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Combing history, macho activities and old-school Porteño flavour, the Man Tour offers travellers an inside look at the panache of Buenos Aires men.
The unique (and secret) agenda, researched by tour founder Jed Rothenberg, ties together three classic locations that focus on fading, male-oriented local arts -- the straight razor shave, a custom hat workshop and a classic cigar bar.
The tour starts in Plaza Congreso where Jed gives tour participants an overview of local history, shares insights into the surrounding architecture and teaches the group how to formally prepare, serve and drink mate, traditional Argentinean tea.
The second stop is one of Buenos Aires’ oldest and most traditional hat shops; it’s been family-owned for five generations. Tour participants can have their hat size measured using a 200-year-old machine that was made in France and imported to Argentina. The purchase of a hat is optional.
Next the tour heads to the neighbourhood of Caballito via the atmospheric A-line subway that still uses the original 1903 train and passenger cars. The destination is an old-school barbershop where participants can enjoy one of the last remaining straight razor, hot towel shaves in Argentina -- it is recommended not to shave the day before the tour. As the barbershop also functions as a bar/cafe, the shave can be paired with a Cinzano (vermouth) and soda, a classic Buenos Aires beverage.
The last stop on the tour is a cigar bar where participants can smoke a Cuban and drink from a selection of high quality spirits. Chocolates, cheese and coffee are also served.
While obviously male-centric, the Man Tour can be enjoyed by women as well, with the cost being $190 for a single gentleman traveller, $145 per gent in groups of two or more and $260 for a male/female couple. This cost includes all refreshments, the shaving service and cigars, and transportation to, from and during the tour.
Tim Fitzgerald is the Buenos Aires Localite for BBC Travel. He also writes gringoinbuenosaires.com.