Incredible stretches of Pampas grasslands, mighty glaciers, Andean foothills, a multicultural melting pot in Buenos Aires, and the ends of the Earth in Patagonia; it’s all here in Argentina.
Neither developed nor developing, Argentina is a modern country that’s seen a depressed economy in recent years. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be improving either.
Much of the population already lives in poverty and petty theft is common in the cities. Naturally, you’re probably wondering: “is Argentina safe?”
To help you with all things safety-related in Argentina, we’ve created this mammoth insider’s guide. In it, you’ll find all the information you could need for seeing this AMAZING country for yourself. We’re all about smart travel at The Broke Backpacker and think you should be too!
There is a load of different topics that we’re going to discuss in our guide. That means pretty much everything from whether it’s safe to visit Argentina right now with the economic crisis, to whether the food in Argentina is safe to eat.
Regardless if you’re a parent thinking about taking your family on an Argentinian adventure, or if you’re someone who wants to backpack solo around Argentina – our guide has you covered. You’re about to learn a whole lot about staying safe in Argentina!
Whilst COVD 19 has not gone away, the world is opening up again to travellers. However, Argentina’s borders remain closed and most governments advise against visiting.
For the most up-to-date safety information and what you should be doing to help, please consult the WHO and your local government.
- How Safe is Argentina? (Our take)
- Is Argentina Safe to Visit? (The facts.)
- Is it Safe to Visit Argentina Right Now?
- Argentina Travel Insurance
- 19 Top Safety Tips for Traveling to Argentina
- Keeping your money safe in Argentina
- Is Argentina safe to travel alone?
- Is Argentina safe for solo female travelers?
- Is Argentina safe to travel for families?
- Is it safe to drive in Argentina?
- Is Uber safe in Argentina?
- Are taxis safe in Argentina?
- Is public transportation in Argentina safe?
- Is the food in Argentina safe?
- Can you drink the water in Argentina?
- Is Argentina safe to live in?
- How is healthcare in Argentina?
- Helpful Argentina Travel Phrases
- Final thoughts on the safety of Argentina
How Safe is Argentina? (Our take)
Backpacking Argentina is an awesome experience! The country is home of tango, has its very own cowboys (gauchos) roaming in the Pampas, is famous for steak, boasts its own stretch of the Andes; yep, there’s a lot to be said of a trip to Argentina.
But it’s NOT all roses here. Argentina has a problem with drugs, namely using and dealing, petty crime is rife, and corruption (including day-to-day bribery) isn’t uncommon.
Poorer neighbourhoods tend to suffer from these issues more than rich neighbourhoods. But that’s like anywhere in the world.
And crime is on the up and so is drug use. In fact, the youth (12-17) drug rate has increased by almost 150% between 2010 and 2017.
But if you’re a tourist in Argentina, these problems will probably won’t affect you very much, that is, unless you go looking for trouble.
Is Argentina Safe to Visit? (The facts.)
Compared to its neighbors, Argentina is very safe to visit. It’s one of the safest Latin American countries for tourists and is much less hectic than the popular backpacking country Brazil, Colombia, or Peru.
Tourism is growing every year and becoming more diversified. 2017 was a milestone has Argentina received an all-time high of almost 6 million visitors.
Plenty of people visit and have a trouble-free time. In MOST of the country, you should feel safe.
There are always things to watch out for, especially in the urban areas: there include scams, unlicensed taxi drivers, pickpockets in tourist areas, and the occasional mugging.
The capital, Buenos Aries, can sometimes be a powderkeg and sometimes be totally peaceful – it really depends on the current social and political dynamics. At the end of the day, BSAS is still a huge metropolis and, as such, suffers from the aforementioned problems that come with big city living.
Then there are natural disasters. Seasonal flooding DOES occur and there’s also the semi-often eruption of Copahue Volcano on the border with Chile to worry about.
Is it Safe to Visit Argentina Right Now?
At the moment, Argentina is going through a period of inflation. The currency (Argentinean peso) has experienced severe devaluation.
It’s important to note that 35% of Argentinians live below the poverty line as well. Of course, this is going to lead to a HUGE difference between rich and poor.
