April 25, 2009

Buenos Aires Safety Tips

Buenos Aires is a fantastic travel destination and is generally considered quite safe. But, like any big city, you need to take certain precautions when visiting to avoid potential problems and enjoy a safe and trouble-free vacation.

Statistically speaking, crime is not out of control in Buenos Aires. This is a city of more than 12 million people so incidents are going to happen. However, the majority of tourists enjoy their vacations without any serious problems.

Now here are some tips on what you can do to stay safe during your vacation in "the Paris of South America".

First, stick to safe neighborhoods. The better neighborhoods include Palermo, Recoleta, Microcentro (downtown), Puerto Madero, San Telmo, and Belgrano, among others. Most of the tourist sites and hotels are located in these neighborhoods. Keep in mind that there are impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, though you will likely have no reason to venture there.

Next, avoid wearing expensive jewelry or watches. Your chance of getting robbed goes up dramatically when you flash expensive items. In that same vein, it's best to keep your camera in your bag or pocket when you aren't using it. The camera identifies you as a tourist and a possible target, and the camera itself is a valuable item that could be tempting to a thief.

If you need to use an ATM, do so during daylight hours in a busy location.

Watch your bags and purses when eating in restaurants, especially on outdoor patios.

A bigger problem than crime might be traffic. Traffic is heavy and drivers don't usually give pedestrians the right of way. Also, be on the look out for uncontrolled intersections (ie. intersections with no stop signs or traffic lights).

Sidewalks in most neighborhoods are in a poor state of repair. It's easy to twist an ankle so watch your step, especially if wearing heels.

You can get tons more Buenos Aires Travel Tips at http://www.batips.com. Make sure you check it out before your trip.

By MARK SANCHEZ

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