[Editor’s note: This was written in 2007 but much still applies]
One of the most common questions I’m asked is: what is your favorite place you’ve visited? While I love dozens of cities and just as many countries, I have four that immediately jump to mind: San Francisco, Tokyo, Berlin, and Buenos Aires. I’ve listed them in descending order of expense, and this is where I’ll tie it back to an oddly common question I get:
How do I become a tango expert?
I’m the first American to hold a Guinness World Record in tango, which was done on a lark while I was living in BsAs (that’s Buenos Aires) in 2005 and competed in the world championships. Fortunately for you, dear reader, becoming a tango expert and living like a rock star can go hand-in-hand if you hack BsAs properly.
First, why BsAs? Four reasons off the top of my head:
- Created by immigrants from Spain, Italy, and Germany, you get the best food, architecture, and culture from all three. This mix of genetics also produces some incredible physical specimens. In fact, I rank Argentines right up there with Norwegians as the most beautiful people in the world.
In my experience, it’s one of the safest cities in South America. It looks like Paris in many places, and I have never felt threatened on the street, even after 2am. Try that in SF or NYC.
Argentina is the New Zealand of the western hemisphere. From tropical rain forests in the north to world-class skiing in Patagonia, it has it all. Check out rare tropical birds or watch penguins get eaten by killer whales — it’s your choice. Argentina is the most beautifully diverse country I have ever visited.
It is possible to live like a millionaire on $30,000 a year. I’ve been there four times and can tell you this: dollars get you a quality of life that is all but impossible in the US. Even with the getting-there costs, I saved more than $10,000 on my last trip when compared to just sitting on my ass in Silicon Valley, and I was living like a rock star the whole time in BsAs: 5-star meals, VIP tables, you name it.
So, should you take the jump and move to Argentina? I have friends who have done it, but I recommend you take a 1-3-month “mini-retirement” first to take it for a test drive. Here are a few recommendations to get you started:
Airfare will run between $500-850 roundtrip, so ensure that you’re staying for a while. Remember that it’s summer and hot as hell in BsAs in December-January. November or March-April are gorgeous, and summer time in the US is perfect for skiing in Bariloche or Las Lenas.
I generally fly Continental/Copa through Panama, as I like to spend 1-4 weeks snorkeling in Coiba in Panama (why not get two trips for the price of one?). If not, Aerolineas Argentina often offers good prices, and you can sometimes get deals by flying into Rio or Sao Paulo, Brazil and then to BsAs on Gol or TAM. Check airfares immediately after 1am on Saturday nights (Sunday mornings), when many airlines lower prices based on “flight load” (ratio of sold-to-empty seats).
One negative to Argentina, especially BsAs — people will attempt to overcharge you. This will happen in any country with weak currency. I’ve rented rooms with families, used Argentine brokers to get shared apartments, rented posh penthouses from expats, and found hidden gems through Germans. My conclusion? It’s not worth the headache to deal with most Argentines and attempt to save a few hundred dollars. I had a huge pain in the ass with a dishonest Argentine landlord who refused to return my deposit — and I speak fluent Argentine Spanish — so now I deal exclusively with non-Argentines. There are some great Argies, to be sure, but they have the reputation among South Americans for being unreliable (!). Use www.craigslist.org or my favorite outfit: http://www.ba4uapartments.com.ar I’m not gay, but I do like how gay-friendly agencies keep their apartments: impeccably clean. [Update: Airbnb is a great option, as the platform mitigates a lot of the issues.]
No matter what, you’ll likely end up paying 3x more than an Argentine. A decent room in a good location can be found for $300 USD, a great single bedroom apartment can be found for $700-800 USD, but here’s one tip: if you can get a friend to come with you (or if you have a family), a two-bedroom or three-bedroom can be had for $1,200-1,300, and it will be 10x more luxurious than the one-bedroom. My favorite areas to live are, in descending order of preference: Recoleta (I like near Plaza Francia), Palermo, Barrio Norte, and San Telmo. Puerto Madero is the most expensive area and people fight for it, but it’s quite boring unless it’s a weekend evening.
4. Clubs, VIP treatment, and Food:
Spend an evening walking around one of the best hotels in BsAs, such as The Four Seasons, Sheraton, or Hotel Alvear, and make friends with one of the managers on call. They get VIP tables at all of the top clubs — Asia de Cuba, Opera Bay, Mint, Amerika, etc. — and can get you on the lists, so invite them for drinks and ask them for suggestions of where to meet. If not, just visit the clubs around 10pm on a Thursday or Friday and ask to meet the director of special events, or the manager (“gerente”). Tell him you’d like to bring some friends to the club and ask how to get on the list. Keep his card in your wallet to flash at bouncers. Worst case scenario, just spend $50 USD with a few friends and you can get a 6-person VIP table with unlimited champagne for the night 😉
For wining and dining, my faves are Gran Bar Danzon and La Bistecca, but more than both combined, I love all of the hole-in-the-wall parrillada (Argentine BBQ) restaurants. Just wander down Lavalle off of Avenida Florida and take your pick: the beef sandwiches for $3 USD (use plenty of chimichurri) will blow your mind.
