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The Best Place to Live in Argentina

by Globetrooper Lauren | 36 Responses
The Best Place to Live in Argentina

Paris of the South or the Chocolate Capital? It’s a tough choice, so we’re after your vote.

We’ve narrowed the search down to a single country, the next step is to decide what city. Starting this October, we’ll make our way down to Argentina, but it’s the eighth largest country in the world… how are we going to choose where to base ourselves for a few months?!

What factors do you take into consideration when planning to travel or live in a foreign country? It’s different for everyone and also changes on the circumstances, but these are the factors we are looking for:

  • Safety – Is it safe to train for our desert expedition? Can a woman go for a run or a hike, solo?
  • Internet – How is Internet connectivity and speed like? Can we run our website effectively?
  • Activities – What outdoor adventures and cultural activities are there? Will we have opportunities to learn Spanish and experience the culture and terrain?
  • Cost – Will our cost of living decrease? Are rent, utilities and food less expensive than Montreal or Sydney (Australia)?

I’m going to compare five different cities and rate each one against the others on these factors. I’ll rank them between 1 and 5, but note that just because Buenos Aires ranks the lowest for safety, doesn’t mean it’s not safe, it just means I think it’s the least safe of all five places.

I’ll make a few assumptions with cost, because it’s really hard to know before we get there how different each city will be. Argentina on the whole, is considered to have a lower cost of living than both Canada and Australia, where we have previously lived. I’ve assumed that the bigger cities would be more expensive year-round as tourism is higher. And we’ll be there in the shoulder season, so prices for the winter/summer resorts will be cheaper.

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

La Boca, Buenos Aires - by ilkerender

Buenos Aires The Paris of the South is high in cultural activities because of the vast amount of opportunities here that you can basically find going on any night of the week. But where it soars in culture, I think it lacks in the outdoors (compared to the other cities), as we’d most likely be running around the same neighbourhood for regular fitness and training.

I think there is more petty crime and theft in Buenos Aires, mainly because it’s the largest city by population in Argentina. I’ve heard and read that in the smaller cities it’s quieter and the residents are more friendly towards tourists. BA rates highest for Internet connectivity though, because of the established network in the capital.

Córdoba

Córdoba

Otra toma de la catedral, Córdoba - by morrissey

Cordoba Also known as the Historical City and La Docta, Córdoba hosts many cultural centres, museums and universities. It is also located in a valley, surrounded by mountain ranges, pushing our Activities rating above that of Buenos Aires. As a non-believer in the saying of ‘safety in numbers’ in this case, Córdoba is second to Buenos Aires in terms of population, so the safety notch is not the highest. This is the opposite for Internet though, as the larger cities will have faster speeds.

Ushuaia

Ushuaia

Atardecer en Ushuaia - by untipografico

Ushuaia Being the port for Antarctica bound trips, Ushuaia is likely to give us a guilt trip for not taking a cruise down south, like every single other tourist in this spot will be. The number of museums and cultural centres are growing, but it is predominantly a tourist town, so I don’t think there will be as many opportunities for local interaction than some of the other communities. The surroundings call to be discovered and explored by hiking, horse riding, climbing and diving. But I’ve also read that they’re not just out your front door, requiring transportation to get to them.

With the smallest population of all the cities, I worry about Internet connectivity but not the safety factor. As for cost, I have given Ushuaia the lowest (worst) rating because the majority of tourists visiting this city are on there way to Antarctica, therefore having the funds to afford such a venture, and thus giving the local industries a reason to hike up prices.

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza Vineyard - by ornellaswouldgo

Mendoza ‘The land of good sunshine and good wine’ rings true here as Mendoza is famous for it’s Malbec wines, vineyards and moderate climate. It is also located at the foothills of the Andes Mountain Range, making it a frequent stopover for those on their way to climb the highest mountain in the Americas, Aconcagua. With an abundance of mountaineering, climbing, hiking, river rafting and of course the wine route, Mendoza ranks highest on the Activities rating. I’ve heard not so good things about safety though: that the level of crime and theft is high.

Bariloche

Bariloche

View from the Golf course at Llao Llao, Bariloche - by longhorndave

Bariloche The Winter Wonderland for snow bunnies, the adventurer’s paradise in summer, and the chocolate capital, Bariloche ranks highly on our Activities score. With a population of around 130,000, it’s not too big to stir our safety rank, or too small to limit technology and communications development. As for cost, it will be the shoulder season when we are there, so I think it would be slightly cheaper to rent an apartment here than in the bigger cities, even though I have read that it’s a big tourist trap in the winter.

There are so many other places that I haven’t covered, like El Bolson, El Calafate, San Martin, El Chalten and more. They’re all still up for grabs too if you can persuade us. So if you have ANY knowledge or experience about Argentina, please let us know in the comments. If you’ve never been, no problemos, but let us know which city you like the sound of most (or which has the best pic) in the poll below.


Posted in Argentina | September 21st, 2010

36 Responses to The Best Place to Live in Argentina

  1. I think for what you guys are doing, Bariloche would be perfect. In addition to being in a big city with good internet connections and all the outdoor activities you could ever imagine, there’s a lot within a few hours as well to vary your training and just get a change of scenery. It’s hard to go wrong with most of the cities you have, but I think Bariloche would be the perfect fit.

