Skip to Content

Is Argentina Safe to Visit in 2024? | Safety Concerns

Is Argentina Safe to Visit in 2024? | Safety Concerns

Is Argentina safe to visit in 2024?

Argentina is generally safe for tourists, with millions visiting annually. While there’s an elevated crime rate, especially in larger cities, basic safety precautions can help you avoid trouble. Petty theft, like pickpocketing and bag snatching, is common, so stay vigilant, especially in crowded areas.

Beautiful Argentina attracts about seven million tourists per year, making it one of the 30 most popular countries in the world for international visitors. When you look at photos, it’s easy to see why so many people flock to this South American country.

Argentina has it all — soaring mountains, rolling grasslands, and a southern tip that is the closest you can get to Antarctica.

Those looking for a dose of history and culture can head to Buenos Aires, Córdoba, or any number of cities with rich histories, food culture, and tango music. But while it’s rich in both culture and history, is Argentina safe to visit? Here’s our expert take.

Is Argentina Safe to Visit?

Woman walking through an open-air market for a piece titled Is Argentina Safe to Visit


Yes, Argentina is very safe to visit. In fact, it’s one of the safest countries in South America and millions of people visit annually and have a great time.

While it does have an elevated crime rate, especially in bigger cities, you can avoid being the victim of a crime with some basic safety precautions. Argentina has had a tumultuous recent history which might explain why some people are wary about traveling there.

In 1976, the country was the victim of a military coup that launched a Dirty War, or a quiet campaign of murdering and imprisoning thousands of dissidents.

Even after the transition to democracy, deep polarization and mistrust of the government have remained. During the late 20th and early 21st century, Argentina also suffered through waves of recession and inflation, which hit the economy hard.

Things have stabilized in Argentina, both economically and politically. However, there are still fairly wide gaps between the wealthy and the poor. Civil unrest is also common, with Argentinians taking a lively role in protesting the government.

If you run into a protest, try to avoid getting caught up in the crowd because things can turn violent at any moment. Crime is also a concern in Argentina.

Visitors are primarily concerned about:

  • Pickpocketing
  • Bag snatching
  • Petty theft and scamming
  • Armed robbery
  • Assault

The advice of many foreign governments shows that it is valid to be concerned about crime when visiting Argentina. For example, Canada has regional advisories in place for Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Rosario, advising tourists to exercise a high degree of caution due to crime.

Argentina does struggle with a high crime rate, especially in bigger cities. While most incidents of crime are theft and other forms of property crime, there are also certain areas that have high rates of violent crime.

Generally, you can avoid being the victim of a crime with some precautions, and the situation is not nearly as bad as it is in other South American countries such as Brazil or Colombia.

To assuage your worries further, let’s look at the United States State Department warning level.

Even though the U.S. State Department is usually famous for being the strictest about its travel warnings for foreign countries, it tells its citizens and employees just to exercise normal precautions when visiting Argentina.

Chances are that your vacation to Argentina will be a great time without much trouble.

Find the Best Deal
Find Hotel Deals in Argentina

Don't waste your hard-earned money. Get the best deal on your trip by comparing deals on and Expedia!

  • Options for all travel styles & budgets
  • Price match guarantees
  • Exclusive last-minute deals
See Deals See Deals
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

Crime in Argentina

Bright colored buildings on a brick street for a piece on whether Argentina is safe to visit or not

Group of Brightly Painted Building Facade with Funny Decor in La Boca Neighborhood, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America, 30th Mar 2018/Lovelypeace/Shutterstock

The primary reason most tourists worry about visiting Argentina is the crime level. They are right to be concerned, as the country has slightly higher crime levels than the global average.

The most common crimes in Argentina are property crimes. For example, the robbery rate is 922.6 cases per 100,000 people. This is fairly high but still not as bad as breathless media reports about lawless Argentina might lead you to believe.

The economic situation in Argentina can help explain why robbery is so prevalent. According to the Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality worldwide, Argentina is in the top third of unequal countries around the world.