I had no interest in tango before visiting Argentina. I thought it was effeminate and ridiculous, something out of Shall We Dance? (the Japanese original is not to be missed) The truth is that social tango is completely improvised (much like my first love, breakdancing). Chest to chest, strangers will embrace and get to know each other more in three minutes than 10 dates would otherwise accomplish. Every night of the week, tango rules the night, only really getting started around 1am. Here are some of my favorite milongas (tango dance halls):
“New wave” (nueva onda) tango and 20-30-something crowd:
“La Viruta” at Armenia and Cordoba, inside the Armenian Cultural Center (odd, I know). 1am+ on Wed, Sat, and Sunday are awesome. I took a kiwi friend of mine there the day before he flew back to NZ, and he said to me: “Thanks for ruining my life.” He had been in BsAs for three months and had never seen such wildlife.
Traditional and older crowd: “Sunderland” or “La Baldosa” — find “El Tangauta” magazine in any tango shop, or at La Viruta, for addresses and all the tango info you can handle. Also use Ctrl-F to find any of the milongas I mention here.
If it is your first time in BsAs, I would recommend having an Argentine friend call the teachers and ask for pricing for an unnamed “friend,” not mentioning that you’re a foreigner. Otherwise, I promise that you will be overcharged. Smelling dollars, someone who should cost 50 pesos/hour will ask for 80 dollars. You should be able to get excellent private lessons for 50 pesos/hour. Good group lessons can be found at the Carlos Coppelo school in front of Shopping Abasto. My favorite private teacher is the young prodigy Gabriel Misse, but he’s going to be more expensive than most. He trained me for the world championships and is amazing. Here is a clip of Gabriel and his partner Alejandra Martinan. It starts off slow, but watch the amazing footwork as they progress. Most amazing? It is ALL improvised on the spot.
If you want to live like a king, it’s just a few thousand miles south. Viva la Argentina!
Related and Suggested:
Tim Ferriss – 3 Tips for Would-Be Dancers: From 1st Class to World-Class in 6 Months
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.
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158 Replies to “How to Live Like a Rock Star (or Tango Star) in Buenos Aires…”
I have to go there! Your other three cities (SF, Tokyo, Berlin) are all on my top 10 list for sure (SF at the top!).
Thanks for the great advice, Tim, I look forward to hearing your traveler’s advice for Tokyo, and to planning a trip myself, taking that leap of faith in going from blog-reading aspiring lifestyle designer to savorer of life’s many great opportunities and adventures. Keep up the great work.
Hi Ryan, “How to Live Like a Rockstar in Tokyo” is slated for the next few weeks, so keep your eyes open! I spend less in Tokyo — and live better — than in San Francisco. Lots of tools and tricks on the way. Two tips in advance: get a “Suica” prepaid travel card and dine in the small hipster restaurants above the fifth floor in downtown Shinjuku. More to come…
This information is priceless! I have visited over fifty countries and agree wholeheartedly with you Tim on Buenos Aires…. the quality of life you get plus the energy of the place make it nearly unbeatable for dynamic living… and its CHEAP!!! BsAs is in my top five places on the planet, in fact all that place needs is a clean surfable beach and for me it would probably go straight to number one. Having lived there I would list my two favourie spots to park up as Palermo (in summer) and Recoleta (in winter and for convenience). Tim, for the amount of headaches and time you are going to save people and the ideas you are providing I think you should be charging for this mate. Either that or Ferriss Tours to South America should be up and running. Count me in 🙂
(writing from Sydney)
OK, so I’m sold on the 4 hour work week and on Buenos Aires, but when are you explain how generate income remotely? Not that I don’t believe, I just want to start figuring out how to escape a desk job.
Wow…i had wanted to go to BsAs before but now i am salivating, and the tips on getting a VIP night out are gold, wonder if that works in other cities too…loved the detail, down to the actual bars to go to..you ought to publish travel books, id buy one!
Thanks, Elisa! John, regarding remote income generation, I’ll be posting more on that in the near future, but I’d encourage you to first determine your Target Monthly Income (TMI), which is calculated once you define your ideal lifestyle in terms of activities and belongings. Here is where you can get started: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/ferriss-resources-lifestyle.htm
The vehicle you choose for income generation, whether outsourcing your job to overseas assistants, licensing, creating a product or other, will depend on your TMI.
Most to come soon — promise.
Wow, as an Argentine living in SF I have to tell you your review was not only spot on, but wonderfully researched and written. And your appreciation of us being cheap or trying to overprice is ABSOLUTELY TRUE!
And also, we have a quirky, witty, dry sense of humor (similar to the English?) that people from other South American countries have a hard time to understand (it comes off as cocky and disrespectful). So, prepare your self-esteems and don’t get offended easily!
Thanks for the comment, che! I completely agree with the wit of Argies being somewhat British. I would actually say that it’s similar to the humor of Kiwis in New Zealand. They love to give each other a hard time, but it’s all in fun. “Boludo, que haces?!” for example. I suspect that a lot of it is the Italian (emotional and sarcastic) and German (dry) humor influence from the immigrants who defined BsAs.
Thanks for reading y mucho gusto conocerte!
Sorry for the lack of response! Thanks for responding to my questions! I just wanted to let you know that IÂ´ve settled into Buenos Aires quite well… I love it!
Unlike you, I never took a class in Spanish before coming here, and so am spending some time doing that and really enjoying learning a new language. Am also in the process of getting into the Tango scene… Gabriel Misse has these group classes on Rodriguez Pena literally meters from my appt, starting this last week that are amazing. Tango classes are also an excellent way to learn spanish (teachers tend to speak more slowly…). I have an appt in the Recoletta area, not the bottom prices that you quoted but pretty reasonable (at least much less than what some agencies will quote you). Thanks for all the price quotes, really helped me to gauge things. And of course, the clubs and restaurants, and cafes are all amazing…
Seems like every time I go to a Milonga, I meet someone from SF… quite funny actually.
Thanks again for all the advice… I have one more question, how did you manage private Tango lessons for 50 pesos an hour? Quotes I get are 150, and if you do a lot of them then 70 pesos an hour.
Forgot to say that am also a fan of Mint…
Glad to hear you’re enjoying BsAs! Those damn Californians will start to disappear as the weather cools off 😉
To get the best prices for anything, including tango lessons, you need to have an Argentine negotiate them via phone as if the product/service were for an Argentine, then introduce you in person when it’s too late for them to change the price. It’s a bit of passive-aggressive bait-and-switch, but it’s the only fail-proof way I’ve found to avoid getting fleeced.
without me reading the other comments I have to say that Tim explained he have been to Beunos 4 times but he never said for what length of time. I believe that if you stay their for 6 months then your point of view may be totally different. Sure you should visit, but, living in another country is a major decisiion. I suggest that you should stay in your prospective country renting for 6 months before you make the leap.
I am a tango addict. Friends of mine just recently moved to BA and I hope to be visiting them sometime this year.
I bought your book yesterday. I love it. I am from Argentina, but living currently in Boston. I have a couple of friends living in BA who have been NR without even knowing it! They have been providing outsourced services to big firms in the US with amazing success. They travel a lot and feel a lot of freedom in their lives. Oh, by the way, they started their internet business with two 486 PCs and a 2400 modem…
My wife and I plan to go back to South America and start a business of similar characteristics sometime in the future. She is from Uruguay, another wonderful country you should visit some day.
We are looking for investment opportunities using our connections with the three countries (USA, Arg., Ur.). Your book has become an instant inspiration for that purpose. I look forward to go deeper in it and share ideas with people in this blog.
ps: a small typo that could be fixed in the second edition of the book: It is “La Rural” not “El Rural”. In any case, I am impressed by your tango skills, man. It takes a lot of courage to display your abilities in front of local crowds.
I love your book. I read it while on vacation last week and couldn’t put it down. I am ready to turn my vacations into mini-retirements
You mention in your book that there is a full 90 day PPC marketing plan on your website. I didn’t see it. Can you direct me. I already have some products, I’d like to try this on
I have done some of the things you suggest. .. started in ’99, went to Madrid, Spain, then moved there permanently in 2000, been there ever since. Got to live your dreams, otherwise you will end up old and bitter. Now I need to get passive, massive (or at least sufficient) income, and maybe check out BsAs now that I speak fluent Castillan to get the best deal on living expenses. The big problem with Spain is that it is no longer inexpensive, expecially Madrid, which is something like 25th most expensive in the world now.
Am waiting for delivery of my 4HWW with much anticipation and excitement. Also will start the body building and diet routine. . . can’t be living like a million and look like a slob.
Thanks, Tim, for everything! You rule!
Tim…Heard about you from John Reese, and have been on your site for more than an hour. You’re providing valuable insights and I wish you much additional success. What you’ve accomplished at such a young age is truly remarkable.
Just wanted to thank you for making this country sound so great. I moved down here yrs ago and I love it…If you’re ever around let me know… te invito a un cortado! Seria bueno que traduzacas tu libro!
Exitos con lo tuyo,
The quality of life that you can get in Buenos Aires for just a few hundred bucks a week is unbelievable. The people are amazing as well, I recently moved to Buenos Aires and I found this website helpful.
I think it would be awesome if you started a blog for language lovers. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who would be interested in your approach to language acquisition.
Hey Tim… still want to see your ideas about â€œHow to Live Like a Rockstar in Tokyoâ€? 🙂
Hi, Tim. You’ve given me the courage to make the life changes for which I’ve always thirsted. My plan is to try Buenos Aries for relocation. You mentioned an apt that included housekeeping, utilities, internet and body guards. Would you share the name of this place? I’ll be alone. Will I need body guards? Thanks. Marylyn
Hi Tim, I am going to be spending a few months in Argentina (influenced heavily by your comments in your book and blog) and want to learn Spanish while I am there. Do you have any specific recommendations on people/schools to train with? Also do you recommend and books/cds for before I arrive?
Another bump for How to Live Like a Rockstar in Tokyo . . .
I’m from Buenos Aires, living in Oslo. Great description of Baires and the posibilities to live like a rock star! Every time I’m there, I work in my tango, get terrific asado at “El Obrero” and sip champagne with my best friend in Puerto madero til dawn for ridiculous prices!
I got your book two weeks ago.
Man, full inspiration. Thank you.
It works as guideline for some chapters of my own book.
It gave me good tips for organization and the start up a small company.
It re’load concepts that have got rusted lately and remind me to go for what I want and know is possible to get.
A world’s out there full of posibilities.
Thanks for the reminder!
Y totalmente de acuerdo con el comentario sobre los noruegos. Dios mÃo, que bella gente. Vamos Baires, Vamos Oslo, y Aguante Ferris!
Just got back from a trip to BA, and oh my God it rules!
Here’s a tip, the best steak I had was from Trapiche in Palermo.
The key is to get the lomo and ask for it “jugoso” as the Argentines tend to cook their unbelievably good meat way to much. Jugoso means juicy which translates to rare.
You’ve got some spot on tips!
I got a question. I was dancing for 8 years clasical dances and latino dances. The TANGO wich I was learning and dancing is much different from your style. The technique of the steps are the same, but the whole dance is much more calmer than ussual tango I’ve been learning. Can you give me more information about this TANGO?
I suspect you’ve probably been learning “American Tango,” which is a very different animal indeed. Just search for “Argentine Tango” to find the style I practice. More specifically, I practice “tango de salon” or social tango vs. choreographed.
Hope that helps!
I’ve been back in SF from BsAs for two months now…
I took your advice and took classes from Gabriel Misse.
Amazing teacher. Was wondering if you are still tango dancing in SF.
You are the first NorthAmerican.
I found your blog very interesting. I agree with most everything you said (being an American frequently living in Buenos Aires), but I am a little afraid that one wouldn’t “really” be able to experience the amazing culture fully if only staying within Recoleta and Palermo. I, too, am guilty of hanging around Palermo a little too much (I dance and teach tango so it only makes sense), but I just love walking the streets and seeing the unique people that I come across. I love coming here because I live like a Porteno. I take the collectivo and the subte and eat medialunas and empanadas all the time. 🙂 I think part of the fun of going someplace new is to live a little in the life of someone else. I know you didn’t say not to not to do this, but I didn’t think there was enough emphasis on this aspect of Bs. As., which for me, truly makes the city top rate.
So when will you be back in town? I would love to dance with you! 🙂
Check out my newest vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hl68A_-5O8
I think it is time for Tim to organize a party in BA and invite all his faithful followers.
What are the race relations like? I am a dark complexioned, black american woman. How do they treat those of other races? I would love to visit and plan to in the future, whether they like me or not though.
I have been to Argentina 7 times and yes it Rocks. My dad is from Mar Del Plata a beach resort 4 hours from BsAs. Pinomar on the Westcoast is great too. Mendoza for the wine is nice I stayed at the Hyatt there. I just love the service and price of the 4 seasons in BA where your poolside they really cater to you and you can meet a superb international crowd.
Oh I’m looking to outsource MBA work for a good rate … any ideas?
bump for toyko
Figure a guy who Tango’s needs a good poem a times. Here’s one of mine that you might find useful.
Poetry for Play
Tonight is a night for poetry for play,
of the word well turned in grace
that gently caresses the long neck,
softly lifts the red hair on your head,
opens the fleshy pink folds of your mind,
whispers tenderly to your soul’s desire,
and raises, raises, raises and kisses
your expectations with a female understanding
of the worth of tending to the other’s wants.
Tonight I will hold you with no abruptness,
take your flesh’s warmth and embrace
and merely embrace it back as fiercely,
expect nothing more and demand even less,
bathed in this moment of pink-dawn light
I will supplicate before your spirited ways,
go to the altar of your life and love,
take the communion of your hope
and live up to it…no lies…no deceit…
no obstacles to your thoughts or beliefs.
Tonight, the ending of this poem is yours.
As an American born but who grew up in Bs. As (Martinez), the high life is for those who had money. I didn’t and putting up with the constant “sentido del humor argentino” had it’s days. If you are not from there, you’re not from there…….
Argentines will always try to rip you off unless you are out in the provincia. That’s the name of the game, how can they scam and who can scam the best. In answer to the race question, Argentines are racist, anti-semitic, and often anti-yankee (yanqui). On the other hand, if you were dark but from Brazil, I wouldn’t anticipate problems since Argentines are quite often in awe of thier northern neighbor. Brazil is also the payground of the middle class for summer vacations. The dollar speaks louder than politics so people will happily relieve you of your dollars while complaining how imperialist the US is.
So, much of what the Ferris says exists, and yes, BS. As is a true city and can claim that with pride. But buyer beware, (or traveller as the case may be), almost every portenio is looking to get something from you.
As an Argentine living in Sydney, it causes a little bit of sadness to read how the city where I was born gets so lovely reviews…
It gave me the mix feeling of willing to go back and enjoy the lifestyle I sometimes miss.
On the other hand, as someone wisely mentioned in a previous comment, Buenos Aires might be great to live in…. if you have been born elsewhere and you have a different currency in your pocket 🙂
Tim, sos un hijo de puta!!! esto te lo digo como porteño y como ya habras aprendido, de pura (sana) envidia !!! 🙂
Che, por supuesto soy un hijo de puta. Que le vamos a hacer? Ja ja ja… Gracias mucho por el mensaje y espero que nos veamos en BsAs pronto 🙂
Victoria vertner. why don’t you do it!!!
I am a mortgage broker in La Jolla, CA. I have very little family here, but my wife is from Buenos Aires, (Lanus, pero somos de Independiente!!) and I would love to find a way to keep earning in dollars, and move down to BsAs, somewhere like Las Canitas would be great. Is there any network of Expats down there at all? Any network on this site would help as well. I would love to have some contacts of americans running businesses remotely from Argentina. I absolutely love Argentina, and if you were to see the bill from my last filet minon steak dinner from “el viejo canon” you would know why…
Any help? Thanks in advance!
Thanks for the info, Timothy!
BA is Surreal (much better than Maimi). It is true, you can live like a rock star for nothing! This week I went to La Bistecca, Gran Bar Dazon (amazing veal for $13 US), Rojo Tango (very sexy), and spent at day the spa at Faena Hotel (I had the Yerba Mate Body treatment).
Off to Pacha
I live in San Isidro, buenos Aires, and I´m too a fan of la Bistecca. Love your blog, and I just bought your book in Amazon … hope it will arrive soon . I´m really looking forward to read it. I have one question for you….
Do you have plans to publish it in Spanish? Hope that you´ll be launching it in Argentina…
Tim – You’re an inspiration. I bought your book earlier this year, realligned my work/life balance and have since took a 10-day Harley trip down the Pacific Coast and am now taking off to Buenos Aires for a month.
Thanks so much for the comment — congratulations 🙂 Y espero que nos veamos en BsAs!
Thanks for the advice Tim!! I’m halfway through your book and enjoying it thoroughly; I’ve been travelling around for 6 years and take Internet-based freelance work with me and do better than earning in dollars… earning in euros 😉 A lot of your advice mirrors things I’ve randomly picked up along the way, so it’s cool to see parallels!
I was already planning to move to BsAs for ages before discovering your story; I love the accent and the use of vos (it’s kinda like speaking with “thou” in English for most hispanohablantes), and would like to water down my “Peninsular” Spanish from living in Spain for a few years and I’ve got plenty of South American experience in Brazil… although I can already tell by the Argentines I’ve met that it’s going to be an vastly different experience! I usually use the country’s craigslist equivalent when finding flats and it always gives me an extremely cheap option, but your barrio advice will give me places to give priority to!! I’ll be there from September this year 🙂 Can’t wait! I managed to pick up some Capoeira in Brazil, so hopefully I’ll be fit for Tango!
Ah yes, BTW, you should update the Youtube link; that Shall We Dance video was removed for copyright reasons. 😉
Ciao for now!
I just have to say that I agree on every single point. Also, I get really nostalgic, I did the 3 months “mini-retirement” you wrote about and LOVED BsAs. It seems to be a fact that Argentinians and Norwegians are the best looking. I’m from Sweden and have been living in diffrent parts of Europe, Africa, travelled in Asia and North America. And that’s definately my view on it as well. Just can’t wait to go back! 🙂
Really enjoyed the book; recommended it strongly to 10 friends and family. Thus far, 7 have purchased the book. My goal is to purchase real estate in the USA and abroad (as passive income), as well as have an Internet based company such as yours “Brain quicken” to provide an additonal stream of passive income. How can I research (or better yet outsource to India) to find out what the top selling products are to license and sell? Is there a company you are aware of that has this information? Target monthly internet passive income is $20,000 to $30,000). Do you believe purchasing real estate abroad is a good idea?
My discovery of your book occurred quite serendipitously after I had quit my job and moved to South America.
I would like to recommend Quito, Ecuador as an alternative to Buenos Aires. Quito was one of the cheapest cities on Mercer’s 2008 Cost of Living Survey and number 15 on the NY Times travel section top 53 destinations for 2008. Be careful….alcohol has a different effect at 9,500 feet!
Hey good of you to be promoting our country! =)
Too bad there are some stupid people down here that just don’t know how to do business and are capable of refusing a deposit return giving us a bad name and losing more business for themselves. Anyway, I have to tell you, when you pay u$s800 for an apartment, even if you do it through a broker, most of the time the owners are born down here.
Two corrections, it’s “Las Leñas” and “Aerolíneas Argentinas”.
With fuel prices going up every day, getting there is now in the range of $1600-$2500 (even flying into Sao Paulo, you start around $1600 — a far cry from the $500 of 2005).
Sad to see how far the dollar has fallen in just a few short years.
“I’m not gay, but I do like how gay-friendly agencies keep their apartments: impeccably clean.”
That comment is GOLD. So true.
OK.. Im sold…Just got furloughed from the airlines, and decided to take a mini sabbatical in BA. My Spanish is weak, history of the area is minimal, funds are short, and I don’t Tango (yet). Time frame to be there is early October. Anyone want to share an apt. for a month or two? Shoot me an email..starting in Munich on the 23rd of Septiembe for Bierfest, than into Eastern Europe for a week or so. Small jaunt to see friends in Auckland, than off to BA! Lets do this..
Hey Tim, thanks for helping me do so much to try and change my life. I have followed the 4HWW principles for simplifying my lifestyle. This post has inspired me to find a worthy and fun project to fill my time.
If you or your readers are interested in my journey, and readers tell me it is very interesting, go to the url listed above.
I give you full credit and links in my blog.
HOLA TO ALL OF YOU BA-LOVERS!!
I ADORE THAT BEAUTIFUL TOWN!
SURE BE BACK!
We went to BA for a wedding last year – its fabulous. But I recommend staying in Palermo – Recoleta is central but a bit posh and dull. Palermo is where all the cool restaurants shopes and bars are. We liked San Telmo to visit too – great antique markets and cafes.
I am thinking of taking a course at a language school in Buenos Aires. Is there a particular language school that you can recommend?
Thank you for this post. Most foreigners who come here love it. If you have a strong foreign currency, you can live like a king. What is amazing is that it is a city with a huge cultural activity. You can watch shows almost every day and some are for free. If you are into art, it is a great city! I’ll just use the blog to mention my little sister’s art (www.georginanunez.com), 🙂 . Another amazing thing is you can major in any career at the prestigious UBA for free or go to an excellent music school, like Escuela de Musica popular de Avellaneda, also for free. This country is great from a cultural point of view; too bad we are so disobedient we get nothing done.
Only after living in other places I came to realize how fantastic this city is. My advice: If you come here, try to get help from a local you trust because they will try to rip you off (just like in any major city in the world). If you need information about the city, please let me know. Bye!
BsAs is a very interesting and fun city. Always an interesting mix of locals and foreigners in the city.
This locals’ guide is great for finding out for finding current events in Buenos Aires http://www.vuenosairez.com
And if you like electronic music this is the site where you’ll find out all about the electronic scene movement: http://www.buenosaliens.com
Tim, I’m from Cordoba, Argentina, but since a year ago I’m an American citizen living in Miami…planning to come back to my city before my 30th birthday (September 2009), where I have all my family and friends.
The lifestyle is completely different in both places: values are not the same (at least in Miami, what you do, what car you drive determine who you are), instead, people from Cordoba are more “humans”, and really, I’m tired of the “robotic and empty routine” I have every day in the USA (I live alone in this country).
Everyone running against the clock just to ‘survive’ (and just to pay mortgage/rent/car/credit cards/insurance, uncle Sam, etc…)…
The last time I came back from Cordoba (January 2009), was the most difficult, and I was putting in my personal appreciation what is the REAL VALUE I WANT FOR MY LIFE. I respect the USA (it’s my second country), but knowing both sides of the coin, my whole life I choose Argentina as my “place” soooooo far!!!!!!!!!!!… I just finished reading your book (I love your ‘vagabond style’, your clarity and focus), and I have inside me the profound desire to meet you some day and go through a deeeeeep turistic ride with you (I said deep because Cordoba is THE MAIN TURISTIC place of Argentina, and we have zillions of places to visit and things to do!!!!)…ask Buenos Aires people about this and you’ll see what I mean…
Thank you for your time to read my post and I’ll see you some day…soon if you want!!
PS: researching what to do on the internet to keep earning some (low TMI) dollars from Cordoba and wanting to design my own lifestyle with FREEDOM!
Te agradezco mucho, Carina! Algun dia, nos encontramos en Cordoba 🙂
I read your post with interest. I am a New Zealander that has just moved to Miami to check it out as a place to potentially base myself in the USA. I love Argentina (it is in my top three out of 59 countries I have visited) and the people there. I have some very close friends in Cordoba (you may even know them). The hospitality and warmth I received from the people there was phenomenal.
I recommend anyone reading this to go check Cordoba out. La Cumbre rocks!
Carina, free to connect via Facebook if you would like to add another down to earth world traveller to your list of friends in Miami.
Tim!, I can’t believe you personally answer to my post…che!, me hiciste sentir Gardel!!!! Gracias!
Chris, I already add you to my facebook (if you are the one in Miami).
Yes, La Cumbre rocks!, also Villa Carlos Paz and a lot more of “small lost cities” where you can do hikking, biking, aladeltismo, parapente, caza, pesca, horse-riding, ecoturismo, go-karting (speeding…..my favorite!!)…and other types of adventures, also, more relaxed things like museums, ferias, expositions, golf, churches of past sigles, etccc…(official fact: between December 2007 and February 2008 Cordoba state received 3 million turists -total foreign and national-)…==when I saw this fact I felt really amazed…WOW!==
People (and specially women!), the truth is I’m here again to say something I forgot to mention before -very important!!-, pay close attention to this:
Also, I want to go and live in my city, Cordoba, because men are really gorgeous and beautiful there!!!! ((and I need to find that special one to share my life with))…in most of the places, you’ll find ‘beauty european style’ people (men and women), very different of what I see in Miami everyday. A fun note?? ==>in 3 weeks I spent in Cordoba last time, I really saw beautiful people, more than in the last 7 years living in Miami. I’m not kidding, this is real. Maybe this is another reason I want to live again in Cordoba 😉
It is a pleasure for your eyes…for men and women.
And also is a pleasure for your stomach (food is delicious and cheap, meat with no hormones, and also the water is different…)…amo los lomitos de Mateo en barrio Yofre!!!! (una vez me traje a Miami 3 lomitos que compre la noche anterior a mi vuelo!!)…deliciosos!!!!, tambien los lomitos del Chori y los que venden en la lomiteria Martin de barrio Ayacucho!!…imperdibles!!!!
As a side note, I want to go to the Oktoberfest in Villa General Belgrano, a place founded by an austriac man (his grandson lives there yet), where every year there are fiestas related to austriac/german cultures (chocolate, masa vienesa, cerveza)…and the architecture is also european based -alpine-. (Even I don’t drink beer, but the festival is really as in Germany, and I want to see that).
Distance makes you perceive your own natural wealth from a different point of view…you value things with more intensity when you “lose” for some time what you always had have in front of your nose and when you realize by yourself that “foreign is not always better”…
And the best part is, like Tim says, you can live like a King/Queen with a few thousand dollars a year…
Thank you again, and being a “native” I can give some orientation to foreign people if you ask me…will be a pleasure to do that.
Tim, de nuevo, gracias por tu tiempo, y por hacerme sentir Gardel en el momento que vi que me respondiste personalmente…sos un grande!!, y realmente aunque no te conozco de frente y no he podido ver tu mirada de frente, pero siento desde que estaba leyendo tu libro que sos un lindo ser humano y que tenes total claridad de lo que queres para tu vida…todo lo mejor para vos…un buen pibe!!
Hasta la proxima!
