We travel to explore, learn, feel, meet, see and try new things. We travel thousands of miles, board different types of transportation and speak various languages only to explore, learn, feel, meet, see and try things that have been steadily dulled by travelers before us. Thousands of miles from home we still find ourselves seeking familiarity, rarely wandering out of the tourist cubicle where we spend our vacation trying to counter the tourist stereotypes. Today is different though, today is the first day of the rest of your vacation, you have discovered LandingPadBA in hopes to find something new and not smeared by thousands of other tourist’s fingerprints. Today LandingpadBA brings you to the Feria de Mataderos!
The Feria of Mataderos isn’t your typical Buenos Aires street fair and although rated #64 out of 634 on Lonely Planet’s things to do in Buenos Aires list, the amount of tourists that attend can easily be counted on two hands. In the land where ferias are as common as a teenager with Facebook, The Feria de Mataderos stands alone. With its rodeo feel atmosphere, barbeques big enough to grill T-Rexs, folkloric dancing, gourmet food stalls, dirt cheap leather goods and rich culture- it is the perfect first step to wandering outside the tourist cubicle. Below is a little look into what the feria has to offer.
Most ferias offer some sort of entertainment from local musicians to creative street performers; one would say that the Feria de Mataderos goes a step beyond this. I would say that it blows the rest of the ferias out of the water in the entertainment department. In the center of the Feria there is a large stage where sensational dance and music performances take place all throughout the day. As well as the costumed people who twirl, stomp and jump there are gauchos who run around on horseback competing in local contests called La Corrida de Sortija. Not only is there entertainment to watch sometimes there are typical local games to participate in as well.
The Feria de Matadores could easily be confused for a barbeque contest. There well over a dozen grills fired up and spewing smoke that will have you dreaming about Argentine meat for weeks after. These grills produce some of the tastiest grilled meat I have had in the region. From sausage sandwiches to grilled intestines, this feria is truly a carnivore’s wet dream. If you have already been in Argentina for a while and are looking for a break from meat, the feria also offers Northern Argentinean corn style tamales as well as typical Argentine empanadas.
If you’re craving something sweet after eating lunch or an early dinner, the feria is billowing over its brims with sugar. Two of the local favorites are the caramel filled crepes and sugar-glazed fruit. Although the feria provides a large variety of prepared food it is well know for its home made cheeses, wines, salamis, jarred goods, olive oils and other delicious homemade goods.
Although the Feria de Mataderos offers a lot of the same arts and crafts as most of the typical ferias of Argentina, it does have a larger selection and more of a variety of leather goods. I also found that the prices of all the crafts were a bit cheaper which makes a lot of sense because tourists do not heavily frequent this Feria (likely because of the distance-about 25 minutes away from Recoleta by cab).
The feria De Mataderos runs on Sundays from 11am until 8pm. It is located in the western suburbs of Buenos Aires and takes place on the avenues “Lisandro De La Torre and De Los Corrales”. The feria can be reached in any of the following busses (55, 63, 80, 92, 103, 117, 126, 141, 155, 180). I recommend leaving around noon in-order to be able to have plenty of time to enjoy the feria as well as return to the center of the city before dark. Although the feria is extremely safe in itself, some of the surrounding areas can be a bit seedy after dark.
Guided Visits & Tours
If you are interested, LandingPadBA offers city tours and bilingual guides that take you safely to the Mataderos fair, help you make purchases and have a pleasant trip. Visit our Buenos Aires tickets and tours section and request a city tour. Specify in the comments that you would like to visit the Mataderos fair.