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mikkigar
June 21st, 2009, 09:39 PM
My husband and I are taking the NCL cruise from Valparaiso to Buenos aires. Our cruise ends in Buenos Aires but we do not fly out until about 11 that evening.I would welcome some suggestions for how to spend the day.

1. Would it be advisable to get a hotel room for the day and then take a city tour? That would give us a place to store our luggage for the day while we are out and about.
2. Any recommendations for a hotel that would not be too expensive--basically we would be paying for luggage storage--and in a good part of Buenos Aires to visit?
3. Is there any place to store luggage for the day before we head out to the airport instead of getting a hotel room?
4. What are the advisable activities if I am only there for a day?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

mikkigar
June 23rd, 2009, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the information. I am a member of several hotel rewards programs so I am going to look into that. I have already contacted for private tours but they seem very expensive. They were quoting about $250 a person. It seemed like a lot of money to me. I am going to explore the options you mentioned.

Fredr
June 23rd, 2009, 06:40 PM
Hello,

I would check to see if the Hilton Buenos Aires has luggage storage. This hotel is about a 25 peso ride from the cruise terminal (anout $6.00 or so). From this hotel you can walk to see the River Plate. Then get a taxi that will take you to the La Ricoletta Cemetery and you can walk around this neighborhood and down to the downtown area of Buenos Aires (see the Cathredral). Taxis are inexpensive but make sure the taxi driver uses the meter and it is a Radio Taxi (these are the licensed pros rather than the unprofessional ones).

I beleive that you can see quite a bit of Buenos Aires on your own for much less than the quotes given to you. My wife and I saw a lot of Buenos Aires in April of 2009 on our own.

Fred

dr__dawggy
June 24th, 2009, 07:28 AM
One day in Buenos Aires....Here are a few things to see...

1. Visit Recoleta....



Recoleta Cemetery. If you have to ask the price of a mausoleum here, you cannot afford it. Evita is buried here, along with many of the leaders of government and business who have shaped modern day Argentina. Laid out like a city.
While you are here, stop off for a cafe at one of the sidewalk cafes..such as la Biela (across the plaza from the cemetary). If you are there on a weekend, there is an outdoor market in the square.
If you enjoy museums, the Bellas Artes museum is across Ave Libertador and contains a great collection of European and Latin American art...with a heavy emphasis on Rodin.

2. Visit downtown....


Start at Plaza San Martin. Many of the palaces that surround the park were originally the homes of the "oligarchy" that ruled Argentina for many years..Varied architectural styles are represented in more modern buildings, from classical to "rational."
Walk down Florida Street, the pedestrian mall, from Plaza San Martin to Plaza de Mayo....stop off at the Galerias Pacifico mall...and check out the murals painted on the ceiling...(watch your valuables...pick pockets hang out on this congested walkway)...
Plaza de Mayo...rich in history...the plaza fronts the Casa Rosada (their Whiite House..only in this case Pink House)....Evita once gave rousing orations from the balcony...the Madres de Plaza de Mayo marched here in defiance of the military rulers of their time in search of their missing children...(google madres de plaza de mayo for a bit of history). The Metropolitan Cathedral is here as welll...General San Martin (their George Washington or Simon Bolivar)....
Before you leave the area, stop by Cafe Tortoni....a Tango landmark...

3. Take a cab to La Boca to visit El Caminito....a touristy reminder of Buenos Aires past and the original home of many working class immigrants who helped to buidl Argentina. Lots of tango in the street here...a bit cheesy, but fun for about 30 minutes.

4. Eat a late lunch...steak and malbec wine are local stand outs....take a cab out to Palermo Soho and try La Cabrera....one steak will work for two people....there are many other parrillas with good food...but la Cabrera is among the best imho....

5. After lunch, stroll around Plaza Serrano and the various side streets....Palermo Soho is a good example of a gentrified neighborhood...that has been reborn in recent years...home of boutique shops, trendy restaurants, in what was once a decaying neighborhood...

6. Parks of Palermo....Buenos Aires has many public spaces...time and weather permitting..visit one of more of the green spaces to enjoy a bit of fresh air...

7. Take a Tango lesson at Confiteria Ideal downtown....they have a web site..check out times when lessons are available...Tango and Buenos Aires go together....

smeyer418
June 27th, 2009, 12:27 AM
Thanks this a great thread. We are arriving a few(4) days early before joining our cruise...and don't have airport transfers any idea of the best way(cab preferred) and the cost to the Recoleta area.

Thanks!

Fredr
June 27th, 2009, 01:22 AM
Smeyer,

While it is a splurge, I suggest that you contact your hotel and ask for a car/driver for pick up at EZE. We stayed at the Hilton Buenos Aires, which is a great hotel, and the hotel arranged for this service for us. It is very nice to have a person waiting for you at the airport with a sign, help you take your luggage outside the terminal (have some dollars to give the unofficial porters who put your luggage in the car). The driver will bring the car to the curb, and off you go. A cab has to cost at least as much. There is also a transportation company called Mando Tiendo (sp) but the car/driver we had was truly nice.

As I recall, our car/driver was $55.00 US one way in April of 2009. Also, please note that the international airport called EZE or Pistarini is quite a ways out of Buenos Aires.

Close to La Ricoletta (which is really very interesting) is a restaurant called La Biela...this interesting BA place with lots of ambiance, has some very old and very experienced waiters, good food and reasonable prices.

We also enjoyed Madero Tango...excellent food, great show and transportation to and from your hotel to the theater. They have a website with some options on cost. But try to be in the middle of the show room for the best view of the stage.

We also noted that taxis are reasonable in BA but use Radio Taxis, and make sure they put the meter on.

dileep
June 27th, 2009, 02:12 AM
We had arranged for a car pick up but there was a mix up and the driver did not show up. We signed up for a taxi at a counter outside baggage claim and I think it was prepaid for 54 pesos. We had to change money to pay for the taxi.

smeyer418
June 27th, 2009, 02:16 AM
We had arranged for a car pick up but there was a mix up and the driver did not show up. We signed up for a taxi at a counter outside baggage claim and I think it was prepaid for 54 pesos. We had to change money to pay for the taxi.
is that per person or for the cab...

54.00 ARS

=

14.2199 USD

Thanks and thanks to Fredr too....

either I'll arrange it with the hotel or use the service at the airport....

was there an ATM at the airport to get local currency?

Thanks again...

smeyer418
June 27th, 2009, 08:27 AM
thanks very helpful.

I too have started not to use my ATM card as much but I find that even with the 3% fee you get the wholesale exchange rate and do better than even at the best exchange place even considering the fee. The exchange places have their own markup.

Thanks again

dr__dawggy
June 27th, 2009, 09:16 AM
thanks very helpful.

I too have started not to use my ATM card as much but I find that even with the 3% fee you get the wholesale exchange rate and do better than even at the best exchange place even considering the fee. The exchange places have their own markup.

Thanks again

Banking institutions will make their profit one way or another... :)


In Buenos Aires, ATM fees include not only a 3% fee but a transaction fee of 4 to 6 dollars from your home bank and maybe a fee from the local bank as well. They will also limit the amount you can withdraw to about US100...and transaction fees apply to each withdrawal. As well, ATM's sometimes run out of money, especially on weekends.

The www.dolarhoy.com site shows actual exchange rates offered around Buenos Aires, which you can compare to the wholesale rates to determine mark up. For the most part, I find it far simpler to take dolllars and exchange at Banco de la Nacion before I ever leave the airport so I do not have to worry about finding an ATM with cash and lower fees.

Enjoy Buenos Aires.

owl61
June 27th, 2009, 09:29 AM
There´s lot of info researchable on line about which financial institutions have low or no fees for foreign currency conversion. Not all banks in Bs As charge for using their ATMs. On the contrary, it seems to me most do not. I have a debit card from a US financial institution that costs me 1% (charged by VISA off their wholesale exchange rate) for foreign currency transactions including ATM withdrawls. The bottom line is that using the Link or Banelco ATM interchange systems here I get the Bloomberg quoted rate for receiving pesos in exchange for my dollars which today would be about 3.79.

karen327
June 27th, 2009, 10:38 AM
I think NCL offers excursions that are actually reasonably priced that would take care of your luggage and give you a day tour of the area. Also, NCL has a luggage package most places where for a reasonable fee they will deliver your luggage to the airport.

dr__dawggy
June 27th, 2009, 11:36 AM
There´s lot of info researchable on line about which financial institutions have low or no fees for foreign currency conversion. Not all banks in Bs As charge for using their ATMs. On the contrary, it seems to me most do not. I have a debit card from a US financial institution that costs me 1% (charged by VISA off their wholesale exchange rate) for foreign currency transactions including ATM withdrawls. The bottom line is that using the Link or Banelco ATM interchange systems here I get the Bloomberg quoted rate for receiving pesos in exchange for my dollars which today would be about 3.79.

The issue with transaction fees relates more to the US banks than Buenos Aires banks. My Bank of America debit card charges US6 per transaction, plus a % off the wholesale exchange rate. Citi charges a bit less, about US4 per transaction. This fee applies even when using Citi ATMs in Argentina, since Citi in Argentina and Citi in the USA are two seperate corporate entities.

Equally important, ATM's frequently run out of money or limit the amount per transaction. I still prefer to simply take cash....the average exchange rate in Buenos Aires yesterday was 3.78 or nearly the same as the 3.79 rate via a debit card.

smeyer418
June 27th, 2009, 12:22 PM
while NCL is among my favorite lines(and probably my favorite) I didn't like the itinerary on the Sun which includes port Stanley plus a day there and back....I am on Celebrity's Infinity on Feb 28....

dileep
June 27th, 2009, 12:23 PM
is that per person or for the cab...

54.00 ARS = 14.2199 USD


Thanks again...

