Living in Buenos Aires versus Santiago - pros and cons

pedroC

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I think some of the answers depend on you giving some more info. For example are you looking to move for just a few years or to settle for good. Also are you a retiree or some young buck looking for adventure. Do you come on your own or with family and children. Are you going to look for work or start your own business?
It would be helpful to know the above to give you my perspective. I lived in Santiago from July '04 till December '06, and in Buenos Aires since then. Although I'm still in my honeymoon period with the portenos, I'm much happier here than I ever in Chile.
 

lovetotravel

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I am single mid thirties no kids. Most likely I would be there for couple years not long term. I have a business in the US that I can operate from overseas. I am looking for adventure. For me adventure means a city where I can walk to lots of great restaurants and shops, beautiful architecture, natural beauty and of course beautiful women. I speak Spanish reasonably well. So pedroC why do you prefer BA to Santiago? How would you compare the two? Thanks for your insights.
 

Granadaiscool

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"lovetotravel" said:
For me adventure means a city where I can walk to lots of great restaurants and shops, beautiful architecture, natural beauty and of course beautiful women.
I would think that both would apply for that only the natural beauty is lacking in BA and not in SdC, architecture is probally better in BA

 

lovetotravel

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Are the women more attractive in one city or the other or is it about the same? Is there a higher percentage of women that are attractive in BA versus Santiago? I would assume the women are more approachable in BA since I get the sense Santiago is more conservative.
 

Granadaiscool

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"lovetotravel" said:
Are the women more attractive in one city or the other or is it about the same? Is there a higher percentage of women that are attractive in BA versus Santiago? I would assume the women are more approachable in BA since I get the sense Santiago is more conservative.
In Chili they love to dance, in Argentina they wait untill a guy picks her up.
I would think it´s easier to meet girls in Santiago then in BA
In BA very few woman are attractive, in SdC as well

 

realba

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jeje, i love this...santiago or buenos aires...the answer is always, always, always buenos aires no matter how bad the economy gets, no matter how expensive it gets...always BA. Santiago is a smoggy, culturally challenged pit filled with aggressive muppets who don't know how to behave in public (common courtesy is not a santiaguino strong point). And there's nothing to do. BA is fun and has an energy that you won't find in Santiago, there's loads to do and people say hello when you walk into a shop and ask if they can help you. They don't just grunt.

Chile does offer some advantages over Argentina (things-institutions, internet services etc- just work better in Chile, police are trustworthy, it's more stable etc) but Santiago doesn't offer any advantages over BA.

Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, on the other hand, are smaller cities (a combined 600,000) on the coast and are more relaxed. People are friendlier, there's lots of outdoor stuff to do, you can see both the Pacific and the Andes when you look out the window, for 2 months in summer there are quite a few cultural things to do and there's no pollution. Chile's really all about the great outdoors-there's not the indoor cultural scene that exists in argentina and particularly buenos aires.

I live in Valparaiso these days btw-and very happily-, my girlf's chilean and i've lived in santiago for some time as well and go there regularly for work and stuff if i can't avoid it. i also lived in BA for around 3 years and left back in january. if you're happier with fewer things to do then i'd recommend giving valpo a try. if you want more stimulation then BA's a better bet. But don't go to Santiago.
 

Bill

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I've lived in BA and visited Santiago twice for short times.
In my experience, Santiago has more pros than BA. The economy is doing well, the government is progressive and the transportation system is good. If you do visit both cities, ride the subway systems for example. Getting in and out of Chile is also easier now that immigration rules have been relaxed. It's easy to travel over to Argentina to renew a visa if you need to.
Santiago seemed safe enough for me and I never ran into trouble walking the streets even at night. I was a bit surprised with the people because they were friendly and the mood was good toward foreign people. In BA, the attitude is that if you don't like something, you should leave. Go back to your own country. You're not Argentine and you never will be. Looking back on it, I see it as a form of racism. The government is a partner in that, allowing for a two-tier pricing system on everything from Airline flights to national parks.
The economy in Chile is doing well and seems to be one of the most stable in SA. Prices in Chile are higher and I expect the cost of living would be more. Argentina has a devalued peso but is now in the early stages of hyperinflation, even if the government denies this. Tragic mistakes and corruption with the government are taking their toll on the infrastructure.
Both cities are very elegant with BA having more to see and do on a surface level. I prefer the food in Chile. For language, the spanish in BA is a unique form that's really only good for the city. In Chile, they speak quickly but the spanish is more transferable to other regions and countries.
Severe pollution is a problem in both cities and both suffer from bad weather at certain times of the year. Santiago has the misfortune of inversion because of the mountains close by although this problem has been slowly getting better. When I was there, the air was good and noise pollution was certainly lower. Like other posters have mentioned, Vina del Mar is a better choice if you don't have to live in Santiago for a specific reason. Also to the west of Santiago heading toward the mountains is nice.
Regarding the women, I was surprised how attractive the women in Chile are. They are more conservative though. Both cities have a booming inexpensive sextrade even if prostitution is supposed to be illegal in Chile. Argentine women are attractive as well but that's a taste thing. Personally, I got tired of the BA women pretty fast and the Chilean girls were a nice change. I also visited places like Vina del Mar which is a beach community and all that goes along with that.
Keep doing research and read what people are saying in forums like this and others. It's a good way to get overall impressions and also learn in advance. Look into international banking and if that's possible.
 

realba

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with regards to the transport system in santiago...it was all completely and totally fcuked up by the Transanfiasco back in february. the metro came off worst as no one knows the new bus routes and so they all take the metro. around 10 people have died as a result of metro over-crowding in the last few months (stress and heat induced heart-attacks)...not fun. queuing is non-existent in santiago so make sure you sharpen your elbows before leaving the house...
due to inflation in argentina, cost of living in chile is now comparable and often less these days for many products (especially anything imported)
the ease of everyday things such as banking, bill paying (sometimes), not worrying about getting over-charged at the market, not having to think about bribing the police, getting money into the country etc are what makes chile more attractive but i really think that santiago's cons over-ride all of that. and yes, chilean women are very attractive (despite their reputation as not being so) and are far more approachable than their argentine sisters. plus, they're real suckers for foreign guys :)

finally, santiago has a severe petty crime problem-pickpocketing and non-violent muggings, but violent crime is very rare and gun-point restaurant hold-ups would never happen. banks, yes...but restaurants or supermarkets no...so, i could happily recommend chile over argentina in general, but never santiago over BA.
 

donquixote

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Hi Bill.
I am thinking of leaving BA in the summer months to avoid the hot humid weather here. I spent 3 weeks in Vin Del Mar and 2 weeks in Puerto Varas 2005. I would go there but it's now a little pricy. The same hotel I stayed in Vin Del Mar is now 3X the price as it was when I stayed there, What is the weather like in Santiago in January and Febuary? Any sugestions?
DQ
 
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