Recoleta Cemetery: You haven’t made it in Buenos Aires until you’ve been buried here

Pinch me — I still can’t believe this trip is happening. After a whirlwind of a few weeks in NYC where we said goodbyes, rented out our apartment and moved all of our belongings into storage, we’re finally here in Buenos Aires. Where to first?  The tango strutting streets of San Telmo? The nearest parrilla to devour a steak? Nope. Mark and I head to a cemetery. Don’t judge; this isn’t any cemetery, it’s Recoleta Cemetery.

The necropolis is like nothing we’ve ever seen. 4,691 above ground vaults cover 14 acres.  Tourists come with maps of the cemetery so I wouldn’t be surprised if the streets were named.  This tiny city is one of contrasts with well-kept mausoleums beside those in disrepair and styles ranging from gothic to art nouveau.  It’s a photographer’s dream.

For us, the cemetery was also a preview to Buenos Aires’ rich history. 18 presidents as well as famous architects,  poets and, of course, Evita reside here. As we’d later see in the mansions of greater Recoleta, this city embodied the ostentatiousness of the gilded age. Where better to one-up the Jones’ than their final resting place?