There is so much to do in Argentina that no traveller should ever leave it out. One of the chief attractions of the country is most indubitably the Aconcagua peak near Mendoza because it is easily climbable and requires you only to acclimatise slowly and steadily. The locals are fascinating with their interesting Spanish accents and their friendly yet vivid manners. Let us look at the top six things you should know before visiting Argentina!
There are a couple of things to know about the taxi drivers of the parent country of the aforementioned world-famous peak. First and foremost, they are your best choice when it comes to moving about during night-time. While most people often believe that this only applies to women (true to some degree), men can get harassed as well. If you are an objectively attractive person to some night owls in Buenos Aires, for example, you might run into a few whistling problems. This is where taxis come in – your safe havens. Yet there is a downside: some drivers are downright impolite and they can go rogue at any time, meaning that they will become pirate cabs and take you on unnecessarily long rides just to extort celestial amounts of money from you. If you see metres in their cars, make sure that you urge them to start them or even if you do not plan on going for that, agree upon a price before they move their cars.
2. The Golden Compass:
Yes, the movie was awesome but that is not what we are getting at here – what we mean by the Golden Compass is that you should know where you are if you do not want to end up in one of the more undesirable barrios of the larger cities. This is especially important because some of the tourist-friendly neighbourhoods are often close to certain more “broken down” ones (also known as slums or “villas miserias”). It is best to avoid these places as best as you can and make sure also that you do not carry too much money on you. Which brings us to our next point…
While most modern countries have no problems with accepting credit cards, you might find that Argentina prefers hard cash as opposed to “slim plastic.” Carrying change also saves the day in many cases for local vending machines and booths require that you have some (otherwise they cannot hand you your fair rest). Yet if you are visiting some more “ambivalent” areas, it is best to not leave your change clinking in your pockets for they might attract unwanted attention. Always keep to your business and carry only as much as you might need.
Cities like Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Rosario and even Mendoza are plagued by an over-abundance of stray dogs. They might even form small packs and move like that. Though most locals are not intimidated by them, they might appear frightening to visitors who are not accustomed to wildlife coexisting with modern man within the bounds of large urban areas. They are mostly friendly but it is best to keep them within your line of sight. Oh, and mind the occasional poo (wink).
5. A meat-eater’s heaven:
No matter where you might tread in Argentina, you will soon realise that you cannot elude meat. Almost every traditional and non-traditional dish will include some kind of meat for consuming animals has already become a signature part of their culture. Vegetarians might fall more in love with supermarkets than with restaurants, not to mention vegans. Cheese and other dairy products will also be abundant and you will find yourself in a state where you “cannot” order anything. Some higher-class restaurants do strive to maintain balance, though, so do not fret and enjoy your stay!
6. Souvenirs, wine and the fine nuances of the Spanish language:
You can tell by the attitude of the locals that they simply enjoy living. With living, thus, comes the enjoyment of sipping on fine wine and of relaxing. What we are here to tell you today is that you should leave plenty of space in your bag to carry back some wine and several souvenirs (for there’s plenty of them). In fact, souvenir-shops are so numerous that Argentina can almost contend with Greece (wink). Oh, and do not forget that speaking Spanish to some degree will help you tremendously in Argentina for many people do not speak English (this does not apply to the younger generation, though).
Did you enjoy our list? How your trip to Argentina was and what did you notice about their culture? Tell us all about it in the comment section below and do not hesitate to check back occasionally for some interesting updates!