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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Rosario

Rosario in Santa Fe Province is Argentina's third largest city. It was named after the Virgin of the Rosary. Rosario is next to the Rio Parana river and has lots of great river beaches. It is also a city of culture with many fine colonial buildings on display. Rosario, however, is best known for two historical events. The first is that in 1812 General Manuel Belgrano raised the newly created Argentine flag for the first time in Rosario; and the second is that Che Guevara was born in Rosario.

One of the curious things about Rosario is that it feels a lot smaller than it is. After coming from the sprawling metropolis of Buenos Aires, Rosario feels more relaxed and compact. Most of the historical sites, museums, bars, restaurants and hostels are in walking distance of each other. Furthermore, the port or estacion fluvial where you can catch a ferry to the beaches is also near by.


Places of Interest

For Che Guevara fans head to Entre Rios 480. The building is an apartment block and there isn't a museum, just a sign outside pointing out that the revolutionary was born there. Another momentous moment in South American politics happened when General Belgrano raised the Argentine flag in Rosario and to mark that event the authorities buillt the huge imposing monument called in English 'Monument to the Flag' and in Spanish 'Monumento Nacional a la Bandera'. You cannot miss the huge romanesque steps and columns, the eternal flame and the massive statues. It is by the river and port behind Plaza 25 de Mayo. Also nearby is the Parque Nacional de la Bandera which fills up on Sundays with locals sipping mate and relaxing. You can often see all kinds of things going on in the park including folk dancing.

Further places of interest include Museo Historico Provincial Dr Julio Marc which has interesting displays of Indigenous artifacts. Museo Municipal de Belles Artes Juan B Castagnino displays European and Argentine fine art and Museo Provincial de Ciencies Naturales Dr Angel Gallardo has a fascinating collection of dead fauna.

Activities

In the summer months the main focus of activities is the huge Rio Parana. Along its banks there are many bars and cafes. There are a number of river beaches to choose from. 6 kms north of the center is the popular Catalunya beach. From Estacion Costa Alta you can catch a ferry to Isla Invernada, a small island with a great beach and a forested area where you can camp. From the ferry port near the flag monument you can get a boat to Isla Espinillo which has a big selection of bars and restaurants to choose from. On Isla Espinillo you can also go waterskiing, jetskiing and windsurfing.

Other non-beach related activities in Rosario include strolling around the crafts fair on Av Belgrano on the weekend, catching an open air movie or show (weekends in January and February), taking the elevator to the top of the flag monument or catching some of the lively nightlife in and around the center. 

Accommodation

Hostels are plentiful and good value in Rosario there are several in the center near Plaza 25 de Mayo and near the river and flag monument. For more on where to stay in Rosario click the link.

Other information

Click the following links for more information on Rosario:

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