    • Thanks Adam, I think Bariloche is the front-runner at the moment because of all those factors.

  2. I went to cordoba last weekend, its nice for a weekend but thats it. Place does not have that much going on…

    • Thanks for your opinion Marcello, did you get outdoors much in the mountains? Just not sure how far away the ranges are from the actual city.

  3. Best to live in Argentina is just across the border in Chile!

    • Haha! Yes, we’ve been told not to skip Chile… it’s still on the books – any place in particular you can recommend in Chile? I’ve read about somewhere where you climb an active volcano and then bum-slide down! Really want to do that now, but might just be for a quick stop-over.

  4. BsAs absolutely!!!!!!! You can rent the most amazing apartments for very little money there. And it’s definitely one of the greatest cities in the world.

    • Hey Andi, I’ve heard that it’s actually cheaper outside BA because it’s turned into the hot-spot for short-term stays now because everyone seems to be thinking the same thing. Still heard of cheap accommodation though (WanderingTrader being one of them)!

  5. Based on your stated goals, it sounds like Bariloche is right up your alley. I voted for Salta though! :)

    • Hehe, we’ll definitely try to pop into Salta while you’re there Keith! Or we could meet somewhere in the middle in wine country ;)

  6. Great post, as an Argentinian, I would add Rosario to the list -best parties and discos- and that Cordoba is not more safer than Buenos Aires!

    • Thanks so much for the info Luciano. I’m going to read up on Rosario now. Cordoba sounds like an interesting story… why do you think it’s worse off than BA?

  7. What an exciting decision. All of these locations are amazing (we have been to many of them), but BsAs is the clear as far as we are concerned.

    We have rented condos in BsAs on multiple occasions (and are actually planning to head back in a few months). We even did some home shopping ourselves and obtained the necessary licensing to purchase. Despite going in a different direction, we love, Love, LOVE BsAs. Of course, the neighborhood makes a huge difference, as does the ability to block out the noise at night (seriously, these people are vampires – very…beautiful…vampires).

    Our bet is on any of the “Palermos” (Chico, Hollywood, Soho) although we found hollywood to be much more tranquil. You might also want to check out or Las Canitas. These neighborhoods command a slightly higher price than other areas of the city, but if you are spending Canadian or Australian dollars, you will find the cost of living to be nothing short of embarrassing.

    We have not felt unsafe, despite doing a lot of wandering and long distance running to all corners of the city. we are two, inseparable guys, so that could count for something. We have felt less safe in LA and New York for sure. Not that you shouldn’t be concerned.

    Can’t wait to hear what you decide and read about your adventure!

    • Hey guys, thanks a heap for sharing your first-hand knowledge on BA. It is the place that lured us to decide on Argentina in the first place. Maybe we can meet up for a run if you decide to head back there in a few months!

  8. You should come to Ushuaia!

  9. Buenos Aires!
    If you are looking for somewhere to stay for awhile and not just pass through it is easily the best choice of the cities you have listed. It should be rated more than one star for activities, it is the cultural hub of Argentina with events and cultural activities going on everyday, all day.
    For an outdoor lifestyle it does not compare to Bariloche but as an avid runner myself (Buenos Aires Full Marathon on the 10th October!) it has some great circuits and routes through the many inner city parklands to keep your legs pumping, although hill repeats are more difficult to find.

    • Thanks for the input Maria. Buenos Aires is still a real possibility for us. Good luck for the marathon this weekend!

  10. In Buenos Aires, tango flourishes in the dark milongas of San Telmo and La Boca, passion defines football for the porteños, and the Recoleta Cemetary exudes an eerie beauty. The succulent Argentine steak reigns supreme in the asado, only to be accompanied by the full-bodied malbec wine. And after a late dinner, Buenos Aires offers a thumping night life, from the posh clubs to the local dance halls. Enough reasons to love this magical city!

  11. Buenos Aires is definitely my favorite part of Argentina. I’m a cosmopolitan person so probably that’s the reason. However another great part of the country is Cordoba. Capital city is a fascinating place where you can find much kind of activities to do. I traveled with my wife and my 19 years old son, and we spend our time doing activities that were interesting for each one, a good example of that is that my son decided to do a Bike City Tour while my wife and I went to a day tour in Colonia, Uruguay. A really good activity that we all share and enjoy, was a Fiesta Gaucha, at Estancia Don Silvano, an outstanding activity that we had lots of enthusiasm to do, and allowed us to have the fortune to see the an entertaining sample of Argentine culture and folklore. It was great that after we take The Fiesta Gaucha, me and my family received a free tour through the city, for having registered with http://bsas4u.com/ We finally conclude our incredible trip in Argentina, going to a Tango Dinner Show at Sr. Tango, an incredible place full of good music, food, and joy.

