Safety in Argentina

Plaza de Mayo - Buenos Aires

Contrary to popular belief, for the most part Argentina is a pretty safe country. Like many places in South America it does have its problems though. This is why travellers to Argentina are advised to take a few precautions. I must tell you now though; this article is going to make Argentina seem like one of the most ‘dangerous’ places in the world. It really is not. Truth be told; it is not. You do need to be careful in some regards though.

Firstly, and this is mainly for British tourists only, you will find protests against the British occupation of the Falkland Islands (known as the Malvinas by the Argentinians). These protests, for the most part at least, are perfectly peaceful. They have grown in popularity over the past couple of years though and there has been some violence towards British tourists at them. I must stress that this happening is very rare, but even the Argentinian government recommends that people steer clear of them.

The most common crimes in Argentina tend to be theft (mainly pickpocketing), armed robberies, and bag snatching. These tend to be centred around the most popular tourist destinations so you will want to ensure that you are with your belongings at all times (do keep an eye on them!). If you have spent a night partying in one of the larger cities (for example Buenos Aires), then you should try and steer clear of the darker areas at night. It is just not that safe. If you are subject to an armed robbery (not that likely, trust me), then do not try to fight back. Hand over whatever you have.

When using taxis you should only use a taxi labelled as a ‘Radio Taxi’. The other ones may not be all that safe to use.

It is worth noting that depending on where you travel in Argentina you may need a few vaccinations before you head out. The most common of these vaccinations is Yellow Fever. You will want to talk to your local ‘travel doctor’ or head online if you want to find out whether you actually need this vaccination. You tend to only need it in the more rural locations. The condition is not all that rampant in the larger cities. If you are heading to the border of Brazil i.e. the Iguacu Falls, then it is almost certainly recommended.

Finally; if you are heading on a trip to Argentina then you will want to make sure that you have full medical insurance. Treatment, particularly for foreigners, can be very expensive in Argentina. Do bear in mind that the queues in treatment centers will be incredibly long. If you ever need emergency assistance then you can dial 911 from any phone. The operator will speak English for you. You can also ask the reception desk of your hotel who will be able to help you out if you need it.

Again; I must stress that Argentina is not an unsafe country at all (despite how the media portrays it). You will have to take precautions much in the same way as any other country. This is likely to be an unfamiliar location to you though, and this means taking a few more precautions than normal.

Useful Information

To visit Argentina you need to obtain the Argentina Reciprocity Fee. You can apply at www.reciprocityfees.org

For additional details on requirements for US Citizens, visit the State Department website or the Embassy of Argentina.