Saturday, March 2, 2024
Argentina travel guide - Travel S helper

Argentina

travel guide

Argentina, formally known as the Argentine Republic, is a federal republic located in South America’s southern half. The nation shares the majority of the Southern Cone with its neighbor Chile to the west, and is also bounded on the north by Bolivia and Paraguay, on the northeast by Brazil, on the east by Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean, and on the south by the Drake Passage. Argentina is the eighth-biggest nation in the world, the second largest in Latin America, and the largest Spanish-speaking country, with a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi). The country is split into twenty-three provinces (Spanish: provincias, singular provincia) and one autonomous city (ciudad autónoma), Buenos Aires, which has been designated by Congress as the country’s federal capital (Spanish: Capital Federal). Provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but operate under a federal framework.

Argentina claims sovereignty over a portion of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas in Spanish), and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The oldest evidence of human presence in what is now Argentina goes all the way back to the Paleolithic era. The country’s origins date all the way back to the 16th century Spanish occupation of the area. Argentina came to prominence as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Ro de la Plata, a Spanish foreign viceroyalty established in 1776. The proclamation of independence and subsequent struggle for independence (1810–1818) were followed by a protracted civil war that lasted until 1861, ending in the country’s restructuring as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city. Following then, the nation experienced relative peace and stability, while huge waves of European immigration reshaped the country’s cultural and demographic landscape. Argentina’s near-unprecedented rise to riches resulted in Argentina being the world’s sixth wealthiest developed country by the early twentieth century.

Argentina fell into political instability and repeated economic crises after 1930, but remained among the world’s fifteen wealthiest nations until the mid-20th century. Argentina maintains its traditional role as a medium power in international affairs and is a regional force in the Southern Cone and Latin America. Argentina is South America’s second biggest economy, Latin America’s third largest, and a member of the G-15 and G-20 major economies. Additionally, it founded the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, Mercosur, the Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and the Organization of Ibero-American States. It has Latin America’s highest Human Development Index, with a grade of “extremely high.” Argentina is categorized as a high-income economy due to its stability, market size, and expanding high-tech industry.

Flights & Hotels
search and compare

We compare room prices from 120 different hotel booking services (including Booking.com, Agoda, Hotel.com and others), enabling you to pick the most affordable offers that are not even listed on each service separately.

100% Best Price

The price for one and the same room can differ depending on the website you are using. Price comparison enables finding the best offer. Also, sometimes the same room can have a different availability status in another system.

No charge & No Fees

We don’t charge any commissions or extra fees from our customers and we cooperate only with proven and reliable companies.

Ratings and Reviews

We use TrustYou™, the smart semantic analysis system, to gather reviews from many booking services (including Booking.com, Agoda, Hotel.com and others), and calculate ratings based on all the reviews available online.

Discounts and Offers

We search for destinations through a large booking services database. This way we find the best discounts and offer them to you.

Argentina - Info Card

Population

47,327,407

Currency

Argentine peso ($) (ARS)

Time zone

UTC−3 (ART)

Area

2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi)

Calling code

+54

Official language

Spanish

Argentina | Introduction

Weather & Climate in Argentina

Buenos Aires and the Pampas are temperate; cold in winter, hot and humid in summer.

The deserts of Cuyo, which can reach temperatures of 45°C, are extremely hot and dry in summer and moderately cold and dry in winter. Spring and autumn often experience rapid temperature changes; several days of extremely hot weather may be followed by several days of cold weather, before becoming extremely hot again.

In the Andes, it is cool in summer and very cold in winter, depending on the altitude.

The climate in northwest Argentina varies with altitude, with warm summers and mild winters in the lowlands and freezing conditions at the highest altitudes.Salta and San Salvador de Jujuy are located in valleys and are characterised by a pleasant year-round climate.

Mesopotamia, in the north-east, has a humid climate with abundant rainfall and high temperatures throughout the year.

Patagonia is cool in summer and cold in winter. Much of the region is desert, except in the far west where rainfall is higher and forests are maintained. Rainfall varies greatly over a short distance, from over 1,000 mm to just under 200 mm within 100 km to the east. The climate is characterised by strong and persistent winds that blow across the region, giving the impression that the temperature is much colder than it should be. Extreme temperature variations in the space of a day are even more common here, so pack a variety of clothes and dress in layers.

Remember that the seasons are reversed from those in the northern hemisphere.

Geography Of Argentina

With an area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,518 sq mi), Argentina is located in southern South America and shares land borders with Chile across the Andes Mountains to the west, Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south, for a total length of 9,376 km (5,826 mi). The coastal border, which crosses the Río de la Plata and the South Atlantic Ocean, is 5,117 km (3,180 mi) long.

Argentina’s highest point is Aconcagua in the province of Mendoza (6,959 m above sea level), which is also the highest point in the southern and western hemispheres. The lowest point is the Laguna del Carbón in the province of San Julián Grande Depression Santa Cruz (-105 m below sea level, also the lowest point in the southern and western hemispheres and the seventh lowest point on the planet).

The northernmost point is at the confluence of the Grande de San Juan and the Río Mojinete, in the province of Jujuy; the southernmost is Cape San Pío, in the province of Tierra del Fuego; the easternmost is northeast of Bernardo de Irigoyen, in the province of Misiones; and the westernmost is in Los Glaciares National Park, in the province of Santa Cruz. The maximum north-south distance is 3,694 km, while the maximum east-west distance is 1,423 km.

Among the most important rivers are the Paraná, Uruguay, which join to form the Río de la Plata, Paraguay, Salado, Negro, Santa Cruz, Pilcomayo, Bermejo and Colorado. These rivers flow into the Argentine Sea, the shallow area of the Atlantic Ocean above the Argentine Plateau, an exceptionally wide continental shelf. Its waters are influenced by two major ocean currents: the warm Brazilian Current and the cold Falklands Current.

