There are guides online about how to take a bus from AEP (Aeroparque Jorge Newbery) or EZE (Ezeiza) airports.  There are also numerous warnings about taking the bus, or taxis (illicit or not) – in terms of safety, swapped counterfeit notes, long routes, etc.  People are also defensive that these are great methods.  I’m sure they are, but after flying overnight from South Africa, I wanted to get to my hotel, safely, quickly and reliably.

The last thing on my mind as the plane swooped in from São Paulo was negotiating a taxi deal.

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Latam – as you can see – tends to use a bus service in AEP.  Generally I am not a fan of this.  Why is there a bus when the door is about 200 yards away? Always seems like a union deal is at play!

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AEP is not a big airport but it became clear that Argentina would involve a lot of standing in line (it did, in lots of places!).  There are two lines – Extranjeros / Foreigners and Argentinos which is self-explanatory.

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It took about 45 minutes to get through immigration.  Once through, you collect your bag from the carousel (of course, I don’t have that problem!) and join a new queue for customs.  A randomiser button is pressed by a local functionary which randomly decides if you will be examined by customs.  I was selected! The red light of doom!

All it amounted to was my bag being put through a scanner. The gentleman scanning was pushed back on his chair and just waved at me to skedaddle.

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Right outside customs is a row of 4/5 Remis (= taxi or car service) storefronts.  I had read about Tienda León and so I was comfortable with this brand.  There was (wait for it) a queue which took 30 minutes to shift!  The process seemed very bureaucratic…. take down your name, see your passport, tap the computer for 5 minutes, take your credit card, tap the computer, print something out and so on.  From time to time a driver would arrive and whisk away someone who had been through the process.  There is no guarantee there is a driver ready for you.  Once I’d been processed and charged $345 pesos for a 10 minute drive (it’s a rip off but comparatively not a lot of money compared to some other airports), I waited a further 10 minutes.

Did my driver carry my bag? No, heck he didn’t! Just walked off and waggled his fingers for me to follow. The drive in was fine – the weather just beautiful and warm.

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The drive took us through the Palermo district towards Recoleta.

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Plenty of statues to explore later…

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Trees everywhere in Palermo! This would become my running route!

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I spotted a lot of police around.

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A lot of the architecture looked Parisian, maybe Madrileño in inspiration.

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So, $345 pesos into Recoleta (about £20 or $28 USD) is a little steep, but manageable.  Look, I’m being honest here – in any big city there are areas which are a bit shady.  In Argentina, there are a LOT of warnings about pickpocketing and theft, especially of people who are clearly tourists, arriving with lots of bags.  I think peace of mind counts for something and we can have a separate conversation about whether I’m being fair to the robbers.

Wait until I tell you about the price of getting BACK to the airport from downtown! See ya later!

 

One thought on “Transit: Getting through immigration at AEP Airport and into Buenos Aires – Remis / Car Service

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