This week's expert interview is with Mary Hood. Mary is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a year and gives us an insight into visiting Argentina as a solo traveller.
What drew you to Argentina?
I took a few courses in school about Argentine literature and history and was always fascinated. That, in addition to my slight obsession with their accent in Spanish made it an easy choice for a place to live for a year. Tango, media lunas, psychology? Yes, please!
What do you think is Argentina’s attraction to women travelling alone?
Women from Argentina are fierce and have a no-nonsense attitude, so as far as opportunities for women go, the sky’s the limit. It’s a huge city with something for everyone, and it’s easy to find your niche. Everyone is so friendly, and there are tons of travelers and other women living there alone, so it’s incredibly easy to meet and make friends. The men aren’t bad on the eyes, either…
Have you met many other women travelling solo?
I met several women traveling alone, all for different reasons. Some were over there teaching English, some were studying in the university, and some were just on an extended vacation.
Are there any hidden gems in the country that people should definitely visit?
In Buenos Aires, there are hidden gems around every corner! All of the touristy stuff is a must, but there is nothing like walking around with some friends and stopping anywhere that catches your attention. I traveled to Córdoba for a few days and fell in love… It’s a beautiful, vibrant city with some incredible nature surrounding it. I would suggest people go there when Buenos Aires, The City of Fury, starts to wear them out.
If you only had one month to see the country, what would your perfect itinerary be?
Buenos Aires: 7 days
La Plata: 1 day
Santa Teresita: 1 day
Mar de Plata: 2 days
Iguazú falls: 2 days
Salta: 2 day
Santa Fe: 1 day
Rosario: 1 day
Córdoba: 3 days
Bariloche: 4 days
Ushuaia: 3 days
Mendoza: 2 days
Buenos Aires: 2 more days, just ‘cause it’s awesome.
How easy is it to get around?
Getting around Buenos Aires is super easy. You get used to walking around a lot, so if you want to go anywhere within 10 or 15 blocks, you can walk. There are shops and cafes and restaurants and parks on every corner. If you don’t feel like walking, the subways are extremely easy to use. The bus system is a little more confusing, but it will take you anywhere you want to go in Buenos Aires. Going by bus is your best option when traveling to different places in Argentina. They are fairly cheap and if you pay a little more you can get a seat that leans pretty far back to sleep on the bus.
Is there anything to do there in the evenings as a solo?
Concerts, Spanglish Language Exchange, Museums, Cafes, Bars. People are so friendly, you won’t be solo for long! If people see you standing alone they love to start chatting and get to know you.
Is it easy to meet other travellers?
Very! You will see and hear them on every street corner. Couch Surfing and Spanglish Language Exchange are great ways to meet other travelers.
What would you avoid in the country?
Just like every other country, I would avoid drinking in excess, especially if you are traveling alone. It’s okay to have a few drinks and have a good time, but keep yourself alert. Avoid any taxis that don’t say “Radio Taxi” if you can help it, they are known to take you around in circles to try and get more money out of you.
What would you say to someone who is looking to go to Argentina alone for the first time?
Go. And take lots of dollars.
Describe Argentina in 3 words.
Electric, passionate, chaos
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Buenos Aires will take your breath away. I haven’t met anyone who went and didn’t fall completely in love. If you like big cities, Buenos Aires is the place for you.
What are your plans for the future?
Later this year we are headed to South East Asia for 6 weeks. Then it’s back to the grind for a few months to save up some money and sell all of our stuff to get ready for our move to Europe and our wedding in Switzerland!
Where can people go to find out more about you?
Is Argentina on your bucket list?