The sultry heart of Latin America

With the 200th anniversary of Argentina's independence from Spain approaching, now is the perfect time to visit Buenos Aires, says Ruth Jackson.

Next year is the 200th anniversary of Argentina's independence from Spain, and Buenos Aires is already throwing itself into the festivities with celebratory events throughout the year. So if you've ever dreamed of visiting the sultry heart of Latin America, now is the time to go.

The Jardin Escondido (00 1 501 824 4085; is "very much the place to stay" in Buenos Aires, says the FT. Francis Ford Coppola bought the property while shooting his latest film there, but when he's not in residence, the place is either rented out as a whole to groups of ten, or run as a bed and breakfast. Coppola "is every bit as accomplished a hotelier as film director" and the secluded colonial mansion with a hidden garden is a magnificent base for a holiday.

A siesta might be in order before you step out for the evening. Dinner in Buenos Aires is a late affair, with restaurants not filling up until nine or ten pm and many diners don't even turn up until midnight. When you get hungry, head for Cabana Las Lilas (00 54 11 4315 1010; It's popular with the locals, so book ahead to make sure you get to "enjoy the best steak of your life", says Simon Calder in The Independent. Around 200 pesos (£35) buys a large steak and a couple of glasses of wine from the restaurant's "formidable" list.

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After dinner, check out the Faena hotel (00 54 11 5787 1536; for a "spectacular" tango show, says Ann Abel in ForbesLife. The two-hour 'history of tango' performance takes place in an intimate, red-curtained setting and has it all: "sultry twosomes, big production numbers, sequins and feathers". And if you want to try a few steps yourself, then why not visit Dandi Royal (00 54 11 4361 3537; It's a hotel, dance school and perfomance centre, and "a good place to experience the art form", says Calder.

Black Tomato (020-7426 9888; offers five nights, plus flights, at Jardin Escondido from £1,699 a person.

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings accounts and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping, among many other titles both online and offline.