Visiting Argentina

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Travel to Argentina this summer with kids 8 and 11

Dec 2010

We are thinking of going to Argentina this summer (June or July) with our 2 girls, ages 8 and 11. We don't know anything about it yet, just that we want to have an adventure - we would like to do some horseback riding, hang at some beaches, and maybe see Patagonia. Anyone who has done this kind of trip with kids and has advice about where to go, what to see, how to plan, etc would be welcome! I know we can't do the 20-something backpacking hostel thing anymore with kids in tow, but we do have a tight budget, so no 4-star splurges (well, maybe one night!). Thanks, Wanderlusty Mama

HI, You may get a few quick responses that point out that visiting Argentina in June or July is visiting them in their winter, so hanging out at beaches may be a rather chilly experience!

That said, visiting Argentina is like visiting the US-- it is huge and unbelievably varied so you are going to have to do some picking and choosing of what you'd really like to see. My father is from Argentina so we have gone back many times to visit family, and usually our trips are a mix of socializing in Buenos Aires (a European style city somewhat in decay) and venturing out to see all that Argentina has to offer.

Patagonia is wondrous but I have never been there in the winter and it may be bleak. Iguazu Falls on the border with Brazil may offer the most temperate climate that time of year. As far as the economics go, I don't think Argentina is considered an economical place to travel-- inflation has come down and the last time we were there we didn't even change money-- everyone took dollars, but still things are not cheap there. I do highly encourage you to visit because you can see glaciers, morpho butterflies, lupine covered mountainsides and pink shell beaches, but not in the timing you are thinking of. Luisa

Trip to Rio and Buenos Aires with 7-y-o daughter?

Oct 2006

Last summer I found a great deal on plane tickets to Rio and Buenas Aires which got my wonder lust going.I was all set to take my 7 year old daughter and have a fabulous adventure, until allmost EVERYONE I mentioned this to told me that it is a bad idea for a woman and a girl to travel by themselves, particularily in Rio(citing crime as the reason).I would be grateful if anyone who has traveled in these two countries would share their experiences Chris

I know some about Rio. The people who tell you not to go there: have they actually been there? Rio has a bad reputation, but so does New york City, Los Angeles and Miami (among other places) to foreigners. I was also there when I was 7 (although that was in 1974!), and it was a wonderful experience for a kid. I was there in 2002 and my in-laws went in 2003. I went alone in 2002 (I'm female) in 2002 for 10 days to do research in a museum and I had a wonderful time. Took buses and the subway, walked around, ate in great restaurants, took some weekends tours, went to the beach, visited the botanical gardens, etc.

Here's my advice: go to Rio but do some reading and talking with people before you go. you have to be careful because you will stand out as a tourist, but if you take some reasonable precautions, you will be fine and will have a great time. Stay in Ipanema or somewhere else more safe. (Women jogged and biked there alone at night when I was there in 2002.) Copacabana is a little more crazy. (I think of Copacabana beach as like Venice Beach in So Cal and Ipanema like Santa Monica.)

Sign up for tours through travel companies and use tour guides. Don't use credit cards in Rio (except for the hotel) as there is much credit card theft there (the rest of Brazil is fine). Pay with cash and only carry what you need for dinner or whatever you are doing (and hide the money). Use the hotel safes to store extra money and valuables.

Use radio taxis (you call them first) not the ones you pick up on the street because they cheat everyone, even the people who live there! (Taxis at the airport are OK.) I took buses and they were fine, and the subway is safe. Don't wear fancy clothes or jewelry. Take no valuables to the beach (use a disposable camera there too).

There are some great side trips you can take to safer areas. I highly recommend taking a side trip to Ilha Grande where many people from Rio go for the weekend. (Go during the week for a more relaxing time.) No cars, just walking and biking and boating on a beautiful tropical island with little hotels and restaurants. I hear Petrópolis is beautiful also. Go and have fun! Andi

Hi, I have not been to Rio, but can give you info on Buenos Aires. I am currently living in Buenos Aires for a few months for my husband's work but will be returning to the bay area next year, so I feel like I can give you a good idea of what it's like here.

