SELL ME on BA .... please :)


Mar 8, 2009
I have read through the posts here. Nice board. Congratulations.

As for me, recently divorce spent the last year starting internet based businesses and travelling throughout the Caribbean and Colombia. I have had a great time! great adventure! But, I still have not found what I am looking for ...

I hear great things (generally) about BA. I do not know anything more than that! I am not sure I need to. I am thinking of visiting in January and February ... maybe spend time in Montevideo too?

I have three specific questions:

1, The US DOLLAR vs Peso looks good, but I have read about inflation in Argentina too. What is the bottom line? Do Gringos get a better lifestyle for less? If so how much?

2, What barrio and activities are best; unique; or most popular?

3, What are the most common Turn Ons and Turn Offs for Gringos?
you can bone up on a lot of these questions by going to the forum and looking up past posts. most of these topics have been recently explored. you will find good and bad things about anywhere. ba is ranked the 138 cheapest city to live in. but its up to you to see if it fits you.
Drop the term Gringo for down here. You're a Yanqui now,jaja! (pronounced zhanqui)
Interesting ...

In Colombia, being from the USA is not necessarily a compliment. The "normal" profile of an Americano is not complimentary ( fat; rich; unable or unwilling to understand others; privileged; selfish). And, of course, there were those than naturally liked Americanos and those that would prefer them punished - from feelings of jealousy or revenge.

I grew my hair long and most assumed I was from Europe - which I think helped me.

I was able to make friends easily in social groups that are famous for suspicion and distrust. I enjoyed the Salsa - it was everywhere. But I really made most of my aquaintainces in late night clubs - electronica. That is just the way it happened for me.

I do understand that each place is different, and in order to GET the most out of it - in order to GIVE the most to it ... one must learn and observe. That is why I am hear.

I imagine that the social scene in BA is equal to, or better than, in Cali and Medellin. (Which is GREAT!). I hope the people are a little more sophisticated, a little less "Earthy". It would be nice if there is a little English to work with ( my Spanish remains a work in progress). In Cali there is virtually no English.

Regarding what we ( Yanqui ) get for our money ... I can answer the question for Cali: An OK apartment is 400 - 700 dollars per month. A very very nice apartment is 700 - 1100 per month. car rental is rather expensive. taxis are cheap, but a little dangerous. One cannot travel half day trips without security considerations.

I found the place to be MORE safe AND MORE dangerous than I expected. If you are aware and stay in the right places, you are very safe. If you do stupid things, you number will come up rather quickly.

To stay in the affluent economy in Colombia, nice cafes, bars, cloths ... you spend as much, maybe 20 % - 30% less in some cases than USA. Property is a bargain. The more you live like a native (cook your own food) the cheaper things become.

I assume the same is true of BA?
1) Peso expected to go 4:1 against the dollar, but 4 pesos here won't buy you what 1 dollar will in the US, most everything is expensive here.
2)Most popular with expats seems to be Recoleta and Palermo, they are typical overpriced residential areas. But no matter what part of the city you are, they're mostly the same, some not as nice, but mostly safe, with people who won't give you the time of day, and would just as soon spit on you as say good morning.
3)Turn offs: unfriendly people, lack of diversity in cuisine, high prices, transportation strikes, lack of coins, dog crap on the sidewalks, trash everywhere, noise, noise, noise. Turn ons: [hopefully you'll get other responses, i'm here only to be with my partner, no other reason]
You do not seem happy Cujodo ... I think I will get many more responses thanks to your assessment :)

how much is a beer? Equal to US? More or Less?
night on the town
real estate

I had to get use to the same thing in Colombia where 1 dollar = 2,100 Pesos. After you get used to the math ... something interesting happens

Obviously, it is a cheaper place to go out and have a good time than New York, or LA. But, it was not free either. Let's say, I spent 100 - 200 bucks on a Saturday night (paid for friends too). Same thing would cost 500 - 700 in US.

But, if one was to LIVE in Colombia with a monthly income of $3000, they could live well. With a monthly income of $5,000 they could live very well. After $7,000 per month, it would be difficult to duplicate that standard of living in the USA with less than + $350,000 per year earnings (great house; maid; social status; etc...)

I don't mind MEAN people. I just want to avoid CRAZY people.
One more thing (in hopes of getting information rich replies) ...

I am also looking at Uraguay. Both places look ideal from a distance. I may take a week or so just to see first hand before I commit to a certain place for a couple months.

I would like to hear comparisons in these destinations too. Again, especially how they relate to my two primary questions - things to do and standard of living ups and downs

You can eat well, drink well and go to good restaurants and bars for a lot less than US or european equivalents.

There's art everywhere, on the walls, galleries, museums and world class music with unique heritage.

The architecture can be stunning, and the general standard of design throughout the city is very high. Attention to interiors is impressive, design rivals anything you see in over priced and over hyped locations in NY, London etc.

I get the feeling in BA that you generally get a lot for your money, based on what you pay. But it depends on your tastes as well.

You can eat out well for less than 100 pesos a couple if you choose your restaurants. You could also pay four times that depending where you go. You could buy a litre of quilmes in a local bar for 10 pesos or knock back 30 peso cocktails in a swish place in town. There are plenty of options depending on your tastes and your budget.

Downsides - its a developing country, there are slums, poverty, crime, a paco epidemic, parts of BA are very unsafe, the food isn't that varied and.... its not home. Some people seem to struggle with the fact that the Argentina isn't a well ordered english speaking first world country, and it can be difficult to integrate yourself into argentine social circles without much spanish or a "way in".

Really depends on what you are looking for. I think BA is one of the greatest cities in the world and I love living here, but it depends what you value and whats important to you.
rivardco said:
I would like to hear comparisons in these destinations too. Again, especially how they relate to my two primary questions - things to do and standard of living ups and downs

You have to do your own research, just like the rest of us do. Nothing you read can be taken at face value or should even serve as a guideline for action. No-one is going to try to sell you on BsAs -- there are a number of negatives to the place -- too many people, too much pollution and noise, a lot of crime, stagnant property market. The job of balancing positives and negatives is yours to do.

Also you have not specified what you are looking for, what criteria you are using other than prices of beer, dinner, etc. If it's just prices I suppose Peru and Paraguay may be cheaper. That you haven't mentioned those countries suggests you have criteria other than just prices.
Some say I look at the place through rose coloured glasses, but I agree with BBW for once, what I love about the place may bring you here never to leave or it might not be enough to counteract the dog crap, dodgy streets beauracracy strikes, I could go on.
So here is my list of what is great, tango, architecture, plazas, tango, steak, iced cream, tango, the women, art, museums, cheap transport, cheap wine, good food, and did I mention the tango?