Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, has many distinct cultural offerings and is a great place to start exploring the rest of the country. Buenos Aires is a unique destination that not only has extraordinary views, but will also allow you to explore this bustling urban environment.
If you’re a fan of parks and natural spaces, be sure to check out the promenade in Palermo in the eastern part of the city. Here you’ll find open spaces and a large lake with paddle boats you can rent and a free flower garden you can tour.
Another place to walk to and see the Argentine street life in a safe area is the El Puerto de Buenos Aires. Although this street is fun to explore by day, it’s not recommended for the novice to travel here at night.
Another exciting place to go in the daylight hours is the La Boca region. This area has the Caminito pedestrian street, lined with arts and crafts booths where you can buy unique souvenirs. You can also take a river cruise here to see some of the sights. La Boca is famous for two things – football and the tango. You can take a tour of the famous La Bombonera Stadium, where tango dancers will be happy to charge you a small fee to pose with them for a souvenir picture.
However, getting your picture taken with tango dancers is a bit of a contrived experience, and you really shouldn’t leave Buenos Aires without a true tango experience. To get that, you need to find a Milongas. Interestingly enough, a milonga is both a place where tango is performed and a specific style of tango. There are several monthly magazines that can guide you to a good club, or you can turn to Vammos, a Buenos Aires event community. There, you can get recommendations from locals on the best places to see live tango dancing.
Milongas typically take place either during the day or very late at night. “Matinee Milongas” start in the early afternoon, and are a good place for beginners. At these events, you’ll find many locals who are more than willing to show you how to dance. The night Milongas officially start at around 11:00pm, and can go until 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning. Clearly, these are for the hard core only!
Another option for tango beginners are the group lessons offered at many tango studios. Some of the most popular schools are found at the Centro Bourges Culturel, on the very top floor. It can be very hard to find the actual place, so ask security people where the “Escuela de Tango” is located. It can be very hot in summers in the room, but well worth the experience if you’re game. The Centro is within the Galerias Pacifico, an overpriced American-style mall near Calle Florida.
However, the best way to learn tango – especially if you don’t have a partner – is with some private lessons. By asking around, you’ll find instructors who charge as little as 50 pesos per hour. And if cost isn’t an issue for you, you can find award winning dancers who charge $100 dollars or more an hour. Somewhere between those two extremes, you should be able to find an instructor to meet your needs.