Just got back from S.America cruise Rio to Valpariso - flew back from Santiago... better have lots of Cash (US) dollars-- in small bills, and travelers checks.. Few accepted credit cards in S.America - especially Buenos Aires (had to pay cash there).. in Santiago they did do credit cards- always ask - best to use if can.. but be prepared. Do not expect bargains.. only in Chile (Puntas Arenas) and (Puerto Montt)-- at that port is small handicrafts and woolens - great bargains there - called Angelmo- at dockside- use cash-- Also be forewarned- hard to find telephones to make long distance calls on pre-paid cards- almost impossible. Ship tours (Holland America) Ryndam-- were very expensive.. look up tour agencies to get other tours.. anything specific you need let me know - firstname.lastname@example.org
hi- we are gong 2/17 santiago to buenas aires. can you tell me why do you need so much cash. we are taking shore excursions from the ship. we will only be in buenas aries the day we fly home. is there alot to buy and where are the best bargains? how was the weather? what ship were you on and did you go to the falkland islands? any info would be greatly appreciative. thanks
Don't go to Buenos Aires to shop. Florida St. is mall area for tourists and you can spend two times what you do at home. Buenos Aires is a city of 14,000,000 people and no open banks just now. It is not a place to throw around your money if you want to be well liked. Buenos Aires is safe. The TV shots are all in one place. Go for the atmosphere, learn a bit of Spanish - no English on the streets - admire the most magnificent statuary in South American, spend a quiet moment in a great national cathedral and try to get a tour of the opera house. If you need to shop stay home. A neighborhood is a barrio - buy a small guide and read it. Our ship Mercury was useless in this area. Don't mention money if you have pockets full of it. Try to fit in. Buenos Noches.
Also did southern SA in January. These are third world countries and bargaining is not what you think it is. Take small bills for Argentina so avoid pesos in change, nobody wants pesos. The ship will not buy back pesos. If you like to bargain with sellers with holes in their shoes go on, it is why ship travelers are not always loved. Argentina has a bouncing peso so pay what is asked or don't buy. Radio taxis are paid for in advance so are safe. Chile will take dollars on the coastal areas but not inland. Chile. Noone will take travel cheques and banks do charge a small commission. Santiago has money exhange shops which may have a better rate. If you shop in a dept. store don't offer less, it is offensive. If you are buying in a market on the street it is not a badge of brilliance to cheat a small dealer. My H. and I understand Spanish and were saddened by the ship passenger behaviour in the very small ports. How would you like it if hordes of ship passengers sme up your street and tried to con you out of a few pesos. Try to remember you are a guest in another country.
I sail Feb 17 on the Mercury ( Celebrity Lines), Buenos Aires to Valparaiso. Do you have any tips/pointers on some good shore excursions, and if you booked them thru the ship or on your own?
How was the weather and were the seas rough/ Thanks for your help.