Family

The World's Wackiest Theme Parks

by Colleen Clark

Tierra Santa
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Most people go to Buenos Aires for the steak and the tango, but they're missing the city's most fascinating cultural attraction: Tierra Santa. This religious wonderland recreates the Bible's most sacred stories…with robotic puppets and a Shakira soundtrack. The main attraction (as Scripture dictates) is the Resurrection: Every half hour, all action stops as a 60-foot plastic Jesus rises from behind the mountain to the triumphal strains of Handel's Messiah. In between, you can visit a faux mosque, see a fully animatronic retelling of both the Creation (lasers!) and the Nativity (more lasers!), and pose for souvenir photos with your head in the hand of a large, glowing Messiah. Grab a beer at the Baghdad Café before heading to one of the stage shows, where burly male belly dancers peel off their shirts to thumping fusions of Arab and Latin dance beats. Somewhere between the faux Wailing Wall and the camel photo op, the divide between visitors here for religious reasons and those who came out of bemused wonderment blurs into a general feeling of shock and awe. Tierra Santa, how great thou art!

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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