Playing Sports in Buenos Aires

Gringo in Buenos AiresRecreation13 Comments

When you move to a new country there are a lot of things you need to do to get yourself established. Find a place to live, get a job, make new friends, learn the language, learn to sidestep the dog poo and holes in the pavement and so on. It’s not surprising that things like exercise and playing sport take a back seat.

On the other hand, look at it this way: if you’re living in Buenos Aires, you’re already on an Atkins diet, why not go the whole hog and exercise as well? When you go home, either for a visit or for good, your trim, muscular physique will be the envy of all your friends.

What are the options for endeavors of a sporting nature in Buenos Aires though? Let’s take a look at four of them.

#1: Yoga and Pilates

Alright these are not exactly sports, but yoga and Pilates are very good for you AND a lot cheaper here than they would be back home (…probably, depending on where home is exactly).

If you’ve ever walked through Palermo (and it would be very strange if you hadn’t), you’ll have noticed that there are a lot of Pilates and yoga studios there. They’re well and truly established in Buenos Aires and if you want to give them a try you’ll find no shortage of options.

For yoga, you might try Buena Onda Yoga. They do classes in Belgrano, Palermo, Recoleta and San Telmo and are constantly well-reviewed by participants. The classes are given by expat women who teach in Spanish and English.

For Pilates, Corporea is a good outfit with many studios. Their classes have a maximum of four people and they have English-speaking instructors. They charge ARG$100 per month for one class a week with machines.

#2: Baseball

Baseball? In Buenos Aires? Believe it or not, it does exist – there are numerous local weekend tournaments, for example the Liga Metro de Beisball, which is run out near the Ezeiza airport.

As for getting yourself into a team, you could a lot worse than checking out Shankees Baseball which is, as you probably guessed, an expat baseball team. They meet in Plaza Italia every Saturday afternoon, and go by shuttle bus to the various baseball fields in Buenos Aires to do battle with local teams.

#3: Polo

Polo is of course stupidly huge in Argentina. Maybe you’ve already been to a match or bought a Kevingston shirt, but that doesn’t really compare to actually trying to learn to play this sport of kings…and sheikhs, princes, millionaires and every other kind of modern royalty.

To get your start in polo if you’ve never played before, you might want to visit an estancia (ranch) outside of Buenos Aires for an intensive crash course. A good choice is La Escondida , which has a polo club that has been running for 20 years. Contact them for further details via the website.

You might also check out the information posted here by a user on the Buenos Aires Expats message boards about a polo club in Cañuelas. It certainly sounds like a good option if you decide you like polo and want to play regularly without paying too much.

#4: Football (soccer)

Why football? Well it IS the unofficial national sport of Argentina, adored by millions of people here and hundreds upon hundreds of millions more worldwide. They can’t all be wrong!

If you decide you want to strap on a pair of boots and hit the cancha (field) but don’t know where to find a team, your best bet may be Buenos Aires Fútbol Amigos (BAFA). And who or what are they? BAFA is a group of local and expat football-lovers. They organize games (and asados) and everyone is welcome to come and play, whether they’re a rank beginner or the next Messi. One blogger describes BAFA as “the oddest assortment of characters since the Cantina scene in Star Wars,” and that’s entirely accurate! Games are played games on Tuesdays and Thursdays in San Telmo and on Saturdays in Palermo (check the website for exact details).