Demographics Of Argentina

In the 2001 census [INDEC], Argentina had a population of 36,260,130; the preliminary results of the 2010 census indicate a population of 40,091,359. Argentina ranks third in South America in terms of total population and 33rd in the world. The population density is 15 people per square kilometre of land area, which is well below the world average of 50 people. The population growth rate in 2010 was estimated at 1.03% per year, with a birth rate of 17.7 live births per 1,000 population and a death rate of 7.4 deaths per 1,000 population. The net migration rate ranged from zero to four immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants per year.

The proportion of people under 15 is 25.6%, slightly below the world average of 28%, and the proportion of people over 65 is relatively high at 10.8%. In Latin America, this is the second highest figure after Uruguay and is well above the world average, which is currently 7%. Argentina has one of the lowest population growth rates in Latin America, the most recent being around 1% per year, as well as a comparatively low infant mortality rate. The birth rate, at 2.3 children per woman, is still almost double that of Spain or Italy, which are compared here because they have similar religious practices and proportions. The median age is about 30 years and life expectancy at birth is 77.14 years.

In 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America and the second in the Americas to allow same-sex marriage on a national scale. It is the tenth country to allow same-sex marriage.

Ethnography

Like other new settlements such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Uruguay, Argentina is considered a country of immigrants. Argentines commonly refer to the country as “crisol de razas” (melting pot).

Especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, Argentina was the country with the second largest wave of immigration in the world, with 6.6 million, after the United States (27 million) and ahead of other resettlement areas like Canada, Brazil and Australia.

Remarkably, at that time, the national population doubled every two decades. This belief has been preserved in the popular saying “los argentinos descienden de los barcos” (Argentines come down from the boats). Therefore, most Argentines are descended from the 19th and 20th century immigrants of the great wave of immigration to Argentina (1850-1955), the vast majority of which came from various European countries. The majority of these European immigrants came from Italy and Spain. The majority of Argentines come from several European ethnic groups, mainly of Italian and Spanish descent (over 25 million people in Argentina, almost 60% of the population is of partial Italian descent), while 17% of the population is also of partial French descent, and a significant number of Germans.

Argentina is home to a large population of Arab or semi-Arab origin, mainly of Syrian and Lebanese origin (in Argentina they are counted as white, as in the US census). The majority of Arab Argentines are Christians, belonging to the Maronite Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Rite Catholic Church. A small number are Muslims of Middle Eastern origin. The Asian population of the country is about 180,000, most of whom are of Chinese and Korean origin, although an older Japanese community dating from the early 20th century still exists.

A 2010 study by Argentine geneticist Daniel Corach of 218 people found that Argentina’s genetic map was 79% ethnically diverse European (mainly Spanish and Italian), 18% ethnically diverse indigenous and 4.3% ethnically African, with 63.6% of the group tested having at least one ancestor of indigenous origin.

Since the 1970s, immigration has come mainly from Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru, and to a lesser extent from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Romania. The Argentine government estimates that 750,000 residents are undocumented and has launched a programme to encourage illegal immigrants to declare their status in exchange for a two-year residency visa – to date, more than 670,000 applications have been processed under this programme.

Religion

The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Although it does not impose an official or state faith, it gives Roman Catholicism a differentiated status.

According to a CONICET survey, 76.5% of Argentines are Catholics, 11.3% agnostics and atheists, 9% evangelical Protestants, 1.2% Jehovah’s Witnesses, 0.9% Mormons; 1.2% follow other religions, including Islam, Judaism and Buddhism.

The country is home to both the largest Muslim community and the largest Jewish community in Latin America, the latter being the seventh largest in the world. Argentina is a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Argentines show a strong individualisation and de-institutionalisation of religious faith; 23.8% of them say they always attend religious services, 49.1% rarely and 26.8% never.

On 13 March 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Argentine cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. He takes the name “Francis” and becomes the first pope from the Americas or the Southern Hemisphere. He is the first pope born outside Europe since the election of Pope Gregory III. He is also the first Jesuit pope.

Language In Argentina

The official language is Spanish. In general, most people speak Spanish in a local dialect, Castellano Rioplatense, which is different from both the language of Spain and the language of Central America. Notably, the pronoun “tu” is replaced by “vos” and the plural pronoun “vosotros” is replaced by “ustedes”, the latter being common in Latin America. There are also distinct verb conjugations, which sometimes differ significantly for irregular verbs in the present tense and for informal commands. In addition, people in each city pronounce words differently too! For example, people in Buenos Aires speak differently from those in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries; Example: Chicken in Spanish (pollo) is pronounced PO-zhO or PO-SHO by “porteños” (inhabitants of Buenos Aires), with the SH sound harder than in Spanish; unlike most other Spanish speakers in South America who pronounce it PO-yo. However, all Argentines learn standard Castilian Spanish at school, and even if it is not the first language of choice, people are generally competent enough to communicate.

Rioplatense Spanish is also strongly influenced by and often confused with Italian, due to the large influx of Italian immigrants. Italian-derived hand gestures are very common, and many colloquial expressions are borrowed from Italian (e.g. instead of saying “cerveza”, which means beer, young people find it cooler to say “birra”, which is in Italian). Most locals can understand most Spanish dialects well, as well as Portuguese or Italian (mainly because of the similarity to local Spanish). English is compulsory in school and is generally understood at least at a basic level in tourist areas. German and French are understood and partially spoken by small parts of the population. There are native speakers of Welsh in a few places in Patagonia, near Rawson. Words borrowed from indigenous languages include Quechua, Guarani, Mataco, Che, Mate and others.

The interjection “che” is very common and has much the same meaning as the English “hey! It can also be used as an expression when you know someone whose name you cannot remember. E.g. “Escucháme, Che, ….Sometimes it is used in speech, a bit like the English expression “yo”, as in “What’s up, yo? Nevertheless, communication will not be a problem for any Spanish speaker.

