How is the Recoleta Cemetery Tour in Buenos Aires

Discover the curious stories, luxuries and beauties for you to visit the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.

The Recoleta Cemetery is one of the most famous sights in Buenos Aires. Known as an open-air museum, it has marble mausoleums, striking sculptures and many curious legends. 

Here you will find that it is not difficult to get to Recoleta Cemetery, find out how to visit and how much time you need to set aside for it. It still has the best hours and tips on some of the main personalities buried in this cemetery, including Nobel Prize winners. 

It may seem like a strange visit, but I visited the cemetery and I guarantee that the extravagance of the mausoleums is impressive. They are luxurious tombs and sculptures with incredible detail. To complete, many stories and legends fill the silence of the place. The tour is one of the most popular among those visiting the tourist points of Buenos Aires.

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How is the Recoleta Cemetery Tour in Buenos Aires

Photo: Ewerton Freitas, via Flickr

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The Recoleta Cemetery

O Recoleta Cemetery it is the first public cemetery in the city of Buenos Aires. It was built in 1822, in an old orchard of the monks of the Basilica Nossa Senhora do Pilar. However, the entrance gate was not completed until the end of the 1881th century, in XNUMX. After many renovations, the final gate received two classical columns, follows a neoclassical style and has many symbols about death. 

The Recoleta Cemetery is an important historical reference as it recalls the period when Argentina was growing economically. When wealthier families began to move to the Recoleta region, they were fleeing the yellow fever epidemic in Montserrat and San Telmo

No wonder the Recoleta Cemetery has a design inspired by the Parisian Père-Lachaise cemetery. And, it was designed by Prosper Catelin, a French architect and engineer.

Families at the time, in a way, showed their wealth through marble tombs and mausoleums. For this reason, many are true works of art, others made by important artists, sculptors and architects.

Due to its historical importance, it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1946. Currently, it is considered an important open-air museum, with more than 90 mausoleums declared a National Historic Monument. In addition, it is the most expensive square meter in the city of Buenos Aires.

How is the Recoleta Cemetery Tour in Buenos Aires

Photo: Nathan Peres, via Flickr

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Where is the Recoleta Cemetery?

The Recoleta Cemetery is located at 1760 Junín Street, in the Recoleta. In front of Plaza Francia, or Plaza Intendente Torcuato de Alvear. It is a beautiful square designed by the same landscaper as the Botanical Garden. Next door you can also visit the Buenos Aires Design mall and the Hard Rock Cafe. 

Located in a privileged point of Buenos Aires, it is a few meters walking from Avenida Alvear, one of the most elegant in the city, and Avenida del Libertador, where you will find the National Museum of Fine Arts, Floralis Generalis and MALBA.

Despite being close to the main avenues, the subway stations are a little far. The best option is Las Heras Station, 800 meters walking from the Recoleta Cemetery.

Another option is the buses, the closest stop is on Avenida Alvear, 400 meters walking. Rest assured, the walk to the cemetery is pleasant and you still pass through beautiful parks. 

You can also get there by bike or on the tourist buses from the city of Buenos Aires. One of the stops is at the Recoleta Cemetery.

How is the Recoleta Cemetery Tour in Buenos Aires

Photo: Marcelo J, via Flickr

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Visit to the Recoleta Cemetery

The visit to the Recoleta Cemetery is very easy and has free entrance. Despite being large and full of labyrinths between the mausoleums, it is a curious adventure to say the least. 

If you're not an explorer, and just want to go to the most famous mausoleums, the tour is quick. Just go straight to the desired point. Now, if you like to make your own discoveries, it's worth getting the map from the cemetery's concierge.

Another good request is the tour. You don't miss any details and still hear good stories. Recoleta Cemetery offers free guided tours, but they are in Spanish.

they happen from Tuesday to Friday, 11 am to 14 pm. our Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, happen from 11 am to 15 am. The visit lasts about an hour, just arrive and give your name at the concierge.

