Your gay guide to Buenos Aires

Considering a trip to South America? Although Rio De Janeiro’s famed carnival brings thousands to Brazil, it’s the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, that takes the honor of being the most visited city in South America.

The Argentine capital has just become considerably more accessible for visitors from the UK. Norwegian Airlines opened up a new, direct route from London Gatwick to the Argentine capital in mid February. Prices start from £275 (one-way).

The new route appears to have proved an instant hit. I took advantage of the Premium Economy section of its 787 Dreamliner. The flight duration is 14 hours, so I did appreciate the generous legroom and opportunity to recline and grab some sleep.

The Caminito district of La Boca - famed for its colorful housesThe Caminito district of La Boca – famed for its colorful houses (Photo: Travel Buenos Aires)

A couple of important recommendations when planning your trip. Argentina Pesos are a pretty rare currency in the UK – not available at most British airports or banks. If you like to exchange money in advance, either take US dollars (accepted by taxis), or make sure you change your currency well ahead of your flights.

Secondly, Buenos Aires taxis at the airport have a reputation for ripping off tourists. Book yours in advance for a set price. Reputable firms include Taxi Ezeiza, Transfer Express and Tienda Leon. Taxi Ezeiza charges AR$895 from airport to city – which is around £32 ($44/€36)

With your transport and transfers covered, you can now set about enjoying what Buenos Aires has to offer.

A Tango Queer dance sessionTango Queer (Photo: Karina Macchioli)

Tango Queer

I’d been in Buenos Aires less than 24 hours before I found myself with my hands on the chest of a strange man, learning my first tango steps.

A cliché? Perhaps, but what’s the point of travelling to the other side of the globe without enjoying some of the local culture?

Tango Queer was created in 2005 by Mariana Docampo and some friends. It runs weekly, offering classes and tango dancing on Tuesday evenings in San Telmo. You climb a large staircase to an old, first floor hall, where a small dancefloor sits in the centre of the room.

Mariana gives lessons in Spanish and snatches of English: you mainly learn by following her steps. You swap partners frequently, dancing with both men and women – some of whom were thankfully absolute beginners like myself.

It would probably be more fun to learn with a romantic companion, but my taster session was a beguiling introduction into this local, undeniably sensual art form. Mariana started us off gradually, showing us how to lean in and lead with our chests – indicating planned movements, left or right – to our partner.

The two-hour lesson passed surprisingly quickly. Admission for lessons and the post-lesson dance is just ARG$150 (around US$7.50), so it’s a cheap excursion, too. Despite turning up on my own, this proved to be….

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