So you’re traveling to Argentina? To tango? To eat the best steak you’ve ever had? Argentina’s reputation has proved itself among tourists since long ago: the vast plains and its “gauchos”, the breathtaking NorthWest and its multicoloured mountains, the Iguazu falls, Ushuaia and the end of the world, the vibrant streets of Buenos Aires…
The reasons to go to Argentina are countless, and so are the opportunities to enjoy it. However, going to Latin America requires you to do a bit of research, and to know one or two things to avoid culture shock or any unpleasant surprises. Here are a few recommendations before you go!
1. Adaptability is the key
As in any country, watch what locals do,how fast they walk, where they go and where they don’t.
There are a few places in Buenos Aires that you should avoid during day and night. To know about them just ask around if you are in touch with locals, or ask the tourism office and they’ll be happy to help.
As a solo female traveler, don’t expect crazy nights out where you can walk back home tipsy by yourself. That’s a big no no! If you want to go out, make sure someone will take you back home, better safe than sorry.
I’m not a huge fan of carrying loads of cash with me, especially when the situation is delicate. But as Trisha explained in her post, Argentina has been suffering from an economical crisis since 2011(and before), which makes it difficult for foreigners. Bring dollars with you (euros work too but the market is craving for dollars) and if you can, exchange them in the black market. Your purse will thank you later!
3. Mode of transport: be patient!
Argentina is a big country and has lots to offer but it takes time to get somewhere.
The fastest way to travel around would be the plane, as you’ve probably guessed. However Argentina is worth also for the adventure and the beauty of its lanscapes. Taking the plane would take you to the main sights and you would miss all the fun in between.
The train is by far the cheapest means of transport, but it’s incredibly slow and train stations tend to be a bit dodgy. Also, being the cheapest way to move around, tickets have to be bought a month in advance!
The bus would be the best option, depending on how you like travelling. They are relatively cheap and they litterally go everywhere. For those who like travelling with more comfort, the first class buses are amazing: huge bed seats,food and movies. Better than a plane!
4. Enjoy life
The way Argentines do. Slow down, take the time to look around and enjoy. Take the time to smile to people, to talk to them and you’ll get yourself in situations you’d never thought you would live. We’re usually very curious and sociable people, why not be a part of us?
5. It’s better in Spanish
You’ ll always find someone who speaks French, Italian, Portuguese or English but Spanish will save you a few headaches, and will help you meet new friends! Start withbasic Spanish then move on to common Argentine expressions ( some of them can be found here). Everyone likes the visitor who makes the effort to speak your language, even if it’s just a little bit!