There HAVE been recent protests in Buenos Aires against austerity measures. Sometimes these do turn violent and have been dispersed violently by riot police, too. In some cases, roads can be closed down. However, if you stay away from these protests, Buenos Aires is generally safe. Avoid the sketchy areas and use your common sense when you’re visiting the city!
British travellers have the added complication of the Falkland Islands, which is a British territory claimed by Argentina. There are occasional protests outside the British Embassy and other British establishments. When these happen, keep away.
The upside to Argentina’s financial struggle is that your foreign currency goes a long way. Financially, it’s a good time for you to visit Argentina.
But be aware: poverty and street crime go hand in hand, and the economic crisis might be making things worse.
Do you need Travel Insurance for your trip? Even if you’re only going for a few days, that’s more than enough time to get smote by wrathful angels. Have fun in Argentina, but take it from us, overseas medical care and canceled flights can be seriously expensive – insurance can, therefore, be a life-saver.
Travel mishaps can and do happen and it is well worth thinking about insurance before you leave home.
We have used World Nomads for years now and I have personally made several claims. Why not get a quote from them yourself?
Do be sure to read the terms and conditions to make sure that the policy covers your needs.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
It’s definitely not as dangerous as some of its South American neighbours, but, like anywhere in the world, there are still precautions that need be taken in Argentina. Mostly, you’ll have to look out for street crime and petty theft.
It will pay to have a few top tips under your belt to help you travel smart in Argentina. A lot of the time, it’s just about being aware of situations and your surroundings.
- Keep away from protests – these can turn violent on both sides. Don’t get involved.
- Trade unions are also often on strike – be aware that this can affect public transport. Check the news before you head out.
- Watch out for distraction techniques – spilling mustard on you, falling over, “look over here!”… All the classics. Don’t fall for it, just keep on walking.
- Don’t go around in designer clothes, SLR in hand – you’ll look rich. Looking rich is gold dust for thieves.
- Similarly, don’t keep LOTS of money in your wallet – if anyone catches a glimpse of it, it could be gone before you know it. Keep an emergency stash in a money wallet.
- Know where you’re going – memorize the map, ask for directions before you head, anything to keep you from looking lost.
- Try to blend in – shouting around in English, LOOKING like a complete tourist with a singlet, fake aviators and short shorts is asking for negative attention.
- Be careful of counterfeit scams – the 100 peso note is WIDELY counterfeited. Sometimes people just don’t accept them at all.
- Keep your belongings close – hanging a bag on a chair, putting it on the floor next to you – no. Keep it on you and keep it close.
- Be aware of pickpockets – sometimes they can work in groups, especially in and around public transport. Stay alert!
- Careful walking around with your phone in public – it can get SNATCHED. Duck into a cafe or shop if you need to use it. Seriously, electronic goods are SUPER EXPENSIVE in Argentina.
- This goes for laptops and tablets, too – digital nomad? Yeah, keep that Mac under lock and key.
- If someone does try to rob you, don’t resist – injury or worse can happen. Is that worth saving some stuff?
- Don’t be overly “British” – we’d advise against having the Union Jack on anything. People may take this as a cultural insult.
- Avoid conversations about the Falklands – It’s probably not going to end well.
- Lots of people do drugs, but they’re still illegal – and even a teensy bit can land you a lengthy prison sentence.
- Protect against mosquitoes – there’s dengue fever here, so cover up, use repellent, and coils if you get them.
- Keep an eye on the weather if you’re out trekking – especially in the northern provinces; flash flooding DOES occur.
- Seek tourist police if you need help – you’ll find them around tourist areas.
So there you have it – some great safety tips for Argentina. Like a lot of countries, most crime is relegated to the big cities and, in particular, Buenos Aires. A lot of these issues don’t necessarily apply in the provinces.
However, it’s ALWAYS important to be aware not only of your surroundings but of obvious stuff like the weather. Ultimately, being aware is going to help you stay safe in Argentina.
Some General Safety Tips from the OG Broke Backpacker
Keeping your money safe in Argentina
When you’re travelling anywhere in the world one of the most traumatizing things that can happen is getting robbed. Pickpocketed, items knicked from your room, having your bag snatched from under your nose; all of it sucks.
