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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Buenos Aires: On Yer Bike & Community Visit of La Boca

“In La Boca, you will find one single lane worth visiting, El Caminito, which is THE most-visited tourist trail in the whole of Buenos Aires …” Do statements like these also make you shiver? Well, here is one good tip on how to avoid the typical, standard tourist experience: Take a tour “La Boca Beyond Caminito” run by sustainable tourism operator ANDA Travel. After enjoying an equally worthwhile, free Buenos Aires Greeter Tour, paying an $366 Argentinian Pesos (some €60,- depending on actual currency exchange / inflation rates) per person for the three-hour-visit of the La Boca district is money well spent. There is only two of us, so we get the added benefit of a private tour visiting not only the tourist trail of La Boca (whose shops are being controlled by foreigners anyway), but catching a glimpse of some real, local & community-based tourism initiatives.

Or would you know where to go in order to find “Cartoneros“, Alfajores cooking classes @Cooperativa Los Pibes del Playón and the local art exhibition centre Marjan Grun?

Right. You have to know where they are. And once you do (thank you, Carol for leading the way 😉 ), you unlock a world full of Argentinian mystery & tragedy: Politics, the economic crisis of recent years as well as the essence of the Argentinian soul: Never let go. Move on in the most ingenious ways. Talk about it over a Mate Tea Ritual, which as a visitor you must never, ever refuse. It’s stellar express for learning about all things Argentinian! 😀

A visit to La Boca - here, with charming tour ANDA Travel tour guide Carol - is a must for any visitor to Buenos Aires, preferably by meeting locals within the community.

A visit to La Boca – here, with charming tour ANDA Travel tour guide Carol – is a must for any visitor to Buenos Aires, preferably by meeting locals within the community.

Cristina Mangravide, of the local cooperative "Los Pibes del Playón", has a heart for children and teenagers who she teaches all kinds of crafts and cooking in her local workshop run by volunteers in an attempt to get them away from the streets and crime.

Cristina Mangravide, of the local cooperative “Los Pibes del Playón”, has a heart for children and teenagers who she teaches all kinds of crafts and cooking in her local workshop run by volunteers in an attempt to get them away from the streets and crime. Visitors are also welcome to try their hands at the “Escuela de Panadería”, or local cooking school of making sweet “Alfajores”!

The Mate Tea is a central element to welcoming visitors and is prepared in dozens of ways: We learn the most important thing is never to refuse and always to keep drinking until the last drop of water has vanished into your mouth!

The Mate Tea is a central element to welcoming visitors and is prepared in dozens of ways: We learn the most important thing is never to refuse and always to keep drinking until the last drop of water has vanished into your mouth!

"Eloisa Cartonera" is a local coop recycling cardboard from streets and turning it into books and presents for the locals and international visitors such as ourselves: We buy a bilingual book of poems and short stories during our visit worth around € 20.

“Eloisa Cartonera” is a local coop recycling cardboard from streets and turning it into books and presents for the locals and international visitors such as ourselves: We buy a bilingual book of poems and short stories during our visit worth around € 20.

"Cartoneros", or cardboard collectors, have "privatised" rubbish collection after the big economic crisis hit Argentina in 2001/2002: Local artist Marjan Grum has crafted this portrait of an essential part of the social fabric in the city of Buenos Aires.

“Cartoneros”, or cardboard collectors, have “privatised” rubbish collection after the big economic crisis hit Argentina in 2001/2002: Local artist Marjan Grum has crafted this portrait of an essential part of the social fabric in the city of Buenos Aires.

 

Urban Biking: More Sustainable Tourism Operators on their way

Following our visit to La Boca, we opt for a bike tour through the Northern districts of Buenos Aires such as Recoleta and Palermo Soho. Little did we know that, besides Urban Biking belonging to the “Red de Turismo Responsable” and having a neat website with fast and efficient service, a bike tour on real Bamboo bikes with 23-year-old local guide Gonzalo could be so much fun. Otra vez! Otra vez! I mouth when the tour is finished after some four hours under the pleasant summer sun: A wonderful 26°C and clear blue skies guide us along the way on bike trails that have been established in Buenos Aires as recent as two years ago. Lucky us!

Bike Tours are a great way to explore a widespread city like Buenos Aires. A clear tip we can give to any traveler hungry for some exercise & local discoveries!

Bike Tours are a great way to explore a widespread city like Buenos Aires. A clear tip we can give to any traveler hungry for some exercise & local discoveries!

Complete with (yet another) Mate Tea Ritual, local guide Gonzalo enjoys sharing his life stories, political views and opinions about life in Argentina. We follow and ask all we've ever wanted to know: Can't beat this experience by just studying travel guide books!

Complete with (yet another) Mate Tea Ritual, local guide Gonzalo enjoys sharing his life stories, political views and opinions about life in Argentina. We follow and ask all we’ve ever wanted to know: Can’t beat this experience by just studying travel guide books!

I have decided I LOVE Mate Tea. And will buy myself a "Calabaza" (pumpkin, the name of the cup) any time soon ... watch out for more pictures like these :)

I have decided I LOVE Mate Tea. And will buy myself a “Calabaza” (pumpkin, the name of the cup) any time soon … watch out for more pictures like these 🙂

In the evening, we recommend a visit of Puerto Madero and affording one of the amazing restaurants in this modern port area: It's a unique ambiance to relax and unwind there.

In the evening, we recommend a visit of Puerto Madero and affording one of the amazing restaurants in this modern port area: It’s a unique ambiance to relax and unwind there.

@Puerto Madero: Views like these spoil us on our trip to Buenos Aires ... Pure magic.

@Puerto Madero: Views like these spoil us on our trip to Buenos Aires … Pure magic.

Dinner at La Rosa Nautica: Here, I try a tempting mix of Japanese and Peruvian Sushi-style rolls. De-li-cious ...

Dinner at La Rosa Nautica: Here, I try a tempting mix of Japanese and Peruvian Sushi-style rolls. De-li-cious …

There goes a happy traveller: Buen provecho in Buenos Aires! Because you must treat yourself every now and then. !

There goes a happy traveller: Buen provecho in Buenos Aires! Because you must treat yourself every now and then. !

 

Serve you even more? Take a walk “on the bright side” with us here:

 

Thank you ANDA Travel & Urban Biking for granting us discounts when experiencing “La Boca Beyond Caminito” and the urban bike tour of Buenos Aires. All opinions are my own. 

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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