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Introducing Santa Fe

There’s quite a contrast between Santa Fe’s relaxed center, where colonial buildings age gracefully in the humid heat and nobody seems to get beyond an amble, and a Friday night in the Recoleta district where university students in dozens of bars show the night no mercy. Capital of its province, but with a small-town feel, Santa Fe is an excellent place to visit for a day or two.

Santa Fe de la Veracruz (its full title) was moved here in 1651 from its original location at Cayastá, 75km to the north. In 1853 Argentina’s first constitution was ratified by an assembly that met here; these days ambitious riverfront rehabilitation has added extra appeal to this historic city.

Santa Fe’s remaining colonial buildings are within a short walk of Plaza 25 de Mayo, the town’s functional center. Av San Martín, north of the plaza, is the major commercial street and part of it forms an attractive peatonal (pedestrian district) with palm trees and terraces.

To the east, a bridge crosses the river, then a tunnel beneath the Paraná connects Santa Fe with its twin city of Paraná in Entre Ríos.