Where the Grass is Greener: Parks and Gardens of Palermo

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Though my decision to embark on this journey to Argentina involved little hesitation, the months leading up to my trip were certainly not without worry.  My impending life abroad caused for an endless list of questions.  How well would I cope with the major lifestyle changes that lay ahead— the language barrier, the homesickness, the daunting distance standing between me and any half-decent Mexican food?  I suddenly found myself scrambling to take in, and in some forms, utilize the many aspects of California life I had long-taken for granted: its beautiful beaches, winding canyons, the overwhelming accessibility to all things organic.  And while I knew I’d survive a few months without free-range chicken and pressed juice,  I was sure I’d miss the scenery. Aside from one very unfortunate, fruitless quest for hot sauce, Buenos Aires has been graciously accommodating. The lush green parks and gardens scattering the city seem to taunt my preconceived notions of living in this big city.  Unlike California, the concept of a drought remains intangible, and trips to the park never require a trip to the gas station. It’s now been two months since my arrival, and I can confidently say that the tables have turned. Need proof?  Here are three breathtaking parks and gardens of Palermo that will never fail to please.

EL ROSEDAL (The Rose Garden) Avenida Infanta Isabel & Iraola

El Rosedal lies at the heart of the expansive Parque Tres de Febrero, otherwise known as the Bosques de Palermo (Palermo Woods).  The park is home to over 1,000 species of roses, lining its many winding walkways leading a diversity of guests towards numerous gazebos, picturesque bridges, and a charming lake equipped with paddle boats and gaggles of geese.  If you’re into literature, make sure to check out the Poets’ Garden— one of the park’s main attractions, due to its large collection of statues depicting various renowned writers from around the world.

JARDÍN JAPONÉS (Japanese Garden) Av. Casares 2966

The Japanese garden has become a symbol of intercultural relations in Buenos Aires.  It’s one of the largest of its type outside Japan.  Apart from overall beauty and serenity found inside its gates, the garden also offers a number of attractions, including a large cultural center housing various exhibits and artisanal classes, a greenhouse containing an endless array of bonsai trees, flowers and plants for purchase, a traditional Japanese teahouse, gift shop, and much more.  You can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, or even feed the brightly colored carps inhabiting the lake. With its long list of activities and masterful landscaping, the Jardín Japonés can be found enjoyable to all.

JARDÍN BOTÁNICO (Botanical Garden) Av. Santa Fe 3951

This has easily become my favorite Buenos Aires hideaway.  The 17 acre haven holds approximately 5,500 species of plants, trees and shrubs, as well as a number of sculptures, monuments and greenhouses. If that doesn’t impress you, the garden serves as a great place to escape the heat with its plentiful shade and refreshing scent of nature, all the while blocking out the bustling city sounds which encompass it.  Whether you’re looking for a romantic outing with a significant other, or merely a quiet place to read and reflect, you’ll be sure to enjoy the visit.

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