Argentines communicate with each other using lunfardo, a street dialect or slang. It is used in conjunction with Spanish by replacing nouns with their synonyms in Lunfardo. This does not change the original meaning, but only makes the expression more colourful. An important aspect of lunfardo is that it is only spoken. For example, you know the word dinero (money), but you can use the word guita to mean the same things. Lunfardo has about 5,000 words, many of which are not in the dictionary.

Internet & Communications in Argentina

By telephone

You can get a prepaid SIM card from Movistar/Claro/Personal for a few pesos/free in phone shops, you only pay about 20 ARS (about 5 USD) for your starting balance. Inserting the SIM card into your unlocked mobile phone should work, but you may need to enter your passport number (or any other 9 digit number) to register the SIM card. You will then have your own personal Argentine phone number, which is very useful for keeping in touch with other travellers, either by phone or SMS. Calls cost about 1 ARS per minute. However, it is extremely rare to have to register your SIM card.

Receiving calls is generally free, except for international calls and some inter-network/inter-city calls. It is therefore not necessarily worth buying a SIM card just to keep in touch with people abroad.

To top up, you can buy small cards with secret numbers at many kiosks, but the easiest way is to ask for a “Recarga Virtual” and tell the seller your phone number, company and the amount of pesos you want to top up.

Not related to mobile phones, there are similar cards with credit for international calls. You can get them in locutorios, where you can also use the phone boxes. You dial a free number to connect to the service, then your secret number for credits, and finally the international phone number you want to call. With these cards, a one-hour call to Europe costs about 10 pesos (US$3). Do not call without these cards or even from your hotel – it will be much more expensive.

The telephone numbering plan in Argentina is hopelessly complicated for foreigners. See the Wikipedia article on this subject for more information.

  • Directory entry (The White Pages): 110
  • International operator: 000
  • National operator: 19
  • National collect calls: 19 from normal phones, *19 from public phones.
  • Mobile phone numbers start with 15 or 11
  • Area code for Buenos Aires: 011

Other useful telephone numbers are

  • Official time: 113
  • Consumer Ombudsman Service: +54 11 5382-6216 or 6217

All 2 and 3 digit numbers are free of charge, except for the official time service (113).

All 0800 numbers are free of charge, unless you are calling from a mobile phone.

Long distance calls from Argentina: you can use a calling card, 0.18 ARS/min or 0.59 ARS/min for calls from Argentina to the US.

Internet

Most cafés and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi through an advertisement in their window. Just buy a coffee and ask for the password. Public Wi-Fi is also widespread in Buenos Aires and offers high speeds. The name of the network will be BA Wifi

Economy Of Argentina

Buenos Aires is the second largest city in South America. It is one of only three “alpha” cities in Latin America and is the most visited city in South America. It is also the 13th richest city in the world. It has the highest per capita income in the Southern Cone.

With abundant natural resources, a highly educated population, a diversified industrial base and an export-oriented agricultural sector, Argentina’s economy is the third largest in Latin America and the second largest in South America. It has a “very high” Human Development Index score and a relatively high GDP per capita, with a substantial domestic market size and a growing share of the high-tech sector.

As a medium-sized emerging market and one of the world’s largest developing countries, Argentina is a member of the major G-20 economies. Historically, however, the country’s economic performance has been very uneven, with strong economic growth alternating with severe recessions, income under-distribution and, in recent decades, increasing poverty. At the beginning of the 20th century, Argentina reached a level of development that made it the seventh richest country in the world. Although it managed to remain among the top fifteen economies until the middle of the century, it has suffered a long and steady decline and is now only a middle-income country.

High inflation – a weakness of the Argentine economy for decades – has once again become a problem. In 2013, rates varied between the official 10.2% and the 25% estimated by the private sector, leading to heated public debates over manipulated statistics. Income distribution, which has improved since 2002, is classified as “average”, i.e. still very unequal.

Argentina is ranked 107th out of 175 countries in Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index. While the country has settled most of its debts, it has been in a technical debt crisis since 31 July 2014. A New York judge has blocked Argentina’s payments on 93% of its bonds unless it pays “vulture funds” the full value of the defaulted bonds they bought after the 2001 default. Argentina has vowed not to capitulate to what it sees as a ransom fund tactic.

Tourism in Argentina

Argentina has a vast territory and a great diversity of climates and microclimates, ranging from tundra and polar climate in the south to tropical climate in the north, a vast area of temperate climate and natural wonders such as Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas, the widest river and estuary on the planet (the Río Plate), the huge and very powerful Iguazú Falls, Some of the flattest and widest pastures on the planet (such as the humid pampas, a large seashore in Argentina), an internationally known culture, customs and gastronomy, a high level of development (very high compared to other Latin American countries), a good quality of life and population, and a relatively well-developed infrastructure make this country one of the most visited in the Americas.

Primarily for its scenic beauty and then for its cultural heritage, Argentina receives massive amounts of travellers. Argentina’s territory stretches from the highest peaks of the Andes in the west to the rivers of the Colita del Norte and the vast beaches and cliffs of the Argentine Sea in the east; from the rainforest of the Yungas in the north to the valleys, glaciers, lakes and cold forests of Andean Patagonia in the south and the Argentine Antarctic. From the warm landscapes of tropical climates contrasting with a huge gradient of microclimates, polar climates or vast fertile grasslands with the flattest plains in the world, with the highest mountains outside Asia, also contrasting with vast desert areas rich in geoforms for the extensive and extreme annual Dakar rally race, the high mountain ranges, the pleasant mountains of Pampeanas and the temperate beaches of the Atlantic and its vast coastlines. The long distances require air travel in most cases. The Misiones rainforest, the Argentine Yungas and the Argentine Andean-Patagonian areas are scientifically considered to be biodiversity hotspots over large areas of the world. The great biodiversity and the large number of different landscapes and climatic zones make Argentina a diverse country where several countries seem to meet harmoniously (fertile temperate zones, deserts, cold forests, tropical and subtropical hot jungles, glacial zones, cold forests, maritime with cliffs, rias and fjords, etc.).

