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Local time Buenos Aires

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Things to do in Buenos Aires

Float above Buenos Aireas in a hot-air balloon

The ultimate way to escape chaos of Buenos Aires is in a gliding hot-air balloon above the city. Launching in Capilla del Señor, 80km (50 miles) outside the city, you can float over the beautiful countryside, spotting animals while admiring the views. The best time to take the one-hour flight is in the evening just before sunset. Tangol (tel: +54 11 4363 6000; www.tangol.com) can get you off the ground with tours that include transfers from your hotel.

Get caught up in a polo match

Ever since English cattlemen introduced the sport, polo has held a special place in Argentine culture. It continues to thrive amid the higher classes of society, so catching a match in Buenos Aires is easy, with many organised throughout the year. The Hurlingham Club (tel: +54 11 4662 5510; www.hurlingham-club.com.ar) is the most famous association in the area, but the likes of La Tarde Polo (tel: +54 11 4798 9231) offer one day lessons too.

Hoof your way around an estancia (ranch)

Horse riding is a true Argentine passion, and there are plenty of opportunities to saddle up in and around Buenos Aires. A great option is to visit one of the beautiful Estancias (ranches) in easy reach of the city, who run riding trips form their land. El Ombu de Areco (tel: +54 11 4737 0436; www.estanciaelombu.com) is close enough to visit in a day, and one of the country’s oldest ranches, while Dos Talas (tel: +54 22 4544 3020; www.dostalas.com.ar), offers sunset riding around a beautiful lake.

Play 18 holes at one of Argentina's best golf courses

Golf is a fast growing sport in Argentina and Buenos Aires is home to some of the country’s finest courses. Try teeing off at the challenging Jockey Club (tel: +54 11 4815 0022; golf.eljockeyclub.com) in San Isidro with its beautiful greens and tricky water hazards. Or test your mettle at the regal-looking Buenos Aires Golf Club (tel: +54 11 4468 1737; www.bagolf.com.ar) with its lumpy fairways and clawing bunkers.

Tour Buenos Aires on two wheels

Buenos Aires’ cycling provision is ever-improving and getting around on two wheels is one of the best ways to discover the city when time is limited. BA Bikes (tel: +54 11 6698 5923; www.babikes.com.ar) offer excellent rides around the key sights, but also have tailored trips focusing on food, the city’s burgeoning street art scene and even one designed for those looking to get the best photos of Buenos Aires in all its glory.

Featured Hotels

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Casa Calma

In the heart of downtown Buenos Aires, this wellness boutique equips its 17 rooms with jacuzzi tubs and six deluxe rooms have saunas. The vibe throughout is eco-chic, with furniture fashioned from recycled fabrics and floors crafted from sustainable pine. Healthy buffet breakfast, bicycle hire and an honesty bar are among its many attractions.

Faena Hotel

A pioneering design hotel, opulently contemporary Faena has been crafted out of a former grain warehouse along the docks of Puerto Madero. Designed by Philippe Starck, the interior is an eclectic mix of minimalist décor, regal furniture and quirky artefact, with facilities counting a spa, outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art meeting and events space and two stylish restaurants.

Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

A 5-star Park Hyatt property in the affluent downtown Recoleta district, chandeliers and working fireplaces set the tone in this grand palace - first built in 1934 and lovingly restored in 2006. The 165-room hotel commands an impressive array of art in its underground gallery, the Paseo de las Artes Duhau, and facilities include the Ahín Wellness & Spa with its indoor swimming pool, sauna and whirlpool.

Hotel Frossard

This centrally located hotel offers simple, modern facilities in an old, French-style house. Most visitors are attracted by the reasonable prices and ease of access to nearby cultural attractions rather than its specific charm. Offering bed and breakfast, Hotel Frossard is also surrounded by many of the city's finest cafés and restaurants which makes it a worthy budget choice in what can be a pricey city.

Telmo Tango

This friendly San Telmo hostel and bed-and-breakfast is a comfortable option for newcomers to Buenos Aires. Organised trips include outings to football games and sailing from Puerto Madero, and the English-speaking manager is happy to share his tips on the city. The building's top terrace is a nice little spot to catch the sun away from the busy streets. Ask for a room at the front of the building that benefits from a balcony.

Pop Hotel

This budget boutique hotel is located in the emerging neighbourhood of Villa Crespo amid a scattering of trendy cafes, art spaces and new restaurants. The hotel's design is fresh and urban, with 44 air-conditioned rooms boasting plenty of light and fitted with iPod docks and security boxes for laptops. The deluxe rooms offer private balconies and breakfast croissant delivery.