Archive for August, 2006

Argentina Economy

Argentina economy, argentina constructionThe current economy in Argentina is surpassing expectations and growth in many sectors continues to rise at a steady and healthy rate. The Argentina economy is the highest developed economy in Spanish speaking Latin America and business is currently robust in automobile building, new construction, and tobacco.

“The number is striking. We are not China, but growth is very strong,” said Rafael Ber, analyst at Argentine Research consultancy. “Everyone minimizes the rebound in domestic demand. But in cars and construction, it is higher than expected.” – The Foreign Ministry said.

Over the last 100 years, Argentina’s economical performance has been unstable at best and has often been a roller coaster ride out of control. In 1901, they were one of the richest nations on the planet. In 2001, one of the poorest.

But things are heading in the right direction with a focus on domestic production and self sufficiency. The 2nd best in the world at this, the first being Cuba. (Who Argentina adores.)

To read more about the Argentina Economy, Click here.

Buenos Aires Walking Tours

Buenos Aires Walking Tours, buenos, aires, walking, tour, tours in Buenos Aires, buenos aires city toursThe best way to see Buenos Aires is by walking or on a Buenos Aires walking tour. It is just that simple. This is a walking city with everything densely stacked and most of the treasures are above your head. Hard to see on a bus unless you are stuck in traffic. Which you certainly will be. Everyday I see tourists lined up outside the large hotel chains. They have bought the bus tour ticket. There are generally 2 different bus tours. The $20USD or the $30USD. I have taken both of these tours and was shocked at the lack of quality of them.

Here is what happens on a Buenos Aires City Bus tour. You wait at your hotel for about 30 minutes to be picked up. You then go around to a few other hotels and pick up more people. Then the tour begins. You whiz by the obelisko and if you blink, you will miss it. Forget being able to take pictures of anything. Same around the government buildings. Some Buenos Aires city bus tours will stop at the Cemetery. You are rushed in to see Evita, a few other grave sites, and rushed out.

Some of these Buenos Aires City tours are being translated from Spanish to English the entire time which means you miss out on even more information. Then you drive around dropping people off, then you get dropped off. Simply put, you are wasting your time and money folks. Trust me.

Buenos Aires walking tours are less expensive, give you the chance to take pictures, ask questions, and are usually private. Plus they are healthy too. As a traveler, its nice to stretch your legs.

For more information about Walking Tours in Buenos Aires CLICK HERE!

Because Beunos Aires is an intimate city, and filled with interesting history and unique architecture and culture, the best way to explore it is by walking with a guide. There are 3 or 4 neighborhoods within the city center that should not be missed.

The Recoleta and Cemetery Tour.

The Buenos Aires City Tour.

The San Telmo Tour.

Please click on the links above and follow them to more detailed information about Buenos Aires walking tours in English.

or contact me with any questions about Buenos Aires Tours in English at:

And enjoy your vist to Buenos Aires Argentina more!!

Driving in Buenos Aires and Argentina

Buenos Aires trafficWhen you are driving in Buenos Aires and Argentina you must always be extremely cautious for several reasons. If you have ever been to Italy, then you have some idea of how they drive in Argentina. It’s fast, aggressive and hectic everywhere from the city to the country.

Buenos Aires driving is aggressive. The streets are very narrow, there are always buses that pull out in front on you at any second, and then stop abruptly at any second. Taxi drivers can be dangerous too. Many of them are speed demons. The speed limits in the city are almost never enforced.  Basically, it’s total chaos about 14 hours of the day. Rush hour begins at 8am and ends at 8pm. Not to mention the impromptu protesting that can tie of the center of the city for most of the day.

My advice is always leave the driving in Buenos  Aires up to the professionals. However if you think you are a good driver, and want to test your skills, Buenos Aires will give you a thrill.

Driving in Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires drivingDriving outside the city is also very dangerous. Many of the main highways are 2 lane roads and you will have to constantly pass large trucks by entering into the opposite lane. This can really get tiresome after about 6 hours. Plus many people in the local townships use these 2 lanes for riding their bikes or walking. So you have to always be cautious of hitting people. Especially at night.

People drive very fast in Argentina all over the country. They  have a history of producing excellent race car drivers. Be careful driving in Buenos Aires and Argentina. But enjoy the thrill.

Buenos Aires Crime

Buenos Aires CrimeCrime in Buenos Aires Argentina is way down and compared to US cities, crime is extremely low. However, there does seem to be a recent increase in crime here lately as well as homeless people.

The most important thing you should know about Buenos Aires crime is that it is almost always nonviolent and involves purse snatching, pick pocketing, and petty theft. And when it does happen, and people witness it, the police are excellent at chasing down the thief. I have witnessed this more than once.

The second most important thing to know is that the most vicious crimes in the past have been kidnappings. A tradition that started in the 50’s dues to civil unrest and continued up until 2004. The government itself took part in this calling it the “dirty war “and are still facing humanitarian crimes today.

There are still wealthy people who are kidnapped and held for ransom and sometimes they are even taken hostage in their home however this is rare and is not reported much at all compared to several years ago. And in the not so distant past, even important corpses from the cemetery were kidnapped and held for ransom. Evita being one of them.

But as a tourist, the chances of this happening to you are slim to none. You will mostly want to concern yourself with the pickpocketer. And also, never take candy or any food or drink from people you have just met. I have heard more than one story about strangers befriending a tourist on a bus or a journey and giving them a date rape drug in some form, and then the “new friend” took off with everything they had on them.

It happenes. But, what is traveling without a little adventure? For me, living here has been much safer than any city I lived in the US. Violent crime is extremely rare. But Argentina is not Disneyland and you should always use some street smarts.

Homeless people

But I have noticed a trend here in the last few years. More and more homeless people. And it’s cold now too. The statistics about this are often outdated and wrong but what matters most is the day to day. And lately, homeless are becoming more a part of the landscape. They are treated well by others in general, and the police almost never bother them at all. Most of them are in transition but of course some of them are chronic.

Either way, they exist and remind us all of why we do some of the things we don’t want to do in life. Like work everyday and pay rent. Overall, for a city the size of Buenos Aires, crime is very low and homeless people are well behaved.

About the author of this blog.

Tom Wick is an American expat living in Buenos Aires. An expert travel consultant and tour guide offering free travel inforamtion and private guided tours of Buenos Aires.

Contact Me

Please write to me about any Buenos Aires Argentina travel information or about living in Buenos Aires as an expat.

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August 2006