The country offers a range of possible climates: temperate, dry-hot, wet-hot, cold-dry, cold-humid, semi-arid, steppe, sub-Antarctic, subtropical, snowy, mountain cold, and a huge variety of microclimates.

Argentina has been strengthening its global presence as a tourist destination by increasing investment in international tourism. The latest effort is reflected in the fact that Aerolineas Argentinas, the country’s national airline, has added international routes from the US and Europe. There are also rumours that they will soon join a major airline alliance.

Argentina was visited by 5.80 million tourists in 2011, according to the World Tourism Organisation, making it the most visited country in South America and the second most visited country in Latin America after Mexico.

Foreign tourists come mainly from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Canada, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Europeans from Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal and Russia.

Main destinations

  • The city of Buenos Aires is experiencing a tourism boom. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Argentina is expected to experience strong growth in tourism in 2007 and beyond. The prestigious Travel + Leisure Magazine, a leading monthly travel magazine in the world, has named Buenos Aires as the second city to visit after Florence, Italy. Considered the “Paris of South America”, Buenos Aires offers elegant architecture, exquisite cuisine, legendary nightlife and fashionable shopping.

The most popular tourist attractions are located in the historic centre of the city, which includes Montserrat and San Telmo. The city was originally built around the Plaza de Mayo, the administrative centre of the Spanish Empire. To the east of the square is the Casa Rosada, the official seat of the executive branch of the Argentine government. To the north is the Catedral Metropolitana, which has occupied the same location since colonial times, and the Banco de la Nación Argentina building, originally owned by Juan de Garay. Other important institutions from the colonial period are the Cabildo, to the west, which was renovated during the construction of Avenida de Mayo and Julio A. Roca renovations. To the south is the Congreso de la Nación (National Congress), which now houses the Academia Nacional de la Historia (National Academy of History). Finally, to the northwest is the City Hall.

The Avenida de Mayo connects the Casa Rosada with the Argentine National Congress. On this avenue there are several buildings of cultural, architectural and historical importance, such as the Casa de la Cultura, the Palacio Barolo and the Café Tortoni. The first subway in South America was opened under the avenue in 1913. The avenue ends in the Plaza del Congreso, where there are several monuments and sculptures, including one of the few original casts of Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker”.

The Manzana de las Luces (“block of light”) area includes the Church of San Ignacio, the Colegio Nacional Buenos Aires and the former City Council building (1894 to 1931). This area contains tunnels and catacombs that ran under the Plaza de Mayo during the colonial period. In the San Telmo district, the Plaza Dorrego hosts an antique market on Sundays, with tango performances. There are also daily tango shows in the famous square. On weekends, they attract many tourists to learn to dance. There are also regular tours and activities at the Nuestra Señora de Bethlehem Church, San Pedro Telmo Parish and the Antonio Ballvé Penintetiary Museum. The National History Museum in Parque Lezama is just a few blocks south. The Ayres Porteños hostel is a very famous hostel as it is also a tourist attraction. It was decorated and painted by artists from La Boca and has a unique collection of local paintings on its walls.

The Recoleta neighbourhood is home to a number of attractions, including the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Biblioteca Nacional, the Centro Cultural Recoleta, the Universidad de Buenos Aires Law School, the Basílica Nuestra Señora de Pilar, the Palacio de Glacia, Café La Biela and the Cementerio de la Recoleta, where you can visit the grave of Eva Perón and many other historical and cultural figures from Argentina.

  • The Iguazú Falls, located in the northeast, in the subtropical forest zone, on the border with Brazil, are one of the natural wonders of the world, well developed in terms of infrastructure and tourism with a wide variety of walks. Bordered by dense forests, the Iguazú River flows into 275 waterfalls that plunge more than 70 metres with a deafening sound for 2.7 km. When these huge masses of water reach the bottom, spray rises and rainbows form in the sky. A variety of original flora and fauna completes the backdrop of the falls in the protection of the Iguazú National Park. This park, located eighteen kilometres from Puerto Iguazú, has been declared a natural heritage of humanity by UNESCO. The famous waterfalls are located in this park. The border with Brazil runs through the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Mouth). The national park is full of the exotic subtropical vegetation that surrounds the falls and has 2,000 species of plants – giant trees, ferns, lianas, orchids, – 400 species of birds – parrots, hummingbirds, toucans – jaguars and yacarés (caimans) of the region. It is a national park area where the original flora and fauna are preserved. Its most impressive waterfall is called Garganta del Diablo. Other important ones are called Dos Hermanas, Bossetti or Álvar Núñez in honour of its discoverer, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca.
  • Salta city of colonial architecture with tourist attraction, as it can make visits to other tourist points such as: Quebrada de San Lorenzo, Calchaquí valleys, Cabra Corral reservoir (Embalse General Belgrano), Cafayate, Salinas Grandes, Iruya (stage bounded by Quebrada de Humahuaca and Purmamarca) Cachi (by Cuesta del Obispo) Molinos, La Caldera, Los Cardones National Park, El Rey National Park or Baritú National Park, hot springs of Rosario de la Frontera The Tren a las Nubes leaves from the city centre; this special train runs through the Puna region, a land full of mountain ranges, steep mountain paths and ravines. Villages have been built in the small valleys. Multicoloured and monochrome hills covered with giant cacti on the slopes surround the villages. This region offers contrasting landscapes, from high peaks to salt marshes and subtropical rainforests where Latin American culture has taken root, located in the northern provinces (Jujuy, Salta, Catamarca, Tucumán and Santiago del Estero). In the northern provinces there are traces of pre-Columbian cultures mixed with ruins of indigenous villages, as well as forts and buildings from the period of conquest and colonisation. The train service was briefly interrupted in July 2005 for repairs, but soon resumed. Currently, the final destination is the town of San Antonio de los Cobres. All the northern provinces combine natural attractions with areas suitable for various activities such as mountaineering, trekking, horse riding, mountain biking, ecotourism, bird watching, rural tourism and archaeological excursions. Sailing, canoeing and windsurfing are other sports that can be practised in this area.
  • The Perito Moreno Glacier, part of the Southern Patagonian Icefield, is a huge glacier that bisects Lake Argentino and cycles until it causes the ice cap to break. It is located in Los Glaciares National Park, near the still small (but highly developed) Argentinian-Patagonian town of El Calafate. At any time of the year, huge blocks of ice continually break off the massive glaciers (comparable only to the polar glaciers of Antarctica and other regions), forming magnificent icebergs in the Argentine lakes, which are a natural spectacle. The Perito Moreno Glacier and its neighbours are framed by a majestic landscape of rugged mountains like Chaltén and large lakes.
  • Bariloche: This city is the capital of the Southern Lakes and an important part of the seven lakes tourist circuit together with Villa La Angostura and the mountains (Tronador, Cerro Catedral, Cerro López). It is known for skiing, but also for family outings for older children and sightseeing, water sports, winter sports, fishing, windsurfing, trekking or hiking, climbing, camping in the Andean forest, parachuting, boat trips and private boats, horse riding and diving, among others. Cerro Catedral is one of the most important ski centres in South America. Today, thanks to investments by entrepreneurs and the municipality, there is a large influx of tourists throughout the year. It also carries out similar activities in San Martín de los Andes, Junín de los Andes, El Bolsón, Esquel, Trevelin, Los Antiguos; activities are also developed in Copahue, Caviahue.
  • Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, in Tierra del Fuego, a typical destination in the south of the country, attracts visitors with a high level of tourism with excursions, gastronomy and the feeling of being literally at the end of the world. In the north of the island, the town of Rio Grande is attractive for its old quarter with wooden houses painted in bright or discreet colours and for its excellent trout fishing. Further south, the famous Ushuaia Railway leads to Tierra del Fuego National Park in Lapataia Bay. There are also cruises through the Beagle Channel to see colonies of South American sea lions, and a visit to Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, the beautiful Lake Fagnano (or Kami) or the almost inaccessible Staten Island, where the lighthouse at the end of the world is located. The landscape of the Fueguan forests takes on an almost magical quality in the Australian autumn, when it is covered in the reddish foliage of the dense forests.
  • The Sierras de Córdoba, a mountain range with a mild climate and landscapes that range from bucolic to wild, are home to the main tourist centres: Villa General Belgrano and La Cumbrecita, tourist towns with a strong Central European influence in the Sierras de Córdoba. Other important towns are Villa Carlos Paz, Cosquín, La Falda, Capilla del Monte, Mina Clavero, Jesús María or the large salt lake of Mar Chiquita. The Unidad Turística Embalse is the destination of social tourism. The province of Córdoba It has small towns, historical antiquities and cave paintings are found in a pleasant landscape valley, plateaus and ravines. The city of Córdoba is also of great tourist interest, especially for its valuable buildings from the colonial era or its urban landscapes. It also has a very good tourist infrastructure with large 5-star hotels, excellent shopping centres and highlights in the field of gastronomy and entertainment. The city of Córdoba is one of the most picturesque in Argentina, as it has a historic centre with beautiful baroque-colonial architecture mixed with large modern buildings that give the city a great tourist attraction. With many contrasts, it is both a cultural and tourist destination, a traditional and modern city, with industrialized and artisanal production. Large parts of the landscape and favourable weather conditions are characteristic of Córdoba, with natural landscapes blending with colonial monuments. They form part of the “Sierras Pampeanas” mountain range, which reaches an altitude of 2,790 m with the Champaqui hill. In these hills there are fertile valleys, deserts and salt mines. Along the road to the north you will find numerous chapels and farmhouses from the 17th and 18th centuries, inherited from the Jesuits.

The Jesuit estancias (large cattle ranches) of Cordoba are a unique example of the productive organisation of the religious of the Compañía de Jesús in the countryside, and this is still evident in the preserved architecture. Although history has shown that farms were acquired for economic purposes to support schools and universities, estancias were also naturally used for missionary purposes, becoming religious centres.” The estancias of Jesús María, Caroya, Santa Catalina, La Candelaria and Alta Gracia can be visited along a 250km circular route. These 17th-century farmhouses – as well as the Jesuit block in the city of Cordoba – are all national historic monuments, declared World Heritage Sites in 2000.

  • Ischigualasto, also known as the Valley of the Moon, offers a strange landscape where the scarcity of vegetation and the more diverse plant palette of its soils, as well as the fantasy of the shapes of its rocks (geoforms) and mountains, make it a very popular place for tourists, both national and foreign. This provincial park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is located at the northern end of the province of San Juan, it is also an important paleontological centre is the cause that has become scientifically famous because it is the only place where it can be seen fully exposed and perfectly differentiated the entire Triassic period as complete and neat, where the oldest fossils in the world have been found. The Valley of the Moon, so called because of the variety of shapes and colours of its landscape formed by erosion, continues in the Argentine province of La Rioja with the Talampaya National Park. The canyon of the Talampaya River reveals multiform layers in its high red walls. Flamingos, Andean ducks, vicuñas and guanacos live freely in the parks and nature reserves, while condors fly overhead. The region offers the full splendour of the central Andes.
  • Quebrada de Humahuaca
  • Valleys of Calchaquí
  • Iberian wetlands
  • Puna de Atacama

The Quebrada de Humahuaca, the Calchaquí valleys, the Puna de Atacama (including Cono de Arita, Laguna de Pozuelos, Campo de Piedra Pómez, etc.), Ischigualasto, Talampaya, Aconcagua, Caviahue and Copahue.), Ischigualasto, Talampaya, Aconcagua, Caviahue and Copahue, near snow-capped mountains with temperate rainforests and glacial lakes; the Andean-Patagonian national parks, etc. form the tourist corridor known as the Andean Footprint (Huella Andina), most of which is covered by National Road 40.

