Villa Ocampo and famous houses in San Isidro, Buenos Aires

Villa Ocampo and famous houses in San Isidro, Buenos Aires

San Isidro has 3 historical buildings open to the public: Villa Ocampo, Quinta Pueyrredón and Quinta Los Ombúes.

San Isidro is a pleasant city in the Buenos Aires province, located in the Northern part of it, 25 km from the capital city on the shore of the Rio de la Plata. It stands out from its other surrounding cities due to its numerous museums and historical buildings, its nautical activities along its littoral, its neo-gothic cathedral and its hippodrome.

This city also has 3 historical buildings open to the public: Villa Ocampo, Quinta Pueyrredón and Quinta Los Ombúes, famous not only for their architectural styles and its exhibited collections, but also for the famous historical people who have lived and visited those places.

Villa Ocampo

Villa Ocampo, San IsidroMorning : Villa Ocampo. Visits from Thursdays to Sundays from 12h30 to 18h.

In the morning your private driver and French-speaking guide will pick you up at your hotel and you set off to San Isidro. You start with a visit to Villa Ocampo, named National Historic Museum. This mythical house belonged to the great Argentinean writer Victoria Ocampo (1890-1979), who donated it to the UNESCO after her death.

This impressive house built in 1891 is surrounded by a magnificent garden overlooking the Río de la Plata. Concerning its architecture, it is one of the most interesting houses in the country since it combines both English and French influence. You can admire the avant-garde decoration of the writer, inspired at that time by French architect Le Corbusier and his “rationalist” style.

Villa Ocampo

During your guided tour you will visit the ground floor and the first floor of the house and its gardens. The pictures, furniture and personal objects are exhibited all along the visit. You will be able to feel the particular soul of this house which was frequently visited by numerous intellectuals from all over the world for many decades. Borges went there often, and foreign artists such as Graham Greene, Roger Caillois and Albert Camus stayed there as well. Finally, Victoria Ocampo received many celebrities visiting Buenos Aires, particularly Le Corbusier, Saint-Exupéry, Garcia Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Andre Malraux and Indira Gandhi.

Villa Ocampo, San IsidroLunch: your guide will take you have lunch to Demetrio, an excellent table in San Isidro located 15 min from Villa Ocampo.

Quinta Pueyrredón

Quinta Los Ombués, San IsidroTarde: Quinta Pueyrredón. Visits on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 19h, Saturdays and Sundays from 14h to 18h.

After the gastronomic pause, you take Libertador Avenue again northwards up to Roque Sáenz Peña street where Quinta Pueyrredón is. This National Historic Monument was built in 1790 and is one of the most beautiful examples of Colonial architecture from the XVIII century in the region. It has a rectangular base and a great internal patio where all rooms converge.

Quinta Pueyrredón

General Juan Martín Pueyrredón bought it in 1815 and lived there until his death in 1850. This undeniable celebrity of Argentine history became famous during Buenos Aires occupancy by the English in 1806 for its cavalry squadron made up with his brothers. In recognition thereof he was named Tenant-Colonel of the king’s army but it was not long before he joined the independence movement.

He was successively governor of the province of Córdoba, then chief of the Alto Perú army (nowadays Bolivia), and was finally elected Head Director of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata. Faithful supporter of San Martin during the military campaign to Chile, he created the first Banco Nacional de Argentina.

The quinta houses a significant historic, architectural, documentary, literary and pictorial heritage. Your guide will show you the great collection of documents, pictures, portraits and furniture of the time. Then you visit the chapel and the library.

The roof in this building is made of palm trees and lapachos trunks, the floors are decorated with English and French tiles. The pieces of furniture date back to XIX century. The house is surrounded by a Pompeian-style park. You cannot miss the magnificent view over the Río de la Plata.

Museo Dr San Isidro Horacio Becar Varela, Quinta los Ombues

Villa Ocampo, San IsidroFin de tarde: Museo Dr San Isidro Horacio Becar Varela

Visits from December to March: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 to 18:00 / Saturdays and Sundays from 15:00 to 19:00, From April to November: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 to 18:00 / Saturdays and Sundays from 14:00 to 18:00.

You set off for your last stage in your circuit towards the Quinta Los Ombués. This National Historic Monument has a history prior to the construction of the original chapel and even prior to the birth of the city of San Isidro.

Quinta los Ombues

According to tradition, important historic characters – Santiago de Liniers, José de San Martín, Juan Martin Pueyrredon, Manuel Belgrano – have stopped by to visit its owner, Mariquita Sánchez de Thompson. Among its famous visitors there was Manuel Mujica Lainez who called it “the house of all Argentineans”. Afterwards the property passed onto the Beccar Varela’s family who lived there until 2005 and then donated it to the city of San Isidro.

Your guide shows you the 6 exhibit rooms dedicated to the history of San Isidro, showing you the paintings and personal objects of famous habitants of the community, among them the Beccar Varela family. The library has no less than 12 000 digital volumes and offers complete files of world, national and regional history, and a collection dedicated to San Isidro. You make a final stop at the garden which surrounds the quinta before your driver takes you back to Buenos Aires.