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When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

Dallas, TX
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When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

I've heard people tell me how inexpensive Argentina is. Now that I'm planning to finally get down to BA this fall, I bought a travel book published in 2005. The hotel prices I'm finding online now are consistently 3-4x what the book states, and not cheap.

What happened? Are there still bargains in BA and Argentina?

(I am also planning to go to Bariloche.)

Edited: 26 July 2010, 18:23
BA
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1. Re: When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

It´s called inflation! Argentina is no longer a bargain, and a booked published in 2005 probably has 2004 prices....

Wages have gone up by about 150% since that time (in dollars), and the dollar has not gone up by more than 20-25% in the same period, that means your dollar hasn´t got the same buying power as it did back then.

Bariloche and most of Patagonia is very pricey. Perhaps the NW of Argentina is more accessible in terms of prices.

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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2. Re: When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

Inflation is quite bad in Argentina. You cannot believe the official statistics published by the government.

We see it everyday when the prix fix lunch prices change regularly upward at our favorite eating places.

We see it in the grocery stores, in the taxi fares, in the clothing stores.

You still have good bargains in bus and subway transportation in the city, and will still find bargains in the country areas of the North as stated above.

You find better bargains with travel to the States now with clothing and even bargain restaurant prices.

Dallas, TX
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3. Re: When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

Thanks for the quick responses. Wow! Didin't realize it had changed that much in 6 years.

Bus is a great idea. I plan to take the luxury bus between BA and Bariloche, thus saving 2 nights hotel.

May do the same to/from Iguazu.

Note: I'm a bit of a luxury bus fanatic: associatedcontent.com/article/…

Edited: 26 July 2010, 19:50
Buenos Aires...
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for Buenos Aires
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4. Re: When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

It "changed that much" in just the 3 years we have lived here .

There is so much you can do here for free though, it is still a wonderful place to visit.

Solothurn...
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5. Re: When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

everything changes in a 5- year period, no matter where. As a general rule, I never buy a travel guide older than 12 months, let alone 5 years! Even in Europe, or the US, a lot changes in that amount of time. Prices go up, standars go down, restaurants close down, etc, etc. Get yourself a newer travel guide.

Edited: 27 July 2010, 09:47
Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

I tend to be cheap myself, so I pick up books from the library, read them and then decide whether it's worth my while to buy one.

Now back to the prices in BA. Yes, I'm sure they are a lot more than they were 5 years ago, but as a relatively frugal traveller, we still found them very reasonable. We had an apartment, definitely nicer than any hotel we would have gotten for that price, and while we had some meals (b/fasts, the odd dinner) in the apartment, we had either a big lunch or dinner out every day. There's no way I could do that in Toronto for anywhere near the same price. So I guess prices are relative.

Branford...
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7. Re: When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

It is possible to visit Argentina inexpensively but you must compromise on several things. You can sometimes get cheap airfares if you book far in advance, use frequent flier miles in whole or part, or book flights with 1 or 2 stops. Some of the smaller national carriers (Copa, TAM, Avianca, Mexicana) have cheaper fares as does the large carrier LAN. You need to shop around.

When you look for hotels try searching in Yahoo.com.ar as well and select search only sites in Argentina. That presents hotels to you as if you are an Argentine. You can sometimes get a good deal on a hotel this way. However, don't expect a 3-4 star hotel in Recoleta. You can get a clean, secure but simple hotel in the center of the city that is 1-2 stars for $50-80 a night. But don't expect much much more than a room and a bed in a clean and secure but dated hotel.

You should plan on taking public transportation...subte or bus to save money. Taxis are cheap but they can add up and their are going up 26% at the end of the year. If you are traveling within the country long distance use the long distance buses rather than domestic airlines. Walking is also a good option in Buenos Aires or a combination of everything. We would often take the subte and then a cab because the subte at rush hour is a bear.

There are many places where you can eat cheaply in Buenos Aires while saving for a splurge for a couple of good meals in fancier places. The breakfast most hotels provide can keep you going for a while during the day. Look for neighborhood places that are crowded at lunch...the food is generally good and the price is generally reasonable.

BA has indeed increased in price. I was shocked how much things went up in two years. Most things are easily 20-30% more expensive. Many prices are the same or more than in the USA. Shopping was never a bargain in Argentina and now it is ridiculous. We have family in Argentina so we will go every year or two regardless of the cost. But we cut back on a lot of things this trip and still spent significantly more than we have in the past. 10 years ago Buenos Aires was one of the most expensive cities in the world and it is well on its way to that "honor" again. However, it is still a very cool place and holds up as a great place to visit regardless of the cost.

Mequon, Wisconsin
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8. Re: When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

Prices here in Buenos Aires sure have gone up, up and away in the past couple of years. Yesterday, I realized that milk now costs twice as much as it did about 2 years ago.

Luckily, it is a great sightseeing city and there are lots of cheap, if not free, things to do.

Today a client of mine, BA Plus Spanish School (shameless plug here: http://www.spanish-school.com.ar/ ), posted this article on their Twitter account:

''7 Incredible Free Attractions in Buenos Aires, Argentina'' gotsaga.com/detailsaga/…1733

Some great, free ideas :)

Edited: 27 July 2010, 17:27
Nice, France
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for Buenos Aires, Nice
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9. Re: When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

It's getting to me too, these price increases. But when I compared spending 1-2 weeks in Paris this year with 5 weeks in BA, to my surprise Paris came out to $1000. more! Even though we'd be eating in bistros and cafes simple fare such as "oeufs sur plat", and only going to famous chefs' satellite restaurants once or twice.

('satellite' - little restaurants in cozy neighbourhoods owned and run by the famous chefs with the most luxurious, priciest restaurants. Satellites are where they experiment and practise with new dishes and are actually in the kitchen over a hot stove. These places are a prix fixe bargain and a lot of fun.)

BA
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10. Re: When did BA get so Expensive?!!?

my impression is that is not a bargain and its not cheap. If you want for a cheap holiday, then may be one should consider Bolivia or India. I think overall it still not expensive and value can be found in quality things.