And in Argentina, that’s something that might happen, especially in cities. To limit the stress and give you peace of mind, and stop pickpockets in their tracks, here’s a good idea: invest in a money belt.
That’s right – a money belt. There is a whole RANGE of different ones to choose from, but here at The Broke Backpacker, we’re all about the Active Roots Security Belt.
It’s a solid all-rounder for us, not only because it’s cheap and very sturdy, but it looks like a real belt. It’s not weird, it’s not ‘traveller-y’, it’s just a belt.
So when you’re exploring Buenos Aires or anywhere else in Argentina, you’ll be SAFE from potential thieves. Even if you end up losing some money somehow, or leaving something behind at your last hostel, you’ll still have a little stash o’ cash in your money belt to fall back on. Super handy, every time.
If you need a little more room for your passport and other travel valuables, have a look at a full-size money belt that tucks under your clothes instead.
If neither of those options appeals to your refined fashion sense, don’t compromise! Opt for an infinity scarf with a hidden zipper pocket.
We’re all for solo travel – you get to do some pretty amazing things when you’re by yourself. Travelling solo will definitely teach you a thing or two about yourself and that’s going to be a pretty big confidence boost if you ask us.
But it’s not ALWAYS fun or easy. You can get lonely, feel jaded, even unmotivated to do stuff. And then there’s the added safety concerns, too.
We’re going to share with you some of our best solo travel tips for Argentina so you can have an absolute blast – even if you’re by yourself. Here goes…
- Knowing your surroundings is going to be pretty handy. Everything from memorising a map, to asking your hostel for directions to places, even going on a walking tour (if they have one). All this going to help you get acquainted with your local area. And this helps you NOT look lost.
- Speaking of tours, join a few! These are great ways to travel around safely, get to see parts of Argentina you may not go to by yourself, and LEARN stuff about the country, too. Plus you might get to meet some cool people along the way. This is always good for keeping yourself sane!
- Book yourself into a good hostel. Meeting people and making some travel buddies helps to beat the solo travel blues. You’ll also pick up some tips for future travel and maybe even a friend for onward travel. Of course, make sure the hostel has A LOT of GOOD reviews. No point skimping out on accommodation.
- Go EASY on yourself. It’s good to push yourself, but we also know that trying to do every single thing the guidebook tells you to do is exhausting. Have a chill day every now and then.
- Follow your gut. If you’re getting the feeling that a situation might be getting odd and sketchy, it might well be. Trust your instincts!
- Don’t get super drunk if you’re heading off on a night out. There’s (probably) no one to drag you home if you’re getting too stupid. And remember, getting senseless literally means you will have no senses, and that leads to making some pretty bad calls.
- Learn some Spanish! This is an especially good idea if you’re by yourself, as the country will most likely open itself up to you. Even learning a few basic phrases as you travel around is great. Good for finding your way as much as getting to know the locals.
- Keep in touch with your family and friends back home. Just ’cause you’re travelling solo, doesn’t mean you ghost everyone you know. Put pictures on Facebook, have video calls with your mum and dad, send a message – whatever it is you want to do. People knowing you’re safe is a GOOD THING. Plus it’ll help keep you grounded.
Solo travelling around Argentina is honestly going to be awesome. Aside from the cities, you’re probably not going to have to worry about much in the way of petty crime. Which is great! That means more time spent absolutely LOVING life, less time spent worrying about every little thing. Travelling smart and being kind to yourself (take a break sometimes, yeah) still applies though!
Is Argentina safe for solo female travelers?
When planning any trip, your head is going to be full of all sorts of things: where should you go? where should you stay? what’s your itinerary? Totally.
But travelling as a female brings a whole other layer of things to think about. Especially if there are people at home worrying about why you’re even going to these far-flung destinations in the first place! That’s only going to make you MORE anxious.
While it’s true (and unfortunate) that women have to be more careful, Argentina is a great place for solo female travellers. There are a number of dangers and annoyances that women will need to be aware of in Argentina, but these can be avoided with certain precautions. Here are some key ones:
- Like most South American countries, Argentina is home to a macho society. This means catcalling, regularly and frequently from almost all men. If you’re walking ALONE this is likely to occur. Ignore it, and it will become background noise.