According to some estimates, 20% of the population holds nearly half the country’s wealth. This fairly high level of inequality creates the perfect conditions for crime.

However, as the economy has gotten better following the bad inflation and recession of the early 2000s, crime levels have gone down accordingly. Violent crime statistics are more comforting than property crime statistics for Argentina because they are relatively low.

In 2020, the violent crime rate was 5.35 incidents per 100,000 people. This is slightly lower than the global average, which is about six incidents per 100,000 people.

The risks of a foreign tourist being the victim of a violent crime are even lower. All we have to do is look at the crimes foreign citizens report to their embassies.

OSAC, the United States Overseas Security Advisory Council, indicates that most crimes that tourists report occurring in Argentina are minor instances of theft, such as pickpocketing. The most common violent crime tourists experience is armed robbery.

Most instances of violent crime affect locals, not foreign tourists. In most situations, organized crime gangs are behind the most violent incidents, and they target rivals or targeted victims.

Violent incidents are mostly confined to certain cities or neighborhoods where tourists rarely venture (that’s why avoiding bad areas is so important). One violent crime that is prevalent and worth mentioning is sexual assault. Argentina has high levels of gender-based violence.

The reported rate is eight cases per 100,000 people, but due to a strongly patriarchal culture, many women are hesitant to report their rape.

Argentinian feminists have long been agitating against the toxic rape culture they are surrounded by. This form of violence affects mostly local women, although some female travelers have been victims of sexual violence before.

Although Argentina has a high crime rate, incidences of crime are highly localized. Most tourists encounter pickpockets, not violent criminals, if they are victims of crimes at all.

Petty Theft

Woman hiking in Patagonia to show that tourism in Argentina is completely safe

Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock

The most common crime visitors encounter in Argentina, especially in the major cities, is petty theft. Many different forms of petty theft are common in big cities, especially in Buenos Aires, the capital.

The most common technique that thieves use is distraction theft. They usually work in pairs, but this technique can work alone. One thief will distract you, while the other will relieve you of your valuables.

One common distraction technique is the “mustard scam,” where someone spills mustard or some other gross substance on you, then robs you while they attempt to “help” you clean up.

This theft is so common the UK government even includes it in its travel advice for people headed to Buenos Aires. Other pickpockets don’t rely on distraction, just your general inattention to relieve you of your valuables.

Pickpockets operate anywhere where there are crowds, such as bus terminals or public transportation. In Buenos Aires, they commonly linger in hotel lobbies, which are technically public areas, but private enough that many tourists get a little too comfortable about looking after their valuables there.

Besides pickpocketing, bag snatching is also common in Argentina, especially Buenos Aires. For years, locals complained about the prevalence of motochorros, or robbers that operate on motorcycles.

They will ride through the town with one operating the getaway vehicle and an accomplice sitting on the back of the motorcycle, either snatching bags from pedestrians or hopping off, robbing cars, then retreating.

Finally, you should beware of common scams. Make sure that you only take authorized taxis and that your taxi driver has the meter running.

Better yet, use a ride-hailing app as taxi drivers sometimes like to take advantage of tourists by increasing the fair. Beware of unauthorized money exchange places as they often try to pass counterfeit bills or will lie about the amount of money you gave them.

While you can’t completely avoid being the victim of a crime, as everyone can have bad luck (even when you’re at home), some precautions can help you minimize your chances. Always keep a firm grip on your valuables.

Never put your wallet or phone in your back pocket or in an open tote. If you carry a bag or purse, use one that zips shut and that you can put across your body. Avoid flashing valuable, expensive items, as that singles you out as a potential victim.

Armed Robbery

The most likely violent crime you will run into as a tourist in Argentina is armed robbery. Incidents of armed robbery directed against foreigners are still not as common as petty theft incidents, but they do happen.

Armed robbery is more common in rougher parts of bigger cities such as Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and especially Rosario. If you are the victim of an armed robbery, hand over your valuables and focus on getting away safely.