  12. Bariloche is too touristy.
    San Martin de Los Andes is what Bariloche should be.

  13. Any suggestions for a 2 week to 1 month stay in Salta over Christmas?
    I should be cycling there for about the 20th december, and will be doing some internet based freelance work at the same time.
    Any suggestions much appreciated!
    dave

    • Hey Dave,

      We just left Salta actually. Only spent a few days there though. You should chat to the experts: Keith over at Traveling Savage (traveling-savage.com) as he just spent a month there and also Leigh from The Future is Red (thefutureisred.com), she’s been living in Salta for 2 years.

      If you can cycle a little further, we’re in Buenos Aires now until Jan?

  14. Hi there,
    thanks very much for the info, i will give them a try now!

    making BA on the bike for jan is probably not do-able for me… but if you see a sweaty bald guy on a bike pulling a trailer on your travels give me a wave!!!
    Cheers
    dave

  15. Hi could you advise us as a family where to travel to if we want to have a country side, holiday we are from south africa so we have beautiful sights and would like to ecxperiance a wonderful, holiday.

    there are so many place to choose from but we dont want to make a mistake and choose the wrong one.

    • Hi antoinette, it depends what time of year. I’d suggest Bariloche, but it can get cold in the winter. Mendoza is another nice place if you like good wine and food.

      I didn’t like Salta very much and Buenos Aires is more for people who want to visit the city.

      Research Mendoza and Bariloche and I think they’ll appeal to you. Hope that helps :)

  16. I am thinking of going to Argentina for 3 months (Dec thru Feb). I want to get a small apartment (studio), preferably in an old part of a town (something with character), and do some writing. I don’t want to be a touristy area, but I also want there to be social things to do when I go out occasionally at night. Any suggestions for a city to live in? BA seems interesting but hot and noisy?

    • Hey Slade, I’d probably stay in San Telmo. We stayed in Palermo while we were there, but it was a little too hip and boring for us. San Telmo seems much more raw and interesting.

      In terms of “hot and noisy”, it depends where you’re from. We were there in Dec too, but the temperature was nice. We’re from Sydney, Australia, and the summer was similar. Was mostly around 30C, which some people find hot. As for noisy, it was fine. It’s a very big city, so don’t think the 18 million (or however many) people are all within a couple of square kms. It really is huge.

      We really liked BA. It was very cheap, the food was great, and the weather was gorgeous. Helps to know a little spanish though. Bring from Aust, at times it was a little tough.

  17. Did you ever make a decision?

    • Yes we decided on Bariloche but then ended up going to Buenos Aires because it was easier. Bariloche is still high on the list to get back to though.

  18. Hi Lauren, my husband & I are planning on moving October 2012 to Argentina, but are also having a hard time deciding where. Did you enjoy BsAs after all? Was it too difficult to rent an apartment in the other cities? We plan to be there 9 months. Our top choices are Mendoza & Cordoba right now. But Bariloche looks beautiful! It seems too remote, though. What do you suggest?

    • Hi Meg,
      We really enjoyed BsAs – there’s a large & friendly expat community and you really get culture of Argentina there, even though it’s a big city. We didn’t get to visit Mendoza, Cordoba or Bariloche unfortunately. I don’t think Bariloche is remote though… it may look far away on a map, but I think it’s a decent size city with everything you need.

  19. hi guys ,,
    we are planing for our retirement so we are looking for a SAFE city in Argentina .. as i went through most of the postings i can see that “Bariloche” is the best. and i wonder if i will be able to find a farm house with a barn which can converted to a guest house to use it for B&B as a little income for us.
    also does this city has good hospitals, supermarkets, malls ? or how can i get more information about the best place to retire and live?

    any help from u guys , i really need help

    this is my email suhair.h.khan@gmail.com

  20. Hi I am from New York, I have been living in Argentina for 16 years. In a city on the east coast called Mar Del Plata,south of BS.AS. I would not recommend Argentina at this time for two reasons security and inflation. This new government has decided to start welfare here and it has totally destroyed the country. Prices are at an all time high, risen over 250% in the past 2 years and drugs have taken over the youths who will gladly shoot you in cold blood for 20$!!! Email me privately if you would like.I am on facebook also. I am sill here because I have 6 beautiful horses ,and that is the only reason.

  21. As Argentinean lived in that country for many years. At this time inflation is high and if you don’t have a very good job don’t go. Best places for me were..Miramar, in Bs As, General Belgrano in Cordoba and Las Puntas in San Luis. Also visited Mendoza, nice places. Now living in North Carolina, USA. Someday when I will be retired plan to return to one of these places… Stay away from big cities, and get a place where you enjoy nature and find real good people.. If you are in Argentina and want to tell me about or need advice write me and will reply.

  22. Hey Javier! (And anyone else still active here.) I am looking to move to argentina. Need a safe place to live for my family. We do speak Spanish and I wonder what is the best place for a family new to argentina? Really looking for a safe city, great culture, and great area for my daughter to grow up in. (She is only 3.) How difficult do you think it is to just leave and set up a new life there. We’re looking for a change and it will be a couple months before we go because of paperwork and job search. Also, what do u suggest we could so before we go? How difficult is it to find a job there while in the United States without actually knowing anyone there? As you can see, I am a little lost. Any help would be so wonderful.

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