- If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, feel that you’re in danger, or feel threatened by someone, move towards a public place, a shop, tourist police – find help.
- Don’t walk around sketchy streets after dark e.g. parks, shortcuts down alleyways, all the usual stuff. Just be careful and think, “Would I walk through a place like this at home?” If in doubt get an Uber home. Often the safer option.
- Taxis aren’t always great for solo women travellers, in both Argentina and the whole world for that matter Trust your instincts. Does the driver seem sketchy? Then don’t get in.
- If you go out to bars and clubs ALONE, men are sure to come up to you – and this means unwanted attention more often than not. It’s best to head out with a group of friends. You’ll have a MUCH better time.
- Trust your instinct. Don’t hesitate. Rather than getting into some sort of dodgy situation, just do whatever is going to be safer.
- Sometimes people can seem too interested. If someone seems to be interrogating you, you don’t have to tell them everything. Lie, if you feel like it. If you don’t feel comfortable telling a man your marital status, where you’re from, the address of where you’re staying, where you’re going, what you’re doing tonight, etc. etc. then DON’T.
- Let your fellow travellers and hostel staff know if you’re going out. It pays to have someone know where you are.
- Walk with a purpose – like you know where you’re going and you know what you’re doing. Eyes forward. It just gives the impression of less vulnerability.
- Depending on where you are, dress modestly/try and fit in. Look at what the local ladies are wearing and try to blend in accordingly. If you don’t want unwanted attention, looking like a local is a good idea.
There are tons of ways to store valuables and goods while traveling but a travel scarf has to be the least obtrusive and the most classy.
The Active Roots Zipper Scarf is your run-of-the-mill infinity scarf but with a hidden pocket that’s big and sturdy enough for a night’s cash, your phone, a passport and (hell with it) some snacks too!
Like most places in the world, travelling in Argentina isn’t always going to be safe for women; that’s just how it is, unfortunately. With the macho culture here, it’s also going to feel uncomfortable at times.
Argentina isn’t completely full of dogs or chauvinists though – most people here are very friendly and will look out for you. This is especially the case outside of the cities. In the rural areas, you’ll have to go looking for trouble for it to find you.
We believe that Argentina is safe for solo female travellers so long as they travel intelligently and take the extra precautions.
Is Argentina safe to travel for families?
Argentina is a GREAT place for families. Beaches, good museums, gauchos to meet; yep, it’s a good destination to travel with your kids in tow.
That said, there are things you have to watch out for. It may be a family-focused country, but there are issues that will probably be different from your home country.
- MOST restaurants don’t open till 8 pm. Bring snacks for your little ones and maybe get used to staying up late. Kids included.
- It can get very hot in the middle of the day. Plan around it, bring sunhats, plenty of sun cream, and definitely make sure your kids keep hydrated. Make sure that everyone has a water bottle.
- Travelling around with a stroller is more stress than its worth. Pavements aren’t always the problem – in Buenos Aires, there’s an actual problem with dog shit everywhere.
- That said, the cities have plenty of parks and playgrounds (where other children will probably start playing with your children). There’s always the beaches on the Atlantic Coast – Puerto Natales is a big holiday destination for locals. So it doesn’t HAVE to be an adventure holiday.
- Everyone, even young children, stays up well into the night. Even after midnight, you’ll see children and their families strolling around and sitting in parks after their dinner. Don’t be overly concerned about bedtimes. It’s a great way to soak up the Latin culture here.
Our verdict? Argentina is safe for families to travel.
Is it safe to drive in Argentina?
Argentina is HUGE and a lot of it you can only get to with a private vehicle. Thankfully the roads are pretty good. They’re paved and you won’t find many potholes.
You’ll have to drive defensively. Argentinians can be pretty aggressive behind the wheel. Expect tailgating, speeding, sudden lane changes, jumping red lights, squeezing into small gaps in traffic, and erratic driving in general.
Be sure to keep your windows up and your doors locked when at urban traffic lights. Smash and grabs have been known to occur, so keep those valuables out of sight!
