Who knows anything on Buenos Aires/Argentina?

Asking for travel advice again… I am leaning towards going to Argentina now, but I was wondering if anyone had any further advice about Argentina. If I go to Buenos Aires (which I’d like to) are there any beaches to hang out at nearby? Seems a shame to be so close to the ocean and not go in it. Anything specific you’d recommend to do in Argentina? I intend to eat a lot of steak and seafood…

Buy leather!

Make sure you book some time to visit Uruguay (a short ferry ride) and Chile (a short but breathtaking flight over the Andes). Again, go to Chile if you are serious about seafood.

Buenos Aires is a city that could take you months to see and enjoy (at least the way I like to travel and see cities, which include hitting all the non-touristy places).

You will be there at the right time to go to the beach, and I understand there are plenty of good beaches, not far from BA. I do not have any first hand experience with this, so I will leave it to the locals.


How long are you planning on going? What time of year?

The locals I knew went to Punta del Este, Urugay for “beach” activities. Although there may be plenty of good beaches, that was the place to be.

Go to the Plaza de Mayo, but research it a little bit before you go. Wiki link It’s really moving when you realize all of the history that’s going on. It’s also strange to be so close to their version of the White House… there’s no barrier between you and the Casa Rosada. You can walk right up there and hang out.

When I was the subway system or, “subte” was described as riding an elecrified stage coach. It is. But it is also cheap and reliable. Don’t bother with the busses; they’re crazy to navigate and cabs are dirt cheap. On that note, get a cab that says “radio taxi” on the side, because they’re safer than independent “taxis.”

If you’re there over a weekend, go up to the Recoleta Cemetary for the weekend art fair. Touristy, but you can pick up some great stuff on the cheap. If you go into the actual cemetary, you can see Evita’s final resting place. It is NOT marked with any kind of directions, so know where you’re going beforehand.

Go to San Telmo and La Boca, but do it during the day. I lived in BA for a month and was comfortable enough going around town (big city, be careful, use your head), but this was the rough and tumble part. It’s also where you can see the colorful buildings like this.

Eat some ice cream! I liked the Freddo stuff, but I’m not enough of a chowhound to know what’s better. So creamy, delicious, and cheap.

Depending on how long you are planning on being there/how much you’re willing to spend, I would urge you to spend 2 or 3 days at the Cataratas/Iguazu Falls. It’s a two hour plane ride from BA on Aerolineas Argentinas. The Sheraton is right there in the park, and it is hands down the most gorgeous place I have ever seen. There are huge walkways over the falls, you can take a boat that drives right into them, you can look across the river and see Brazil, and just take in the most beautiful views in the world. When Eleanor Roosevelt went there she said, “Poor Niagra.”

Check out the chowhound dot com boards about places to eat. You can get the best meal of your life on the cheap thanks to the exchange rate. Go into a Havanna store and buy alfrejores. They’re little cookie carmel sandwiches…yum

Check out Teatro Colon on a tour. The interior is amazing.

I’m sure I’ll think of more. Do it, you won’t regret it.

and yes, buy leather.

We’re headed to Patagonia in February/March and our tour includes three days in BA and four days in Bariloche. And a tango show! (They seem very proud of that part.) I want to buy some custom riding boots (dress boots): I heard a story on NPR about a shop in BA. El Gusaro? Any recommendations?

My FIL who travels the world 100x more than most people went to Buenos Aires for the first time last year and loved it. It supposedly resembles Paris in architecture but much cheaper (understatement). I had a men’s magazine (no cite but still true) that toured Buenos Aires and tried to find the most expensive, elegant restaurant in the city and go wild for themselves. The bill was still less than $20 a person with wine and drinks. If you like meat and leather and architecture than you should be all set. I would love to go but it is so much farther from Europe from here even if the time zones don’t change much. Up until a few years ago, they used the U.S. dollar almost everywhere. The had a currency crises though so I am not sure whatever became of that.

A week, in Jan or Feb. Iguazu Falls sounds awesome–maybe a side trip. Thanks everyone for all the great advice so far! I’m sure it will help my trip. I’m getting really excited about going now.

The short story is 2000/2001 the bottom fell out on the currency, which had been tacked to the US dollar. After they floated the currency, the middle class had their savings wiped out, which was beyond-words-terrible for the people of Argentina. The result for a tourist, however, is a 1 dollar = 3 peso exchange rate.

If it is only one week, then I suggest sticking to Buenos Aires with a hop to Uruguay. That way you won’t be wiped from a week on the road. There is more than enough to see in BA to last you a week.

Although I agree with Sapo about sticking to BA, Iguazu Falls is unfuckingbelievable. Crazy birds, crazy falls (comparable to Niagra, Victoria, Angel, or Yosemite Falls), and crazy butterflies.