Other destinations

Mar del Plata, a tourist city with huge beaches on the Atlantic Ocean; other beaches on Argentina’s Atlantic coast such as Necochea, Cariló, Villa Gesell, Monte Hermoso, Pehuen-Có, Las Grutas (in Río Negro), Rada Tilly in Chubut; Aconcagua (6,959 m), the highest peak in the Americas and in the world outside Asia; its steep slopes are known and respected by mountaineers from all over the world. Las Leñas; Talampaya, of great geological interest; San Rafael-Heart of Mendoza, where Argentina’s best wines are produced, with its imposing Atuel Canyon, the valleys of Barreal de Iglesia, in San Juan, which promote adventure tourism. Whale watching in Puerto Madryn, on the coast of Argentine Patagonia.

Other very attractive destinations are the Tafí Valley in Tucumán, the ancient settlements of Yavi and Iruya, the ruins of ancient pre-Columbian cities such as Tastil, Tilcara, Shincal, the Pucará of Aconquija, a fortress built by the Humahuacas. In La Rioja, the path of the warlords of Riojan, with Olta and Malanzán as capitals. In the former there are monuments to Chacho Penaloza and the Tango Caminito, which was inspired by him, while in Malanzán there is the birthplace of Facundo Quiroga. You can also visit the oldest city in Argentina, the mother of cities Santiago del Estero, between the city of Santiago del Estero and halfway to San Miguel de Tucumán is one of the most famous tourist destinations of the mild winters in Argentina: the hot springs of Río Hondo.

Traditional events such as the Simoca Fair in Tucumán, the Feast of the Lord and the Virgin of the Miracle in Salta or the pilgrimages to Luján and Punta Corral in Jujuy, the Parade of Faith in Difunta Correa are very attractive. A wide variety of natural landscapes and dramatic contrasts, such as the dense forests of Yunga or the mountains, hills and streams of the Calchaquí valleys, offer excellent conditions for sport fishing. Sport fishing in the sea and in rivers (for trout and sea bass in the Fuegian town of Río Grande or for sea bream in Paso de la Patria, Juramento, Lipeo, Iruya and Bermejo). Ushuaia is a privileged access point to the Argentine Antarctic, to the picturesque Adobe Route and the Tatón dunes in the province of Catamarca, to wild adventure tourism in the provinces of Santiago del Estero and La Pampa or in the Yungas and Calchaquí valleys, to the High Andes desert and to the jungles of Chaco, the north of Entre Ríos (Montiel forest) and Misiones.

The province of Buenos Aires is the most populous and largest province in Argentina (if one does not take into account territorial claims in Antarctica and the South Atlantic islands). The country’s rail and road network extends from Buenos Aires to the province, the centre of which is the pampas. This region is characterised by its estancias (large cattle ranches), the oldest of which are located in an architectural style in the middle of the pampas. The province is also known for its many and varied beaches on the Atlantic coast (the most visited is Mar del Plata). The hilly region of Tandil and Ventana offers golf courses, paragliding and trekking. They have very different landscapes and are far from the mouth of the Paraná River, whose islands are also visited by tourists.

Near Posadas there are many ruins of former Jesuit missions, some of which have been hidden by the jungle. The most famous ruins are in San Ignacio Miní, 56 km from the provincial capital. Those of Candelaria, Loreto, Santa Ana and Santa María are also very interesting. These Jesuit reductions have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Fifty kilometres north of Colón is El Palmar National Park, home to the last remaining specimens of the nearly eight-century-old Yatay palm. The town of Concordia is linked to the city of Salto (Uruguay) by the Salto Grande hydroelectric plant.

The Esteros del Iberá, a 700,000 hectare wetland, can be reached from Posadas, Concepción or Mercedes. In Guaraní, Iberá means “shining water”. Its lagoons cover 31,500 hectares, its marshes 52,000 and its interior 260,000. This ecosystem, which is home to turtles, yacarés (caimans), monkeys, swamp deer, capybaras – the world’s largest rodent – and up to 400 species of birds, covers more than a million hectares, in addition to an extraordinary flora.

The city of Rosario is located on the banks of the Paraná River, in the province of Santa Fe. It has become an industrial and commercial centre and is the destination of a large number of businessmen. On its waterfront stands the Monumento Nacional a la Bandera (National Monument to the Flag), where the Argentine national flag was first raised. In the Parque Independencia there are statues, a horse race track and the museum of the province’s history.

Punta Tombo is a coastal station with an abundance of wildlife, including the seasonal breeding ground for large numbers of Magellanic penguins.

The Peninsula Valdés is widely regarded as one of the best places in the world to see wildlife, mainly marine mammals. Although southern right whales are the main attraction, elephant seals, sea lions, Magellanic penguins and killer whales are also well represented.

Laguna del Carbon (the lowest geographic point in the Americas), Mount Fitz Roy and the Petrified Forest National Monument, as well as the vast Patagonian plateau.

