1. Don’t ask where the beach is in Buenos Aires. Don’t be embarrassed if you didn’t know this, but there are no beaches in Buenos Aires. Yes, if you look on a map you will see that Buenos Aires is located on the water, however it is not the Atlantic Ocean, but rather a massive river / estuary called the “Río de la Plata” (poorly translated into English as the “River Plate”). It is 140 miles / 220 km across at its widest point (!) and you can take a boat across it to visit Uruguay.
2. Most Argentines do not dance tango. I once read in some travel guide that everyone from Buenos Aires dances the tango, that they are born dancing tango, that they tango in the streets, that they would rather dance tango than do anything else. They don’t, they aren’t and they wouldn’t. Still, tango is undeniably an important part of Argentine culture, especially in Buenos Aires, and tango songs like Por una cabeza, Naranjo en flor and La Cumparasita are classics that even young people who listen to reggaeton, cumbia and rock probably hum without even realizing it. Click here to learn about our unique tango tour.
3. Don’t use the ATMs. Money exchange can be confusing in Argentina given the history of economic instability and the current insanely high inflation rate we are suffering here, but ATMs are very easy to understand: they are there to rip you off. Currently, they charge about USD 10 to make a withdrawal from a foreign bank, with a limit of about USD 125. You do the math.
4. Evita was never president. María Eva Duarte de Perón, who grew up in poverty as Eva María Ibarguren, was Argentina’s most popular and most controversial first lady. She was married to President Juan Domingo Perón, and known affectionately as Evita by her followers who considered her a champion of the poor and downtrodden. While the Broadway musical (and movie) Evita are far from an accurate telling of her life story – it’s a musical, not a biopic! – it is actually a good representation of her myth. And in the case of the film, that is quite impressive considering it was mostly shot in Budapest!!!
Want to learn more about the real Evita? Click here for our Evita tour!
5. There was a horrible dictatorship in the 1970s and the CIA supported it. From 1976 to 1983, Argentina was run by a civic-military dictatorship responsible for the disappearance of 30,000 of its citizens. They are referred to as los desaparecidos (“the disappeared”) because General Jorge Rafael Videla who was one of the heads of the government responsible for this genocide said in a press conference in 1979: “They are neither dead nor alive, they are desaparecidos (missing)”. To this day, every Thursday afternoon at 3:30, the surviving Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (the mothers of the disappeared) march in the Plaza in the name of memory, truth and justice. We offer tours to help you better understand this dark time in Argentina’s history and why it still matters today.
6. Argentine vegetarians do exist. Yes, Argentina is famous for its beef, and if you like meat, this place is for you, but almost every restaurant has vegetarian options (pastas and salads at the very least) and there are dozens of vegetarian restaurants in the city, especially in the downtown and neighborhoods like Palermo and San Telmo. If you are a vegan on the other hand, write to us and we can help you out: BACityGuide@gmail.com
7. – Futbol (you may know it as “soccer”) is like a really really really big deal here, really.
Do not come here without watching “the goal of the century” and learning the phrase “barrilete cósmico”. If you are here already reading this, here is the link you must watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wVho3I0NtU
And don’t ask any Argentine to explain why Maradonna’s “hand of God” move is considered one of the great moments of futbol history, rather than an uncalled foul.
8. The Beatles were Argentine. Okay, you know it’s not so, I know it’s not so, and even every Argentine knows it isn’t so, but deep down inside millions of Argentines like to believe that the Beatles were from here, or should have been from here. How else could they have been so great?! Their faces are in every other café bar, you will hear them on the radio in taxis and buses as if Twist and Shout came out a week ago, and this may be the country with the greatest number of Beatles’ cover bands!
And Los Shakers was an Uruguayan band that modeled themselves after The Beatles. Check out this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6VqPh9vP74
Want to see our full list of tours? CLICK HERE.
Want to ask us questions about Buenos Aires and Argentina because we just love sharing info? Go right ahead: BACityGuide@gmail.com