Hot take: Running is the best. It is one of life’s purest pleasures.
Us runners think that everyone else loves the sport as much as we do. In reality, conversations about our beloved pastime often fill our non-runner friends with confusion (“how is it possible to like running?!”) and boredom.
Nonetheless, while we may unite in the love for our sport, running is different for everyone. It’s a deeply personal endeavor. Some runners follow training plans and embark on challenging workouts; others disregard metrics like mileage and pace. Some listen to music or chat with friends; others prefer total silence. Some lace up for the same route every single day; others hope to never retrace their footsteps. Some plan to run from Ushuaia to Alaska. OK, you get the point.
Of course, there’s no right answer here. Variety can be the spice of life, but consistency can be grounding. Still, every runner knows of the terrible “running rut” that can sneak up. Suddenly, a love for running subsides into boredom or dread. The thought may come in: “Why do I actually even like running?”
For moments like this, The Bubble has got you covered. We put together this Buenos Aires running guide to change things up a bit, find a new staple route, or tune into a new running hack. On your mark, get set, go.
Where to Run
One-Size-Fits-All Run: Los Bosques de Palermo
You can’t write about running in Buenos Aires and not include Los Bosques de Palermo. Rain or shine, morning or night, you’ll see more than plenty of runners here. If you’re starting out running, just let yourself jog around aimlessly and make up your own route as you go. The nearby EcoParque and Jardín Japonés are obvious picks for some of the best offerings in the vicinity. Run around them, go down and back to your house, and you’ve got yourself the perfect run. The abundance of palm trees and other greenery – not to mention the stray goose or two – provide enough visual distraction to keep you motivated.
But do you want to spice things up?
- Hack #1 The path surrounding the rose garden, Paseo el Rosedal, makes a perfect one-mile loop, with a steady incline and decline. The circuit is absolutely beautiful, and it’s great for workouts or mile repeats.
- Hack #2 Lago de Regatas often gets overlooked. Make of it what you will, but it’s less definitely crowded during running rush hour (this is around 5-6 PM).
- Hack #3 Don’t be afraid of the start-and-stop run. There’s always plenty going on in these parks, especially on the weekends. Maybe check out free-folding origami workshops, or stop and watch some live music.
Best Long Run: Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur
Rarely is it worth it to make the trek to run somewhere, but this is your place. The Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur – the largest green space in Buenos Aires- an 865-acre (350 square km) – is located on the east side of the Puerto Madero neighborhood. Open from 8 AM to 7 PM November-March and free to the public, the Reserva is home to unique flora and fauna. The gentle surfaces, flat terrain, and stellar views make the entire area ideal for a long run.
If you don’t live within close walking distance, public transport will get you there in a snap. On a nice weekend day, take the Subte (Use Subte C to Retiro or Subte E to Catalinas, to reach the northern Brasil entrance; or Subte A to Plaza de Mayo which is ~1.5 km away from the southern Viamonte entrance. There is also a bus that goes down Avenida Belgrano so you can run alongside the gorgeous coastline of the Río de la Plata.
As for where to run throughout? A loop around the perimeter is around 8 kilometers (5 miles) while there are around 2-3 km of internal trails. Parts of the trails will be populated with visitors (both sporty and decidedly lazy), and other parts, you’ll get all to yourself. The main Viamonte entrance (on the southern side) offers a more immediate view of the river, and is typically more crowded. Come in from the northern Brasil entrance – closer to public transport – and start out running a few quieter miles. If you’re running for more than a mile, you won’t miss the exquisite view of the coastline…. and trust me, from there, you won’t want to stop.
Burst of Buenos Aires Energy: Avenida del Libertador
There’s nothing more frustrating than starting and stopping along crowded city streets. Luckily, you can run down this route uninterrupted and unafraid of getting hit by a car or tangled up in hordes of pedestrians. The historic avenue, named in honor of General José de San Martín (AKA the “Liberator” of Argentina) extends 26.5 km from San Fernando in Zona Norte all the way down to Retiro. Up north, you’ll pass through more suburban areas like San Isidro and Olivos, known for their well-manicured lawns and dreamy homes.
Eventually, you’ll cross into Belgrano, Palermo, and Recoleta, hitting plenty of landmarks along the way, such as the Biblioteca Nacional and Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo in Recoleta, and the Palacio Bosch Palace, Hipódromo Argentino de Palermo, and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Recoleta.
A straight shot down Avenida del Libertador makes it the perfect street to run with a friend. It’s wide enough for two and safe; plus, you don’t have to think about getting lost, so you can really immerse yourself in conversation.
Solid Easy Run: Barrio de Los Andes
Instead of your typical out-and-back route, run around Parque Los Andes in the Barrio de Los Andes, a beautiful neighborhood in Chacarita. The neighborhood features “collectives” that adjacent to the park is the nearby Cementerio de la Chacarita – another area that is solid for running. Just blocks away from the chaos of Avenida Corrientes (completely unrecommended for running, for obvious reasons), the neighborhood features quaint brick houses and nice pockets of communal space.
It’s hard to do a serious workout here, because of the nearby city streets and occasional bumps in the pavement. But that’s why it’s perfect for an easy run: you can observe the street art, watch neighborhood kids playing soccer, probably see a dog, and enjoy the city’s ethos.
Hill Repeats: Recoleta Cemetery
Right off Avenida del Libertador lies the postcard-famous Recoleta cemetery. In the surrounding vicinity, you can run around several plazas along or nearby Avenida Alvear, such as Plazas Francia and Mitre. As you circle these plazas, you can make up your own route, running up and down the hilly terrain. Within the cemetery itself, the intriguing visual stimuli (yes, I do mean tombstones) will keep you going, as you encounter gradual inclines. Passing by tombstones, statues and other architectural gems, it’s easy to distract yourself from the pain in your legs. Plus, the running will distract you from any morbid thoughts about the cemetery itself. It’s a win-win!
It should be noted that it’s definitely worth it to slow down and check the cemetery out. As the oldest and most visited cemetery in Buenos Aires, more than 90 tombs have been declared national historic landmarks including that of Eva Perón. There are free guided tours at 11 AM and 2 PM on Tuesdays through Fridays, and 11 AM and 3 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
Pick Up the Pace: Avenida Figueroa Alcorta
Catch veteran runners speeding along Avenida Figueroa Alcorta. As cars cruise down the highway, you’ll want to pick up your pace, too. Similar to Avenida del Libertador, this long avenue has just enough visual stimuli and variety to keep you going, but not so much as to be overwhelming. Think restaurants, museums, universities, and more. Once you reach the Estadio Monumental in Nuñéz – also known as the place where River Plate plays – the avenue reaches an end. Turn right, and begin to slow down. You’ll run over a bridge on Avenida Leopoldo Lugones, overlooking the highway. This gritty view of the city traffic is alluring and captivating.
Craving a road race? Need running buddies?
Nearly every weekend, there’s a race somewhere in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area. And, there are hundreds (!) of running clubs to choose from that meet up all over the city.
Or… if you need a running buddy, you can always [insert Paige voice…] call me.