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Introducing San Isidro

About 22km north of Buenos Aires is peaceful and residential San Isidro, a charming suburb of cobblestone streets lined with some luxurious mansions, as well as more-modest houses. The historic center is at Plaza Mitre with its beautiful neo-Gothic cathedral; on weekends the area buzzes with a crafts fair. There’s a tourist office near the plaza.

Once owned by Argentine icon, General Pueyrredón, the Museo Histórico Municipal General Pueyrredón is an old colonial villa set on spacious grounds with faraway views of the Río de la Plata. Note the algarrobotree under which Pueyrredón and San Martín planned strategies against the Spanish. To get here from the cathedral, follow Av Libertador south five blocks, turn left on Peña and after two blocks turn right onto Rivera Indarte.

Even more glamorous is the Unesco site Villa Ocampo, a wonderfully restored mansion. Victoria Ocampo was a writer, publisher and intellectual who dallied with the literary likes of Borges, Cortázar, Sabato and Camus. The gardens are lovely here; tours in English and a cafe are also available.

Also worth a visit is Quinta Los Ombues, a historical house with some period items once owned by prominent local figures. It’s located one block behind the cathedral.