Tips for Travelers

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Transportation: Ignore the spartan and skeletal subway system, breathe in hard, and squeeze onto one of the ubiquitous buses that can take you anywhere in Buenos Aires - in company. You can rely on taxis, which are plentiful and cheap, or perhaps rent a bike opposite Parque Lezama on which to explore San Telmo. But choose your saddle carefully: The streets are cobbled. If you plan to visit Tierra del Fuego, the Iguazu Falls, or anywhere else in Argentina, buy a ``visit Argentina'' air ticket from Aerolineas Argentinas, available only outside the country. It allows multiple trips at rock-bottom prices.

Shopping: It would be foolish to leave Buenos Aires without buying a bag, a pair of shoes, a jacket, or even a coat made of the country's famous leather. The prices are unbeatable, the styles varied, and the quality good - if you stick to reputable dealers. Calle Florida, a pedestrian precinct in the center of the city, is lined with good leather shops.

Timing: Remember that, being in the southern hemisphere, Argentina's seasons are the opposite of the United States. When the weather is getting gloomy at home around October, the jacaranda trees are just coming into magnificent bloom on the Plaza San Martin.

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