Being travel savvy in Buenos Aires doesn’t just mean knowing your Guía T inside-out or know the best way to hail a cab in the rain — the cream of the crop know how to get to and from Ezeiza Airport without breaking a sweat.
When the city airport closed a couple of months ago for work on the runway, thousands more travellers were heading out to Ezeiza on a daily basis, with many of them left with little choice to forking out a whopping $130 or higher for a taxi. But whilst there is no public shuttle service, there are alternatives to taking a cab, as Rosalind Walters discovers.
1. HI Travel Shuttle Service
HI Travel provides a service to and from the Ezeiza Airport five times daily. The shuttle service costs US$11 and can take you from Ezeiza to one of the many drop-off points throughout Buenos Aires.
Shuttles leaving Ezeiza to Buenos Aires begin at 8am and the last one leaves for the city at 6.30pm, whereas shuttles from Buenos Aires to Ezeiza depart starting at 7am with the last shuttle of the day leaving for the airport at 5pm. Their pick-up/drop-off points can be found at the HI affiliated hostels and a clearly marked area at the Ezeiza airport. Arrival and departure times vary on traffic, though most trips will take between 1h15 and 1h30 travel time.
Guests and those looking to reserve a shuttle space are at the liberty to book online, over the phone, through email, or at one of the many hostels with which they work between two hours to 48 hours in advance. Booking can also be made directly at their office on Florida 835.
For the full list of shuttle times, hostel lists and how to book your shuttle pick-up, visit www.hostelshuttle.com.ar
2. Silver Star Car
Not a fan of crowded public transportation or stumbling through Spanish with bus terminals or taxi drivers? Private car company, Silver Star Car, is a more personal alternative to airport transportation. Founded in 2009 by husband and wife couple, Fred Badagnani and Karina Zurita, this personal car service is not only provided in English and recommended by Lonely Planet, but also gives your arrival or departure into Buenos Aires a celebrity feel.
Being a private service, Silver Star Car can have arrangements or bookings made on their website or by phone as to the time, date and location of your pick-up and drop off. You can ride in style to the airport for US$92 and picked up from Ezeiza for US$132. Their prices for pickups, drop offs, tours and more include parking and tolls.
The luxury service has three cars insured and certified for your airport arrival, the Citroen C6 Sedan, a Lincoln Town Car and a Citroen C4. Their website provides photos, details, testimonials and prices to the service of their Silver Star Cars.
If you ever decide to make that grand entrance or exit from Buenos Aires, Silver Star Car sets apart from the average public bus, van or taxi.
For more information regarding their other tour services, cars and standard prices, visit www.silverstarcar.com. All prices are correct as of December 2010.
3. Mini Bus S.R.I.
The Mini Bus S.R.I service provides a small shuttle serving 4-19 passengers depending on the vehicle and operates right outside of Paseo Colón Avenue in Monserrat. For $21 you can travel with Mini Bus to Ezeiza.
Shuttles run between Buenos Aires and Ezeiza Monday to Friday beginning at 8.30am until 6.30pm, every 15 minutes. Packages of prepaid tickets can be purchased at a discount, depending on the number of tickets purchased, however there is no need to make a reservation for a standard ticket – all you have to do is show up to the pick-up point and pay the chauffer with cash.
The Mini Bus picks up passengers heading to the airport at Av. Paseo Colón and Av. Belgrano. The website also offers assistance and information in Spanish, Portuguese and English.
Monday-Friday, for package prices, postal and other information check out www.minibusezeiza.com.ar. Prices increase with luggage.
4. Number 8 Bus
Public transport afficionados – and those with more time than money – will be happy to know that there is a public bus that heads to the airport.
For only $2 (with a SUBE, $4 without) you can have a frills-free ride to the airport on the most basic and unexpected forms of public transportation. While all of the #8’s have airport written on the top, if you are headed to the airport, make sure that it’s written on the bottom half of the sign as well.
The route and stops of the bus heading to and from the Ezeiza International Airport to Hospital Argerich is more fine-tuned in the Guía T, the guidebook to Buenos Aires public transportation. Sure places to catch the #8 are as it travels up Av. Independencia, Perú and Av. Belgrano before hitting Av. De Mayo and Av. Rivadavia and on to the highway.
However, as true with all public buses in Argentina, the sooner you catch it, the easier it is to find a seat and relax, and be sure to give yourself a good couple of hours to get there.
For those who are not familiar with the Guía T guidebook to public transportation, Como Viajo is a good place to find your way around Buenos Aires from the comfort of your chair. For more information in the #8 bus, make sure to check www.comoviajo.com
5. Manuel Tienda León
Manuel Tienda León prides themselves in the security of their ride to and from Ezeiza airport to their station, Terminal Madero. With a bus running at least every hour, coming and going from the airport has never been so easy.
For $70 Manuel will take you to the airport in their air-conditioned buses with a secure luggage area and large reclining seats for the ride in. All pick-ups and drop-offs to and from Ezeiza are stationed at the Terminal Madero at Av. Madero and San Martín. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time as well as at their counter at the Ezeiza terminal, online and the Terminal Madero station.
Prices vary depending on the type of vehicle you choose from Manuel, whether it is the bus or the Remis, four-seater vehicle. Still, this very straightforward method of airport transit is staple for both Argentines and travelers alike.
Prices, locations and hours of transit are available at Manuel Tienda León’s website www.tiendaleon.com.ar