BUENOS AIRES European Gay Style With Latin Flair
Date Published: 1/1/2008
A warm and gentle climate coupled with the Spanish influence has made Buenos Aires the hottest destination in South America for gay vacationers seeking a genuine Latin experience from Tango dancing and historic architecture to elegant dining and vibrant nightlife. The city’s original European settlers came mostly in the nineteenth century from Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Exploring Buenos Aires, you will sense a sort of deja vù of Europe while you explore the splendid boulevards, classic architecture, plazas everywhere, extensive parks, and ever-changing style of Argentina's stunning capital city. You will quickly understand why this city is known as “the Paris of South America” populated by sophisticated Porteños as the local residents are known.
Buenos Aires is the gateway to Argentina and whether you are vacationing in the city or heading for the magnificent water falls at Iguazu, wine-tasting in the Mendoza vineyards, skiing at Bariloche, whale-watching at the Peninsula Valdes, glacier walking at Perito Moreno, or boarding a gay cruise ship, your time in Buenos Aires is certain to be memorable.
Perhaps one of Argentina’s most valuable tourist attractions is the low cost of living and shopping bargains to be found here. If a bottle of good wine or a liter of beer for two dollars sounds appealing then you will also be pleased to rent a cozy vacation apartment for just under two hundred and forty dollars per week. Even gourmet restaurant dining is affordable when a three course dinner with wine can readily be enjoyed for under twenty dollars Canadian per person. This is certainly the vacation bargain of the year which I have found during my travels.
Although there is no gay village in Buenos Aires the community is spread throughout the centre of town. The districts of Recoleta, Palermo and San Telmo are very gay and the local bars, restaurants and clubs are found mostly in these areas. People sometimes refer to the gay Barrio Norte district which isn't actually a district but includes parts of Recoleta and Palermo. However, many gay places are within a relatively short walk or inexpensive taxi ride of each other. These districts of Buenos Aires are some of the safest zones of any major city in South America and visitors should feel secure walking around day or night---however, sensible precautions should never be abandoned.
Sidewalk cafes, Argentinean beef grill-restaurants---renowned for the best beef in the world---and cheap shopping make this a wondrous gay destination. In 2002 same-sex civil unions were legalized in Argentina and the legal age of consent is sixteen. Over the last two years the city has become well known for its liberal attitude to gay life so that it has become one of the new choices for gay holidays. Buenos Aires now has over sixty gay discos, restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, saunas, movie theaters, and possibly the best-looking Latin men you will see anywhere.
The gay scene in Buenos Aires, in common with other cities in South America, starts very late. Apart from one bar (Flux) and the cruising bars and movie theaters, nothing really starts until around midnight. Very few people arrive at discos until 2AM but then the discos quickly fill to capacity and line-ups occur, particularly on Saturdays. The principal discos and bars mostly operate from Thursday to Sunday but there are show bars with comedy drag and strippers open seven nights a week. Most of the cruising bars, cinemas and saunas are open seven days a week, with some being open 24 hours throughout the weekend.
Renting an apartment for your stay in the city will make you feel like a Porteño soon after you arrive in town. The convenience of having a well stocked kitchen and being in a residential neighbourhood rather than a tourist zone will prove to be very benef