I plan on spending a couple months in Argentina starting in late-March. I’m a white American male in my early 20’s, primarily interested in the nightlife and the architectural sightseeing aspects of Buenos Aires. Since you seem to be well-aware of the unpleasantries of Argentina, I was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me:
1. While I believe I’ll be spending the majority of my time in Buenos Aires, I also plan on traveling around. How do the crime rates in Buenos Aires compare to the crime rates in other Argentine cities? How do they compare to the crime rates of major cities in Chile and Uruguay?
They are worse than Chile and Uruguay for sure. How bad? No one knows for sure since we don’t have realistic numbers and to make matters worse few people bother to go to the authorities and file a report after being victims. The same cops advice you to get over it and not waste time in most cases.
The most optimistic say its as bad as any mayor city.
Many of these optimistics have never BEEN to other cities of the world and just repeat the official propaganda like zombies.
It's not like major 1st world cities, believe me it's worse. Even if the women are nicer than anywhere you've ever been to.:)
2. Aside from not wearing/carrying flashy items, showing off money, wandering side streets alone at night, or wearing a facial expression that reads “I’m a clueless gringo,” what else can I do to avoid being targeted for pick-pocketings/muggings/kidnappings?
Try dressing like locals. Similar to Americans mostly but the clothes are generally more "well worn". Dressing shiny new clothes will make people notice you, even if they do so unconciously.(clean but relatively worn T shit, jeans and sneakers is what I'd wear)Careful with your cell, cell phone snaticing is like the second unnoficial national sport. 1st one being futbol.:)
If I were you I’d carry a give-away wallet in case you get targeted by armed burglars. Have cards you don’t care about and say 50 pesos(less than 20 USD). That way they’ll leave you alone and you don’t loose your important documents and all your money.
Also carry your money in a hidden traveler’s pocket. Don’t leave the cash at the hotel, even the safe isn’t something I’d trust 100%
Try not to speak to much, the accent is a giveaway. And when you speak try to keep your voice down as much as possible.
3. Anything else about Argentina you think I should be aware of before I depart? I haven’t purchased my ticket yet, but I plan on arriving around the 19th/20th. So if there's any reason why I absolutely SHOULDN'T come to Argentina now, please let me know. :)
Thanks for your input, and keep up the good work!
Argentina is still a great place to visit.
Today I heard on the news that we went down 7 positions in the chart of the most popular countries to visit compared to last year. We’re below the top 50.
Crime and inflation is doing that. It’s not as cheap as it used to be and it’s certainly less safe.
Come here, have a good time. But remember this isn’t USA. Being stupid can get you killed.
When Bush’s daughter visited, not only did she get her purse robbed in San Telmo, one of here secret service bodyguards tried to play tough guy in one of the local nightclubs and ended up hospitalized. They beat him up pretty bad.
The best advice I could give you is stay on known tourist locations. If you’ll be traveling around, do it with someone that knows the country and you trust his good judgment.
Just picking a bus and traveling around might sound very adventurous but it’s very dangerous.
For nightlife, doesn’t matter who you talk to or what others tell you: Don’t leave downtown Bs As, places like Belgrano, Recoleta, madero, costanera.
“I know this great club out in the suburbs” No dude, don’t go. Serious. There’s enough women and nightlife in safe places, only locals know the few good places in the suburbs and even those are FAR more risky than the ones in Capital Federal.
Don’t get me wrong, you can get drunk and do lots of silly things, it’s just that the risk factor is not similar to USA.
Take my advice and have fun but don’t get totally drunk, don’t go to other people’s places. Even the hot chick that invites you over to her place near by may have a couple of very mean, very big pals to beat you silly and rob you once you get there.
In terms of crime, trust women as much as you’d trust guys.
If I were you, I’d at least buy a pocket folding knife and OC spray as soon as you get here.
These are all reputable places, find the one closest to you.
These two are relatively near Obelisco, and have knives and OC spray.
Explorer Pro Shop
Lavalle 423 (entre San Martín y Reconquista)
Lavalle 965 - Capital Federal - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel.: (54-11) 4326-3367 / 0665 / Fax: 4325-1441
There also a creepy gallery bellow Obelisco, where a guy has a shop with lots of knives and some OC as well as camping gear, etc. It's connected to the subway accesses.
Have a great time, but always be careful , ok?
If you happen to be here and need help, send me an email and I’ll see what I can do.