First of all let me say Buenos Aires is a beautiful city that is filled with places to go and restaurants to try and it is a very young city (EVERYONE has kids) You see children everywhere you go. It is very European, old architecture, plazas, cafes. A lot of people smoke, but they recently passed a law banning smoking in public places, so that has been wonderful.

In terms of crime, I live in Recoleta, one of the best neighborhoods in BA and you can definitely feel safe here. People walk around at 3am and there are plenty of people everywhere, police walking around and lights everywhere. Of course things can happen anywhere you go, in particular a big city, so you need to be cautious. But really I do not see it as a dangerous place for a woman and girl at all! I have walked around at night alone with the baby for fresh air and never once was scared. Let me know if you want any specific travel info for BA, you can email me directly. maria

I could not tell you about Rio bc. I've never been there. About Buenos Aires, it couldn't be a safer place. For many, many years it was a city with an amazingly low crime rate in the whole world. I am going to Buenos Aires, by myself, with my three year old in December, for twenty days. If you go to ANY large city in the world and go out by yourself in the middle of the night in a bad neighborhood it could be dangerous. But I doubt you would even know where those 'bad' neighborhoods are anyway. Buenos Aires has been called 'the city that never sleeps' and 'the Paris of South America'. Not only will you be safe but you will absolutely love the city with all the festivals, and art shows and cafes and restaurants... I recently read it is the city with most plays going on at once in the world... It's a very artistic, cultural city. Don't forget to see some tango shows! Enjoy your trip Buenos Aires lover.


Trip to Argentina without the kids

May 2006

Thanks to my mother, my husband and I will be taking our first trip in 10 years together without children. We have decided on Argentina, and I was hoping I could get some input from folks who had been there in the last few years. I did check old postings, which were helpful, but I was wondering if there were some specifics about recommended hotels in Buenos Aires and some good areas to well as some areas to be avoided. Also, we are hoping to do a few day trips, perhaps one to Tigre or something west of BA and one flight trip (Bariloche?) and curious about suggested airlines to contact. This will be an 8-9 day trip. Thanks for any input!! Kate

I haven't been to Argentina for six years now, and we usually stay with family in Buenos Aires, so I don't have recommendations for places to stay, but I do have a few suggestions for general sight seeing and other excursions. My parents love to do the tango-dinner events which can be good BUT you better like accordions-- I get maxxed out after a while! Doing a flight leg to Bariloche is a great idea or if instead of seeing the mountains, you want to see a rainforest setting, going to Iguazu Falls on the border with Brazil is fabulous. Taking a boat ride through the Tigre delta is a great idea and if you catch it on a weekend I think there's an open market like thing at San Isidro. Have a great time-- I'm envious! Luisa

Argentina in August with a 2 and 3 year old

April 2005

Hello. I must travel to Argentina August 15 with my 2y/o daughter and 3 y/o son...and my husband has to stay here working... I'm really scared of the long flight without help and just being there without my husband (a woman with 2 young children is an 'easy target'). We've been together for 7 years and we've NEVER been apart. But since my mother died I have to go and take care of business for 6 months or so, and he has to finish his apprenticeship. If anybody is going to Argentina by that date or has been in a similar situation I would like to hear from you. Thank you maiza

I just got back from a visit to Argentina two days ago with my wife and 10 month old. We found Argentina to be very child-friendly. For example, parents of small children go to a special express line in customs both in and out of the country and airport security leaving the country, and whichever one of us was holding the baby was immediately offered a seat in the subway in Buenos Aires.

