Buenos Aires, Argentina (map)
After spending time in the small town of Puerto Iguazu we hopped on the next leg of our Argentina flight purchase and headed to the HUGE city of Buenos Aires. By huge I mean around 13 million! The city center population is only around 3 million, but adding in those who live just outside the city it makes BA one of the 20 largest cities in the world.
We had a surprise for us when we went to check in for our flight at the Iguazu airport. We had booked our multi-city flight through Orbitz for a steal and for the leg from Iguazu to BA it had us having a 5 hour layover in Rio de Janiero. We didn’t think much of it since we never planned to visit Brazil due to the visa costs. Well, turns out the visa restrictions are so strict that if you don’t have your visa you cannot even fly into the country and stay within the international airport for a connecting flight. We immediately referenced Tom Hanks in the movie he did called Terminal. Guess Brazil doesn’t want random tourists living in their airports?? The airline employee then tells us that the airline itself will get fined a huge sum if they allow people to fly into Brazil without their approved visas. So, what we had thought would be a night sleeping in the Rio airport turned out to be us getting changed to a nonstop flight to BA (at no additional cost to us!). The airline employee even apologized to us like it was his fault our layover in Rio could not happen!
Typically when we arrive to a new location we figure out the area of town we want to stay in and head there to find a place to stay. Since we began our RTW trip we have actually only made reservations in advance two times! This time in BA was one of them. After hearing from other long term travelers about how they find unique places to stay we decided to check out a site called AirBnB. Basically people who have rooms or extra homes/apartments will advertise them for people like us to rent for a period of time. We ended up scoring a nice little apartment in a quiet area of Buenos Aires. It was a welcomed change from hostel life!