South America - Safety in Chile Compared with Argentina
Mar 16, 12, 4:45 pm
Is it true that in the past couple of years Chile has surpassed Argentina in terms of safety, due to a decline in economic stability in Argentina and vice versa in Chile? Is it generally safer to travel around Santiago than Buenos Aires for tourists nowadays? I was thinking of travelling to both cities next year, but I am slightly nervous about having to be very watchful walking around in Buenos Aires compared to in Santiago.
Mar 16, 12, 7:22 pm
You would be well-advised to be watchful in both places. Bad things can happen in the best of places. The safer you think you are, the more you let your guard down. I don't think Chile surpassed Argentina. Chile (at least the country as a whole) has likely been a safer place for a long time. To which some would reply, so what, it was boring as hell.
The Metro in Santiago is likely a fair sum safer than the Subte in Buenos Aires. Note that most of the BA crime is petty crime which as you know, is rampant all over Europe in the big cities.
Plenty of tourists die while visiting the USA, and not while waywardly wandering the streets of East Oakland at 3AM.
Go, enjoy, and just be a little street smart.
Mar 16, 12, 10:02 pm
Reading recent reputation Santiago could seem safer than Buenos Aires. But actually it's relative. My motto is Every big city has its dangerous places, or dangerous moments.
I never had any trouble in Santiago, B.A., Rio or Sao Paulo. But I know things happen. My point is I wouldn't decide to go to any of the cities I just mentioned, based in safety reputation. Just take care and be smart. I think you will enjoy B.A.
Mar 18, 12, 9:51 pm
I think worldwide anywhere tourists agglomerate there are those who are willing (and wily) enough to dispossess one of wallets, cameras, etc. Ask locally - people will tell you where to avoid and what times of day; avoid public displays of wealth; leave your passport securely in the safe at the hotel and take a copy; etc.
Mar 30, 12, 11:01 pm
In addition, sometimes I think its just common sense. I don't think BA or Santiago are any different in terms of "safety" than any large cities in the world. The press may report and sensationalize isolated incidents and make it seem that the entire place is like that. (Using the east oakland example, I had friends asking me whether where I live about 30 miles from Oakland was "affected" by the street protests during "Occupy Oakland" and that I should "take care" ... groan ... )
The locals (friends, co-workers) seem to provide the best heads-up in terms of what to do, places to go/avoid, etc. With hotel folks, sometimes I take their word with a pinch of salt. They may be a little over protective at times.
Look around, kick back, have fun.