I’ve been trying to live my 4 hour work week by living half time in Buenos Aires, designing tango shoes, and half in Maine, just living. Nice article and it covers the basics well.
Having living in Buenos Aires myself for the last 15 years, I’m afraid I strongly disagree with many of your comments. So much do I disagree that I have just moved to Brazil.
I disagree in almost every aspect (except for people being beautiful, good food, nice clubs). I also think that your generalizaton about Argies being unreliable is incorrect and unfair (and may suggest some kind of prejudice?). I can tell you first hand that there are all kinds of people in Argentina, as there are in every other country.
So unsafe is Buenos Aires nowadays, that I have to have my eardrum operated on as a result of my head being hit with a gun during an armed robbery in San Telmo. I’m feeling safer in a medium-sized city in Brazil.
It’s been a while since Buenos Aires is no longer inexpensive, and my brother who lives in Dallas and travels on a regular basis, finds it to be more expensive than Dallas. He even used to bring me stuff from the US to save me money. Simple activities like having an icecream are cheaper in the US than in BsAs. Also, your information about flights and housing is outdated. Real state property in BsAs now costs as much as in some American cities.
I’m not glad of telling you this… Hope you find a replacement place soon!
it possible to outsource your life to other countries? By now, you know that I believe it is. But is it necessary to outsource overseas? Can you outsource in languages other than English? What is geoarbitrage really about
Can we get a how to live like a RockStar in Thailand (the other ‘starred’ country in your book)???
Going next year! Love it!
All this talk of Argentina makes me really want to go. The most time I can get is one month. Should I stay in Buenos Aires that whole time or stay in a second place part of the time?
First week Buenos Aires, 2-3rd week Patagonia, last week Buenos Aires. Andate!
Thanks for the suggestion. Patagonia sounds pretty awesome. It seems that travel within the region can be a bit difficult. Any suggestions?
I’m leaving for BsAs late September for 4 weeks then off to Brazil for a week, after reading the 4 Hour Work Week, I decided to give it a shot. I’m working for myself off course and looking forward to the trip. I’ve traveled the world extensively in the past, but always abroad for 2 weeks at a time – this will be my 1st time traveling alone and for a period of 5 weeks so I’m looking forward to see what it has in store! Thanks for a great blog and get your book promoted more in South Africa – I’ve told all my peers about it, unfortunately people seldom follow through. I bet there are millions of people who have read your book, yet have not done the effort to change their lifestyle for the better.
Anyway, perhaps I’ll mail you a pic or 2 of Opera Bay and it’s talent!
Tango Photos from boston.com: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/10/tango.html
Based on Tim’s recs, I’m currently in BA for mini-retirement of 1-3 months. I am currently staying in a hotel in Almagro, a cool section of Buenos Aires and tomorrow I’ll be moving into an apartment in Palermo Soho.
For newcomers to the area like me, I highly recommend Hotel Raco De Buenos Aires: Beautiful, Old world architecture with ultra modern fixtures, wifi, huge complementary breakfast, etc…Very classy and very reasonable rates. They even had a driver waiting to meet me at the airport – they were holding my name on a card. Pretty cool…
FYI – I booked online through budgetplaces dot com. If you Google the hotel you’ll see loads of 5 star reviews…
Please make me a believer! Going to BA in a couple weeks. Lessons are all about 80.00 an hour.. (american $). Please let me know where we can get lessons for less… I’m looking for the deal you mentioned in your book 8.00 an hour… Thanks very much..
I have to say Buenos Aires is everything you say and more! I take Tango classes, Spanish classes, Argentine mime, enjoy mate colonics, get my chakras balalnced, and get VIP treatment wherever I go. I love the digital nomadic lifestyle! Next time you come to BsAs, visit my yurt!
Tim – In your book you mention bringing along children, but nothing about pets. I’ve heard some horror stories regarding 30 day quarantines, etc.
I’ve noticed people in other countries don’t spoil their pets nearly as much as Americans do. (Guatemalans seemed to be very nice to their dogs, but good luck finding a Doggy Day Camp in the Dominican Republic or Belize.)
Any insight into living like a rock star outside of the US with your beloved pets in tow?
Regards, and thanks for the awesome book!
I have no experience with this, but if you figure out the best options, please email amy (see contact page) and I’ll be glad to put it in the book!
All the best,
Great stuff. I want to go to BsAs within the next year. I like the idea about getting an Argentinian to book the lessons. I know quite a few..so that should be very helpful. I’ve heard how crowded the floors are during the summers. I’m not used to that here in NC.
Cool video! Those were some quick gaunchos he did.
Just received the newest version of the book! Looking forward to reading it. 🙂
Did you hear about the new entrance fee which will be assessed to citizens of the United States, Canada, and Australia arriving to Argentina on or after December 20, 2009?
According to Expedia, the fees are as follows:
For U.S. citizens, the fee is approximately $131.00 U.S. Dollars.
For Australian citizens, the fee is approximately $100.00 U.S. Dollars.
For Canadian citizens, the fee is approximately $70.00 U.S. Dollars.
Another fellow Tim speaking here. I am not sure if you can get to responding to this comment or not, but I figured it would be the best place to ask you since this is a thread about Buenos AIres.
I am in Buenos Aires right now and have been running around to a bunch of different book stores trying to buy “The 4-hour Workweek” in Spanish. I have some Porteño friends that I want to buy the book for, but I can’t find it anywhere. None of the stores seem to have it.
