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Buenos Aires Cruises

Dubbed the Queen of the Plate River by Argentine author Carlos Romero, Buenos Aires is Argentina's cosmopolitan capital and to Portenos synonymous withArgentina. It is the country's center of manufacturing, banking,culture and intellectualism, but shows very little of its Spanishheritage. The city experienced a boom in the 19th century, taking itscue from Paris, and since then is often referred to as the Paris ofSouth America.

Based on the original Spanish settlement, old BuenosAires was laid out around a central plaza, bordered by a fort andarmory, the city hall and cathedral. This ensemble became the Plaza deArmas, later redesigned as the Plaza de Mayo. Nouveau Buenos Airesrivaled New York as a port for European trade. Landed gentry withestancias larger than some countries hired Parisian architects todesign urban villas for their visits to town. The modern parts of thecity feature glass office buildings, often adjacent to those done inornate French style. One out of every three Argentineans lives inBuenos Aires, finding the city irresistible. The world has few citiesthat are enjoyed as much as the millions of PorteÑos enjoy theirs.

The heart of the city's history is concentrated around the Plaza de Mayowith the Town Hall, the Casa Rosada (the presidential building) and theMetropolitan Cathedral. The cathedral is an important religious landmark and national historic site. It contains the tomb of Jose deSan Martin, Argentina's most revered national hero. Near the square aresuperb restaurants, movie theaters, boutiques, art galleries and thepedestrian street Florida. It leads to some of the city's finest hotelsand offers plenty of shopping opportunities.

Few cities share Buenos Aires' ambiance, lifestyle and the amenities that make it so endearing to residents and visitors alike.