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It was astonishing to look down onto Av. Callao from our hotel balcony and see the whole street crowded with the yellow and black taxis of Buenos Aires. Over 50% of the traffic was solely due to their presence!
For our first day of sight-seeing, we took a long walk to the area of the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace) so we could take in the ambience of the city at our leisure. However, it was a hot 33 deg C day (90s F) so we were dragging by the afternoon. That was when we took our first taxi ride, from San Telmo district back to our hotel. We were impressed enough that we made their use a regular fixture in our remaining time in the city.
Step to the side of a curb anywhere in the city and 'whoosh' a taxi will pull up within 30 seconds. Ours all had the standard meter (and this is the type recommended) set at A$1.60 (US$0.55) as a base fare. These guys can negotiate the streets around BA without problems and we never seemed to get stuck in a traffic jam. A typical fare from our central hotel to the more distant Recoleta or La Boca districts was about A$6 (US$2) - hard to beat that!
I found it useful to have a small slip of paper with my destination written on it ('Callao 292' for instance) to avoid any possible language confusion! It is customary to tip the driver by rounding the fare up to the next A$ value (5.60 becomes 6.00).
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Sometimes I get the feeling that taxis outnumber private autos 10 to 1. Actually, the figure is probably higher. But it does sure make flagging one down very convenient. Even if you don't know Spanish very well, a few simple phrases and a knowledge of where you're actually going is all you need. The important this is to make sure you flag down a taxi with the yellow writing on both doors as they are whats called "Radio Taxix". Writing on the front doors doesn't cut it, as they are independant contractors, and are said to be less safe.
If you are staying at a hotel, you can have the front desk clerk or concierge call one, or you can just go to the closest busy street and wait 30 seconds. And if you're a woman travelling solo, then I would advise this -- especially at night. But generally speaking, taxis are a safe and very cheap way to travel.
Listed here is the number for "Radio Taxi Premium" a company I have used on occasion: 5238-0000. You can also call a driver by the name of German: 15-4079-4270 (cell). He's very friendly and speaks English and works for that company. If you need to hire a driver that speakes English to take you outside the city, then I can recommend him without reservation. Just call him a couple of hours before you're ready to take your trip.
Another interesting chap is Rodolfo A. Cutufia. He seems to be some sort of local legend in Buenso Aires. He's had numerous newspaper articles written about him and even has his own web site. He talks non-stop even if you don't understand him and before you leave, he'll request you write something in his guestbook. He'll also hand you a 2 page flyer full of quotes and sayings.
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Wandering the city
Buenos Aires has an excellent public transport net, by bus or metro, but if you like watch meanwhile moving from one point to other then your best choice is the taxi cab. Black with yellow roof this cars belongs to different companies, I recommend this company because is safe and fast. Prices are regulated by the city hall then prices are the same. Not expensive for foreigners.
- Budget Travel
We had heard all the horror stories about the cabs and being ripped off in BA. We didn't experience this. Lucky? Good? Rumors not true? I dont know. But we used radio taxi's many times at all hours and didn't have any problems. Closest was one guy wanted to sell us a tour. But we chose to get out near where we were and that ended that.
... radio or remise ...
There are thousands of the so called ‘Radio Taxis’, all black and yellow painted and a lighted sign on the roof. These are the official taxis in Buenos Aires and the safest and taking one of these will never be a problem.
(The others do not and some people have problems with these if you do not know what the price should be and how to get to where you are going. You might encounter a quick meter or get a needless very long tour to get to your destination).
Sometimes Radio Taxi's are waiting on taxi ranks or you can hail one which is driving along.
It is a great way to visit the tourist sights in Buenos Aires, which sometimes are far away from each other.
- Taxis are (very) cheap and drivers don’t expect a tip, we just let them keep the change to the next peso.
- Radio Taxis use meters, which start at 2 pesos.
- Try to pay with small notes, otherwise it may happen they don’t have change (enough).
- A lot of the drivers don’t speak English, so have an address or map to point out where you want to go.
These are a different kind of official taxis. They don’t use meters, but have a fixed price, depending on the length of the taxi ride. We often used a remise, when travelling to/from the airports.
For a remise you have to call one of the companies (or your hotel or restaurant will do this for you), but you can also walk into one of the offices ('remiserias'), which we found everywhere in Buenos Aires. In the arrival halls of the airports are also offices of remise companies.
Taxi or remise?
There can be times when it seems as though there are more of the ubiquitous black and yellow taxis on the streets of Buenos Aires than any other sort of car - and then it rains, and they all disappear as if by magic - or they sail past you, their passengers snug and dry whilst you're left out there in the rain.
Rainy days aside, hailing a taxi in the street is easy. Just be sure to check that the cab that stops for you is a Radio Cab (they all have the name of the company they work for on the side). If there's no name, thery're not part of a registered group and you should definitely avoid them - it's these unaffiliated taxis that are most likely to be the rogues. If an unregistered cab stops for you, just say no and walk on - another, registered taxi won't be far behind.
If you're comfortable with your first taxi, ask him for a card and call his company if and when you want a taxi. Otherwise, you can ask your hotel or the restaurant you're in to call you one.
So that's taxi. What's a remise?
It's a hired car and driver, booked through a remise office. They're the best way to get to and from the airports and useful for times when you need to be certain your car will arrive on time as they can be booked ahead. There are remise offices at the airports and you can ask your hotel to book one for you.
