the sculpture sat here lonely and neglected for decades, but it has now received its due recognition, been declared a national historic monument and is protected by glass panels.
Sundays in the Costanera
Every sunny Sunday along the Costanera Sur there is an outdoor street fair with everything on sale from home-baked pies, handmade clothes and odd antiques. It’s a relaxed and modest street fair and although it’s not the ultimate shopping experience, it provides a much more authentic, tourist-free taste of Argentina than the nearby San Telmo Street Fair that falls on the same day.
There is also fun outdoor dance hosted by ‘DJ Omar’ near the entrance to the ecological reserve where everyone from toddlers to grandmothers dance everything from Argentine folkloric dances, salsa, cumbia and 50’s rock and roll all afternoon.
• Buses: 2,4,103,111
• By bike from Palermo: Take the bike lane from Plaza Italia along Avenida del Libertador to Retiro, from Retiro along the lower corridor, starting at Avenida Antártida Argentina
• By bike or foot from San Telmo: Take Belgrano or Estado Unidos heading east
• From Downtown: Take Cordoba or Gral. Juan Domingo Perón heading east