When you’re in more rural areas you’ll have to watch out for other hazards, like animals in the road. It’s very difficult to see these animals in the dark so we’d suggest that you avoid driving at night.
Police don’t tend to patrol highways, but there are checkpoints. They’ll probably just want to see your license and passport so make sure you have them handy. It HAS been reported that police have asked for bribes, but this is uncommon.
Note that there is also a law that states you have to use headlights at all times. Even in broad daylight!!
If you’re heading out on a motorbike – WEAR A HELMET. Not only is it stupid not to, but it’s also the law.
Driving in Argentina is generally safe, and is always going to be a bit of a challenge, let’s be honest. But it’s an amazing way to explore the country and to reach places you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach.
Experience and confidence in your own driving skills is going to help A LOT.
Is Uber safe in Argentina?
As of September 2018, Argentina is Uber’s fastest-growing market.
And Uber is SAFE in Argentina. It’s available only in Buenos Aires and it’s one of the best ways to get around the city. Especially if you’re a foreign visitor.
Convenience, few language barriers, tracking your journey, no scams; all the usual Uber benefits apply in Argentina.
Are taxis safe in Argentina?
Taxis are all over the place in Argentina and people use them frequently. And taxis are safe in Argentina. But there are a few things to bear in mind.
- If you use them in the BSAS, they’ll be metered. Outside of this, you’ll have to agree on your fare BEFORE you get in. No meters.
- Some nefarious drivers will hike up the meter by driving you around aimlessly and claiming to not know the area. Keep a maps app open so you can see how DIRECT your journey really is.
- Having a few words of Spanish is going to help you actually get around AND make you seem less like a gringo. This makes you less likely to be literally taken advantage of.
- Make sure you have small change on you. If you DON’T, ask if they’ve got change before you get in. Sometimes drivers will also switch notes and give you the wrong change, so make sure to count and challenge them if it doesn’t add up.
- Real taxis are black with yellow trim, have proper signage on the doors and the bumper, and always say “RADIO TAXI” on the top.
- The safest way to get a taxi is to have your hostel/hotel/guesthouse call you one. You can also get a taxi app like Easy Taxi. Works like Uber, no problems there.
- However, you can also hail radio taxis off the street. That’s fine and normal. Just make sure it’s licensed.
Is public transportation in Argentina safe?
The public transportation in Argentina is mostly safe but there are some situations that you need to be aware of.
The metro in Buenos Aires (subte) used to not be so popular because of crime. That’s slowly waning but you’ll still need to be wary of pickpockets. Watch out for people getting too close, “bumping into you” or even trying to cut your bag. If you’re travelling with a big backpack, try to keep this on your front at ALL TIMES.
The metro is affordable but it DOES get crowded in peak hours. Not comfy and maybe more likely to be robbed.
Then there are the colectivos, which constitute the public bus system in most Argentine cities.
These are SPEEDY so you’ll need to hang on! They might not even stop completely for you to get on. Not the safest option, but these can be a fun and good way to get around cities. They can get crowded and complicated, so make sure you’re on one that’s going in the right direction.
INSIDER TIP: buy yourself a SUBE card when travelling in Buenos Aires. This works like an Oyster and makes things easy.
Long distance buses are known as micros. These are often inexpensive and relatively comfortable. Make sure you pick a good bus company. Do the research, read reviews – you don’t want to be sat on a terrible bus for hours on end – or overnight.
Generally, you will have to keep an eye on your stuff when riding on any bus. On the more expensive buses, however, your bags will be tagged and the security is much better.
You should be careful when hanging around the bus and train terminals. Thieves love these places as they’re full of unsuspecting travellers. So don’t be one of them and keep your eyes peeled for shady characters.
Argentina has an effective train network and is used often by travellers. If you like train journeys, there are some epic trips to be had on Argentina’s railways. Some of the train journeys you can take are “just” tourist routes but they’re still definitely worth it.
When moving from place to place, you shouldn’t store travel documents in a bag, even if it’s under your seat or overhead.
A full-sized money belt that stays tucked under your clothes keeps your documents and cash organized during your travels and assures nothing critical gets left behind or stolen.
