I’ve been asked, is Argentina really dangerous?
WELL, I did hear from friends who stayed there for several months that mugging was extremely common. So is theft and getting ripped off.
However, if you stay smart and take the necessary precautions, you should be all right. Here are some of my top tips to have a safe trip.
A wonderfully colourful place that has a section catering to tourists (“La Caminita”). However, do NOT venture anywhere else beyond the touristy part – even locals will tell you to GTFO for your own sake.
image from http://www.socialphy.com
Clearly the touristy part of La Boca
2. Mugging and pickpocketing
is extremely common. Please be very careful. Do NOT walk the streets alone, and if you have to at a late hour, just take a cab back.
Watch out for your bags and handphones as well – iPhones are particularly ‘popular’. In fact, just leave your phone at home if you can help it.
On average I paid between 40 – 80 pesos, whether it was afternoon or night for 20 to 30 minute cab rides.
Note that both taxi types look very similar – the differentiator is that sign topper!
4. Fake monies:
Watch out for fake money! This is especially so for 50 and 100 peso notes (there are two types of 100 peso notes currently in circulation: one with a gentleman on it, another with a lady).
There are four key ways to figure out if you’ve received a fake note and whether you should take on the burly guy lurking in the corner of the money changer. Or not.
The value of the note should be printed in a shimmery ink at the top of the note. No shimmer, no glimmer.. of erm authenticity.
Don’t feel awkward about checking your notes upon receipt: it’s a common practice in Argentina.
For more information and illustrations, check out this site. It even has a quiz to test your powers of recognition (how handy):
Look for a rate that is at least 9 pesos to 1 USD. The official rate was 6.2 pesos to 1 USD, and many places will offer 7 to 10.
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