Main circuits

In total, Argentina has the following tourist routes (from north to south):

  • The Argentine Northwest, with contrasting landscapes such as the Tren a las Nubes (train to the clouds), the dry and cold plateaus with curious reliefs, salty alkaline lakes with flamingos, geysers and high volcanoes, the transitional zone of valleys and quebradas with a mild climate as for wine growing in Cafayate and good vegetation and, further east, the dense rainforest known as Yunga. The spectacular Cuestas like Obispo (in Salta) or Portezuelo, Piedras Blancas and Capillitas in Catamarca or Miranda in the Argentine province of Rioja.
  • The north-east of Argentina, characterised by its warm subtropical climate, dense forests, parks, wetlands (swamps), large rivers with abundant fishing and large waterfalls.
  • The Sierras de Córdoba and San Luis area, with its Mediterranean climate and rich natural attractions.
  • The Cuyo circuit with the highest mountains in the Americas, rugged landscapes (canyons such as the Atuel or the Jáchal, several spectacular reliefs: bridges such as the Puente del Inca and castles such as Castillos de Pincheira made of natural rocks), ice formations such as Los Penitentes, caves and caverns, large volcanic expanses such as in the Payún, ski resorts or pleasant valleys where temperate fruits, olive trees and vineyards grow.
  • La Pampa: a vast plain with a temperate climate, dotted with millions of castles, with numerous lakes and a long coastline with long sandy beaches and dunes, dotted with prosperous towns and coastal villages.
  • Western Patagonia and more precisely Andean Patagonia, with magnificent landscapes that meet snow-covered mountains, ice fields, glaciers, cold forests, large and deep glacial lakes and flowing rivers, winter sports centres and beautiful towns with an “alpine” look.
  • Eastern Patagonia or OutAndean: a large region of plateaus, mountains, canyons, moors and steppes, with a coastline of high cliffs, gulfs and peninsulas where seabirds (especially penguins), porpoises and whales live.

Carnival

Carnival in Argentina is very important and usually takes place in the last days of February (before Lent), at a time that is still quite summery (summer in the southern hemisphere). Almost all Argentine carnivals are derived from the European carnivals of Spain and Italy, so they are called murgas and corsos, with their masquerades and cabezudos, although there are also influences of African elements from the colonial period (the drumming in the murgas is almost obviously of African origin), and in the Quebrada de Humahuaca (in the northern province of Jujuy) and in the small town of Chamical (in La Rioja, Argentina) there is a “carnavalito” and a “chaya” which are more influenced by the Andean Indians. In the second half of the 20th century, the cities of the province of Corrientes (especially Paso de los Libres) and the province of Entre Ríos have a strong influence from the Rio carnival in Brazil, as well as from the Río carnival in San Luis, usually celebrated on the shores of the Potrero de los Funes lake in the province of San Luis

World Heritage

These are the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Argentina:

  • Cave of the Hands (Cueva de las Manos), Río Pinturas. Presents prehistoric cave paintings (WHS since 1999).
  • Iguazú National Park, where the Iguazu Falls are located (1984).
  • Ischigualasto / Talampaya National Parks and its paleontological formations (2000).
  • Jesuit Block and Estancias de Córdoba in the province of Córdoba (Cultural Heritage) (2000).
  • Jesuit Missions of the Guarani: San Ignacio Mini, Santa AnaNuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa Maria Mayor (1984).
  • Los Glaciares National Park and the Perito Moreno glacier (1981).
  • Península Valdés, a marine nature reserve (1999).
  • Quebrada de Humahuaca, World Heritage Site for its scenic beauty and historical sites (2003).

Useful information

90% of tourists arrive at the Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Ezeiza, 35 km from Buenos Aires, but to continue the journey to some of the domestic destinations it is necessary to go to the Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (centre of Buenos Aires), it is desirable that the journey or transfer between the two airports is included in the ticket.

  • Stock exchange: At present (October 2014) there is an official change and a parallel one (called “blue”), which is higher. At the airport there is a branch of the Banco de la Nación Argentina, but it is more convenient to get pesos from an ATM. As in much of the world, the easiest currencies to change are USD (US dollars) and euros, followed by the real, pound sterling and yen (in 2014, almost all other foreign currencies are accepted in Argentina for current exchange). The best option in 2014 is to exchange dollar notes for pesos in exchange offices (it should be noted that from the end of 2012 to the end of August, there is a significant difference between the official dollar rate in Argentina, which varies from 8.50 Argentine pesos per US dollar, and on the black market, the price is called ‘Dollar Blue’ (a euphemism for black market dollars), which is about 15 pesos per US dollar, but it is not advisable to change secretly, as many tourists who change at arbolitos (money changers outside the legal system) are often cheated with counterfeit money or directly robbed.
  • It is not suitable for displaying large amounts of cash or jewellery.
  • Gratuitys: in Argentina is not a mandatory tip, however, is a customary gesture, considering that the attention was correct, then tip 10% of what is consumed (in bars, restaurants, pizzerias, restobars and related services and others – waiter in hotels). In taxis and buses, tips are a few pesos extra with the cost of the ticket. In bars, restaurants, cinemas, hotels and theatres, about 5-10% of the cost of the drink or service.
  • Gastronomy: The national drink is mate, followed by coffee. The fastest and most popular street food is the choripán, which is a sandwich based on chorizo cooked criollo type in situ on a grill the sandwich is “French bread” (in Argentina is commonly called “French bread” on several varieties of white bread based on wheat flour should not be confused with the baguette that, although since the 1980s is also very common in Argentina is not called “French bread” in Argentina), the chorizo cooked choripán it is flavored with the typical chimichurri. A fast-food item available in almost all bars and restaurants is the “lomito”, the name given to the hot beef sandwich topped with lettuce leaves, tomato slices, etc.; more common, however, is the milanesa sandwich, similar to the previous one, but where the meat is dipped in breadcrumbs and egg and then fried. The “bife” or “costeleta” or the juicier “bife de chorizo” is based on roast beef or hot grilled meat, usually accompanied by chips, mashed potatoes or salads. The ‘asado’ or ‘barbecue’ includes several pieces of meat on the grill, but offal or viscera such as kidneys and intestines may not be appreciated by the unaccustomed consumer. Also eat roasted goat meat, chicken and pork. Pasta such as noodles, dumplings and ravioli are very accessible dishes and are derived from a large influx of Italian immigrants. In the main cities of Argentina there are many pizzerias where you can eat pizza, among other dishes, some of which are very different from the typical Italian pizza (some Italian travellers complain about this), that the Neapolitan Argentine pizza is usually not made with real buffalo mozzarella, but with Argentine musarela made from sheep’s or even cow’s milk), moreover, pizzerias are very common, ice cream parlours also tend to adopt the style of Italian gelaterias. Other “boliches” very common in Argentine cities are cafés and cafetines (Spanish heritage, but also with strong Italian influences) and brasseries. In some places, especially in the cities of northwestern Argentina and Cuyo, you can find pulperías and “peñas” where criollo folkloric food predominates: asados, empanadas, tamales, locro, these establishments, especially if they are “peñas”, often have presentations of Argentine folkloric music and even tango. The higher level restaurants and pastry shops offer an extensive menu of more sophisticated dishes. The wines are generally very good and reasonably priced.

