Two of our Go! Girl guidebook writers, Page & Erica, have landed in Argentina! They’re working hard at gathering information for Go! Girl Guides: Argentina; A Woman’s Guide to Traveling in Argentina, and are having a blast along the way!
Here are some of their tips on what to know about Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1. Be Aware of the Repatriation Visa Fee
US Citizens have to pay a $140 visa that allows entry into the country for 10 years. If you intend to pay cash for said visa, best plan on brining brand new bills, as bills with even a slight ink smudge will not be accepted.
In recent years, Argentina has abolished this fee for US travelers. Check the Department of State’s website before traveling to see updates on visa fees.
2. Use Radio Taxi to get around Buenos Aires
Upon a recommendation, we stuck to catching only Radio Taxi’s while in Buenos Aires, as we know they are registered and regulated. Both of our experiences with this company so far have proven successful.
3. Avoid airport exchange rates
The exchange rate offered in the airport is significantly worse than what large banks and exchange centers offer (at the time of this post, the airport offered $AR3.7:$US1 while the large exchange centers downtown offer $AR4.4. Our situation landed us somewhere in the middle: we changed a small amount at the airport, and then because we were running a bit late (banks here close between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm) a cabbie took us to a mall to change our bills.
We got a 4.25 exchange rate at Metropila inside the mall in Buenos Aires. Additional side note: we left the cabbie outside and told him we would return with pesos. There were lines, so we took a while. He hunted us down inside and charged us $10AR for the inconvenience. Fair enough.
4) When bus drivers say ‘solo centavos’ they mean they only accept coins.
And they’re not joking. We got booted from one bus when we proved to be coinless. Lesson: bring coins. Break your big bills in grocery stores as finding change can be difficult.
5) The men (and women) are beautiful
Period. All of them – so there are lots of flirting opportunities. Live-it-up. But, don’t take it farther than you are comfortable, and always maintain boundaries and stay safe.
6) Our rusty Spanish has proven invaluable
We’re brushing up quickly, and both feel that if we didn’t at least have some basic Spanish in our tool belt, we would be in trouble. This country is difficult to navigate if you don’t speak at least minimal Spanish.
7) Overall, we felt incredibly safe—especially in Palermo, a neighborhood of Buenos Aires where we are staying.
The biggest threat we encountered was the lack of respect for pedestrians by quickly moving automobiles. Don’t hedge your bets on pedestrian rights; follow locals and stick to smaller crossings where possible.
Page and Erica are now off exploring northern and southern Argentina! Erica is currently in Salta, while Page is down South near El Bolson.
Follow along here with their adventure!