Corrientes’s compact colonial core makes it a good walker’s city, at least in winter or during the cool morning hours. In practice, the best walk is an evening stroll along the riverfront Avenida Costanera General San Martín, which enjoys spectacular sunsets across the slow-flowing Paraná’s glassy surface.
On the Costanera at the west end of Junín, the Jardín Zoológico (Avenida Costanera 99, tel. 03783/15-34-1356, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Tues.–Sun., free) focuses on regional fauna, such as caimans, Geoffrey’s cat, the puma, and birds like the toucan; there is also a serpentarium.
One block south of the Costanera, bounded by Quintana, Buenos Aires, Salta, and 25 de Mayo, the civic center is Plaza 25 de Mayo; it’s home to the Casa de Gobierno (governor’s palace), the legislature, and the Iglesia de la Merced, a landmark 19th-century church.
Where the Costanera becomes Plácido Martínez, at Juan Torres de Vera y Aragón, it’s a short walk to Calle San Juan’s Paseo Italia, a monumental tribute to the Italian community, but there’s a more impressive feature in the vivid Murales Históricos, a series of murals that turns the corner at Quintana and depicts the city’s history since colonial times.
Immediately east, dating from the late 16th century, the Convento de San Francisco (Mendoza 450) underwent an impressive restoration in 1939. Two blocks south, the Museo Histórico de Corrientes (9 de Julio 1044, tel. 03783/47-5946, 8 a.m.–noon and 5–8 p.m. Mon.–Fri., free) focuses on colonial art, antique weapons and furniture, and numismatics.
Bearing the name of Alexander von Humboldt’s 19th-century travel companion, the Museo de Ciencias Naturales Amado Bonpland (San Martín 850, tel. 03783/47-5944, 9 a.m.–noon and 4–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat., free) is a sprawling facility focusing on entomology and vertebrates, but it also has a good fossil collection.
In the 16th century, according to legend, insurrectionary Indians attempted but failed to burn a wooden cross that survives in the Iglesia de la Cruz, on the south side of its namesake plaza, bounded by Bolívar, Salta, Buenos Aires, and Belgrano.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition