Argentina is one of South America’s most popular tourist destinations because it literally has it all. Argentina has an incredible culture, delicious food, beautiful cities, and some of the world’s most famous and iconic outdoor scenes.
Whether you’re looking to explore a big city like Buenos Aires or soak up some nature in Patagonia, Argentina has something to offer everyone. This incredible combination puts Argentina at the top of many travelers’ bucket lists.
Unfortunately, Argentina has a turbulent political history, and the economy has seen its shares of ups and downs.
Furthermore, South America has a reputation as a dangerous place for tourists. So, the question on everyone’s mind is: Is Argentina safe? This article will cover everything you need to know about traveling safely in Argentina.
It will cover the crime and bad neighborhoods to watch out for and give you some travel tips and tricks that can help you maximize your trip to Argentina.
Is Argentina Safe to Visit?
The first thing you need to know is that, yes, Argentina is safe to visit. The country has a long way to go regarding political stability and economic prosperity, but it is a stable country with a low level of violent crime.
Of course, as with any country, there are always going to be areas that are safer than others. In Argentina, big cities like Buenos Aires and Cordoba can be dangerous because of petty crime.
But as long as you take the usual precautions, most tourists will have no problems. However, these cities are no more hazardous than large cities in developed countries.
The best way to stay safe in Argentina is to avoid bad neighborhoods (more on that later), don’t flash your valuables around, and be aware of your surroundings. If you do these things, you should have no problem staying safe during your trip to Argentina.
Crime in Argentina
The crime rate in Argentina is relatively low compared to other countries in South America. The most common crimes are petty theft and pickpocketing, which tend to occur in crowded areas like bus stations, markets, and subways.
Violent crime is relatively rare, but it does occur, so it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid walking alone at night if you are worried about getting mugged or robbed.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there have been a few instances of tourists being kidnapped for ransom in Argentina.
Kidnapping is usually only a concern if you are traveling to remote areas or if you are engaging in illegal behavior. If you are worried about getting kidnapped, staying in well-populated areas is best, and avoid traveling alone.
In general, violent crime is not common in Argentina. As long as you are participating in legal activities, you do not need to worry about crime during your trip to Argentina.
Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods
Argentina is a large country, and like all countries, there will be some bad areas. You can easily avoid these areas because most tourist hot spots are located in safe neighborhoods. If there is any doubt, ask a local after you arrive.
Locals usually know these areas and can help you with any concerns you might have. In Buenos Aires, there are some neighborhoods you should avoid.
The La Boca and Villa 31 neighborhoods are known to be more dangerous. Additionally, due to drug-related activities, Bajo Flores, Villa 31, and Caminito are not the safest areas. Cordoba is also relatively safe, but there are still some bad neighborhoods.
The Centro, Guemes, Alberdi, and Alta Cordoba areas can be a bit sketchy but are okay to visit. You should stay away from San Vicente, Observatorio, and Circunvalacion.
These neighborhoods are known to be more dangerous. Of course, these are just generalizations, and it’s always best to do your own research before you travel to a new place.
Safest Places to Visit in Argentina
The safest places to visit in Argentina are the big cities like Buenos Aires and Cordoba. These cities have a higher police presence and are generally well-lit and patrolled at night.
If you are worried about crime, it’s best to stay in the city’s center, where there is more foot traffic and fewer opportunities for criminals to commit crimes. Some other safe places to visit in Argentina are the provinces of Mendoza, Salta, and Jujuy.
These areas are relatively secure and generally have a low crime rate. Argentina is a safe place to visit, and you can travel to most locations within the country without concern for your health and safety.
Public Transportation in Argentina
Public transportation in Argentina is relatively safe. The most common form of public transportation is the bus. You can take buses all over Argentina. It is one of the cheapest and most accessible forms of travel and is relatively safe.
The subway system in Buenos Aires is also safe, but it can be crowded during rush hour. If you are worried about pickpockets, keeping your valuables in the hotel and being aware of your surroundings is best.
Taxis are also standard in Argentina, and they are generally safe. However, it’s always best to take a licensed taxi from a reputable company. If you are hailing a taxi on the street, make sure that the cab has a meter and that the driver turns it on.
If the driver doesn’t have a meter or if he refuses to turn it on, it’s best to find another taxi. The most dangerous time to take public transportation is late at night.
The night/early morning is when most robberies and assaults happen. If you enjoy the nightlife in Argentina, take a taxi home at the end of the night instead of public transportation. Taxis are the safest way to travel at night.
Natural Disasters in Argentina
One of the major appeals of Argentina is its incredible natural beauty. Unfortunately, the same forces that create the mountains of Argentina also create hazards for travelers. Argentina is located in an area that is prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, and landslides.
Natural disasters are not an issue if you plan to stay in cities like Buenos Aires and Cordoba. However, if you plan on traveling to Patagonia (and you absolutely should), natural disasters become more of a concern.
While these disasters are relatively rare, they do happen. If you plan to travel to Argentina during the rainy season (December – February), it’s best to check the weather forecast and be aware of any potential flood warnings.
