Argentina is one of the most gay friendly countries in the world.
Since the fall of the repressive dictatorship in the 80s, the Argentinian government has been so supportive of the LGBT community that today it even promotes and funds a week in early August called BADiversa, which includes the Gnetwork360 gay travel conference.
In terms of marriage equality, it was the first country in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage in July 2010, making it the 10th in the world – before the USA, UK and France.
We came to the big city for two months and discovered the gay life of Buenos Aires. As well as a really active gay scene, we discovered some unique and extremely romantic experiences as a gay couple. Here are our five favourites:
01. Learning to dance Tango as a gay couple
What’s the first thing you think about when you come to Buenos Aires other than Madonna’s Evita? Tango! There’s of course plenty to do in the city, but for us, our favourite activity was learning tango at a queer milonga (tango hall) in San Telmo.
At its inception in the 1880s, it was danced between 2 men, but very quickly the concept of same-sex tango dancing got lost…. Until 2002 when it became fashionable again with queer tango schools popping up all over the country, like Tango Queer or La Marshall.
Dancing tango as a gay couple was one of our favourite memories from our travels in Argentina.
02. A romantic evening walk in Puerto Madero
Puerto Madero is the old port of Buenos Aires recently revamped into a very cool neighbourhood with lots of bars and restaurants. An evening walk here when it’s all lit up with your boyfriend to hand is quite simply, magical.
The architectural highlight is the iconic Puente de las Mujeres (“Women’s Bridge”) – a pedestrian bridge meant to represent a couple dancing tango. The lit up river bank at night makes it the ideal place for a romantic walk.
03. Learning to cook Argentinian food together
If like us you love cooking, you’ll want to check out a few cooking classes in the big city. Cooking together is something we enjoy back home and we always try to seek out a few classes in each new destination we visit. It’s also a great way to learn more about the culture and traditions of a new place.
We took a class in Palermo, which included an empanada contest, going face down in steaks, learning about the popular mate tea drink and of course, dulce de leche. This is caramelised condensced milk and they use it on anything sweet – it’s kind of like the blood of Argentina. Here Seb learnt how to use to put together alfajor de maicena cookies:
04. San Telmo Sunday Market
The famous market is the best place to go to get a feel of the city’s history – this is one of the oldest neighbourhoods and they’ve retained that feel. On Sundays the cobblestone streets of the neighbourhood are lined with antique sellers, buskers and tango buskers perform on almost every other street corner… Your Instagram gallery is crying out for it.
We also love Sundays in San Telmo because after (many) hours shopping, the best place to chill out is the gay Pride Cafe, located next to the market. Sunday it’s busy with a cute local crowd – and they do a damn fine dulce de leche brownies.
05. Visit an Estancia and become gauchos
The poncho-clad gauchos are an iconic and emblematic part of Argentina. Historically they were the free men of Argentina in the 1700s and 1800s, who rode horses and would rear the many cows, then trade them. The method of herding cows was controlled, so gauchos had to instead enlist to work at an estancia (cattle ranch).
Estancias are everywhere across the country, but today they are more for tourism than anything else but worth visiting. With our ponchos to hand, we watched the sun set over the Argentinian countryside together and became the Nomadic Gaychos.