Photo Essay: Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Photo Essay: Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina

La Recoleta Cemetery is a massive cemetery located in the centre of the posh Recoleta neighbourhood of downtown Buenos Aires. The iconic cemetery is well known for its extravagant tombs, ornate mausoleums and eerie alleyways. That, and the fact that it’s situated on some of the most expensive real estate in Argentina. It’s also the eternal resting place to some of Argentina’s most important people, including Eva Perón, Raúl Alfonsín and several past presidents.

Strolling through the maze of detailed alleys, one can’t help be feel slightly insignificant. The graves are quite remarkable, almost unnecessarily so. But money and fame talks, so it’s no surprise that securing a resting place in Recoleta is the ultimate validation that your life was meaningful.

As we walked past the various tombs, we noticed that many have been neglected, with broken glass at the entrances scattered throughout. In the above photo, you can see the coffin resting in plain sight – we couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable in its presence. I can’t imagine I’d want tourists snapping photos of my tomb when I die, but this is the price one must pay to rest with Argentina’s elite.

Long, thin alleys of elegant mausoleums for Argentina’s rich and famous

This large tomb (above) had over a dozen family members resting together

The cemetery is also home to many cats that “watch over” the tombs.
They are quite friendly, but kind of creepy if you believe in reincarnation and spirits.

Inside another exposed tomb

How can one not be impressed by such extravagance?!

Nicole sitting in front of a giant tomb gives a clear sense of scale.
Now that’s an impressive tombstone!

We never thought we would find ourselves promoting a cemetery as a must visit tourist attraction, but the Recoleta Cemetery is a truly amazing place worth of a visit.

Though it gave us chills at times, its opulence and grandeur is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. Add it to your itinerary if you find yourself visiting one of South America’s great cities.


Do you have an interesting cemetery story to share?
Share your story in the comments below, we’d love to hear about it!


About Traveling Canucks

Cam and Nicole Wears are newbie parents living in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for travel and outdoor adventure has taken them to over 70 countries on 6 continents in the past 10 years. Learn more about their story here. Follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter.