Buenos Aires, Argentina, Big City Travel Bargain of the Decade?

Buenos AiresI recently visited Buenos Aires, Argentina and I have to say, my experience was starkly contrasted with Charlie’s. I am not going to rehash everything Charlie covered so I strongly suggest you read his article first, and then my counter to it. I also have to preface my reflections by saying that Argentina is at the beginning of another one of their famous catastrophic currency crises (others may argue that they’re well in the middle of it but I think this is the tip of the iceberg), so your mileage may vary in terms of prices.

Since I already touched on the currency crisis, let’s start with prices. If spending US Dollars or Euros everything was cheap, cheap, cheap when I was there. The “official” exchange rate would have made things moderately priced (note: still not expensive, by any means) but only a fool transacts business at the official exchange rate. If you have Euros (or US Dollars) you change them to Argentine Pesos on the “Blue Market” (read: grey or black market). Just head on down to Florida St and you will easily find Blue Market money changers. I don’t know if they have a special price for gringos that they swear by or if the market is just very efficient but I didn’t find much give between one guy and another. I was quoted rates that varied by only about 1% to 2% and the variance seemed to be more about how much I wanted to change rather than which guy I was talking to. So in other words there wasn’t much to be gained by hard nosed negotiation. When I was there they were changing at the rate of about 17 pesos per Euro or 12 pesos to the US Dollar. There are online resources such as DolarBlue on Twitter that give Blue Market rates and I found it to be fairly close to what I could get on Florida St but you travelers must be aware that the rate can fluctuate significantly even over the course of a day.

So with the “changing money” topic out of the way let’s discuss prices. Taxis were the equivalent of $4-$6 USD pretty much anywhere I wanted to go within the center and they also seemed to be honest, which is something I consider to be a big plus since ripoff taxis are a major problem for travelers in many other world cities. Dining and drinking out was the cheapest I’ve ever seen in any big city of that size and caliber. Wine and beer was commonly available for between 20-30 pesos (~$1.70-$2.50 USD). My dining experiences were the complete opposite of Charlie’s. Of course steak is a big part of the menu, Argentina is one of the world’s largest producers of beef but I had no trouble finding alternatives including vegetarian fare. The place for eating and drinking out is in Palermo and you will find many options. I ate high quality filet mignon with all the trimmings (read: delicious sauce or marinade and at least two garnishes on the plate such as fresh salad and a caramelized onion tort) for 115 pesos ($9.60 USD) with extremely drinkable local read and white wines for 84 – 120 pesos ($7 – $10 USD). This kind of food was pretty much universally available. Palermo really reminded me of New York City or even the Hollywood neighborhood in Hong Kong just with less Asians and less hills. Long story short, dining and drinking out was a high point of the trip.

I also found boutique hotels in Palermo to be of high quality and exceptionally low prices. The place I stayed had posted rates of $70 USD with the rate in pesos changing according to the idiotic whims of the corrupt government. Incredibly, above and beyond the available currency arbitrage they were offering a 15% cash discount for USD or 10% for Argentine Pesos – the joys of a currency crisis, gotta get those Pesos and spend them before the become more worthless than they already are and even the day or two it takes to process a credit card payment apparently can count for something significant. Anyway, the bottom line is I paid only the equivalent of only $42 USD for a room with a posted rate of $70 for an effective discount of 40% off what was already a fairly low price for the quality of the room I got and the location. Nightly happy hour 20 Peso ($1.70) drinks in the lobby didn’t hurt my experience either.

Having covered prices, food, drinks and hotels let’s move on to the women. Again my experience was very different than Charlie’s. I found the porteñas to be classy, well dressed and beautiful with many real stunners to be found. I won’t say it’s Eastern Europe but it was damn close. Although happily committed myself, I hung out with a single friend there and he had absolutely no trouble approaching girls and finding company for himself. On one night the very first table of girls he approached we ended up drinking and partying with till the sun came up. Fun, interesting, laid back, approachable and spoke English. They didn’t seem to have trouble paying their own way and all this was happening on a Tuesday. I absolutely cannot reconcile what Charlie had to say about the porteñas with my own experience.

Overall, for western travelers (read holders of Dollars, Euros, Swiss Francs, British Pounds, etc.), I’d rate Buenos Aires a “Strong Buy”.  Even at double the prices I paid I’d give it at least a “Buy and Hold”. Palermo is the go-to neighborhood for hotels, eating, drinking, coffee shops, etc. The prices would have to atleast triple for me to even think about using the words “expensive” or “pricey” to describe anything I did in Buenos Aires – it is important to remember that Buenos Aires is a major world city, you cannot expect prices that rival middle of nowhere Thailand or Malaysia or something like that although right now I’d say Beunos Aires is even a little cheaper than many touristy places in Southeast Asia!

I’d like to close with a hilarious anecdote: On my way out I took a ferry out of Buenos Aires. When I went to buy tickets they refused to take my Argentine Pesos, USD or credit cards only (which of course will get you fucked over with the “official” exchange). The tickets were priced in Pesos, but they wouldn’t take Pesos in cash. Incredible. Governments the world over, they’re all the lowest form of subhuman scum you will ever find.

You may also like...