Most or all of the flights to and from Argentina are red-eyes (overnight). That is fine if you kids can sleep on the plane but not so great if they can't. (Mine couldn't and it was rather difficult for us, but at this age she doesn't sleep much in the car either.) The other problem we encountered is that restaurants don't open for dinner until very late (typically 8:30 PM), which is way past our daughter's bedtime, but this won't be an issue if you're staying somewhere with a kitchen.

I felt pretty safe in Buenos Aires but like any big city there is some crime, so you need to use common sense. For instance, if it makes you feel better, ask your hotel or restaurant to call you a taxi (quite affordable) rather than hailing one on the street or taking the subway. David

Two weeks in Argentina - what should we see?

July 2003

We are spending 2 weeks in Argentina in December. We have the advantage of being squired around by a native Buenos Airian, but she is asking us what we would like to see. The first week will be spent in Buenos Aires, and so we are eager about what to see there? Also, any suggestions as to other area(s) that should be explored during our 2nd week? We are not adverse to taking a plane to explore another area--Iguasu, Bariloche, etc. Also, what is particularly kid-friendly and of interest to children in Argentina? Muchas Gracias Tango Princess

I'm a native Argentinian and just returned from a 6 week trip there with my husband and 13 month-old. I was amazed at how child-friendly Argentina is, people there truely love children, they are welcomed practically everywhere (even upscale restaurants have high chairs) and there are parks and children activities everywhere. It's difficult to know what to recommend without knowing the ages of your children. The Buenos Aires Zoo is certainly a good spot, though of course it can't compare to zoos in America. There are often shows (clowns, puppets, etc.) you'll have to check the papers to see what's available when you are there, but there will be plenty. The parks & cementeries in Buenos Aires should also be of interest to children - and beware, there are video-game and ice-cream stores *everywhere*. If your kids are between 4-10 they may enjoy a visit to the Pams de los Niqos, in Gonet, near La Plata (about 1/2 hr. from BA).

Outside Buenos Aires, the two most impressive sights of all Argentina (and perhaps the world, I still haven't seen any natural wonder that can compare) are the Iguazu falls and the Perito Moreno Glacier. You need 1 1/2 days to see the falls (one in Argentina and 1/2 in Brazil), and only a couple of days to see the glaciers so you could do both. The plane tickets are quite expensive, however (at least $100 each way), so you may have to choose between one and the other. I think the falls may be more fun for kids (make sure to take the boat ride that gets almost underneath them), though if they are old enough they may enjoy trecking on the glacier.

Bariloche is really beautiful, but I think all in all of less interest to kids (I loved it when I went as an adult, didn't when I went as a kid).

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me. Margarita

Dear Tango Princess, I lived in Argentina from 99-01 with my family and we had a blast. If you want Tango, BA is the place. If you are looking for an outdoor adventure extraordinaire, you have to get way out of town. Iguazu falls are spectacular but it's got to be really hot in December. My advice is to check out the lake region. (White water rafting, mountain treking, beautiful scenery--it's like Tahoe with very few people.) Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes are very beautiful. You'll have to fly, it's about 17 hours by car. If you have one full week, I know you can get to the glacier in the far south also. I never made it down there and it is a big regret. A friend of mine owns a hotel in San Martin and she is a wonderful hostess. Contact me if you want that connection. If you are looking to brush up on your Castellano, I know an Argentine woman here who is giving lessons. Also my next door neighbor is living in BA and is a dancer. She could probably take you to a milonga! Don't forget to bring extra money for leather jackets! Buen viaje! Danielle

My last trip to was with my children ages 7 and 9 last year. Definitely go to Tigre and take a Catamaran to any island out there on the Delta just for lunch or something. for the kids - up to 9 y.o. go to Munchi's (a large zoo in the outskirts of or even to the city zoo where kids can milk a cow and make bread. In many ways Bs.As is like New York - very theatre oriented -kids go to shows and movies a lot. The highlight was our trip to the Iguazu Falls. We loved the place, very kid friendly, loved the service and the people. Here is website for you to check e-mail me if you are interested in more.- Tango Queen