Is the food in Argentina safe?
Argentinian meat is FAMOUS worldwide and the locals love to eat it, a lot. Honestly, nothing beats a gaucho steak grilled on an asada or parilla. Asada is essentially a BBQ and everyone loves a BBQ, right?
But it’s not all about meat. Thanks to the big European immigration here, there’s a whole lot on offer. Italian staples like pizza and pasta are going to make life easy for picky eaters too. It’s not just tasty, but safe too.
- Let’s get things straight to begin with. Washing your hands is going to stop a lot of germs in their tracks straight away. Even before you worry about how clean an establishment is, consider: “Am I clean? What have I been touching?” The truth and a complete no-brainer.
- If the idea of all that grilled meat isn’t your thing (i.e. if you’re a vegetarian), then Italian food can save the day. But don’t stumble into just anywhere. This is 2020 – read reviews online, head to TripAdvisor, Google, whatever. Find somewhere with lots of good reviews and refamiliarize yourself with some hearty and familiar Italian classics. They’re filling but easy on the stomach.
- Avoid fruit and salad if you want to be super safe. It may not have been washed well enough to remove all the bad stuff that could give you an annoying case of traveller’s diarrhoea.
- If you’re going to eat at a street food stall, again, do your research. If you don’t have access to the internet, investigate the old fashion way. Look for busy stalls. If it’s busy, it’s delicious and safe. If it’s quiet, maybe not.
- Usually, if something smells a bit off, and it doesn’t taste right either, chances are it isn’t safe. It will probably make you ill.
- Want to pick up a snack on the go? Good idea – we love a good snack. But we love a good snack even more if it’s been freshly cooked in front of us. If the food looks like it’s been lying around, uncovered, and it’s the afternoon, chances are it’s been lying around all day uncovered and picking up who-knows-what in terms of germs. Best to avoid.
- Beware! Portions are huge! Don’t let your eyes be bigger than your belly. Especially when you first arrive. Ease yourself into the food rather than gorging yourself on all Argentina’s gastronomic delights straight away. You’ll be doing your stomach a favour.
- Traveling with an allergy? Research ahead of time how to explain your allergy. Keep in mind that store owners and restaurant staff might not know all the foods that contain allergens, so it’s helpful to know the names of some of these too. If you’re gluten-free, pick up a handy Gluten-Free Translation Card with descriptions of Celiac disease, cross-contamination risk, and local Argentinians ingredients in Latin American Spanish.
Wow. So the food is in Argentina is IMMENSE. It’s truly going to be a food odyssey here.
What’s more, the food in Argentina is safe. Go for it, we say!
Don’t forget – Argentina’s got some great wine too.
Can you drink the water in Argentina?
Good news. It’s generally safe to drink the tap water in Argentina.
In Buenos Aires, it’s not the tastiest water though. So maybe stick to bottled water if you can’t handle the chlorination (lots of locals DO, to be fair). There’s even lots of different tasty mineral water you can try out, too.
If you’re hiking near agricultural areas, be sure to check and see if the water is potable. Always air on the side of caution and purify the water. The Grayl Geopress does a great job of this.
But that’s that. Safe water in Argentina.
Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to Marine Life – Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle.
The GRAYL GEOPRESS water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. Whether you need to purify the water from a hostel sink in Kathmandu or a stream trickle in the Andes, the Geopress has got you covered.
Read our full review of the GRAYL GEOPRESS!
Is Argentina safe to live in?
Yep, it’s safe to live in Argentina.
Violent crime is rare. And though Buenos Aires is more well-known for petty theft, living outside of the capital is going to make things A LOT safer.
Argentina can be a fun place to live – it’s cosmopolitan enough that you won’t necessarily be a gringo forever as in other Latin American nations.
But like we said, the cities is where the danger lurks. Pickpockets will always exist and women will have to deal with catcalling, regardless if they’ve been living in Argentina for a while.
However, thanks to large expat communities in Buenos Aires, not to mention the friendly locals, you’ll have plenty of people to socialize with. And what’s more, there’s a high standard of living.
It’s great! Children play out on the streets, it’s walkable, you can stroll around with your family, go to the cinema – all the normal stuff.
