Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bolivar: The Quiet Town You Might Not Know About

If the excitement of La CABA in Buenos Aires isn't your thing, then you should definitely head down to Bolivar. This quiet little town is also located in the province of Buenos Aires. But it's approximately 6 hours away on bus from the metropolitan area of La CABA. You could even say that Bolivar and La CABA are worlds apart.

Now I'll admit, I've been curious about this place, but I haven't gotten the chance to visit there. Fortunately, my friend, Franco, was raised in Bolivar, and visits his mom there frequently. So during his last trip, I asked him if he wouldn't mind taking a few photos of Bolivar, and then sharing some details of what this town was like, and he was more than happy to oblige.

It's Home To Marcelo Tinelli
Bolivar is home to famous Argentine TV host, Marcelo Tinelli, who is known for his generosity, especially in his hometown. He actually gave money to restore the only movie theater in Bolivar, but, unfortunately, the money never made it to the right hands.

The Perks Of Living In Bolivar
According to Franco, one huge advantage to living in Bolivar is that it's secure, safer, and quieter than La CABA, or even Cordoba. It's also the kind of town where everyone knows you, which could prove to be an advantage and a disadvantage. You really can't mess up in Bolivar, at least, not without the entire town finding out about it. So, I'm assuming cheating scandals are very rare here.

The Entertainment Value

There's only one movie theater in the entire town, and can only play two movies at a time. But you can always hang out with your friends at Grido, a popular ice cream shop in Argentina. On a nice, sunny day, you can hang out at the park, or you can go to the main square and sit between the sidewalk and the parking lot and just talk.

What You Won't Find

Just don't expect to go hang out at the mall, because there isn't one. You can also say goodbye to a Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets, cause Bolivar doesn't have any American fast food joints. Maybe some day, but not now.


You won't find Disco, Libertad, or even a Walmart in Bolivar either. But you'll find a decent supermarket, which is equivalent to one of these three popular supermarket chains.

Don't Drink The Water
In Cordoba, most people drink from the tap. I know I certainly have, and to this day, I haven't died. But in Bolivar, the tap water is bad. Aside from bacterial contaminants, there are low levels of arsenic, which is why locals buy plenty of bottled water instead.

There are 4 schools in total and 1 university where locals can go to study law or social studies, but not much else. In general, most people prefer going to Buenos Aires or La Plata to pursue a higher education after high school.

Foreigners are just as rare as tourists here. To Franco's knowledge, there was only one foreigner and it was the result of a foreign exchange program only. You also won't find English groups like they have in Cordoba, where locals and foreigners get to mingle.

Bolivar's Dialect
The Dialect in Bolivar is similar to the one spoken in La CABA, which is more commonly referred as the "PorteƱo" dialect. But Franco finds that it's slightly more subtle in Bolivar.

The food in Bolivar is typically Argentinian (empanadas, asado, aka Argentine BBQ), but Franco claims that the locals in Bolivar put no effort in using food seasoning. As a result, the food tends to taste bland. So bring some salt and pepper packets if you come visit. You might end up tasting a dish called Pastel de Carne (which loosely translates to Meat Pastry). But it's really more like Shepherd's Pie with meat at the bottom and mash potatoes on top.

The Rich Countryside
Some of the locals in Bolivar are considered super rich because they work in the countryside, but according to Franco, they still behave like they're not rich at all. In some cases, they will show off that they're rich by buying stuff you wouldn't expect someone with money to buy. One example he gave was of someone buying a pickup truck instead of an expensive sports car.

Enjoy The Night Sky
There aren't a whole lot of buildings in Bolivar, which is great if you're a stargazer, because there's nothing blocking your line of sight, and the lights aren't so bright that they block out the stars like they do in a big city.


Yes, Bolivar observes the siesta religiously like most other provinces in Argentina do. But in some cases, it's hard to tell when it's the siesta. Franco shared that Bolivar can sometimes feel a bit like a ghost town.

It's Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime

The only time you tend to see more people walking around is during the summer, but that's usually because the homes tend to get very hot, and no one can stand being indoors. So, the warm summer weather brings everyone out to hang at the park or the town square.


Once again, I'd like to thank Franco for the photos and his invaluable information, which allowed me, and hopefully you, get a better insight into the quiet town of Bolivar.