This happened to us in the Rose Garden in Bosque de Palermo. As we entered we were surprised to see a guard on duty. As we wandered through the park, enjoying the birds and flowers, I felt something wet on my legs: it was a brown liquid that was also streaming down my husband's pants. At first, I thought we'd been hit by a massive bird! But within seconds a couple appeared with tissues and talking loudly in Spanish, began wiping us down. In the midst of the confusion, a woman walked by and said in English, they are thieves who are trying to distract you and rob you. As they are wiping your clothes they will pickpocket, or take your valuables. She suggested we go to the bathroom nearby to clean ourselves up. The couple quickly disappeared. we did wonder whether the other woman was part of the scam and if we went to the very deserted bathroom, if we would be robbed there. But it was fine. We carry nothing valuable with us in BA, so we do not make good targets. However, as savvy travelers we felt stupid that we had let our guard down -- probably because there was security in that area and for good reason. It obviously does not deter the scammers. At a dinner late that week, we met another couple who had been robbed in the Rose Garden. They had lost wallets and passports. All we got was a trip to the laundry and a valuable lesson. We have been to BA many times and always felt safe, this, we hope was an isolated incident.
Big Mafia Cafe, inside theft job in my opinion. The restaurant tries to keep the integrity of the pass in this place for the tourist but in the 21st century, the cafe plots out their targets for theft. Why not, it is the perfect spot....ALL TOURIST!!
HERE IS HOW IT PLAYS OUT:
At the door you meet a greeter who peeks his head in to tell them there is a seating for two, he will not even let you in until he does that. He opens the door then you are seated by the Maitron D'. The waiter takes your order (does it wrong I might add) and waits for you to get your food. Our bag was on the floor by my husband foot tucked underneath oh so carefully(my only wish was he cuffed it around his leg), he just finished taking a picture of the wax statues in the corner and takes a bite of his really gross non-tasteless sandwich. Thirty seconds later, I asked him to hand me the camera, which is about $1000, so I can take a picture of the 12inch diameter table with our food. It was gone!!!!! The couple sitting literaly 5 inches away from us did not see a thing (yes, some tables are that close). The other people around us did not see it either.
My guess is that our waiter kicked it to the bus boy or another waiter and stashed it away. The thing is, they keep a close watch of who comes into this place and the timing was perfect. My husband just literally decided to put the camera into the back when he ate before that he has it around his neck. When we reported the issue, they were not helpful. Supposedly the camera they had did not tape a thing, it was just there as a fake set up. No one wanted to talk to us and everyone pretended that they did not know or see anything.
BE CAREFUL, THIS TRIP MAY COST YOU MORE THAN A COFFEE OR A YUCKY SANDWICH!!!
Although I thought it wouldn't happen in Buenos Aires (little bit naive of course), we were cheated a couple of times during our last visit.
Taxi driver - money change
After a taxi ride I had to pay 14 pesos and I'm absolutely sure I handed over two notes of 10 pesos to the driver. After a couple of seconds he showed me just one note of 10 pesos and one note of 2 pesos. So I had to pay 2 pesos more !!
Always have smaller notes and coins with you or be sure a driver hands over the change before you really pay for the ride.
Tortoni waiter - not working with a bill
After our two 'cafe cortados' in Cafe Tortoni I asked for the bill. The waiter didn't bring a bill, but he named the price in Spanish. I paid him 30 pesos and I didn't get any change. I later realised I paid much too much. Most probably it was 13 pesos !!
Insist on receiving a bill before paying anything.
Street vendor - fake price
My wife was hungry and she ordered one 'empanada' from a street vendor at the San Telmo (Sunday) market and I paid 10 pesos. This was our first day in Bs As and later I realised I had paid too much.
First ask the price and then decide to buy something.
Shoemaker - too pricey
I had to repair my camera bag and found a small shoemaker near Recoleta. It was a couple of seconds work. But he asked 15 pesos; I'm sure he wouldn't have charged a local for such a price.
Leave a Comment
i´m not sure whether this was a just an taken oppurtinity or whether it is this guys MO but on our way to our hostel, after just arrivin Buenos Aries, we were confronted by a man who, after he vomitted all over us and our backpacks, attempted to help clean us up. my friend placed his bags down taking the bottle of water and tissues the man had offered. he then left along with, as we found as we went to leave, my friends smaller backpack containing his camera and his passport.
i´m not sure whether this man reguarlly does this or not but its something to keep your eyes out for. i never let any of my bags out of my grip, let alone my eyesight, however my friend never felt the need to be so careful. Buenos Aries is great city and pretty safe provided you take some care. Keep your stuff with you at all times and the worst that could happen is that you´ll end up cover in a local man´s vomit.
