Here's a rundown of how to keep safe when you're travelling in Argentina.
Remain aware of your surroundings
Like all cities around the world, there are certain neighborhoods that are a no-go. Areas such as La Boca are notoriously dangerous if you stray from the main tourist avenues, so consult with your hotel concierge before sightseeing as to the regions that you should avoid. At night time, even central tourist districts such as San Telmo can become dangerous, so being cautious when walking the streets and getting a radio taxi to take you back to your hotel are important Buenos Aires safety tips.
Keep an eye out for petty crime
Pickpockets are an unfortunate part of life in Buenos Aires, however, they can be avoided. Being very aware of your belongings in public spaces is the main rule.
Keeping your handbag on your lap and mobile phones hidden away, not left on the table in restaurants can prevent your trip costing far more than you planned.
Avoid “flashing your cash”
Wherever you travel in South America, it’s common sense to avoid wearing expensive watches or jewelry as these are an unfortunate magnet for thieves. Keeping your camera in a zipped up rucksack rather than dangling around your neck is another way of protecting your belongings and staying safe in Buenos Aires.
Given Argentina's volatile political climate, protests are common, particularly in Buenos Aires around Plaza de Mayo and Congreso. At times, these can get violent, so you should try to avoid them. If you're in an area where protests are being held, keep an eye on local media to ensure you can avoid getting caught up in them.
Keep valuables locked in your hotel safe
When sightseeing, you really don’t need your passport; instead, make sure it’s locked up in your hotel safe. Although in some instances, such as when paying by card in Argentina, you will need a form of ID.
In these cases, a driver’s license or even a photocopy of your passport should be sufficient and will save you the stress of carrying your most precious possession around with you.
Always take a radio cab and be careful with payment
When traveling by cab, always ensure that you take the safer radio taxis, which can be booked in advance from your hotel. Asking for an estimated price before you start your journey will also help to reduce the likelihood of you being ripped off by unscrupulous drivers. Always check that they put the meter or reloj on at the start of the journey too.
Paying with small bills is also important. Bill swapping – where taxi drivers claim you have given them a counterfeit bill, when in fact they have swapped the one you paid with – is common, so always keep some change on you.
Beware of dangerous drivers
Drivers in Argentina tend to be aggressive and may not follow road rules such as speed limits, traffic lights, lane markings or pedestrian crossings. In fact, according to the WHO, you're two times more likely to be killed in a car accident in Argentina than Australia. Exercise extreme caution, whether you're a pedestrian, riding your bike or driving a car.