I second taking the hop over to Uruguay. It’s a cheap ferry ride. I did an overnight stay in Montevideo and stopped in Colonia for lunch.

Oh yeah, I forgot. I’m not an opera fan, but I went and caught an opera at the Teatro Colon. Back in 2002, you could get a standing room only spot in the upper deck for $5. It was terrific, plus there were plenty of empty seats.

From what I could tell, BA is on the Rio de la Plata, the world’s widest estuary. It’s a huge wide muddy river so I’m pretty sure it isn’t renowned for its beaches. I think you have to head outside the mouth of the estuary for the nicer beaches. It is not an insignificant distance, check it out on a map. When I was there in 2002, I stayed at a 4 star hotel for something like $20. The steak joints are fantastic. Huge globs of animal matter cooked on giant infernos.

I don’t know if the scam is still going on, but when I was there, if you go to the oldest part of town (buildings from the 1700’s), someone may just drive by in a car and squirt a noxious mustardy substance all over you. Immediately some friendly women will run up to you and help clean off and try to drag you into a nearby bathroom. They are also trying to pickpocket you. I happened to read about this scam in Lonely Planet and managed to fend them off. Don’t know if it is still happening, but I thought I’d give you a heads up.

Some suggestions:

El Tigre - a natural area on the Rio de la Plata delta about an hour from BA

Evita’s tomb in the Recoleta Cemetery is worth a visit. Many other famous Argentineans are buried there also.

Wine wine wine!!!

If you’re a guy, I hear the women are supposed to be amazing, btw, just a little tip :slight_smile:

Oh, and along those lines, if you’re a woman, I’ve heard that unless your v. petite and thin, finding clothes can be hard, so maybe clothes-shopping isn’t a great idea.


I live is Bs As, it is jolly nice
Amazing grace nailed most of it.
Jan, Feb will be hot. Hot sweaty and hot. It is 23C right now, shoudl be 30C by the weekend and it is not going to get any cooler.

Drink wine , eat cow, eat ice cream.
Should you get fed up of that, there are other things to do.

Beach wise you would really need to head down to Mar del Plata, Pinamar or Carillo to get to a nice beach, these are 4-6 hours away, or 10-12 if it is a holiday weekend as the entirety of Buenos Aires heads out onto ruta2 and attempts to kill themselves in highway traffic accidents. Carillo is very nice. Mar del plata gets very crowded in summer.
Now the nice thing about jan and fevb is Bs As is all the portenos have gone to the beach and the city gets a little calmer.

Teatro Colon is in the midst of a major renovation so is closed right now

You could head up the river into the Entre Rios province, although I don’t think the river beaches are in very good condition.

A hop over the water in the Buquebus to Punte del Este or Colonia in Uruguay is well worth it. It used to be possible to drive, but the bridges are mostly closed due to the dispute over the Botnia cellulose plant at Frey bentos.

Heading further afield there are just so many places to go and visit, but it is a damn big country and with just a week it is probably not worth leaving the confines of Bs As and its’ immediate area. Flights are a major pain in the butt right now as the airline pilots and aerolineas are debating what to do over overdue vacation for pilots, resulting in a whole heap of flights being canceled. However there are very comfortable over night coaches with big bed seats.
if you do want to go to Igazu (and it is hellishly impressive) I would book flights with your tour operator prior to getting here. Staying at the Sheraton in Igazu is nice - book very early.

Bs As specifically, yeah it is a big city and crime can be an issue, follow all usual big city advice, don;t be a jerk, be nice, and although a lot of people speak English knowing a few works can’t hurt. Fake money from taxi drivers is the scam of the day right now. That said I have always felt safe when wondering around.

El Tigre is nice, bring mozzie repellant. La boca and surrounding areas are nice old worldy sort of bs As, but don’t be around there at night. There are quite a few organised tango shows, in that area. Not my cup of tea and a bit of a tourist trap type event if you ask me.

If you can get tickets to a football game then Boca juniors have a daunting ground and they are a little excitable. River have a nicer ground , but are also excitable. In fact all argentines are pretty excitable about football. If you want to kick off a conversation with a taxi driver, ask them what team they support.

EMSA is now a memorial to the people who were killed etc etc during the dirty war.
Puerto Madero is the old port area, lost of food places down there.
The exchange rate is about 3.15 to a dollar, although things have been getting expensive. A lunch of a small pizza just set me back 25 pesos, a coffee is getting up to about 5, and a good meal out at one of the higher end places will probably be setting you back 100 pesos per person. OK in comparison to the rest of the world that is probably quite good.
Well that is all that is jumping out of my head right now, feel free to ask any specifics and I will see if I can dig up some local info.

I have never been there myself, but have several friends in rural areas of Argentina, and own an Argentinedog. My friends are all dogueros so as far as city tourism goes, I can’t help you–but if you’re into dogs or boar hunting or barbecues, I’m your girl.