Summertime in Buenos Aires is hot and steamy, particularly during the months of December and January when the mercury can rise to record highs. If you find yourself suffocating in the humidity and heat, here are seven places to go to cool down.

1. Stay poolside

Where: Avenida Cantila and Avenida Güiraldes, Costanera Norte

Parque Norte swimming pool Buenos Aires — © ParqueNorte.
Parque Norte swimming pool Buenos Aires — © ParqueNorte.

The best place to be when the temperatures hit 30 degrees is by a large volume of cool blue water that you can jump into as soon as you start to feel hot and sticky. Parque Norte boasts the biggest public swimming pool in town (in fact multiple pools) as well as water slides, sun loungers galore and crowds of porteños for people watching. The sports club is located in the Belgrano neighborhood near the Costanera waterfront. Entry to the pools is ARG$ 195 during the week, ARG$ 230 on Saturdays and holidays and ARG$ 250 on Sundays. Alternatively, befriend someone with a pool in their apartment complex and offer up your housesitting services whenever they are out of town.

2. Become a mall rat

Galerías Pacíficos shopping mall — © Wagner Fontoura / Flickr.
Galerías Pacíficos shopping mall — © Wagner Fontoura / Flickr.

Bask in the fresh, cold air conditioning of one of the city’s numerous shopping malls or make a day of it and mall hop. Some of Buenos Aires’ best malls are located in beautiful historical buildings with stories behind them so, as well as scouring the rails at Zara, you can pass off each mall visit as a cultural experience. The Abasto shopping mall is housed in an impressive old 1930s Art Deco building that was previously the city’s central market while Galerías Pacífico mall in Microcentro is famed for its striking façade dating back to the late 19th century and the impressive central cupola inside that features the original murals of five local artists created in 1945. While you probably won’t be able to afford anything in the more upscale Patio Bullrich mall, this building also has an interesting history, originally built by the famous Bullrich family as an auction house in 1867, and still retains some of its original features such as the old clock tower.

3. Explore subterranean Buenos Aires

Building in San Telmo — © El Zanjón.
Building in San Telmo — © El Zanjón.

We’re not talking about riding the hot, sweaty subway here but rather exploring the remains of the old city now hidden underground. Unbeknownst to most, beneath the old 19th century house El Zanjon in San Telmo is one of the most important archeological sites in the city, only recently discovered by accident in 1985. It consists of an impressive network of tunnels where you can also see the old foundations, walls, floors and water wells all built and some destroyed between 1730 and 1865, alongside maps depicting the Buenos Aires of old. You can take guided tours in English and Spanish that cost between ARG$ 200 and ARG$ 250 per person.

4. Pig out on helado

Delicious ice cream in Buenos Aires — © Lucciano’s.
Delicious ice cream in Buenos Aires — © Lucciano’s.

Duck into one of the city’s numerous ice-cream shops (that you’ll find on every street corner) and devour a quarter kilo of Buenos Aires’ finest artisan helado. It’s the perfect remedy to cool you down when you reach melting point, whether it’s a fruity maracuya sorbet or a few scoops of everyone’s favorite dulce de leche. Lucciano’s and Rapanui are two current favorites with multiple locations around town. Buenos Aires is also one of the only cities in the world where you can order ice cream for delivery any time of day or night. Check out Pedidos Ya.

5. Get your surf on

Surfing at Argentine’s beaches — © Jimmy Baikovicius / Flickr.
Surfing at Argentine’s beaches — © Jimmy Baikovicius / Flickr.

If you’re feeling more adventurous and would like to escape the concrete jungle for a few days then head to the coast and get your surf on in the invigoratingly cold Atlantic Ocean. Mar del Plata has all the cosmopolitan comforts of Buenos Aires in the summer but with a brisk sea breeze and some serious waves but if you’re looking for something more laidback, head to Pinamar or Quequén that is a popular spot with serious surfers. If surfing’s not your thing, you can try kite surfing or body boarding instead.

6. Take a jaunt on the Delta

Kayaking in Tigre Delta — © Tigre Municipio / Flickr.
Kayaking in Tigre Delta — © Tigre Municipio / Flickr.

Hop on the train in Retiro and within an hour you can escape the city and be in the swampy waters of the Tigre Delta. Although the water is brown and murky, it’s nice and cool and safe to swim in. You can hang out on one of the numerous islands’ beaches and take intermittent dips or practice your kayaking skills. Just don’t forget to douse yourself in insect repellent, as it’s a breeding ground for mosquitos in the summer. If you prefer to see your feet in the water then head to Tigre’s water park Aquafan instead in the Parque de la Costa where you can splash about in the turquoise blue pools and ride the slides.

7. If all else fails, stay in the comfort of your air-conditioned bedroom

Relax at home — © Ichigo121212 / Pixabay.
Relax at home — © Ichigo121212 / Pixabay.

If you or any of your friends has got a fully functioning air con unit then count yourself luck and save yourself the stress of venturing outdoors. Stay put, order in a kilo of ice cream and embark on a Netflix marathon.

Got any more secrets for dealing with the heat in Buenos Aires? Share them with us in the comments below.

Originally published on Ailola by Sophie Lloyd on January 5, 2018.