It was for the cab in Jan 2006. The exchange rate at that time was about 3 ARS to a $1. The car thorugh the travel agency was $30 at the time.

owl61
June 28th, 2009, 07:48 AM
I think NCL offers excursions that are actually reasonably priced that would take care of your luggage and give you a day tour of the area.
Reasonable is a relative term. As a veteran of over 60 cruises I would say reasonably priced ship excursions is an oxymoron.

Paul123
June 28th, 2009, 04:05 PM
Tripadvisor.com (search for Buenos Aries Forum) has lots of info on this wonderful city. There is also a thread on this South America section called Dos and Don'ts in BA and it is full of fascinating info.

Good hunting

dr__dawggy
June 28th, 2009, 09:13 PM
Tripadvisor.com (search for Buenos Aries Forum) has lots of info on this wonderful city. There is also a thread on this South America section called Dos and Don'ts in BA and it is full of fascinating info.

Good hunting

Trip Advisor does indeed have a lot of information about BA....

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g294266-i977-Argentina.html

stubborn peke
June 28th, 2009, 11:28 PM
My husband and I are taking the NCL cruise from Valparaiso to Buenos aires. Our cruise ends in Buenos Aires but we do not fly out until about 11 that evening.I would welcome some suggestions for how to spend the day.

1. Would it be advisable to get a hotel room for the day and then take a city tour? That would give us a place to store our luggage for the day while we are out and about.
2. Any recommendations for a hotel that would not be too expensive--basically we would be paying for luggage storage--and in a good part of Buenos Aires to visit?
3. Is there any place to store luggage for the day before we head out to the airport instead of getting a hotel room?
4. What are the advisable activities if I am only there for a day?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Just another suggestion, from the Cruise Ship Terminal take a short taxi ride to Manuel Tienda Leon's Main Downtown Bus Terminal at AV Madero 1299, purchase your tickets to Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini (EZE) Airport, cost is $40 AR PP ( approx $12 USD PP), their bus leave every1/2 hours

Now you are a Manuel Tienda's customer, use their Luggage Deposit Service to store your luggage until your Bus departure, there is a small service fee.

It takes about an hour to the Airport, if your flight leaves at 11:30 pm , you should purchase either the 7:00 or 7:30 departure.
I'm not familiar with departure from Ezeiza, maybe some one with experince can further advise.

You should hire a Tour Guide for 5-6 hours, have the Guide meet you at Manuel Tienda to start your tour.

First visit Plaza San Martin, next Recoleta Cementary and surrounding area, then over to Boca , have a light lunch or coffee there, next go to San Telmo, you'll be in time for the Sunday Fair , then over to Florida Street .

Here you could end your tour , ask for recommendation for a nice restuarant then walk around for some shopping , visit The Galerias Pacifico Shopping Complex, have your dinner ( don't be surprise if you are the only one there, the local eat very late).

From Florida street it is only short walk to Manuel Tienda otherwise ask the restuarant to call you a Radio Cab.

If you are hiring a guide ask him or her to obtain a Map , or walk into any hotel for a map.

When we were in Buenos Aires in March, we hired Pedro (Pocho) as our guide for two days, his fees are very reasonable, his method of transportation is walking and Taxi , we even went on the Subway.

I have his E-mail

Fredr
June 29th, 2009, 11:40 AM
hello,

A poster states that he does not use the car /driver option...unreliable and so on. I respect his opinion but it really worked for us in Buenos Aires. The caveat here is to use the service recommended by a major hotel such as the Hilton. And an advantage to the car/driver option is that the transportation goes on your hotel bill so there is no need to find an ATM at the EZE airport or obtain Argentine money before you leave home...

Further, there are other cities where there is bus transportation direct to hotels from the airport such as in Hong Kong, and a car/driver is not necessary.

Fred

mikkigar
July 1st, 2009, 08:10 PM
I do not know who you contacted, but $250 per person is high. I have used Carla at www.buenosaireshistorico.com (http://www.buenosaireshistorico.com) and recommend her highly. I do not know her current rate, but it will certainly be lower than 500 bucks per couple. I have also used www.eternautas.com (http://www.eternautas.com) and recommend them as well. Their rates are higher than Buenos Aires Historico but I I do not think they are anywhere near 500 a couple.

I emailed both of these companies and have not received a response yet. Their websites were great--I am really surprised they have not responded.

dileep
July 2nd, 2009, 12:42 AM
Try Ricardo at defrantur@fibertel.com.ar (defrantur@fibertel.com.ar)

smeyer418
July 2nd, 2009, 01:40 PM
Here is the response I received from Ricardo Watson, one of the owners of Eternautas:

.... last week we have to moved to another web server and for almost 2 days we did'nt have email or web. I guess everything is ok now but just in case my personal account is ricardow@gmail.com

Try sending your email again to the general address of the agency with a copy to Ricardo at his gmail address.


can you also suggest a tour guide for Valparaiso/Santiago?
Thanks

dr__dawggy
July 2nd, 2009, 05:09 PM
can you also suggest a tour guide for Valparaiso/Santiago?
Thanks

I have not used a guide in Chile. I am sure others can help you with this request.