Do you know if it is available in Argentina? I know it has been released in Spanish.
Thanks a bunch.
Should be there with Editorial Planeta! Buena suerte, che 🙂
Hi Tim, I am starting a blog in Spanish about the 4HWW. I am an argentinian lady who has also Spanish nationality (lived in Madrid), and now lives in France. I new about your book through Olivier Roland, French bloguer who has interviewed you some time. I love (and agree with) your story about Buenos Aires.
Very difficult to get the book in Spanish, any chance to count on the e-version of it on Amazon? I am trying to develop the NR Spanish spoken market.
Gracias por adelantado, che. Un fuerte abrazo.
PD por cierto, tu libro me cambio la vida, estoy negociando para dejar mi trabajo…
I just wanted to let you know that I’m almost done with your book, and loving every minute of it!!! I was just curious to know, since you like BA so much if you ever visited Chile. Well I from there but currently living in NY. If you ever wanted to visit I know pretty cool places in Vina and Valpo, so let me know!!!
Consuelo Vila-Da Costa
Great book TIm
So far I was kind of doing by myself your ideals even without ever knowing your book. Now I understand what I need to do complete my own recepie.
The next 10 years of my life will be a hell of a ride !
By the way you should add Montreal in your favorite destination. From Mid June to late October there in no better place in N. America …right up there with NYC and Frisco ! If you are looking for a place to stay let me know.
Hey there, I found your website again by fluke and it was you who inspired me to Buenos Aires in 2008.
I am now about to book my fourth and final trip, final because it is to stay! So thank you.
I have bought an apartment through a very smart property group called Mainline Security Estate Management owned by a British company and the last two visits I have stayed with Buenos Aires Stay a very professional vacation rentals company in Buenos Aires.
The city is just terrific and you should go back as it gets better and better, I am amazed by the positive vibe that you do not find at home at the moment.
I am a wealth of free information to travellers and if I had the time I would eventually write a blog, do you have any tips?
I am happy that you post my email address as I am keen to help others, however, I did not note it down because of your rules!
I’m traveling to B’s A’s in 2 months with a friend and need a budget friendly apartment for a month. With inflation taking its toll on the country, how much will a semi quality 2 BR studio run for these days?
This post really hit home for me being an argentine expat living in Canada. I left when I was very young and go back to visit to quell my homesickness for amazing beef, friendly people who love to laugh, and of course, Tango.
Being that I grew up in Canada with Argentine parents, when I go back to visit I don’t know anyone who isn’t family (and all over 50) so my knowledge of capfed hotspots was nil- until now. Next time I go for my yearly intake of empanadas, milanesas and papas a la provencal I’ll be checking out the tango bars you mentioned – as Tango is something that runs through my blood and I’d love to improve.
Gracias boludo, de una portena que extrana su pais.
You got it right, dude. You depict BsAs as it is, and you seem like someone who knows how to live. Your comments and insights found in your book are priceless. Thanks to put it so clear!
Sos un capo, Tim. Gracias!
-Sergio (an argie living in Mass)
Tim, I’m ready for your column on Berlin! I’ll be there for all of May, have never been, have no idea what to expect except everyone says it’s fantastic.
It’s a shame I didn’t see your post before.. I just got back from a 3 months vacation in Argentina, mostly BA, and I have to say it’s very hard to disagree with you- best place I’ve ever been! 3 months of wine tasting, 2 weeks of horsebackriding in the Sierra Chicas in Cordoba, penthouse aparment and partying like a rockstar in Palermo.. All for less then US $4000 including tickes.
A tip of advice though: Try to stay the first month or so in hostels. What a great way to meet tons of people, make local friends and backpackers, and save some cash for later!
Hola Tim, espero que estés muy bien! Soy de Argentina y necesito comentarte algo en privado que te puede llegar a interesar. Ahí te queda mi mail. A donde puedo escribirte para que lo leas vos personalmente?
As I’m reading back through this, I’m realizing that the prices in BsAs aren’t significantly different from the greater Seattle area. Cheaper than Seattle metro perhaps, but not the outskirts.
Thanks for the great advice. I’m interested in moving to BA for a few months. I graduated college 2 years ago and have been itching to live somewhere else for a bit (been living in NYC) and thought BA would be the perfect place. I’d be traveling with a girlfriend and we are interested in working or teaching English down there for 3-4 months. Any ideas where we should get started? Any help would be much appreciated : )
Just got back from Buenos Aires in August, wish I would have found this post before – Definitely missed out on the tango bars, all the ones we found were way too touristy and pricey.
Totally agree with you on the hole in the wall bbq and steakhouses, I am a recent college grad and have never been able to afford the luxury that I had access to in Argentina. If you like break dancing – next time you are in Buenos Aires check out club LOST on a Thursday night (when I say night, I really mean morning… most Clubs don’t open till 1 AM).
For those going the ultra cheap route check out Giramondo hostel, it’s really but I would pay 10x as much just because of the family that runs the place.
I just ordered your book Tim can’t wait to read it!
I realize this is an old post – not sure if the comment will show up but thought it was worth a try.
I’m going to BA for the first time in Jan – my first mini retirement…PUMPED!
Wondering if you have any great tips/specific recommendations for the rest of the country?
Most breath taking sight
Congrats Leah!!!! I am still trying to work out my first mini retirement! 🙂
PS Tim, great article as always (yes, old…but “timeless”)