The Canadian government warns its citizens against fighting back or attempting to resist as foreigners have been injured that way in the past.

One form of armed robbery that is catching on is express kidnapping. During an express kidnapping, robbers force a victim to empty a bank account at an ATM at gunpoint, functioning as a sort of immediate ransom.

Robbers often wait around ATMs to identify likely victims, so only use well-lit ATMs in banks or buildings, not sketchy-looking ATMs on the street. If you don’t like the look of an area, leave and go to another ATM.

Armed robbery incidents have happened even in well-heeled areas of Buenos Aires, but you can greatly minimize your risk by avoiding bad areas. Avoid traveling to unfamiliar areas, especially at night, and be careful of your transport. Only use reputable taxis.

Avoiding Bad Areas

Bad neighborhood Villa 31 for a piece on Is Argentina Safe

BUENOS AIRES – MAY 01: View of slums of Buenos Aires called Villa 31, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 01 May, 2014. Villa 31 is a illegally built houses in the center of the capital of Argentina/Sunsinger/Shutterstock

The best way to minimize your chances of being the victim of a crime in Argentina is to avoid bad areas, especially in the bigger cities. Most travel guides and even foreign governments will tell you to avoid the city of Rosario.

Rosario is Argentina’s most violent city, with quadruple the national homicide rate. Much of the violence is driven by illegal gangs that control the country’s drug trade and use Rosario as a trafficking base.

Rosario doesn’t have many tourist attractions anyway, so you won’t miss much by avoiding it. In Mendoza, be careful around the central bus station.

Many thieves wait around the area, looking to prey on tourists as they disembark or wait for their buses. Keep an eye on your valuables at all times. In Buenos Aires, a general rule of thumb is that the southern side of the city is sketchier while the north is safer.

La Boca is one of the most dangerous areas, and many foreign governments advise their citizens to avoid it. Other neighborhoods to avoid include Congreso, Florida Street, and San Telmo. Also be on your guard around the Retiro bus terminal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Double decker bus in Buenos Aires Argentina

Yellow Double decker Tourists bus filled with tourists visiting Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina – January 23th 2019/Ivo Antonie de Rooij/Shutterstock

Here are some other questions previous travelers to Argentina wanted to know the answer to:

What should you not do in Argentina?

There are a few things you shouldn’t do in Argentina if you want to have a good experience. Don’t flash your valuables or otherwise act careless, as that is a recipe for disaster. Don’t visit unfamiliar areas or areas that you’ve been warned about at night — save your exploring for the daytime.

Is Buenos Aires safe for tourists?

Yes, Buenos Aires is safe for tourists. Otherwise, millions of people wouldn’t visit each year! Just use basic precautions, and you should be fine.

Is Argentina safe for English travel?

Argentina is safe for English travelers as well. However, avoid symbols that draw attention to yourself, such as the Union Jack. Also, avoid mentioning the Falkland Islands (or the Malvinas as they are known locally), as that is still a sore spot.

Is Argentina friendly to foreigners?

Yes, Argentina is friendly to foreigners. Many foreigners visit here, and some even live here permanently as ex-pats.

What is it rude to do in Argentina?

Argentinians take their meals seriously, so don’t do anything that minimizes the importance of your meal, such as rushing through it, using utensils improperly, or blowing your nose at the table. Although Argentines are passionate about politics, don’t make assumptions about people’s beliefs as the country is very polarized.

Find the Best Deal
Find Hotel Deals in Argentina

Don't waste your hard-earned money. Get the best deal on your trip by comparing deals on and Expedia!

  • Options for all travel styles & budgets
  • Price match guarantees
  • Exclusive last-minute deals
See Deals See Deals
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

So, Should You Travel to Argentina?

Argentina is safe to visit, and countless tourists visit each year without encountering any problems. While you should take some precautions to protect against pickpockets, using some basic common sense will ensure that your trip will go off without a problem. Happy travels!