If you are traveling to a remote area, share your itinerary with a friend or loved one before you depart on your trip. If something terrible happens, they can share that information with the authorities.
If you want to be extra safe, contact your embassy before your trip and share your travel itinerary. All this being said, natural disasters are not common in Argentina, and you can rest assured that they will not likely impact your trip.
Tips for Staying Safe in Argentina
Now that you know a little about Argentina’s crime and other travel hazards, let’s talk about some tips and tricks you can use to stay safe during your trip.
The first thing to do is research the areas you plan to visit. The research includes reading travel blogs, guidebooks, and articles like this. It’s also best to talk to people who have been to Argentina before.
They can give you first-hand advice on the safest places to visit and the areas to avoid. When you are in Argentina, it’s best to stay in well-lit and populated areas. The best spots include the city centers and other touristy places.
These areas are generally safe and have many people around, making it more difficult for criminals to commit crimes. It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Do not walk around with your head down, and avoid wearing headphones. If you are carrying a purse or bag, ensure it is close to your body and not hanging off your shoulder.
If you have valuables like rings, jewelry, cell phones, cameras, etc., don’t flash them around and try to be as discreet as possible. Also, drink responsibly. Drunk tourists are easy targets for criminals.
If you are out at night, make sure you have a plan to get home safely. A good strategy is to take a taxi or have someone else walk with you. It is also a good idea to avoid changing money on the street.
In many areas, there will be hawkers or street stalls that offer great exchange rates. These rates are too good to be true because they are. Many of these street stalls are either laundering money or using counterfeit bills.
There are many reputable money changers in banks and stores. You can also exchange money at the ATM. Another tip is to dress like a local. Dressing like a local means not walking around in expensive clothes or wearing jewelry that makes you stand out.
You want to blend in as much as possible. Of course, the best way to stay safe is to travel with a group of people. There is safety in numbers, and you are less likely to be targeted if you are not alone.
Argentina is a beautiful country with a lot to offer tourists. By following these safety tips, you can ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip to Argentina.
Things to Consider
These are some things to consider before your trip to Argentina.
- Argentine cuisine is heavy on red meat, so it may be difficult for you to find vegetarian options.
- Spanish is the natural language, but it is distinct from Spanish spoken in other countries. Even if you speak Spanish, you may have difficulty understanding what they are saying.
- Argentina is a vast country. Be prepared for long travel times between locations.
- There is a rich wine culture in Argentina. Try the wine as much as possible.
- Argentinians hate early mornings and love late nights. Be prepared for stores and restaurants to be closed in the morning but open late.
- The economy can be volatile, and the exchange rate can vary greatly. It is always a good idea to bring USD or Euros with you just in case.
- Avoid carrying around large amounts of cash. There are many places where you can exchange money, and many stores and restaurants accept credit or debit cards.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the frequently asked questions about traveling to Argentina safely.
Is Buenos Aires safe?
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and one of the largest cities in the world. It is generally safe. However, like all large cities, it has dangerous areas that should be avoided. Before exploring Buenos Aires, look up safe and harmful neighborhoods.
Walking and enjoying the beautiful architecture may be tempting, but taking a taxi or public transportation can help you avoid many dangerous situations while exploring Buenos Aires.
Do you need a visa to travel to Argentina?
It depends on your nationality, but many citizens of many nations are not required to have a visa to travel to Argentina. You do not need a tourist visa if you are an EU, USA, Canada, Australia, or UK citizen.
If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you may need a tourist visa.
The best way to check is to contact your embassy. If you need a tourist visa, you can get one for around $50. It is valid for 90 days, and you can extend the 90-day visa once for a maximum of 180 days.
Is Argentina open for travel?
Yes, Argentina is currently open for travel.
Is Argentina safe for solo female travelers?
There is no definitive answer, but it is generally safe for solo female travelers. As with any country, you should take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
Is Argentina safe for LGBTQ+ travelers?
Yes, Argentina is safe for LGBTQ+ travelers. There are no specific laws or regulations against LGBTQ+ people, and the country is generally tolerant of LGBTQ+ people.
Is Argentina safe to live in?
Again, there is no definitive answer. Argentina is generally safe, but as with any country, some areas are safer than others. Many immigrate to Argentina to take advantage of the culture and lifestyle. It is a popular place for retirees.
Is Argentina safe for British tourists?
Yes, Argentina is safe for British tourists. There is no history of criminals specifically targeting British tourists in Argentina.
Is Cordoba, Argentina, safe?
Cordoba is also safe. It would be best if you also took precautions, but there is no reason to be worried about your safety when visiting Cordoba.
Does Argentina have any travel restrictions in 2022?
There are no current travel restrictions for Argentina in 2022.
So, Is Argentina Safe to Visit?
Argentina is an incredible country with a lot to offer tourists. There is something for everyone, from natural beauty to rich culture, food, and history. Despite the reputation that South America has, Argentina is one of the safest countries in the world to travel to.
Despite the relative safety of Argentina, travelers should always remain vigilant and take precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in large cities. However, if you take basic safety measures, you can enjoy your visit to Argentina without any concerns. Happy travels!