Buenos Aires is a fascinating city, a heady mix of European influences and Latin passion. Its tree lined boulevards and wide-open green spaces seem familiar, yet the strains of Tango music are never far away. Tango isn’t just a gimmick for the tourists, Porteños take it very seriously, frequenting local clubs called milongas, where they meet to practice this dramatic dance. French-inspired architecture dominates in iconic landmarks such as the Teatro Colon Opera House and the Recoleta cemetery and colourful suburbs such as La Boca and San Telmo are teeming with music, cafes and antique markets. Trendy neighbourhoods like Palermo beckon for those who love innovative dining, artisan boutiques and chic urban nightlife, while newly modernised Puerto Madero makes a great place to stroll along the Rio Plata, perhaps with an ice-cream, something of a local obsession.
This port city is also the gateway to the Tigre Delta, a natural landscape of meandering canals, elegant promenades and ageing buildings from a bygone era or cross the famous Rio Plata by hydrofoil to reach Colonia or Montevideo in Uruguay in no time. An hour’s drive brings you to the grasslands of the Pampas, where gaucho culture reigns supreme and local estancias play host to visitors keen to saddle up and perhaps try a game of polo. Sample some centuries old cattle-ranching customs, epitomised by the asado – an immense outdoor barbeque that is famous throughout the country. Whether you stay within the city limits or venture further into the hinterlands, Buenos Aires is a charming, sophisticated and elegant start to your travels around Argentina.