Help Yogic Traveler
Okay let's talk urban...
What are your favorite cities in Central and South America?
I'm looking for somewhere that is relatively safe and also liberal.
Medellin is really artistic, cool, and safe. If you go, make sure not to stay only in the zona rosa which is more commercial. Cabs are cheap, so go ahead and take them a lot.
Super safe, very modern and liberal, with good nightlife. Oh, and gorgeous.
Many first-time visitors to the Chilean capital will tell you it's just a giant eyesore. That was exactly my first impression but I'm thrilled that family connections have influenced me to return many times since over the years and get to know the city much more intimately. There's the Santiago of 1980s glass buildings: ugly and lacking any charm. Then there's the Santiago of its 1930s heyday - some unique and distinctive architcture, sadly mostly neglected today. The city boasts some incredibly good restaurants too. While I wouldn't recommend Santiago as a destination in its own right, bookending a trip to explore other parts of Chile with a couple of nights here at the beginning and end is worthwhile.
Ecuador is really opening up to international tourism, reflected by the number of interesting hotels (not just the usual chain gang suspects) and restaurants springing up in Quito. The city itself oozes Spanish colonial charm and is well worth spending a couple of days exploring before spending some time in either the nearby cloud forest or, further afield, the Galapagos Islands.
I was thinking Buenos Aires might be a good place to start and that has certainly been confirmed by your recommendations. I am a fan of European style cities and it also helps that I love dancing tango! :)