ArteBA -- one of South America’s most important contemporary art fairs -- is bringing the biggest names in Latin American art to the Argentine capital.

Now in its 22nd year, the event will run from 19 to 22 May 2012 in La Rural, a large convention centre in the Palermo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires.  Last year, the four-day fair attracted more than 120,000 visitors.

This year, 81 galleries from across the globe will participate, representing works from 850 contemporary artists. The fair also serves as an important rite of passage for emerging artists, with special exhibitions to specifically highlight up-and-coming talent.

While the fair serves as a springboard for local and international artists to sell their work, most visitors simply go to enjoy the large collection of art.

Tickets cost 50 Argentinean pesos for a one-day general admission pass (25 Argentinean pesos for students). It is recommended visiting the fair on either the Monday (21 May) or Tuesday (22 May), to avoid the long weekend queues.

Tim Fitzgerald is the Buenos Aires Localite for BBC Travel. He also writes