While visiting Buenos Aires, there are a few things that you should strongly consider if you plan to do any shopping. Although up until the recent political unrest the Argentina Peso was on par with the US Dollar, meaning 1 peso = 1 $$$, and things were quite expensive there still were some seriously good buys, good quality, and well worth the money and your time in checking them out. Currently the Peso is “floating” and since I am not planning on going back until next year, I do not know if the prices have been adjusted upward. For the purpose of this review, I am going to give you prices we paid in US Dollars.
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There are four main things you might want to consider in Buenos Aires. I will use the word consider as there is one that is quite expensive, and I will address that issue when I get further into the review.
CASHMERE SWEATERS: For the nicest cashmere sweaters go to Silvia and Mario! While were we spending extra time in Buenos Aires after a cruise, we could not believe the people that we knew from the ship that were there shopping. This store located at Marcello T. de Alvear 550,is centrally located across from the Marriott hotel. It has just about anything you would want in cashmere from matching sets, beautiful jackets to leather coats. This is not a terribly large store, but the walls are stocked to the ceilings, and my only regret is that I bought just one sweater. I wear it all the time, and the quality is much better than I have seen in America. The actual Cashmere in Argentina is a little different being a mixture of merino wool and Patagonian goat’s wool. They are a nice weight, and after several years of wear mine looks brand new, no pilling at all. I paid approximately $120 for the heavy weight sweater jacket with lovely brass buttons, and like I said before, I regret not purchasing another. This was one of the more expensive sweaters, but there were many priced around $60 for a twin set! Truly this is one great buy.
LEATHER: We all know that leather is a big seller in Argentina. We saw many stores selling beautiful leather goods, from handbags to suitcases. We looked quite a bit and then ended up at a very well know store called “Welcome” which is a high end store, but there is no doubt you are getting an actual piece of Argentine leather, and no an import. We spent quite a bit of time here, as I wanted my husband to get a good-looking leather carry-on bag for our traveling. He tends to be conservative, so it took a little encouraging, but he did purchase a beautiful double handled bag with four compartments. It was perfect to put all those things you need for a short trip, or as I felt it was a perfect carry on. The price was $220, and no doubt would have easily been double that here. This store is located at Marcolo T de Alvear 500, also centrally located and all within walking distance from the major hotels.
CIGARS: My husband loves a good cigar, and there are many beautiful stores that sell only this product. We had a great time looking, but the prices were very high. For example a box of Cuban “high-end” cigars would sell easily for $500. When my husband explained that we could not take them back to the States, the clerk offered to re-wrap them, put different bands around them, and use a different box. Well, there was no way that he was going to spend that kind of money for a box of cigars, so it was fun looking, but not a recommended buy. He felt that you could do better in most of the other places we have visited. So, we passed on the cigars.
WINE: There are certain basic necessities of life, and wine is one of them. Argentina is famous for their wine, and I was told they were the world’s fifth largest producers. However, since they tend to drink most of it, not a huge quantity is exported. Well, just stick your head in any liquor store in Buenos Aires, and you will see why the wine is staying in Argentina. One store had at least 80% wine and 20% other liquor. These people like their wine, and justly so. It is great! There was no problem on prices. It was easy to find a wine around $5 that was excellent. We stocked up! Now, remember that leather carry on we bought, it was stuffed full of great cheap wine! Well, it was so full that the handle broke, and we had to get it repaired upon our return.
Those are my thoughts on what you should shop for in Buenos Aires. There are tons of good guidebooks, but first and foremost, go for the sweaters and then the wine. If you feel like a splurge, make no mistake, the leather is beautiful.
Hope you enjoyed, and see you later!
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