Argentina fizzes with culture, history and effervescent contemporary lifestyle, and is one of the most exciting countries to visit in South America. Two cities that should be top of the must-visit list on any luxury holiday to Argentina are Buenos Aires and Salta, which provide a fascinating contrast of fast-paced chic and centuries-old Incan heritage and cultural tradition.
Buenos Aires is cosmopolitan heaven, with its European-style architecture, passionate and friendly residents (Portenos), cultural landmarks and an energetic buzz that repeatedly enthralls visitors. In the Recoleta Quarter you’ll find the best museums and art galleries, spectacular restaurants and bars, ornate architecture, leafy parks and an impressive number of designer stores on the opulent Avendida Alvear. Exclusive and sophisticated, the gentrified suburb is also home to the city’s most affluent residents. Of course, Buenos Aires’ most famous export is the tango and evidence of the passionate dance are found almost everywhere here, from street corners to tango houses (tanguerias), where talented exponents of the dance can be found delighting their audiences. In the pretty suburb of San Telmo (where the tango originated), La Ventanas puts on a great show each night, while those inspired to learn more can take a guided tour around the best tango spots in the city, stopping at a milonga (dance hall) to watch the locals dance. Indeed, there are many reputable, atmospheric tango schools where private lessons can be enjoyed, too. By stark contrast, Salta City oozes ancient history and tradition and boasts stunning architecture – including an ornate pink and yellow-coloured Catholic cathedral, the must-visit MAAM on 9 de Julio Square (where you can see the Lllullaillaco Children’s mummified remains, sacrificed by the Incas some five-hundred years ago), plus a multitude of craft markets where items made from alpaca wool, wood, ceramic and leather can be purchased as souvenirs or gifts.