Dubbed the "Queen of the Plate River" by Argentine author Carlos Romero, Buenos Aires is Argentina's cosmopolitan capital with a population of over four million. It is the country's center of manufacturing, banking, culture and intellectualism. Often referred to as the "Paris of South America," Buenos Aires displays very little of its Spanish heritage as it was largely forgotten during colonial times. The city experienced its boom in the 19th century taking its cue from Paris. Based on the original Spanish settlement, old Buenos Aires was laid out around a central plaza, bordered by a fort and armoury, the city hall and cathedral. This ensemble was to become the Plaza de Armas, later to be redesignated as the Plaza de Mayo.
There are ample opportunities to stroll and shop in fashionable Calle Florida and Avenida Santa Fe, to test the famous tea-rooms and nightspots, and to explore further afield amid this intriguing scenario of 'Evita' and the hypnotic tango. If you have time it is possible to seek the gauchos of the Pampas and travel to the famous Iguazu Falls by air.
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