Key Travel Tip: Speak Spanish, Get in with the Locals
A few years ago I was in Buenos Aires shooting photos for stock. One of the images I wanted to capture was a wide angle view of the city from a high vantage point.
I had visited the city before and was familiar with the Monumental Tower, a clock tower with a balcony offering great views of the city. Normally the tower is open to visitors, who can reach the balcony via an elevator.
When I arrived at the tower there were scaffolds covering part of the structure, and the base was surrounded by a cyclone fence; obviously the monument was under construction and not open to visitors.
Because I speak Spanish, I approached the security guard and asked politely if he would let me go up to the balcony.
I explained that I was a photographer from the States and was only going to be in Buenos Aires for a few days. I also promised to be quick.
He agreed and said I was welcome to take all the time I wanted, and even gave me a short history lesson about the tower (he said he had learned quite a bit over the years by listening to the guides who normally work there).
At the top, it was great having the balcony to myself instead of jostling for position with other tourists. I got some nice shots of the cityscape below. Before I left, I thanked the guard and gave him a few pesos as a thank you.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]