We knew when we moved to Montevideo that we’d eventually have to take a trip to Buenos Aires to get our passports stamped. Not to mention, we just wanted to check it out.
As we cruised across the Rio De La Plata from Montevideo on the Buquebus (ferry liner) we really had no idea of what to expect of Buenos Aires. We had heard it was “dangerous” and to be “very careful.”
On the other hand, we also heard that Buenos Aires had wonderful shopping, had every type of restaurant you could think of and that it was a wonderful city.
As with traveling anywhere in the world, if you let yourself become a victim, you will be one. We had no problems in Buenos Aires.
Our first stop to plan our trip to Buenos Aires was Buquebus Turismo by Punta Carretas Shopping (not the one inside, but the one on the other side of the street from the front gates).
We were able to book our tickets for the Buquebus, reserve a hotel and get a transfer from the Buquebus Station in Buenos Aires to and from our hotel in one package (the location inside Punta Carretas Shopping only sells ferry tickets).
We chose the ferry that went directly from Montevideo to Buenos Aires in three hours opposed to taking a two-hour bus trip to Colonia and a one-hour ferry ride to Buenos Aires. The total for the three of us: U$S 320.
On the morning of our departure, we took a cab from our apartment to Ciudad Vieja (Old City) where the Buquebus terminal is located. Going through customs was extremely easy.
There was an Argentinean official and an Uruguayan official sitting next to each other at a counter. We handed our passports over with our Buquebus tickets… BAM BAM BAM BAM… Our passports were stamped by both countries’ customs officials, we walked through the “Duty Free” area and we got on to board the Buquebus ferry.
The Buquebus ride over to Buenos Aires was nice. There were plenty of little ones for Zoë to play with. She seems to make friends everywhere we go. There was a galley, where you could buy food and drinks… A little overpriced for what it was, but I’ve had a lot worse… They sold alcohol too.
For the kids who were a little bit older, there was a PS2 set up so they could play video games. On the way to Buenos Aires, there were a half a dozen 10-14 year old kids playing Futbol… On the way back, there was one lone kid who had the whole system to himself…
When we arrived at the Buquebus port in Buenos Aires, we had to pass our stuff through an x-ray machine, which went so fast there is no way possible they could have seen anything inside of it.
We then headed to the left to the Buquebus counter, handed our voucher for the transfer to our hotel to the attendant who had us escorted to a bus and away we went with front door service to our hotel.
At the Buquebus Turismo office, we had 30+ hotels to choose from. We ended up randomly picking “The Liberty Hotel.” LOL… That night, we felt like Kramer in that episode of Seinfield where the bright red light keeps flashing outside of his window… That was the same position of the ‘Hotel’ sign to our room.
It was pretty funny looking back on it, but getting to sleep was a different story. The noise outside didn’t help (we were on a busy street). The next time we go, we’ll be choosing a different hotel.
Once we checked into our hotel… We decided to go get food. What type? Thai… We found a place through Google and went. My iPod Touch came in super handy, there were free connections to the Internet everywhere we walked.
Empire Thai was fantastic. The owner Kevin is originally from New Jersey, but has owned his restaurant for about eight years. We had breaded and fried prawns to start, which were phenomenal.
Then Chrystal and I both had Chicken Panang Curry. We both like spicy food and ordered ours spicy at a 7 on a scale of 1-10… Next time, we’ll be ordering a 6. We ordered Zoë the chicken Pad Thai, which was really good too.
If you are in Buenos Aires and you want extremely good Thai food in a cool place, check out Empire Thai. By the way, if you are a vodka drinker, Empire Thai has one of the largest selections of Vodka I’ve ever seen in a bar… and I’ve been to more bars than most. Our food was in the U$S8-10 a plate range.
We spent about 24 hours in Buenos Aires. We walked all over the city. There is a lot of beautiful architecture, although it’s a little hard to appreciate with the hoards of people on the streets. There are tons upon tons of places to shop and restaurants to eat at. One thing we found was that children’s toys were less expensive in Buenos Aires than in Montevideo. The city doesn’t sleep… It’s a very busy city, and a very big city. It’s like New York, but bigger.