Introduction to Forestry in Puerto Rico
Important Info about the World Forestry Congress
About the US Exhibit and Content
General travel information
General hotel information
Planning Your Trip: Logistic Information
About the Informal Field Trip for US participants
Related Links
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About the World Forestry Congress
Every six years, the World Forestry Congress (WFC) convenes forestry professionals from around the world to share ideas and challenges regarding the state of the world's forests. The XIIIth World Forestry Congress will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from October 18-25, 2009. The Congress is hosted by the Argentinean government, in collaboration with the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) Forestry Department. Approximately 6,000 participants from more than 160 countries are expected.

The theme for this year's Congress is “Forests in Development: A Vital Balance.” The Congress will cover social, ecological and economic aspects of sustainable forestry management in a local, regional and global context. The congress will include dissertations, conferences, round tables, side events and exhibitions on the six main topics: forests and biodiversity, producing for development, forests at the service of people, caring for our forests, organizing forest development and people and forests in harmony.

For more information on the World Forestry Congress, please click here.

About La Rural: Conference Center for World Forestry Congress
The conference will be hosted at La Rural: Predio Ferial de Buenos Aires located in Palermo district. The conference center has a rich 130 year cultural, entrepreneurial and social tradition.. Originally the center was the grand Belle Époque stadium and served as the Parade grounds for the Sociedad Rural Argentina, an association of wealthy landowners from all over the country. By promoting Argentina’s agricultural resources, this association contributed to Argentina’s transformation into an important world economic force by the end of the 1800s.

La Rural is located on Avenida Las Heras, at the intersection of Av. Santa Fe overlooking Plaza Italia. Click here for a map of the La Rural neighborhood in Palermo.

*Please note:  Shuttle service will be provided in the morning and in the evening (times TBA) for transportation between the Hotel Pan Americano and the World Forestry Congress venue at La Rural. If you cannot make these shuttles, please see “logistics: Getting around the city.”

About the Palermo Neighborhood (Where the conference center is located)

Palermo is a large district of northern Buenos Aires. It encompasses Palermo proper with its park system, Palermo Chico, Palermo Viejo (which is further divided into Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood) and Las Cañitas, which is adjacent to the city’s world-famous polo field.

Palermo Neighborhoods – Palermo Chico is an exclusive neighborhood of elegant mansions off of Avenida Libertador.. Also houses a few embassies.

Palermo proper is a neighborhood of parks filled with magnolias, pines, palms, and willows, where families picnic on weekends and couples stroll at sunset. Designed by French architect Charles Thays, the parks take their inspiration from London’s Hyde Park and Paris’s Bois de Boulogne. Take the metro to Plaza Italia, which lets you out next to the Botanical Gardens and Zoological Gardens (tel. 11/4806-7412), open dawn to dusk.

Parque Tres de Febrero, a 1,000-acre paradise of trees, lakes, and walking trails, begins just past the Rose Garden off Avenida Sarmiento. In summer, paddleboats can be rented by the hour. The Jardín Botánico, located off Plaza Italia, is another paradise, with many South American plants specially labeled. It is famous for its population of abandoned cats, tended by inhabitants of the neighborhood. Nearby, small streams and lakes meander through the Japanese Garden, where children can feed the fish (alimento para peces means “fish food”) and watch the ducks.

Palermo Viejo, once a run-down neighborhood of warehouses, factories, and tiny decaying stucco homes, this neighborhood has been transformed into one of the city’s most chic destinations. Palermo Viejo is further divided into Palermo Soho to the south and Palermo Hollywood to the north. Many gather here late at night for impromptu singing and guitar sessions.  The plaza is surrounded by interesting bars and restaurants On weekends there is a crafts festival, but you’ll always find someone selling bohemian jewelry and leather goods no matter the day. Palermo Soho is better known for boutiques owned by local designers, with some restaurants mixed in.

Las Cañitas was once the favored neighborhood of the military powers during the dictatorship period of 1976 to 1982. A military training base, hospital, high school, and various family housing units still remain and encircle the neighborhood, creating an island-like sense of safety on the area’s streets. Today, the area is far better known among the hip, trendy, and nouveau-riche as the place to dine out, have a drink, and be seen in the fashionable venues built into converted low-rise former houses on Calle Báez.

Some of the major attractions in Palermo include (see map below):

  • Botanical Gardens: includes a greenhouse with plants from all over the world with rotating art shows. Stone paths wind their way through the botanical gardens. Flora from throughout South America fills the garden, with over 8,000 plant species from around the world represented. Next door, the city zoo features an impressive variety of animals.