Regardless of your choice, choose comfortable shoes and if it's sunny, don't forget to protect yourself. If you have extra time, it is worth to amend the visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar. The second oldest church in Buenos Aires has windows with incredible views of the Recoleta Cemetery.

How is the Recoleta Cemetery Tour in Buenos Aires

Photo: Arsalles, via Flickr


What to see at Recoleta Cemetery

There are more than 4.000 mausoleums, tombs, tombs and vaults in the Recoleta Cemetery. Many range from the Gothic to the Art Deco movement. All are organized in blocks and streets made in a rectangular layout, reminiscent of Buenos Aires itself. 

The Recoleta Cemetery's greatest fame among travelers comes from the tomb of the former First Lady Eva Perón, as it is also known. It is true that the tomb of Evita Perón disappoints many visitors. That's because it's just a plaque on the family's marble mausoleum.

It is also possible to visit the mausoleum of the former president of Argentina, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Federico Leloir. Or still, the Argentine writer Adolfo Bioy Casares and the Nobel Peace Prize winner Carlos Saavedra Lamas.

In fact, even with so many names from the Buenos Aires aristocracy, the real attractions of the Recoleta Cemetery are the extravagant tombs. In addition, of course, to the stories and legends of strangers not so unknown.

How is the Recoleta Cemetery Tour in Buenos Aires

Photo: Renato Imasaki, via Flickr

Stories and curiosities

Among the curious stories told by the tombs of the Recoleta Cemetery, we highlight three. Remembering that all stories have their ghosts walking around there.

The statue with a girl and a dog

It's almost impossible for you not to stop and admire. The sculpture is at the entrance to the vault of Liliana Crociati. She died during her honeymoon, an avalanche fell on the hotel she was staying at.

Liliana's parents reproduced her room in the mausoleum. In the statue she is wearing the wedding dress, in which she was buried, and her inseparable puppy. It is said that the dog died on the same day as Liliana, even though they were separated.

How is the Recoleta Cemetery Tour in Buenos Aires

Liliana Crociati | Photo: Maik Lopes, via Flickr

The statue of the man in the hat with a broom and watering can

It represents David Alleno, the caretaker of the Recoleta Cemetery. He frequented the cemetery since he was little with his brothers, who were watchmen. He began working at the cemetery as a teenager and dreamed of being buried there with his own sculpture.

Luckily, her brother won the lottery and gave some of the money to the janitor. So he went to Italy and paid a renowned sculptor to make his statue. After paying for the space and seeing everything ready for his burial, he went home and killed himself. 

How is the Recoleta Cemetery Tour in Buenos Aires

David Alleno | Foto: Wally Gobetz, via Flickr

The statue of the woman with her hand on the doorknob

Rufina Cambaceres, also known as the Dama de Blanco, was the daughter of Italian ballerina Luisa Bacchi. And her father, the writer Eugenio Cambaceres, passed away when she was a child.

Some claim that the mother gave her daughter sleeping pills to meet her lover, Hipólito Yrigoyen, who was Rufina's boyfriend and only crush. The dose seemed “lethal”, but in fact Rufina woke up in her tomb and ended up buried alive.

Others say that she died of cardiac arrest in her own room when she learned of her boyfriend's betrayal with her mother. But as she suffered from catalepsy, she was buried alive. The open casket with nail marks made the whole legend.  

How is the Recoleta Cemetery Tour in Buenos Aires

Rufina Cambaceres | Photo: Beto Felix, via Flickr

Opening hours

The Recoleta Cemetery works daily the 7 am to 18 am. There is no specific time to visit the Recoleta Cemetery, but two tips are worth it.

First: avoid getting close to closing time, because if you get carried away, you'll have to leave at 18pm.

Second: if you can avoid weekends and lunch hours, even better. These are times when the Recoleta Cemetery is busiest. 

How is the Recoleta Cemetery Tour in Buenos Aires

Photo: Margarete de Freitas Martins, via Flickr

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