Safety and security
The political situation in Argentina is reasonably stable but there can be occasional outbreaks of social unrest. You may encounter groups of demonstrators (piqueteros) blocking major roads into and out of the capital, causing delays and possibly a change in route.
Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.
Although the threat from terrorism in Argentina is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Crime remains relatively low in Argentina but you should take sensible precautions.
You should be particularly careful in Retiro bus station in Buenos Aires, on the Buenos Aires underground transport system and in the city of Mendoza, where there has been a lot of pick-pocketing and bag-snatching.
A common scam in Buenos Aires is for one thief to spray a sauce on you, which prompts another thief, posing as an innocent passer-by, to come to your aid and clean your clothes, while also stealing your possessions.
More violent crime has been reported in the area around San Telmo and La Boca in Buenos Aires and you should avoid carrying valuables in these areas.
There are quantities of counterfeit banknotes in circulation in Argentina. You can visit the Argentine Central Bank website to see what to look out for in a counterfeit note.
Taxi drivers, particularly those working from the airport, have been known to accuse customers of handing over fake money and handing them back a fake note that they already have in their possession. When paying drivers, be extremely careful and consider taking note of the serial number of the bill before you pay the driver.
If you’re hailing a taxi on the street, make sure you only hail a radio taxi; they have a logo on the rear passenger door and often a light or sign on the roof of the car.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Argentina, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Argentina, you should be extremely careful. Road safety standards vary throughout the country; respect for speed limits and traffic signals is patchy and manoeuvres by fellow road users can be unexpected.
Crime against car users, particularly when stopped at traffic lights, is a growing danger and we advise you to keep your windows closed and doors locked at all times, particularly when you’re driving in the city.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your international driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Fri, 22 Apr 2016 15:24:52 BST