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Buenos Aires, Argentina

Adina Oditt
Staff Writer

Situated along the banks of the Río de la Plata, Buenos Aires is South America’s most complex, energetic, and seductive port city. Buenos Aires was born with its eyes looking to-ward Europe, as it is sometimes referred to as the “Paris of South America.” Porteños, as the multinational people of Buenos Aires are known, possess an elaborate and rich cultural identity. They value their European heritage highly, as Italian and German names outnumber Spanish, and the lifestyle and architecture are markedly more European than any other in South America. This capital city is divided into 48 districts that attract millions of tourists each year.

Airlines: Known as Argentina’s international gateway, Buenos Aires is easily accessible from North America, Europe, and Australia, as well as other capital cities in South America. The main airport used to and from Buenos Aires is Ezeiza International Airport. Airline carriers that fly non-stop to EZE are American Airlines, British Airways, Aerolíneas Argentinas, LAN Airlines, Delta, and Iberia.

Hotels: Buenos Aires has a great selection of hotels ranging from budget-priced to luxurious. Accommodations are sprinkled throughout each of the districts. For example, in the district of Palermo, there are hotels on the higher end while San Telmo boasts budget hotels and hostels downtown. Tourists can find common name hotels such as the Hilton and Sheraton in Puerto Madero, an old port area. Apartments are also popular as pricing is very good and living space is larger than an average hotel.

Attractions/Sightseeing: In a single trip, it’s nearly impossible to experience everything Buenos Aires has to offer. During the day, take a stroll through the gardens of Plaza Francia, which fills each weekend with dancers, living statues, street artists, and astrologers with the future in their hands. Buenos Aires is the site of the Teatro Colón, an internationally rated opera house. There are several symphony orchestras and choral societies. The city has numerous museums related to history, fine arts, and modern arts. In Palermo, one of the most exclusive districts, are the city’s most expensive restaurants intermixed with the bars of the Feria Plaza Serrano. On weekends, the Palermo Woods and Rose Garden are ideal spots for walking, playing soccer, and boating. Other nearby attractions include the Jardín Zoológico, the Galileo Galilei Planetarium, and tea offered in impeccable Japanese gardens. Take an evening stroll down Avenida Corrientes (Corrientes Avenue), a bustling street, symbolic of Buenos Aires. It’s full of cafés, theaters, pizzerias, and bookstores, some of which are open past midnight on the weekends. Stop by the city’s oldest and most elegant cemetery, the Cementerio de la Recoleta (Recoleta Cemetery). Nearly 15 acres in size and graced with elaborate marble mausoleums, the remains of former presidents, Nobel Prize winners, and even Eva Perón rest here. Lastly, the Festival Internacional del Tango is held bringing tango dancers from around the world to strut their stuff.

Cuisine: Argentine cuisine is famous for having a Mediterranean blend with Spanish tradi-tional tasting. Argentinians are known for their high protein diet, especially beef. As a result, the most popular meal is “el asado” or “parrillada,” a mixed grill of steak and other cuts. A traditional parrillada includes meat, sausages, chinchulines (small intestines), riñones (kidneys), and morcilla (blood sausage), but don’t let that put you off unless you are a vegetarian. It is pre¬pared over charcoal or a wood fire and accompanied by chimichurri, a tasty marinade and often served with different types of salads and/or fried potatoes. There are also restaurants often referred as “Parrilladas” that strictly serve barbecued meat and chicken. Some of them are called “Tenedor Libre” and they are “All You Can Eat” for a fixed price. For des¬sert, it is common to see Porteños having fresh fruits, ice cream, or flan with “dulce de leche” (sweet caramel). The flan is quite popular because it is delicious and is a renowned delicacy.

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