Photo: Getty Images
Buenos Aires is the defacto cultural capital of South America. Known for its European-style architecture, sultry tango, and delicious food and wine, it's the perfect spot to spend all or part of a romantic honeymoon south of the Equator. Here, our ideal itinerary for a Buenos Aires honeymoon.
What to see and do
Much of the appeal of Buenos Aires is living the life of the Portenos, as the locals are called: strolling the tree-lined cobblestone streets and admiring the European-style architecture, indulging in fine wine and tender steak, and dancing the tango (or just watching) as night falls.
Wander some of the city's neighborhoods, such as San Telmo, where there's a bustling outdoor flea market on Sundays, or Recoleta, home of the famous above-ground La Recoleta Cemetery where Eva Peron is buried. See a show at Teatro Colon opera house or tour La Casa Rosada, the Argentine version of the White House.
When it comes to tango, you have several options. Plenty of tango houses offer lessons and many offer shows and dinner as well. For a more informal experience, head to the milongas (neighborhood tango bars) or simply watch for a show on the street, as many dancers double as street performers working for tips from the crowd.
Check out life outside the city on a day trip to the pampas, the fertile grassy plains that stretch south from Buenos Aires. This is the home of the gauchos, Argentina's cowboys, and the cattle that makes the country's famously tender steak. Some working ranches (estancias), like Estancia Los Dos Hermanos, welcome guests for horseback rides; these trips almost often include lunch (delicious beef, of course) and sometimes include entertainment like rodeo skill demonstrations, gaucho music, and dance.
Another popular day trip is the ferry ride to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. It takes about an hour to cross the Rio de La Plata to this UNESCO World Heritage site, a town of gracefully aging buildings and cobblestone streets lined with classic 50's cars. Check out the 17th century Convent of San Francisco and the ancient city gate and wooden drawbridge and have a delicious lunch of fresh-caught fish before heading back to the bustle of Buenos Aires.
What to eat and drink
Argentine cuisine is a mix of indigenous and Mediterranean influences; you'll see a lot pizza and pasta on menus alongside empanadas and steak. The steak is famously tender and parillas (steakhouses) are found throughout the city. One of the most iconic is La Brigada, where the walls are covered with photos signed by celebrities and the steaks so buttery that they are cut with a spoon tableside. For a quick bite, try the empanadas, which can be baked or fried and are filled with beef, corn, tuna, ham and cheese, or dozens of other tasty options. For dessert, there's nothing better than dulce de leche, a sweet, caramel-like paste often used to fill crepes.
To drink, do as the Argentines do and sip caffeine throughout the day with mate, a drink of yerba mate tea traditionally served in a hollowed out gourd and sipped through a straw; come dinner time, relax with a glass of fine Malbec from Mendoza, a two-hour flight (and easy side trip) from the city.
Where to stay
The 1932 Alvear Palace Hotel is the city's finest accommodation. Located in the tony Recoleta neighborhood, it exudes old world elegance and has the service to match. Fresh fruit is placed in each room and staff will press one item of clothing upon arrival. The hotel has two restaurants, two bars, a spa, and fitness center, and butler service is offered for select room categories.
On a smaller budget, the modern Fierro Hotel, in lively Palermo Hollywood, offers a rooftop pool and spa, onsite restaurant, and close proximity to some of the city's best restaurants.