Flying into Buenos Aires’ International airport, EZE, for a ski or snowboard trip to Argentina can be very intimidating. Buenos Aires is home to 13 million people, it’s sprawling, it’s not simple to navigate, but if you know a few tips, it becomes doable.
First, lets state the obvious:
1. Knowing a few words of Spanish is a huge help – not many people speak English in Buenos Aires. If nothing else, make sure you have ‘please, thank you, and excuse me’ dialed.
2. Never leave your gear anywhere, always have it with you. Use lockers in hotels and hostels and be super careful with your passport, atms cards, and wallet. Do Not leave any gear in a taxi while you go to an ATM.
3. The Argentine people are great and much warmer than we are. Give ‘em a smile and they’ll treat you great.
THE QUICK AND DIRTY:
1. Arrive at EZE (you’ll generally arrive in the morning from the USA)
2. Take the #8 bus (5 pesos last time we used it which = $0.5 usd) from airport for 90+ minutes into the city center/your hostel
3. Hop off bus right in front of either Milhouse Avenue hostel or Milhouse Hipo hostel – both hostels are right on the #8 bus route making life very easy with ski/board bags. Make sure to get reservations at the hostel before your flight. Book your bus ticket to Las Leñas or Bariloche at the hostel.
4. From either Milhouse hostel it’s only a few blocks of walking to get to Bernardo Iriyogen avenue & Avenida de Mayo (see map below) where you can catch the 100 bus headed north directly to the bus station, Retiro, where you’ll take a bus to Las Leñas or Bariloche.
5. The bus ticket you purchased at the hostel will allow you to get directly onto the bus. Just ask an information person or your bus company’s counter which “gate” your bus will be at. It’s good to get to the bus station a bit early to allow for any mishaps that may occur.
6. Ride the bus for many many hours until your destination. For Bariloche it’s a direct shot. For Las Leñas, you’ll go to San Rafael then transfer onto a Las Leñas bus. The transfer is straightforward, easy, and that bus station is tiny.
THE FULL DETAILS:
BUS FROM EZE TO BUENOS AIRES:
The EZE airport is where you’ll land when you arrive in Buneos Aires. EZE is about 90 minutes from the center of Buenos Aires (see map below). When you walk out of the international terminal, you’ll take a left and walk along the edge of the buildings until you pass Argentina National Bank where you’ll continue a bit further to an obvious bus stop shelter. Hop on one of the #8 buses. Put your board/ski bag upright in the wheelchair zone and stand with it and your other bags. The bus will be empty to start with, but will inevitably get packed as you go thru one of the largest cities on Earth. It’s best to stand by your gear.
**Special Note: You must have coins to get on the bus. They will not accept paper money. Also, sometimes they’ll charge you a few pesos more because your your bags. Make sure to have 20 pesos in coins before getting on the bus. You can get change from a store in the airport or in the Argentina National Bank right next to the bus stop.
Keep an eye on the street signs once you finally get into the center (after 1-2 hours). Milhouse Avenue is at 1245 Avenida de Mayo, so you’ll want to get off on the 1200-1300 block which you’ll see on the street signs. The cross street is Libertad and you can ask your bus driver to let you know when you get to Libertad and hop off then. You’ll just have to walk one block north to get to Avenida de Mayo and you’ll be able to see Milhouse Avenida. Milhouse Hipo is at 929 Hipólito Yrigoyen 959. Just ask the bus driver to let you out at Bernardo Irigoyen avenue and you’re a block away.
EZE to Milhouse Hostels
TAXI FROM EZE AND TAXIS IN BUENOS AIRES:
You can also just take a taxi from EZE to your hostel or hotel. Taxis will cost you around $50-70usd versus $1usd on the bus. Taxis will take about 40-60 minutes to get to the city center. These taxis will usually charge you extra for your ski/board bags.
**Special Note: Once in Buenos Aires, almost no taxi will take pick you up if you have skis or snowboards. Not even when you call the company and ask for a larger taxi to fit your gear. This is why knowledge of buses is key in Buenos Aires.
HOSTELS IN BUENOS AIRES:
We recommend Milhouse Avenue & Milhouse Hipo (see map below) because they are right on the #8 bus route. These two hostels are designed for one thing: partying. They have a party in one of the hostels every night from 10:30pm – 2am. Once the party ends at 2am, they kick you out and make you all go to a bumping club. They’ll sell you tickets at 1/2 off for the club everyone is going to and you’ll have access to the VIP lounge.
We recommend at least one night in Buenos Aires. Two is better. You’re going to be tired after your flight but you’ll still end up partying until 6 am both nights regardless. This is okay as you’ll have a place to chill and sleep all day and you’ll be tired for your bus ride which is a good thing.
*Special Note: Partying in Buenos Aires makes Las Vegas look lame. Clubs don’t open until 2am.
**Special Note: Get reservations at Milhouse before you leave home: Milhouse
***Special Note: There are ATM machines in the airport that are easily located.
****Special Note: Buy your bus ticket to Las Leñas or Bariloche in your hostel, this is by far the best/easiest way to get a bus ticket. They take credit cards.
*****Special Note: The black market (blue market) glory days are over. There is no longer any 63% discount if you bring dollars. Best thing to do is simply acquire pesos from ATM machines in Argentina.
map of the 2 Milhouse hostels in Buenos Aires
GETTING FROM HOSTEL TO BUS STATION:
From either Milhouse hostel walk a couple blocks to Bernardo Irigoyen avenue (see map below) and grab the 100 bus going north on that street (5 pesos, have coins or they won’t let you ride). This bus will take you right to the bus station Retiro. Once at the bus station simply ask the information person or your bus company’s counter which ‘gate’ your bus will be leaving from.
View Larger Map. Map of route from where the 100 bus picks you up to the Retiro bus station.
BUS TO BARILOCHE or LAS LENAS:
Make sure you have a good book. Both of these rides are 24 hours or so one way. Terrible movies will play constantly, it’ll be cold in the bus, and it’ll stop more than you like. There really won’t be anything to see as Argentina is 90% flat grassland and most the travel is at night. Get an isle seat. The front seats have more leg room, but you’ll want to wear your seatbelt in these babies.
For Las Leñas, you’ll have to go to San Rafael and transfer to a bus that takes you up to Las Leñas. This is easy and you’ll just buy your ticket to Las Leñas from San Rafael at the San Rafael bus station. The Las Leñas bus will drop you off right at the ski resort and you can easily walk anywhere in Las Leñas from there.
For Bariloche, you’ll have a direct ride and be dropped off at the bus station in Bariloche which is a bit outside of town. From here, it’s easiest to grab a taxi to your hotel or hostel. A taxi all the way across town is only about 85 pesos or about $16 usd. All taxis in Bariloche will take you ski or board bags and strap them haphazardly to the taxi’s roof. They have their own straps.
If you have any questions, throw them in the comments and we’ll get to ’em. Or email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org