Argentina: The Best and Worst

So it is finally time to wrap up my time in Argentina. Almost four months in this country, the longest I’ve been in any one place for quite a long time. It’s been fun but I am more than ready to move on!

But not before I recap the past few months…

Total Days in Argentina: 99

Amount Spent: (I’m only counting the first and last week to give a better view on travel versus LIVING in Argentina. So this is for 2 weeks, one in Buenos Aires and one traveling the country) $862

Amount Per Day: $61.50 a day. This seems pretty accurate to me. Argentina is NOT a value destination by any stretch, particularly in Buenos Aires.

Places Visited: Buenos Aires, Rosario, Cordoba, Mendoza

 Favorite Places: Rosario (where I should have lived) and Mendoza

Least Favorite Place: Cordoba. I was so uninspired I didn’t write a word.

Most Memorable Moments: Wine tasting in Mendoza, catching a major protest in downtown BA, hosting dinner parties in our lovely top floor apartment.

Biggest Misconception: That Argentina is a budget destination- prices are on par with Europe these days! In Buenos Aires we were hard pressed to get a (non self-catered meal) for less than $7 a person and even crappy dorm rooms in hostels are $15+.

Best Meal: Too many to choose! Many steak dinners at La Cabrera and the asian fare at closed door Cocina Sunae.

Worst Meal: Nothing was bad per se, but my goodness did I ever get tired of eating the same things over and over and over. Variety is not the spice of life in Argentina.

Most Annoying Thing: The crazy inflated price of groceries and the constant craving for fresh veggies.

Most Visited Attraction: I ended up at La Recoleta Cemetery three times! I know I said I love cemeteries but this was entirely unintential I swear.

Best Wildlife Shot: Look at those parrots from Temaikan zoo. They totally want to rip my face off.

Best Advice: Don’t just visit Buenos Aires, get out and explore the rest of the country! Also don’t come in Jan/Feb unless you like the sensation of being roasted alive.

Biggest Regret: Not making it to Patagonia. Sigh. Hopefully it will be in the budget next time….

Would I Come Back? Definitely, although I’ve had my fill for a little while at least.

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Veronica
Veronica

Hello. I am originally from Argentina Rosario, Santa Fe and I have to say I am very surprised people think there is no fresh veggies!!! Are you kidding me? I have a vegetable store in every corner. I love Argentina and never get tired of beef, empanadas, milanesas, pastas. facturas and much much more. Enjoy it. It is a great place to visit.

German
German

The days of the “blue dollar” are gone. There is only one exchange rate now, the official one. However, at 15,5 pesos per dollar (october 2016), Argentina offers very good value for money.

ruthisan
ruthisan

Yeah I feel like Argentina is a destination for people of the first world, unfortunately we found it much too expensive and the quality for what we were paying for was somewhat lacking. Unfortunately or fortunately it isn’t a long stay, we’re here for a five day trip to Mendoza from Chile, heading back on Saturday (not that Chile is the cheapest either). We found the average meal is about $8.36US to over $10.00US, we haven’t found a decent meal for less than +-$6.00US. I’m not sure if that’s normal in the US but from where I’m from (South Africa),… Read more »

a. wanderer
a. wanderer

It seems you didn’t learn about the Blue Dollar before your trip, because the AR$80 meal you mention would actually be US$6. Still, prepared food is relatively expensive in Argentina, but if travelers bypass banks to get the blue rate they save 40%.

Brian Kohn
Brian Kohn

We just got back from two months in Argentina. I feel you on the veggie cravings. I will say that the recent blue dollar rates have made the country a little more budget friendly, but far from a Peru, Bolivia, or Ecuador. You really just have to time it with the inflationary cycles to get good value (which is now!). And, yes, Patagonia is incredible and would be worth a trip back.

William Slokem
William Slokem

I was in Argentina in March 2010. Would love to go back! You talk pricey! Try living in Vancouver. I call it Monaco North America! I thought Argentina was quite reasonable.

tim
tim

Currently “Consumer Prices Including Rent” in Vancouver are 18.31% higher than in Buenos Aires but the salaries are twice as much on average.. You’re talking 2010 prices, Argentina is an economic disaster with a real annual inflation rate of 30%+ (government likes to show it lower than it is).. may offer quite a lot of culture and all but is still a poor Latin American country with high crime rate that should have prices accordingly and shall do soon with another collapse. This is not USA or West Europe..

Milly Day
Milly Day

I’ve been in Buenos Aires for almost a year now, the food cravings I have are unbelievable…I want some veg, some spice, less meat and more herbs & spices por favor!!

ande
ande

Wonderful blog! Argentines are definitely not adventurous eaters, that is the bane of my life here! I have to offer a dissenting opinion on the prices though — it is still a budget destination if you are in the know. The thing is that some travelers don’t realize the huge difference between the informal exchange rate and the official exchange rate. If you get money from the ATM (getting the official exchange rate, of a little more than 5 pesos to the dollar) than yes, it is fairly expensive, BUT if you bring cash or wire yourself money (thereby getting… Read more »

Reima
Reima

Wow to see that it has changed! I was in Argentina in 2009 and it was cheap for me! A lot cheaper then and a few years later to hear this! I’m sad that its becoming more expensive. I absolutely loved Argentina! The food was really good, easy to get around, and so much to do! I went in February of that year and thought the weather was perfect! Well, besides Mendoza, because it was really hot at that time! I also can’t wait to get back to see Patagonia! I regretted not being able to go there then.

john
john

Thank you for your report. I have been to sao paulo and it is super expensive as well as Buenos Aires. Stay away from Big Cities, most city folks are rude and obnoxios. When I went to the small towns and resorts, eating was dirt cheap. I do agree with you on lack of vegetables. Argentina as well as Brazil do not have vegetables. They do have a of fruits though. If you are a meat eater, then these countries are heaven. Stick with the small resort towns that locals go to. You will be treated like you are super… Read more »

Marc
Marc

i’m not agree with you about cordoba…

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