>  South America   >  Argentina   >  La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires is the Most Beautiful Graveyard in the World
la recoleta cemetary statues

Spending an afternoon wandering around a burial ground isn’t really high on my list of fun activities, but I made an exception for La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

And you should too. Because this might just be the most beautiful graveyard in the entire world.

la recoleta cemetary statues

Would you believe this is a cemetery?

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Why Recoleta?

The high terrain of the Recoleta area first attracted wealthy families trying to escape deadly yellow fever and cholera outbreaks in the late 1870s. They believed that the altitude of the landscape reduced the number of insects that transmitted the diseases.

As these powerful families settled into the area, Recoleta, along with the neighbouring barrios of Palermo and Retiro, began to form the most traditional and affluent residential zone in the city.

la recoleta cemetery

The Basilica of the Lady of our Pillar watches over La Recoleta in the distance.

Today, the elite of Buenos Aires reside there, in some of the city’s most expensive real estate. The area is full of Parisian style homes, family mansions, foreign embassies, luxury hotels, and of course, La Recoleta Cemetery.

Visiting La Recoleta Cemetery

La Recoleta Cemetery was inaugurated on November 17th, 1822. It has approximately 4,700 above ground coffins, crypts and vaults organized by street, on 14 acres of land that used to be the convent garden of the disbanded Recoletas Order of Monks.

94 of the vaults have been declared National Historical Monuments and are protected by the Argentinian State.

la recoleta cemetery buenos aires

94 of the vaults in La Recoleta Cemetery are National Historical Monuments.

Designed by French architect Prosper Catelin, at the request of former President, Bernardino Rivadavia, La Recoleta Cemetery has a mind-boggling display of luxurious family crypts and mausolea. It feels more like a crowded, miniature city than the final resting place of Buenos Aires’ most elite citizens.

la recoleta cemetery, buenos aires

La Recoleta Cemetery is like a miniature city of the dead: photo by Deensel [CC BY 2.0]

As you wander through the labyrinth of streets, you’ll be confronted by delicately carved marble and stone angels looking skyward beseechingly, grand cupolas and the forlorn figures of those long ago buried and gone.

It’s eerie and beautiful and majestic and sad all at once, a mournful reminder of Buenos Aires’ long gone Golden Age.

BUENOS AIRES CITY TOUR – SMALL GROUP  |  See all the top sites in Buenos Aires, including Plaza de Mayo, La Boca, Teatro Colon, Recoleta Cemetery and more. Hotel pick up included. Check full details here.

Famous People Buried in La Recoleta Cemetery

La Recoleta Cemetery is full of the remains of rich and famous Argentinians. The incredible crypts hold Nobel Prize winners, former Presidents, and even celebrities.

You’ll find the tombs of former Argentine Presidents Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Bartolomé Mitre, boxer Luis Angel Firpo, and Carlos Saavedra Lamas – the first Latin American Nobel Peace Prize recipient in the Cemetery.

It’s definitely fun to wander around looking for recognizable names, but some of the most glorious mausoleums are actually just for really wealthy people with little fame.

AFFORDABLE LA RECOLETA CEMETERY GUIDED TOUR  |  There are almost 4700 mausoleums in La Recoleta Cemetery, so a guided tour is well worth it, especially if you’re into history or architecture, especially when it’s this affordable. Check full details here.

The Grave of Eva Peron

Eva Peron is perhaps the most globally famous person to be found at La Recoleta Cemetery. We chanced upon Eva Peron’s mausolem by accident, after wandering up and down the graveyard’s narrow streets for quite some time. You can avoid our confusion, by picking up a map of La Recoleta Cemetery at the entrance.

Eva Peron's tomb

The grave of Eva Peron is surprisingly modest.

Eva Peron’s grave is hidden deep within the heart of the Cemetery. It’s surprisingly modest and always adorned with fresh flowers. Make no mistake about it though. It’s heavily fortified and she’s buried 5 metres underground to protect her remains.

Getting to La Recoleta Cemetery

There are several subte (metro) stations relatively close to La Recoleta Cemetery. Keep in mind that all entail an additional 15 minute walk or longer to reach the entrance, so plan accordingly. If you’d prefer not to walk, you can take a collectivo or city bus. Make sure you have exact change for the fare.

You can stop at any of the following stations. All are about the same walking distance to La Recoleta Cemetery.

Line A: San Martin

Line D: Callao

Line E: Retiro

If you’ve booked the Buenos Aires Hop-on Hop-off bus, you can visit the cemetery by getting off at Stop 23: Recoleta. Be sure to budget at least an hour to wander around Recoleta Cemetery – it’s huge!

La Recoleta Cemetery | Essential Info

Address: Calle Junin 1760

Hours: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day (but tourists can only enter from (9AM – 5PM)

Admission: 2338ARS (about $USD10) – book tickets in advance.

I recommend you pick up a map of the graveyard near the entrance, as it’s huge and really like a “small city of the dead.” Free guided tours are offered in Spanish, from 10AM to 4PM from Monday to Friday, on the hour.

Affordable guided tours of La Recoleta Cemetery in English are available here.

streets of la recoleta cemetery

There are almost 4700 separate mausoleums in Recoleta Cemetery

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La Recoleta Cemetery: Essential Info and FAQs

Why is Recoleta Cemetery so famous? Presidents, celebrities, and famous sports figured are entombed at Recoleta Cemetery - of the close to 4700 mausolea, over 90 of its crypts are listed as national historical monuments.
Is there an entrance fee for Recoleta Cemetery? Argentinian nationals enter Recoleta for free, but tourists and non-residents pay an admission of 2338 ARS (about $USD 10)
What are the opening hours for Recoleta Cemetery? La Recoleta is open everyday from 7AM - 6PM, but tourists can only enter between 9AM and 5PM.

La Recoleta Cemetery is a must-see in Buenos Aires! Is it on your itinerary?


  • September 5, 2019

    Fabulous photos!

  • August 26, 2019

    Very interesting post! Beautiful photos!

  • December 11, 2013

    Ah yes, I remember visiting this cemetery when I was in Buenos Aires. It certainly is beautiful, and you can see the word “rico” embedded in its name. And perhaps “recollection” as well. Anyway, that’s how I always though of it, even if that’s not technically the Spanish definition.

  • Sun

    December 6, 2013

    a beautiful collection, love the last one of the Blessed Mother in silhouette.

  • November 11, 2013

    You said it best – eerie and beatiful and majestic, all at the same time. Awesome pictures. Very professional-istic.

  • May 9, 2013

    Fascinating. And what stunning pictures. x


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