Photography, South America, Travel

Onward to Buenos Aires!

Buenos Aires-6

I’ll admit it. It was a little bit scary.

Getting onto the plane and realizing we’re heading to the last city of our trip was terrifying.

Buenos Aires by air

Luckily for us we had a support group of friends already in Buenos Aires awaiting our company. Pacho (you may know him from our Puenting ordeal or in our Couchsurfing Banos post) was ever so kind and picked us up from the airport. Panic attack averted! I always hate trying to find my way around when we arrive to a new city.

Buenos Aires-8
PACHO! (aka Francisco)

Big hugs, back slaps, and laughter was had. It had been too long since hanging out in Cuzco. Catching up with old Couchsurfing peeps is always a pleasure.

I’ve been paranoid about writing this post. I have a confession to make, and I’m sorry if you disagree.

Buenos Aires was too romanticized for us.

It was… okay.

Buenos Aires-7Sure it was pretty… but… relatively… uninspiring. (Don’t beat me up!)

It is a hard pill to swallow when you plan the last of your trip in a city that is supposed to be the pinnacle of your trip and it was just, well, mediocre.

Maybe it was the fact that we were so in love with Medellin?

I just don’t know exactly WHAT I didn’t like about it.

Maybe it was too European? The people are completely different. The architecture not the same. There is definitely an Italian influence.

Maybe it was too dirty and “run down”? Crumbling sidewalks, dog poop at every step, trash bags piled sky high on every corner, leaking sodas pouring down the sticky street…

Maybe I was expecting more in the food department? Sure, the meat is delish – but if you don’t want to spend the money, there are no delicious budget options. People wake up in the morning, and eat sugar coated croissants (medialunas). For lunch, more sugar coated crap. Meat. Sugar. Meat. Sugar. OH GOD MY PANCREAS.


Maybe it was too expensive? We became vegetarian (and in ARGENTINA – blasphemy!!!!) because it was a cheaper option to cook it at home. We couldn’t enjoy ourselves on a backpacker budget.

I hated feeling like I had to watch myself on every corner.

“Why are you wearing your wedding ring?!”
“Why are you carrying your camera?!” (Maybe because I’m a travel photog?)
“Why did you bring your iPhone?”


Pickpockets, violent crime, having to know neighborhoods before walking down them, drunken people at all hours… I think I just had enough.

I’m almost ashamed. I wanted to like it. I really did.


At least it helped us prepare mentally for going home.

****But enjoy the pretty pictures. The city itself *can* be very pretty.****

Buenos Aires-2

Capital of Argentina

Buenos Aires-12


Cities in Argentina

Things to do in Buenos Aires
Check out this mall!

Wine in Argentina

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25 thoughts on “Onward to Buenos Aires!”

  1. I know the feeling when you don’t like a city or country everyone loves and you just don’t get it. Oh well we can’t love them all & true it was a blessing in disguise to prepare you for home. I still can’t believe yall are in the US now… seems so damn crazy!

    1. @Jaime: I was REALLY REALLY REALLY hoping we were going to love Buenos Aires. I just can’t believe I thought it was so… meh. Mexico still rocked my face.. and Colombia – SWOON. Already planning our next escape.

  2. It is always disappointing when a place has been so built up, and then you are let down. I’m sure people won’t like to read that you didn’t enjoy BsAs, but everyone has their own experiences. Yours is very honest. 🙂

    1. @D: It has only really happened once or twice and we didn’t want it to happen here. Shaun had been dying to be there for YEARS. /sigh

  3. There’s always a popular, much-loved place or two that just won’t click with someone! Barcelona and Melbourne are mine.

    Medialunas sound amazing but for sharing and not everyday! O:-)

    1. @Heather: We weren’t fans of Madrid but we definitely aren’t in the minority there. Now I’m curious what people’s non-fav cities are. 😛

  4. Wow I’m so sad to read this! Even before I fell in love with a Porteño, I fell in love with BsAs. I just think it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But yes definitely to each their own. I don’t get Amsterdam or London at all. Pics are AWESOME!!!

    1. @Andi: I think if we would have had a bit more money in BsAs we would have had more fun. Trying to keep it on our budget made it pretty miserable. We could only find a place in Centro, could only go out for dinner 2 or 3 times, and really only had $24 a day after rent to spend on things. Maybe one day?

    1. @Audrey: It is a CRUEL CRUEL existence but we just couldn’t hack it with our budget. We WANTED meat. We WANTED good food but just couldn’t afford it.

  5. Buenos Aires is a huge city with lots of things to do. Is a city to walk and enjoy. There are not a lot of important sculptures, bridges or breathtaking scenery. If you go there just walk and enjoy the multiples faces of the city.

  6. Holy crap. I love your shots or maybe that the place is just so great. The architecture is so dynamic. I love the mall. Stunning ceiling.

    1. @Karyn: Awww! Thanks! It really is a stunning place. So much to look at. Modern and European architecture somehow work.

  7. You know I spent 8 weeks there and lived in an apartment in Palermo but I totally hear ya. I liked BA because it reminded me of home, I needed a bit of comfort. But I tell people it is not Latin American at all, too European for me, the people aren’t as friendly and it’s much more dangerous than anywhere I visited.

    I enjoyed my time there but I don’t recommend it to others.

  8. Nah…I had a good time there but still can’t understand why people rave about it so much. Santiago seemed much more interesting…

    1. @Abi: Looking to head to Santiago the next time we are down there. We didn’t see all of Argentina we wanted so we HAVE to go back… and we didn’t even get to head into Chile!

  9. As cliche as it sounds, Buenos Aires is a city of contrasts. Most people are expecting it to really be the Paris of South America. That is about 2% of the city. It’s not for everyone, but I have fallen in love with its contrasts. Doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated with the city though. I somehow have come to accept its faults.

    Maybe it’s the awesome wine 🙂

  10. Hey there! I’m just going through my Google reader and came across this one. I think I may have had a similar reaction. It’s not that I didn’t love B.A. I just think that it wasn’t bowled over by it as a city. I think it would be a cool place to live (minus some of the crime issues) or spend long term, but for me as a visitor who doesn’t really shop, there just wasn’t enough to hold my interest. I’m more of a sightseer-art museum type, so there was only so much to see. I think it’s a old beautiful city, which I do like. I don’t think we have to love everywhere we go. 🙂 BTW, I could have written this about Ireland.

    1. I’m a little concerned about Ireland as well. I’m kinda meh about it already. I would love to see the countryside but the country needs to be more than that, ya know?

      I honestly don’t think we could live there and this was one of the cities that was on our list to check out. How disappointing.

  11. Currently here on a working holiday, this post is like you took the words right out of my mouth, everything down to the vegetarian diet.

    Stumbled upon your blog looking for tat advice, figured if I can’t do anything else let’s get another tat at least. Forcing myself to do the tourist thing hoping my option might change…

    p.s. also very much agree with Terri re Ireland (Dublin)

    Thanks for the advice Erica.


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