SAFETY TIPS

SAFETY AND SECURITY

CRIME

Distraction thefts commonly occur in:

  • popular tourist areas
  • bus terminals and train stations
  • the subway system
  • airports
  • restaurants and hotel lobbies

Be suspicious of strangers approaching you to distract you.

Pickpockets and bag snatchers often work in pairs or groups and employ a variety of ruses to divert their victim’s attention. Common scams include:

  • spraying a substance on victims and then robbing them while pretending to help clean the stain
  • distracting the victim by asking questions while another person perpetrates the theft

In some cases, thieves on foot work with thieves on motorcycles, “motochorros,” to snatch purses and backpacks.

  • Avoid wearing expensive watches or jewellery or showing signs of affluence
  • Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Do not hang bags and purses on chairs in public places
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport for identification purposes and leave the originals in your hotel safe
  • Do not carry large amounts of money
  • Remain aware of your surroundings when using ATMs and avoid using them at night
  • Avoid packing valuables in checked luggage because organized groups are known to operate at airports searching for electronics and valuables

Armed robberies and muggings occur in urban centres. While most victims are not physically injured, criminals may use violence if opposed. If robbed, hand over your cash and valuables without resistance.

Avoid walking alone after dark, especially in the downtown areas of major cities.

If you are a victim of a crime, inform the police and get a police report. It is not possible to file a police report from abroad or for the Canadian embassy to do it on your behalf.

BUENOS AIRES

In Buenos Aires, be cautious in all tourist areas, particularly in:

  • La Boca
  • Congreso
  • Florida Street
  • the Retiro bus station area
  • San Telmo

In La Boca, always remain on Caminito Street. Violent thefts often occur in neighbouring streets. Avoid the area after dark.

MENDOZA

In Mendoza, crime has increased considerably. Some incidents involve violence. Be cautious and alert at all times, particularly in the bus terminal and General San Martín Park. Avoid walking in unpopulated areas at night.

VEHICLE THEFT

Theft from unattended vehicles, especially rental cars, is common throughout the country, particularly in Bariloche and Mendoza. Belongings are stolen from the trunk of parked cars.

KIDNAPPING

Though not common, express kidnappings involving tourists have occurred in Argentina. Victims are usually abducted for a few hours and forced to withdraw money from ATMs in order to be released.

TRI-BORDER AREA

When travelling to Iguazú Falls, exercise caution when crossing the tri-border area between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, where criminal activities are known to occur.

Avoid crossing these borders in local taxis or buses after dark.

DEMONSTRATIONS

Demonstrations, roadblocks and strikes may occur throughout the country at any time.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
  • Never attempt to cross blockades, even if they appear unattended

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Use a “remise” (private car with driver) for travel to and from Buenos Aires’ Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also know as Ezeiza International Airport. If you are arriving at Ezeiza, go to an established remise stand in the arrivals area.

Call radio-taxis instead of hailing taxis on the street, particularly in Buenos Aires. If hailing a taxi, ensure that it is marked “radio-taxi” and that the company’s name and telephone number are clearly visible.

Do not share taxis with strangers. Carry small bills to pay for taxi fares. Unscrupulous taxi drivers sometimes trade counterfeit bills for good ones.

There have been several accidents resulting in deaths and injuries involving intercity trains connecting with Buenos Aires.

ROAD SAFETY

Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers should exercise extreme caution in Argentina, as it has one of the highest traffic accident rates in the world. Many drivers ignore traffic lights and speed limits.

Be particularly vigilant when stopped at traffic lights. Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times due to the risk of theft.

AIR TRAVEL

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Domestic flights are frequently delayed or rescheduled as a result of work stoppages and technical problems at the airports.

TREKKING AND ADVENTURE SPORTS

Ensure that the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance and that sporting equipment is safe and in good condition.

Many operators do not conduct regular safety checks.

If you intend to trek:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails

MOUNT ACONCAGUA

Prior to ascending Mount Aconcagua, contact the Mendoza Tourism Board for more information:

More about trekking in Aconcagua Provincial Park – Government of Mendoza

Stay on marked paths. Respect the mandatory itinerary provided by the park.

GENERAL SECURITY INFORMATION

If you are planning to attend a soccer game, ensure that the stadium is located in a safe area. Monitor news reports to determine if violence is expected during or following the game.