Which Way and Where is That? Why You Should Have a Map Before You Leave

We admit it: we're always amused by the people who have plans to cover 5 major areas of Argentina in 7 days. We're pretty sure they haven't checked a map or globe and noted the distances they're trying to cover are equivalent trying to cover San Francisco, New York, Miami, Houston and Anchorage in a week (ditto for those adventurous types who plan the "day trip" to Machu Picchu from Buenos Aires). But, beyond those who are spatially optimistic, a good map makes planning a trip and navigating around a city so much easier.

Having a decent map of the city helps in planning which hotel/apartment/B&B to stay in (if you've ever been surprised when you discovered that your window overlooked a freeway, you'll immediately understand the value of the planning-stage map) -- you can view the different areas of the city, the proximity to places you'd like to visit -- and even determine whether you're about to rent an apartment on the corner of two busy roads whose noise will likely keep you up all night. You can locate the subte (subway) routes easily (and note whether you're staying close to one).

Now, considering that most people are planning on spending a few thousand dollars on a trip to Argentina, spending $10 or so on maps doesn't seem like such a stretch -- but, you'd be surprised where people cut corners. Oh wait, you won't.

We wondered if people don't buy them just because they don't know where/how to buy one? Then again, is that why people don't buy a decent guidebook and then bounce onto an internet message board with the overly broad question of "Hi, I'm going to Argentina. Where should I go and what should I do?" (think about how much time it would take you to answer that question if it were asked of your country -- and if you answered it -- you would have just written a.....guidebook).

So, to make it easier.. here are some links to some good maps (and a guidebook or two thrown in for good measure)

This is one of the two Buenos Aires city maps we carry with us:

and the other (a Lonely Planet map) is out of print now, but this one looks like it might even be better:

A full map of Argentina not only helps put the country in perspective, but may give you ideas on places you'd like to research a a possible destination:

or, if you want the full perspective.. try all of southern South America (including Argentina):

Our favorite guidebook for Buenos Aires is the Time Out guide:

And there's also a nice one for Patagonia:

For Argentina as a whole we're super excited about the upcoming TimeOut guide for Argentina (including Uruguay!):

But, if you need something quickly, try:

If you've already made it to Argentina and are in Buenos Aires (or once you get there), we recommend picking up a copy of the GuiaT -- it's an extremely detailed grid of maps of the full Buenos Aires area -- complete with bus route information. It comes in a desk size and a pocket size -- and will only cost you a few dollars. To our knowledge it's not available for purchase outside of Argentina.

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