Terminal de Cruceros Benito Quinquela Martin, built in 2000 and half a mile away from the city centre is where cruise ships dock. It’s the biggest port in South America. Getting out and about is very easy, and if you are docked to the slightly further outlined berths, there is a complimentary shuttle to take you to your ship. There is a taxi rank just outside the terminal with reasonable prices and the drivers would accept US dollars, as well as the local currency. There is also taxi service with fixed prices to all neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires. Some shopping malls in Buenos Aires also provide free shuttles from and to the Terminal, however they would not accept luggage. The International Airport is 36 km away, and the domestic one is only 6 km away.
The local currency is Argentine Pesos (ARS). It’s very difficult, almost impossible to get Argentine Pesos outside of Argentina, because of its constant devaluation. US dollars are widely accepted, so travellers are advised to bring USD and to exchange them to the local pesos once they arrive. This would be the cheapest way to go. There is unofficial rate, called the ‘Blue rate’ for exchanging dollars, lower than the one in banks, but be very savvy and avoid exchanging money with people on the street, who are known to lure tourists with low rates, and then use fixed calculators and other means of fraud. Major credit cards are widely accepted and there are ATMs available, but be aware of the foreign currency fees.
The language spoken in Buenos Aires is Spanish, although English is understood in most outlets.
Opening hours and bank holidays. In general shops are open from 9 am until 8 pm on weekdays and 9 am until lunchtime on Saturdays. Many of them in the touristy areas would work all day Saturday as well. Some shops would have an extended lunch break – siesta time, and would then work until late. The malls are normally open every day until late. There are quite a few bank holidays, apart from the Christian one, so do check before you go.
Tipping at restaurants is considered common in Buenos Aires, 10% is usually the norm. There is a service charge added to your bill, but that does not go to your waiter. Also, when paying with a card in Argentina, there isn’t an option to add gratuities to your bill, so make sure you have local cash. It is not necessary to tip taxi drivers, normally you round the bill up to 75 if it is 72 pesos for example, because taxi drivers often don’t have small change. You can tip a few pesos the hotel staff, and around 100-200 pesos per person for the tour guide of a ‘free’ tour. Also it’s considered normal to tip your masseuse for a good massage. You can also tip in US dollars, they would not be frowned upon, however we would advise you not to use 1 and 2 dollar notes, as they would be more difficult to exchange to pesos.
The local time in Buenos Aires is GMT-3 and the international dialling code is + 54 11.
Things To Do
Recoleta Cemetery is the cemetery where Eva Peron rests, as well as former Argentinian presidents, Nobel Prize winners and many of the rich and famous of Buenos Aires. It’s free and there are also free tours available in Spanish every weekday day at 11am and 3 pm on weekends. It’s been voted as one of the best and most beautiful cemeteries in the world.
Put MALBA on your list of must-see in Buenos Aires. The mission of this world famous Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires is to collect, conserve, study and promote Latin American art from the early 20th century to present days. It was founded by businessman Eduardo Constantini and is based on his private collection of over 200 Latin art pieces. At present the museum showcases paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings and installations from the most influential Latin American artists such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Jorje de la Vega, Xu Solar, Antonio Berni, as well as modern artists from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica.
Experience Milonga – you can only do that in Buenos Aires - the cradle of the Tango. Milonga is essentially a specific type of Argentinian tango, as well as a dance party where people gather to dance Milonga. There are many venues where you can dance the night away, take a beginner’s class, or simply watch this beautiful dance.
Go and see Casa Rosada – the pink Presidential Palace on Plaza de Mayo. Despite the fact that only one president actually lived in the palace, the building is emblematic piece of Argentinian history. Eva Peron famously addressed the crowds of descamisados (a term to describe the working poor, supporters of Juan Peron) from its balcony on October 17, 1951.
There is a lot more of Buenos Aires to see, time permitting. Admire over 300 bird species at Reserva Ecologica Buenos Aires or stroll along the beautifully manicured alleys of the Botanical Gardens. Appreciate the exhibits at the National Museum of Fine Arts of Argentina, or get familiar with the life of a national hero and ‘Voice of tango’ Carlos Gardel at his house, turned museum. Browse around at San Telmo market, or see a show at Teatro Colon. Visit La Boca – an iconic neighbourhood, home to two popular attractions – the football stadium of Boca Juniors - La Bombonera, best seen during a game and Caminito Street – famous for its brightly painted houses, street art and tango dancers, entertaining the visitors of the street cafes.
All Cruises and Flight details are subject to availability and price variation. Final package price is available upon payment of deposit and confirming your ATOL & ABTA protected cruise holiday