  • 0—

    You have to be pretty much blind and deaf to come to Charlie’s conclusions (I’ve lived there for about half a year)

  • Lonny

    Come on guys, don’t let this site slip away. its one of only handful of normal sites about women and travel that I like!! I will even submit some articles if youre not able to write at the moment.

    • Yes, we need guest contributors. Send your articles in!

    • skins2014

      I’ve heard great things about Argentina and I’m currently planning my South America adventure. I’d be happy to write some articles for your blog since I’ve got some good info here in the past. Currently exploring South East Asia. Drop me a line!

    • Agreed, submit.

  • anon1

    Do you guys not update the site anymore? I used to love reading stories of your exploits in Bulgaria and south east Asia. But seems like you guys have quietly shelved the site?

    Its a shame I loved reading the articles

  • Tom

    New content is needed.

    Deeper coverage of Eastern Europe and how to understand and game the girls would be best. I understand the women there like blunt talk up front to avoid the pitfalls of the dating game- Greek kamami on Roosh V forum and Roosh in his Bang Ukraine basically even said EE women will even take on guys called sponsors who they I’ve sex to for economic purposes. Also if you want sex you must tell them your terms up front otherwise they’ll try to milk an American guy for dinners and attention indefinitely and I don’t mean not date them and treat them like scum all I’m saying is if you aren’t bold blunt and direct about what you want and what you’ll tolerate they’ll play you for a fool. Coverage of EE college towns and lesser know. Cities (pecs Hungary, Brno CZ, Galati Romania, Samara, Russia, Donetsk Ukraine, Rsezow Poland etc) would be awesome. Don’t follow the herd do what other game bloggers aren’t doing.

  • The Chief

    You fuckers ever gonna put some new content up?

  • The only trouble with Argentina is now that the currency is so unstable. You never know what you will get. Plus you need to bring in cash which is something I really don;t like to do.

    • AD

      @mightytravels – You don’t need to bring in (much) cash. As a UK resident I used the online company Azimo to send money to myself whilst in Argentina at the blue rate. I think US residents can use Xoom, and there might be other companies serving other countries.

  • Rama

    I am a PUA from Buenos Aires, the prices for a apartment here (with furniture) can go between 700 and 800 USD and without furniture are 500USD, the official dolar is now in 8 pesos. The black market dollar or “blue dollar” is at 11.50.
    The goverment probably cant hold the dollar much more, some experts predict an official dolar at 10 by June-July

  • Lonny

    I agree. one of the coolest and most clued up women ive known was from argentina. it makes me suspicious of all the “its impossible there” travel puas.

  • JD

    Single Dude Authors and Readers-
    Whats the Latin American equivalent of Boracay Island or Na Trang???

    Good food, beautiful beaches, fun activities, great nightlife, and reasonable-does such a place exist on the beach in Latin America??? Do you guys find the Pacific Side of South AMerica better for surfing???

    Many thanks in advance

    PS-Do you argee that Colombianas and Mexicanas have the best Latina bodies (I’m all about curvy hips and some tetas)?

    • Johnny C

      I would say Punta Del Esta in Uruguay. You kind of need to take a plane from Buenos Aires to get to a decent beach resort. Like so many big cities surrounded by water, you would expect a local beach, but nothing decent nearby that I know. The locals in BA go to Punta. I also recommend the big waterfall, Iguazu for a few nights, it’s not a party or resort scene at all, but its pretty amazing and a short flight. Hope that helps. John

    • Johnny C

      Also in Brazil there a bunch of spots like Floriana although I have never been that are supposed to be great. I think in Brazil you will find more of what you are looking for. Punta has gotten a bit snobby, and it ain’t all that really. Being from California I’m hard to impress beach wise.

  • Scott

    Bondi Beach is fantastic. Sydney women can be assholes though.

  • Johnny C

    I just spent 2 months in BA (Nov – Dec). And I agree on cost of iiving benefits. It’s a pretty cool city with a very laid back vibe for such a big place The laid backness actually took some getting used to, especially over the holidays which were very low key. I rented a beautfful 3 bed house in Palermo Soho which was amazing and about 1/2 what I pay for a 1 bedroom condo in Singapore. I would say food quality is variable but you can get anything there, it’s a big sophisticated city. People are friendly and very encouraging of your pidgeon Spanish (if like me you don’t speak Spanish). Girls are very very cool, down to earth, but definitely not the knock out model quality the popular press leads you to believe. The coolness however makes up for it. Net, het, I would definitely go back for a spell, but only after having learned some more Spanish. I’m happily ensconced in Singapore for the moment, which is definitely not for the “faint of wallet” but a great place otherwise. I agreed with some of the knocks against Singapore but have a different take on Singapore except for the fact that it is absurdly expensive. Singapore is actualyl great place also if you can afford it. I’m off to Sydney (Bondi Beach) in a month, and will report from there.

    • Can you tell us how much approximately that 3 bedroom place cost per month?

      • Johnny C

        Not cheap, $5,500 but it was peak season and very high end, pool on the roof that kind of thing. Still about 1/2 what I pay in Singapore and something comparable in LA would have been 25% more. You can rent a 2 bedroom apt in Palermo for probably $1,500 USD.

%d bloggers like this: