Heavily advertised around hostels in Buenos Aires, Argentina, La Bicicleta Naranja offers bicycle tours and rentals from several locations around the city. Their bike tours are a good way to break down the somewhat overwhelming and certainly sprawling Buenos Aires. La Bicicleta Naranja’s scenic routes and informative guides are a wonderful introduction, or reunion, with Argentina’s capital city.
Breaking Down The La Bicicleta Naranja Tours
The company offers four basic tours each lasting around 4 hours. The tours, known as Buenos Aires to the North, Buenos Aires to the South, Lakes and Woods, and Aristocratic Buenos Aires all cost the same price of 105 Argentinian pesos (~$25 USD) and includes a safety helmet and bottle of water or soda. Reservations can be made online and most of the routes are available at least once a weekday.
What To Expect
The atmosphere upon arrival at the La Bicicleta Naranja office is very laid back although they fail to mention that you’ll need to be a fairly confident rider in good shape. Also, the tour routes tend to take you to near busy roadways (difficult to avoid in Buenos Aires) and often right into heavy traffic. Pedaling through rush hour in Buenos Aires on a bicycle might be a bit more adventure than some people are willing to handle.
- Saturday tours groups are usually larger, but there is less vehicular traffic to contend with.
- The guides stop the group in quiet spots along the way to show you important sites and explain the history behind them.
- Groups are typically 8-14 riders.
- To do either the Buenos Aires north or south tour you’ll need to stop by the San Telmo office. For the lakes and woods and aristocratic Buenos Aires tours, make reservations with the Palermo office.
- Tours are usually in English but can be requested in Spanish as well.
The guides do a good job of making the ride a fairly easy one by directing traffic and often flanking the group, particularly in the busier parts of town. The pace is a bit quick although the guides make an effort to keep a tempo everyone is comfortable with – and yes, there is plenty of time to take pictures along the way.
Seeing Buenos Aires By Bike
You can create your own mental map, see the popular sites, and learn a bit of history along the way by zipping through town. Most of the major parts of the city (i.e. La Boca) are covered in La Bicicleta Naranja’s tours, which subtly show you the stark contrasts of class and development between the various Buenos Aires barrios (neighborhoods).
Burning And Learning
Having never taken a bike tour before I somewhat skeptical of the 105 Argentinian peso (~$25 USD) investment for a 4 hour tour of the south side of Buenos Aires. La Bicicleta Naranja‘s thoroughly tiring tours on their bright orange bicycles (hence the company name) were complimented by the tour’s enthusiastic local guides making me not regret the decision. The knowledgeable guides were able to convey a feel for the various parts of the city and infuse a passion for Buenos Aires’ history for visitors new and returning.
[photos by: Pat Pavanelli (La Bicicleta Naranja), GustavoBuriola (Buenos Aires), paula moya (La Boca in Buenos Aires)]
They’re a super great company! We didn’t pay for their tours, but used their maps and followed their routes.
Like biking on a cruiser in any city, you have to steer clear of the bigger streets, but we loved getting around town on their orange bikes!
Their rates for daily rentals are pretty good and the maps are great. I definitely held on to mine as well 🙂
This is great Anil! I love taking bike tours to navigate new cities and Buenos Aires is something I’m planning. Thanks again! I’ll link it up on Twitter. Can’t wait to hear the rest of your BA tour!
I appreciate the RT and think you’ll have a great time on a bike tour in BA. The one thing that happened and has hampered my BA posts is that my camera was stolen on the flight over from Santiago. Somehow without the images it’s taken me a bit to reorganize my thoughts!
I might have to do this in October!!!
Definitely a nice way to spend a day. The south tour also takes you through the Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve which is a lovely ride.
I’m sorry about your camera…that sucks!
The bike tours sound cool – a way to get around and get out of the city a little bit too. We took a bike tour in Bankok that showed us just how close the country side is to the city center.
While in Buenos Aires we took a free (tips only) walking tour that I HIGHLY recommend. We enjoyed our first one so much we went back the next day for a different tour with them. It’s called BA Free Tours http://www.bafreetour.com/english-home probably a nice addition to the bike tour!
Awesome, thank you so much for the link! Wish I had caught that when I was there but will on my third trip back. (Gotta get those pictures somehow!)
I took the tour, too, and it was with a lone guide and I was the only guest in early March. I did the poorer parts of town and got much socialist anti-establishment diatribe, I wonder if that’s only in the Spanish edition? We drank a mate, too. It was cool, and yeah, I had just gotten back from biking around the south island of NZ, and found the ride fine (as did you), but for those who aren’t every day riders, it might seem a bit of a zany pace and somewhat hairy route!
There was a slight hint of that but only noticed it when stopping at Plaza de Mayo. I think there was definitely an effort to stay politically correct (that was my perception) but maybe the larger group and English watered much of that down.
I always love getting the lay of the land by bike. Your tour sounds like a bargain though not many people I know are comfortable riding in big cities with lots of traffic. Vietnam was the craziest place I have ever biked – it took a leap of faith to navigate the city streets. BTW Montreal has a bike program with bikes scattered throughout the city. There are 400 stations in total and 5000 bikes available to rent 3 seasons of the year. There is an excellent set of paths called The Green Route or La Route Verte which actually takes you through large sections of Quebec – but Montreal itself has great paths.
You have an amazing array of blogs Anil!
Thank you Leigh 🙂
I definitely agree that some legs of the route could be very intimidating due to the hectic pace and condition of the traffic downtown. I can only imagine how many people have been caught off guard!
I suppose biking in Vietnam has made most everywhere else much easier??
I think that a bike is a great way to see something of the cities with a local guide – a friend of mine did something similar in Lima which she really enjoyed, but she also warned that cycling in heavy traffic was sometimes un-nerving – perhaps not one to take your family on.
That, and the duration of the ride would probably rule out most children.