Buenos Aires – Takes Two to Tango

A trip to Buenos Aires must be deemed incomplete without taking in a tango show, if not participating yourself in one of the city’s ubiquitous public dance halls.

And each March, the rhythms of tango take over the streets of the Argentinian capital for a six-day tango festival, making the city ideal for an extended Winter getaway – especially as Argentina’s southern hemisphere location means March-time provides guaranteed sun.

Running from February 28th to March 5th, onlookers are treated to a veritable tango-feast, with everyone who’s anyone in the world of tango performing for an adoring public

The event, organised by the Argentinean ministry of culture, sees free dancing displays featuring world-renowned artists held at venues across the city.

The Argentinean ministry of culture organises this extravagant party, in the birth city of this musical phenomena.

For those who want to join in, there are tango classes for beginners and masterclasses for the more experienced dancers, all for free.

The city, which has a true European feel, has emerged as a hugely popular tourist destination in recent years, with visitors taking advantage of Argentina’s economic problems which have driven prices to bargain-basement level.

If you’re there for the carnival, you will have to visit the quaint ‘barrio’ of San Telmo – claimed by most portenos (inhabitans of Buenos Aires) to be the true birthplace of tango.

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Visit the oldest city in the western hemisphere – Cusco.

Cusco is situated in a jaw-dropping valley, surrounded by six mountains more than 6,000 metres high.

It is comfortably the oldest city in the western hemisphere and the cradle of the Inca civilization.

One of the greatest archaeological finds of the twentieth century, the Inca citadel Machu Picchu, lies 80 kilometres south of the city.

Cusco gets its name from the Quechua word ‘Qosqo’ which means navel, meaning ‘Centre or navel of the world’ – given by the famous Cusquenian writer Inka Garcilaso de la Vega.

The urban aspect of Cusco changed a lot after their arrival, they built churches, casonas, and palaces over the main Inca temples, and only the Spanish were allowed to occupy them. An earthquake in 1650 finished with the transformation of this once-great empire.

Cusco was built in the shape of a puma, one of the symbolic echelons of Inca existence, lending the city a peculiar sprawling aspect.

Cusco harbours many great artistic treasures, its churches dripping with the plunder of the conquistadores. Cathedral walls are draped in gold and bear the paintings of great artists such as Marcos Zapata, Rafael de Urbina and Melchor Huaman.

The architecture draws upon a great variety of styles: Baroque, Rococo, Churrigeresco, all lending the city a hybrid personality.

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