La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires is the Most Beautiful Graveyard in the World
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.
In this guide
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.
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.
Buenos Aires Travel Essentials
Travel requirements, visas, and passport photos for a trip to Argentina
Hotels and Other Accommodation
Booking | Agoda | HotelsCombined
Airport and Port Transfers
Private Airport Transfer with English speaking Driver
Shared Airport Transfers from EZE Airport
Private Airport Transfer for groups up to 14
Private Domestic Airport (AEP) or Port Transfer to Hotel
Colonia del Sacramento Ferry Tickets from Buenos Aires
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours
Buenos Aires Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus
Day Tours and Discounted Admission Tickets
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.
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.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 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.
Did this article help you? Writers (and moms especially) need caffeine!
Help support my small business with a cup of coffee.
La Recoleta Cemetery: Essential Info and FAQs
La Recoleta Cemetery is a must-see in Buenos Aires! Is it on your itinerary?
Alison and Don
Very interesting post! Beautiful photos!
Thanks! It was one of those places where it was almost impossible to take a bad photo. 🙂
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.
I can totally see what you’re saying. And yes, the cemetery is muyyyyy ricoooo!!!! 🙂
a beautiful collection, love the last one of the Blessed Mother in silhouette.
Glad you enjoyed! 🙂
Pingback: The Breakdown: Argentina | Travel-Stained
You said it best – eerie and beatiful and majestic, all at the same time. Awesome pictures. Very professional-istic.
Merci! 🙂 That place was really fantastic for photos…almost impossible to take a bad one!!
Pingback: 2 Weeks of Travel in Buenos Aires | Travel-Stained
Fascinating. And what stunning pictures. x