After a night of crying babies, snoring men, and loud animals, we were exhausted and ended up leaving for Buenos Aires much later than we wanted to. At 7:30am we left Mar del Plata and pushed on towards Buenos Aires. We were low on money and low on energy so we were excited to go to B.A. to recharge. The trip took about 5 hours and we passed 2 tolls of AR$35 each…that’s so expensive!! But what could we do?
We arrived in Buenos Aires at 1:30pm (after waiting in a huge line for gas) and we headed straight to San Telmo where our hostel, Ostinatto, was located. We were nervous because we needed to park the car and everyone talked about how ridiculously expensive the garages are and that there weren’t so many. But once again people don’t know what they’re talking about because we found a ton of garages and all were under AR$100 per day. We ended up parking right next to our hostel and it was only AR$60 for 24 hours!
We checked into the hostel and the staff is very friendly and the facility is great! It’s an old renovated building and there are like 5 floors and you can straight up to the terrace through the middle. Since we didn’t have any pesos left they were nice enough to let us pay at the end of the day after we got some money. The hostel even gives you a pretty good exchange rate for U.S. dollars (AR$9 per U.S. dollar if you pay with a $100 bill) but we wanted to see if we could get a better deal on the black market.
It was about 2:30pm when we left to get lunch and explore. From the hostel, located on Chile Street, to Florida Street (the infamous street for shops and exchanging money on the black market) was about a 30 minute walk. We passed the famous Obelisco which was nice and almost an exact replica (but much smaller) of the Washington Monument in D.C.
As soon as we got to Florida Street we were bombarded with the amount of people who offered cambio (exchange). Every 5 meters there is a person shouting “cambio, cambio cambio!!” to get your dollars. It seems a bit sketchy, and you definitely have to use your best judgment and be careful, but many of the people just take you to a store and give you Argentinian pesos in exchange for your U.S. dollars. We got a deal for AR$10.21 for US$1 from the first guy we stopped and thought it was great so we exchanged $200! Later we found out you can get AR$10.50 for US$1.
Once we exchanged money we felt like kings! Everything was suddenly 1/10 the price! We continued down Florida Street and went to California Burrito Company and I was very excited because it had been a very long time since I had had a good burrito. The place was a bit like Chipotle with similar options and a down-the-line style. For AR$85 you can get a huge burrito, nachos, and a drink so we were definitely in! It was pretty good, just not as spicy as I like, but it definitely satisfied my burrito craving!
Afterwards, we decided to explore some more before heading back to the hostel. We went to Gallerias Pacificas, a famous mall resembling Vittorio Emanuele in Milan. Then we walked towards Puerto Madero, through Plaza San Martin and the clocktower. It’s a bit sketchy in those areas so you need to be careful with your things (as you always should be) but it’s not so bad.
We arrived at Puerto Madero and relaxed a bit by the harbor. It is very calm and peaceful around 5pm because no one is at the many, many restaurants that line the block. We walked around a bit and then decided to go back to the hostel to relax.
Ostinatto has many activities planned all week in order to promote social gathering, it’s really great! We wanted to go to the BBQ, only AR$85 per person, but we were so full from lunch so we skipped out. The hostel also has a great happy hour, 2 drinks for AR$30, also another great way to meet people. They do have a rule that no outside alcohol is allowed in the hostel, which is why they make their prices so good.
At about 10pm we decided we were hungry so we walked down Chile Street, which is lined with many restaurants and bars all offering promotions for the night. All in all we had a great relaxing day enjoying Buenos Aires.
- Left for Buenos Aires @ 7:30AM
- AR$100 = Gas
- AR$35 = Toll @ Maipu
- AR$35 = Toll @ Samborumbon
- Arrived at Buenos Aires @ 1:30PM
- AR$425 = Gas [AR$9.31/L]
- EXCHANGE = US$200 → AR$2040 (black market)
- AR$170 = Lunch @ California Burrito Company
- AR$20 = Drinks
- AR$1108 = Hostel (for 5 nights)
- AR$100 = Dinner
- Total = AR$2,051