    Av. Las Heras, at Plaza Italia, across from subway entrance.
    Free Admission
  • Japanese gardens and culture tours: tucked in the midst of all the other Palermo gardens is this tiny gem opened in 1969 in honor of an official visit by one of the Japanese princes.  Beyond the lake, there is a Cultural Center, with a small museum and various art exhibitions.

    Av. Figueroa Alcorta, at Av. Casares
    #: 11/4807-7843
    Admission US$1.50
  • Museo Evita: opened on July 26, 2002, in a mansion where her charity, the Eva Peron Foundation, once housed single mothers with children. While the museum treats her history fairly, looking at both the good and the bad, it is quickly obvious to the visitor that each presentation has a little bit of love for Evita. Whether you hate, love, or are indifferent to Evita, this is a museum that no visitor to Argentina should miss.

    Calle Lafinur 2988 at Gutierrez
    #: 11/4807-9433
    Admission US$2
  • Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA):  The airy and luminous museum houses the private art collection of art collector Eduardo Costantini. It is one of the most impressive collections of Latin American art anywhere. Located in Palermo Chico

    Av. Figueroa Alcorta 3415 at San Martin
    Admission: uS$1.75

Where to eat in Palermo (see map below for location):
These are highly recommended places but there are many other options as well. Please include time to allow for service that is usually considered slower than service in North America. Also there is a cafeteria at La Rural.

  1. B’art: Argentine/International/Spanish.- Adrian Fuentes opened this restaurant after working at a McDonald’s employee in the United States for 20 years. However, the restaurant differs greatly from the American chain. He opened this restaurant, serving the best Argentine meats, many of which are used for dishes prepared with both Argentine methods and old-world Spanish traditions. Among the menu items are tapas, casseroles and pinchos, a kind of kabob. This restaurant sits in an 1885 building, laced with a rich history.

    Borges 2180, at Paraguay.
    #: 11/4777-1112.
    Main courses us$6-US$10. No credit cards
  1. Bar Uriate: International/Italian-This restaurant came into the scene as one of the city’s most chic places to eat. They have many creative dishes, from veal ravioli to saffron risotto to skirt steak with olives and thyme  There is a long bar with moody pink light on the walls, and lounge area to sit and chat with friends. Saturdays and Sundays have a special brunch menu.

    Uriate 1572, between Honduras and Gorritti
    #: 11/4834-6004,
    Reservations are highly recommended
    Main courses US$8-US$12, Accepts AE, MC, V.
  1. Central: Latino/Mediterranean- This restaurant is highly recommended. The severe architecture, cold grays, steel elements and clean white marble slabs stand in contrast to the warm, wonderful service and excellent food. A small patio out back also offers outdoor dining. Food portions are large and the menu has only eight main selections, which rotate seasonally. Salads are superb, sometimes with bitter flowers thrown in the greens for colorful, tasty touches.

    Costa Rica 5644, at Fitzroy
    #: 11/4776-7374 Reservations recommended.
    Main course US$8-US$10, accepts AE, MC, V

  1. El Diamante: International- The restaurant has only 60 always-full seats, including an open air roof terrace. Catholic saints in niches between Art Deco window panels original to the building give it a unique Latin America sense. The food is a mélange of Latin America and European influence of various ingredients. One main dish, Peshuga de pollo, combines chicken with pumpkin, zucchinis, lemons and olives- a mix of cultures and flavors. Risottos and tapas are among the specialties and a blood sausage and pear tapa makes a daring sweet and savory combination.

    Malabia 1688, between Honduras and El Salvador
    Main courses US$6-US$10 accepts AE, MC, V
  1. Novecento: International- With a sister restaurant in Soho, Novecento was one of the pioneer restaurant of Palermo’s Las Canitas neighborhood. Fashionable Portenos pack the New York-style bistro by 11pm, clinking wineglasses under a Canal Street sign or opting for the busy outdoor terrace. The pastas and risotto are mouthwatering, but you may prefer a steak au poivre or a chicken brochette. Other wonderful choices include filet mignon, grilled pacific salmon and penne with wild mushrooms. Top it off with an Argentine wine.

    Baez 199, at Arguibel
    #11/4778-1900, reservations recommended.
    Main courses US$4-US$7, accepted AE, DC, MC, V



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