On arriving in Buenos Aires International Airport we changed 300 US dollars at the Bank De La
Nacion (National Bank) in the main terminal for approximately 650 pesos. It was not until 2 days later we discovered that 3 of the 100 peso notes were counterfeit. We complained to the Tourist Police in the airport on our departure 3 weeks later, even producing the teller's receipt and counterfeit notes but they refused to pursue this and did not even record our complaint. I subsequently complained to the Argentinian Consulate in Toronto without success. Be warned that this can happen even from a Bank.
WHY? It means that the person is not pretty... It makes it little complicated if the girl is from Bolivia. But as a foregner or tourist I guess the locals understand you, that you dont know this. Even if they dont want to understand you, you have to ask if you want to know... No solution!
Every where we went in Buenos Aires we noticed that the sidewalks were in desperate need of repair. They either were cracked, uneven, missing tiles so a plank was put over it to walk on and just large holes.
I definitely had a hard time walking around in the evenings with my heels and had to hold on for dear life to Ferni. During our last night in Buenos Aires it finally dawned on me to wear wedged heels (I had bought a pair a day before at a market) as I am prone to missing a step or falling into cracks and taking a tumble.
Thank goodness I didn't suffer any falls during this trip (a miracle).
So, if you are visiting Buenos Aires and want to wear heels, my advice, wear wedges.
We found large groupings of homeless people throughout the city's parks. They seemed to have formed small communities. We even observed a homeless woman given a homeless man a haircut in the park. They semed harmless and didn';t approach us for money but be on your guard as in any big city.
Graffiti was something we saw alot of in Buenos Aires. Graffiti is not uncommon in big cities so it was no surprise to find it here. It's a shame that buildings, statues and minuments are defaced in such a way. During my last visit to Buenos Aires there were several demonstations with people marching along the streets and spray painting buildings and walls as they walked.
La Boca is definitely the soul of the city, but you have to be careful, especially at night. Don't go alone, and try not to look like a tourist.
The main tourist streets (El Caminto) are pretty cheesy, with the colorful houses that everyone comes to look at. You'll want to wander around into the real neighborhood to get the true feeling for La Boca, just use common sense and be careful.
Do not freak out when you see sales people pee right in the middle of a six lane highway with the only precaution of turning opposite to the traffic. These hard working men might not have the time to visit a washroom (this Guinness hero of mine was even walking while doing it) and who knows may be there is no facility of this sort around. I doubt they would be welcomed in the Sheraton Convention and Towers Hotel despite the proximity.
The subte is a primary method of getting around in the city, but you need to take precautions. This is really common sense, but keep a tight hold of your belongings. Flip backpacks around they are hanging over your chest.
Additionally, be aware of rush hour crowds. I'm not quite as sure for the mornings, but 5-6pm most trains will be very packed. Not only is this more uncomfortable, it also exposes you to thievery better. Doesn't mean you shouldn't take the subte, but just stay aware.
While in Buenos Aires you may see people zipping about on motorbikes. The vast majority are just going about their business, but some are purse snatchers. The other day I witnessed a thief ride up behind a distracted woman in front of a mall in Las Cañitas. He yanked the purse and sped off. So keep a good hold of any bags at all times, even if you think being in a nicer neighborhood makes you safer.
Always verify your change after paying by cash at stores and at taxis.
it happened to me that i took a taxi in palermo, it was late at night and i was asleepy (not drunk) but i think the taxi driver thought i was drunk, so he took a longer trip to my house ( $4 extra pesos, i realised that but i didn't say anything because i was tired ) and then when we arrived, i paid with 50 pesos note ( the total was 20) and he only gave me 10 and he kept the change on his hand. So i told him, there is 20 missing, and he said oh yes that's how i count...
And also verify that the notes are not fake, some taxi drivers give tourist fake notes!!
On my last visit to Buenos Aires we arrived during one of many protests that were occurring that week. Protestors stopped traffic and invaded the streets. Signs were carried and they shouted angry words. Loud explosions were head both close by and in the distance. The most disturbing part was that people were spray painting beautiful building with graffitti in protest.