Hitchhiking through Argentina
February 16, 2013 12:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm in Santa Fe, Argentina. My girlfriend and I are planning to leave tomorrow afternoon to hitchhike toward Mendoza. Neither of us has ever hitchhiked before, our Spanish is fine but not ideal (we've been in Argentina and Uruguay for a few weeks and have been getting along fine, but no one would mistake us for native speakers), and we are both fairly nonthreatening white Americans in our 20s.

Any pointers or things we should know? Most importantly, how do we choose what roads to try to catch a ride on? Any specific road suggestions for this route?

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for what to do in Santa Fe tonight, we'd appreciate those as well.
posted by cheerwine to Travel & Transportation around Argentina (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
General advice I've heard about hitchhiking: You don't have to accept a ride just because it's offered. If something feels off to you, you don't need to be able to define what feels wrong to turn a ride down. Better safe than sorry.
posted by aniola at 2:21 PM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

I can't speak to hitchhiking in Argentina, though I have hitched through Mexico and Central America with very poor Spanish and had really positive experiences. Off the top of my head, your best bet for info-gathering is to hunt through the archives of Acrobat of the Road, a blog by the Argentine hitchhiker Juan Pablo Villarino, or through the Spanish-language Autostop Argentina site. You might also try sifting through the archives of Digihitch for information, or digging through the archives of the Hitching yahoogroup (where Villarino occasionally posts--though the listserve is primarily focused on hitchhiking in Eastern Europe). You might also find some posts on Squat the Planet, though I've never looked through their hitchhiking forum. (Edited: oh, there's also Hitchwiki, which I'd forgotten about! Take a look at pages in Spanish if the English offerings aren't sufficient.)

Really, though, if you've never hitchhiked before I'd just read first person accounts of hitchhiking anywhere in the world, just to get a sense of what your concerns might be. It's thrilling and so much fun--a great chance to talk to strangers you'd never otherwise get to cross paths with! I wrote a few good meaty posts of hitching advice on here about a decade ago, under the username soviet sleepover, in case you're inclined to fish through the archives here!
posted by tapir-whorf at 2:26 PM on February 16, 2013

I don't have any suggestions for that route in particular, but in my experience (4 years ago) it was much easier to find rides by asking around at gas stations and rest stops than trying to flag down a ride by the side of the road. If you aren't super confident asking in Spanish, the attendant will probably be happy to help you look for people headed in the right direction.
posted by exutima at 2:48 PM on February 16, 2013

i haven't hitchhiked anywhere other then the us so i can't say much about that but i can give you a few suggestions about hitchhiking. one of them is the point aniola makes--if a ride doesn't seem right to you then pass it by. also asking around is a much better way then standing by the road.

if you do stand by a road a sign with your destination is useful for keeping the short trips down. making eye contact with each driver is also important, as is making sure there's a place for the driver to pull over that's safe.

reading stories might be a good idea too. may i recommend my self link?
posted by lester at 8:25 PM on February 16, 2013

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