One of the world's most wondrous cities, Buenos Aires is more European than Latin American. Open the phonebook and you'll find as many Italian surnames as Spanish ones. You'll also find many British, German, Jewish and Japanese names. Much like the United States, Argentina experienced waves of immigration at the turn of the century and after the Second World War.

It is a city that hardly sleeps, with restaurants routinely serving until 2 or 3 am. There are no obvious slums and, unlike many US cities, the “downtown” areas are not decaying. In fact, they are the heart of the city, home to the best hotels, shops and restaurants. You'll spend much of your time downtown.

Soccer is a national passion; but, thanks to the British, polo is also first rate.

The city has many fine museums and a world-reknowned opera house. Shopping for fine leathers and furs can be fun and rewarding.

You can begin and end your stay in Buenos Aires. But why not see the rest of Argentina? The second largest country in South America, it covers an area of over one million square miles. If you can imagine South America resembling a lamb chop, Argentina and Chile share the bone.

No matter where you travel, take some simple precautions in order to avoid health problems, crime and other mishaps. Following are a few suggestions:

To avoid suspicion when passing through customs, always carry prescription medications in their original containers. Be sure to bring a few extra days worth of medication in case your return home is delayed.

Research the health risks of the areas you plan to visit and allow yourself time to update or get vaccinations and immunizations as necessary. You should also check on the availability of medical care.

Try to avoid tap water, ice cubes, local dairy products and raw or uncooked foods if you are traveling in rural areas or cities in lesser developed nations. Drink bottled water.

Carry a small medical kit with basic emergency supplies, including stomach remedies, band-aids, gauze, antiseptic, and neosporin or something similar for insect bites. If you have any allergies (insect bites, foods, etc.) or health conditions that require a special medication, include it in your medical kit. Check on the accessibility of medical assistance before you leave home.



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