With the cost of international trips rising, Americans have been searching for cheaper alternatives to their go-to sunny hotspots, and taking into account its low cost of living and fascinating culture, it’s no surprise they’re choosing this trendy South American destination.
This year alone, it’s hosted 5 million foreign tourists, already 1.1 million more than it did throughout the whole of 2022, and looking at recent booking trends, those numbers are set to climb even higher as we approach winter – or better, summer for the Global South.
In case you have been wondering lately, this is why Buenos Aires is so popular among Americans right now:
A Cultural Capital For South America
The birthplace of Evita Peron and Messi, where tango originated from, and distinctive for being the highest meat-eating country with a rich cuisine to match, there are lots of incredible attributes that make Argentina the most fascinating destination in the Global South.
Argentine culture is one of the main reasons why Americans are flying there in droves, as it is a blend of both Indo-American and Southern European customs, as many of the locals are in fact descendants of Spanish and Italian settlers.
Its capital, Buenos Aires, is easily the country’s most exciting city break, as well as its most cosmopolitan. Home to over 15 million inhabitants, it serves as a microcosm where all of Argentina’s impressive diversity can be found.
Whether it’s traditionalism you’re after, namely districts like Palermo and La Boca, famous for their Italian diaspora and plethora of Mediterranean-inspired restaurants, or an immersion in the local indie scene, from mural-filled San Telmo to the Bohemian Villa Crespo, BA offers something for every traveler.
A Foodie’s Paradise
The local food is yet another reason why the travel community has been obsessed with the city lately. Buenos Aires is nothing short of a culinary mecca, owing its pristine reputation to stellar steakhouse services and a well-established fine dining scene.
Whichever restaurant you pick on a night out in trendy Puerto Madero, rest assured you will find a selection of asados, impossibly tender, grass-fed Argentine beef, parrillas, empanadas, and that irresistible, melt-in-your-mouth local variation of dulce de leche to top it off.
Trust us, Buenos Aires gives all of your foodie faves a run for their money – including cevicheria-packed Lima in Peru.
The Paris Of The Global South
Buenos Aires is a city best known, however, for its stunning architecture, heavily inspired by Haussman’s redesign of Paris. It’s no wonder it’s called the ‘Paris of South America’, or that it’s been crowned time and again the continent’s prettiest national capital.
All around the city center, there are grandiose buildings with ornate facades that will make you feel as if you’re in the Old Continent, Iberian-style plazas flanked by trees and stately civic buildings, and beautiful, avant-gardiste palacios dating back to the 18th and 19th-centuries.
Buenos Aires is France’s and Italy’s love child, and locals are very proud of their shared heritage.
A Hugely Affordable City Break
Other than the vibrant culture, delectable cuisine, and stunning architecture, Buenos Aires has become a traveler’s favorite for its affordability.
The Argentine peso has always been weaker compared to the U.S. dollar, but in recent years, it’s reached new record lows, with 1 peso equaling US$0.0029 as per the latest exchange rate.
In fact, foreigners now get a better deal than locals when exchanging their tourist dollars, as international bank account holders can get over double the amount of pesos for the same sum traded in. Needless to say, both digital nomads and long-term tourists have chosen BA as their new safe haven.
For around US$1,000 a month, they can rent a small studio in Palermo, use Ubers instead of public transportation, and even eat out in mid-range restaurants multiple times a week. This is less than half the average monthly rent in Los Angeles.
Staying in the short-term, vacationers also benefit from the shockingly low cost of living, spending on average US$26 during their trip.
In wider South America, Argentina is considered a cheap destination for South Americans themselves, particularly Brazilians, who flock into Buenos Aires for an affordable getaway and eating lavishly without breaking the bank.
The Safest South American Capital
Finally, Buenos Aires is incredibly safe, boasting a relatively low crime rate compared to its South American counterparts and ranking as the least dangerous national capital in the continent.
In fact, the U.S. State Department classes all of Argentina – BA included – as a Level 1 destination, the best designation a country can strive for, and one that applies to Iceland, Finland, Croatia, and other low-risk European hotspots.
When visiting Buenos Aires, Americans are not required to exercise a higher degree of caution, as they would in neighboring Brazil, and though pickpocketing can be a problem in touristy sites, you are less likely to be affected by petty crimes, or most importantly, violence when exploring BA.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com