The yellow/black taxis
Next to the subte, the taxi is the best may to travel in Buenos Aires...and the only possibility at night!
-The taxi in Buenos Aires is really cheap! Their basis rate is 1.44 pesos (in december 2004, divise it +/- by 4 for euros/dollars). So most of the time, you get a ride in the center (between Independencia and Corrientes) for less than 5 pesos.
-You just have to wait 5 second to catch one during the day and maximum one minute during the night! Check out their inside light to see if they are free!
-The car riders are often very talkative so, they are always a very good source of informations!
When I arrived back in the States (I flew into Dulles in Washington, D.C.) I was talking with an older American couple who had just returned on the same flight with me. The gentleman made a joke saying, "The only problem with Buenos Aires is that it's so difficult to find a taxi." Yeah right! I've never seen a city with so many taxis. I swear there are more taxis on the road than all the rest of the automobiles combined (I counted!! LOL). Just walk outside and stick your hand out and you shouldn't have any trouble. All of the cabs are black and yellow and easy to spot and are relatively cheap. I rode all the way across town from Recoleta to La Boca and it was only about 6 pesos. The cab drivers are friendly and some are talkative, but don't expect any English. One interesting observation that I made was that many of the taxi drivers have crosses hanging from the rear view mirror and many with cross themselves as they pass by certain churches in town. Then again, they'll curse out another driver if they get cut off!
Tipping usually involved rounding the centavos up to the next peso. For example, if the meter reads 4.55, just give him 5 pesos and he will be grateful.
I paid 28 pesos from the International Airport to my hotel in La Recoleta.
Easy and quite cheap
During my first visit to Buenos Aires we arranged with our hotel for a taxi to be waiting for us upon our arrival, so once exciting the customs area we were greeted by our taxi driver, Luis.
The ride to our hotel from Ezezia to Palermo was about 35 minutes long at a cost of $115 pesos. We had a pleasant ride while Luis was excited to tell us a little about Buenos Aires. He was a bit surprised and actually happy to hear we spoke Spanish so well.
On our second visit to Buenos Aires we just walked out of the arrivals hall and took a taxi from there. When you travel with at least one more person, the taxi makes more sense. The taxi ride to our hotel was about 30 minutes at a cost $95 pesos.
We also took a taxi from Jorge Newbury to Ezezia upon our return from Iguazu Falls at a cost of $160 pesos and the ride during peak rush hour on a Friday night was about 1 hour and 20 minutes long.
El taxi loco
For the price of taking the subway in London or Paris, you can take a taxi in Buenos Aires. Most taxi rides I took cost about $2. There are taxis everywhere, so it never takes too long to find one.
I must warn fellow travelers, however, that some taxi rides in Buenos Aires are nerve-wrecking. One of the taxis got into a traffic accident immediately after I got into the car.
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Cab / Taxi
Take Cabs or Taxis. First of all, they are cheap... 2nd of all, they are fast. BUT - Do Be Careful! You would probably prefer to have a "called cab" - "remis" is what I hear them call it. Have a Taxi Called for you, and then proceed to get in and go around BsAs. If you hail down the Random Taxi on the street, and if you don't know where you are going, they may take you for a LONG ride and it's gonna cost you some. I've heard worse stories from "hailed down cabs" : The cab driver can take you to a bad area where your cab could be 'hijacked' and all your stuff stolen. That would be a drag. So, again, have a cab called for you. Save time and stress!!!
Getting around by taxi
Taxis are all over Buenos Aires. You won't have trouble finding one. However very few taxis are driven by with fake licences and may be in combination with thieves to steal you. To be honest this is not common at all, but it does happen so i would recommend to call a radiotaxi or take a remis (unsigned taxis that you can call), they can call one for you at your hotel.
I found Buenos Aires a very expensive city, at least for my standard, but I must admit taxis were not expensive and above all, they always used the meter without the need of any request from me.
I was told to use only radio taxis because they are supposed to be safer, I did so but I must amitt that non radio taxis never stopped when I tried to take one.
I paid 240 pesos to go from airport to city centre and 200 on the way back, it seems taxis in Argentina costs more from airport because therem they have to pay the parking, this is why you have different prices betwen going to airport and leaving from airport.
- Road Trip
Take a taxi
Taking a taxi in this Capital is cheap, about 50.000 cars as taxi, colored in black and yellow are crossing around the city, and most of them are equipped with a meter. An abolute must to control the rates.
A ride from El Congreso to La Boca will cost you max.10 Peso ( 2.5 euro) this devided by the
number of passengers, really cheap, but oké , you will be riding in a Peugeot, not a luxery car like a Honda (Haha)
- Road Trip
A DEAR TAXI DRIVE CALLED MANUELA
She is very kind, she is an expert in all the ways and corners of Buenos Aires and I am talking about a HUGE CITY. She is a great mother and beloved friend...Simply adorable, I spend almost one month in the city, and I used a lot of taxis, and taxis in Buenos Aires are like cockroaches in Senegal...THERE ARE BILLION OF TAXIS IN THE CITY, but she was the first woman I come across in my outings in the city, and to my surprise SHE IS A PILOT, extremely honest, she offers you many options for the fastest trip!
She works for the TAXI COMPANY RADIO TAXI PORTEÑO, and this company can be reached if you dial 4566-5777...
You can call and ask for Manuela, she is my great driver in Buenos Aires, and good, I just got one more good friend in a city that I really love!
With her you can go everywhere in Buenos Aires with safety!
Sept - LAST WEEK - 2005
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