Despite the fact that Argentina is a Catholic country, Buenos Aires is one of the world's top gay destinations, with dedicated hostels and guesthouses, bars and nightclubs. In 2002 BA became the first Latin American city to legalize same-sex civil unions, and in July 2010 Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage. Today the city is home to South America's largest gay pride parade.

Argentine men are more physically demonstrative than their North American and European counterparts, so behaviors such as kissing on the cheek in greeting or a vigorous embrace are considered innocuous even to those who express unease with homosexuals. Likewise, lesbians walking hand-in-hand should generally attract little attention.

Look out for the free map of local gay-friendly businesses, Circuitos Cortos BSAS Gay (www.mapabsasgay.com.ar). Good general websites are www.thegayguide.com.ar and www.nighttours.com/buenosaires.

Accommodation, Bars & Entertainment

An especially gay-friendly accommodation is Lugar Gay, a casual guesthouse that also acts as an information center.

Check out the gay bars Sitges, Flux and Pride Cafe. The best nightclubs are Glam, Rheo at Crobar and Amerika. A long-running lesbian bar is Bach Bar.

Casa Brandon is an art gallery/cultural center. And for a fun night of guided drinking and partying, there’s Out & About Pub Crawl.

Finally, gay tango classes and milongas are given at La Marshall at El Beso and Tango Queer.