Obviously, the unstable economic situation and shady politicians bring with them uncertain times and increasing poverty. Social problems like drug use and petty theft being on the rise might make things uncomfortable to say the least if you want to live well here.
BUT Argentina is safe to live in. Doing research goes without saying. And making friends with expats and locals alike, anywhere you choose to live, is going to make your experience even more amazing.
How is healthcare in Argentina?
Healthcare in Argentina is pretty good actually. Compared to much of South America, it’s very good actually.
Whilst there’s free public healthcare, this type is not the best quality. That said, people DO obviously use it. It’s more crowded and you’ll have to put up with longer waiting times. So if you NEED to go to a hospital or a clinic, it’s better to go to the far superior version.
Private hospitals offer better facilities than public ones. Be warned: they are somewhat pricey and will ask to be paid in cash. You can then get this back off your insurance.
Outside of cities, quality of care in public facilities varies considerably. If you have an accident in a remote area, chances are you’ll have to be airlifted to Buenos Aires. Insurance is a no-brainer.
Medication can be easily obtained over the counter at pharmacies, in case you’ve been hitting the parillas too hard.
Other than that, what can we say? Healthcare is good in Argentina.
Helpful Argentina Travel Phrases
Argentians speak a very distinct form of Spanish called Castellano Rioplatense. This dialect definitely sounds different from conventional Spanish. For example, the pronoun tú is replaced with vós – but, luckily, it’s still very comprehensible. Speakers of both classic and Argentinian Spanish will have little trouble understanding one another.
Note that, like most languages, Castellano Rioplatense has its own internal dialects i.e. people from Buenos Aires speak differently than those from Mendoza but, again, these variations are minimal.
Italian is commonly injected into Castellano Rioplatense due in part to the large Italian population present and the influence that the culture has had on Argentina. Argentinians love to use Italian gestures and colloquialisms, and you may even think that they very much resemble Italians sometimes, which is a common observation.
Argentinians also enjoy using slang, which is locally referred to as lunfardo. Lunfardo has no official recognition and used only in verbal interactions.
Learning a few local expressions is always a good idea. So to make your life easier, I have written the pronunciations for a few helpful Argentinian phrases with English translations.
Hola. – Hello.
Gracias?de nada. – Thanks/you’re welcome.
¿Dónde está…? – Where is…?
¿Como te llamas? – What’s your name?
Buenos dias/buenas tardes/buenas noches. – Good morning/afternoon/night.
¿Cómo andás? – How’s it going?
¡Qué copado! – Cool!
Sin bolsa de plastico – No plastic bag
No paja por favor – No straw please
No hay cubiertos de plástico por favor – No plastic cutlery please
Dale! – Let’s go!
Buenas ondas – Good stuff.
Oye boludo/che – Hey big balls/crazy.
Final thoughts on the safety of Argentina
You may be wary about visiting Argentina because it’s a part of South America – a region that isn’t famed for its safety. But Argentina is sort of an odd one out. It boasted the biggest middle class on the continent in the early 20th century and developed fairly quickly. It’s modern, and the quality of life here is pretty good.
Argentina has fallen on some bad times as of recently. The economy is struggling and poverty is, unfortunately, rising. When people are struggling to make ends meet, turning to petty theft is an easy option. Especially when there are plenty of rich tourists to target.
The biggest precaution you can take when visiting Argentina is to basically NOT look like a tourist. Don’t flash your cash, don’t stand out too much, don’t look lost and oblivious. It’ll help you to not look like a target.
At the end of the day, Argentina is safe. When you venture outside the cosmopolitan capital, it gets even safer. You will quite literally have to go looking for trouble.
The grand majority of your time in Argentina will be spectacular. You’ll get to explore a whole lot of truly epic landscapes, meet a whole load of interesting, friendly people, and go on a mouthwatering voyage of food without having to worry much at all. Just travel smartly and you’ll be golden.
Disclaimer: Safety conditions change all over the world on a daily basis. We do our best to advise but this info may already be out of date. Do your own research. Enjoy your travels! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means we earn a small commission if you purchase your insurance through this page. This costs you nothing extra and helps us keep the site going.