The typical breakfast served to travellers in hotels is very simple, coffee with milk or tea, some croissants and little else; the “American breakfast” or “Frühstuck” is unusual in Argentina; in rural areas, breakfast is usually mate cocido or – by the tourist’s own admission – mate drunk in a circle with a split pear.

Dinner time is from 9pm. In Argentine capitals there is often local food and nightlife.

In the big cities, especially in the city of Buenos Aires, there are remarkable places called bailongos where you can dance and even learn tango, in the old town (Monserrat San Telmo, Catedral al Sur) of the city of Buenos Aires, there are several famous “boliches” and bodegones, where, besides drinking coffee or eating, you can hear during the “late nights” (from zero hours to dawn) live tango orchestras and singers.

Entry Requirements For Argentina

Visa & Passport for Argentina

Passport holders from the following countries do not need a visa to enter Argentina if the purpose of the visit is tourism for a maximum of 90 days: Andorra, Australia*, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada*, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada (30 days), Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica (30 days), Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia (30 days), Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania St. Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America*, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela (60 days).

Reciprocity tax

Although US, Canadian and Australian citizens are not required to obtain a visa for tourist visits, the Argentine government requires a “reciprocity fee” for citizens using passports from these countries. The fee paid by travellers depends on their nationality and is similar to the amounts that Argentine citizens pay for visa applications to travel to the US, Canada or Australia. Since 2013, ALL entries into Argentina at ALL ports of entry require the prepayment of the reciprocity fee on the Argentine Immigration website.

For US citizens, the USD 160 fee allows multiple entries into Argentina for a period of 10 years. For Australians, the USD 100 fee allows multiple entries for one year. Canadian citizens must pay a fee of 92 USD for a period of 10 years or until 1 month before the passport expires. Proof of payment must be printed and presented to immigration officials upon arrival.

As of 24 March 2016, reciprocity fees no longer apply to US passport holders.

Citizens of India or Morocco must apply for a visa in their home country, but it is free of charge.

On arrival

When you enter Argentina, immigration officials will take your photo and scan your fingerprints, the same process as when you enter the US. You will also have to fill out a customs form that asks for your mobile phone’s serial number, among other things. You can bring in goods worth up to $300 without paying duty.

If you are just transiting through the same airport without entering the country, you will still have this customs form to fill in, but since May 2014, no one asks for it at the airport and travellers are in principle allowed to keep it as a souvenir.

How To Travel To Argentina

Get In - By air

AerolíneasArgentinas and LAN Chile operate flights between Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport and many cities in South America, as well as in North America, Europe and Australia. Air New Zealand operates direct flights from Auckland. Qantas no longer offers direct flights from Sydney to Buenos Aires, but instead flies to Santiago, where OneWorld partner LAN is located and travellers can connect to several destinations in Argentina.

There are international flights to other airports, for example to Mendoza with LAN from Santiago de Chile.

On flights to and from Argentina, the cabin is sprayed with insecticide (flight attendants walk the aisles with sprays) before the pre-take-off security check. This is also done on flights in some other parts of the world where tropical diseases are common, such as between Singapore and Australia. The spray does not have a particularly unpleasant odour and is not dangerous to passengers, but the situation can be a little uncomfortable if you are experiencing it for the first time.

If you are flying to or from Argentina, Buenos Aires is the most common arrival and departure point. The city has two airports, Ministro Pistarini International Airport (IATA: EZE), located about 40km southwest of downtown Buenos Aires, and the more central Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (IATA: AEP). The former is reserved for intercontinental flights and a few domestic flights (mainly to Río Gallegos and Ushuaia) that leave early in the morning, but if you want to fly on to somewhere else in Argentina or to nearby international destinations (about an hour’s flight away), you will, in most cases, have to drive from Ezeiza to Jorge Newbery. There are cheap shuttle buses that will get you there in about an hour, but the journey time varies greatly depending on traffic. There are also flights to Jorge Newbery from three other major South American hubs, namely Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago. So if you change planes at these airports, your connecting flight may arrive (or depart) at Jorge Newbery. Take an extra look at your ticket and make sure you are at the right airport!

You should be able to drive a coach or hire a service taxi at one of the stands after clearing customs. The price of a taxi from Ezeiza International Airport to Buenos Aires is 130 ARS, and the price from Jorge Newbery Domestic Airport to the city is 40 ARS. (March 2012). You can also now take an Uber to Ezeiza, the fare is sometimes dynamic and much lower than a taxi. It is recommended that you text or call your driver as they may need to coordinate the pick up location with you.

  • Ezeiza International Airport (EZE): +54 11 5480-6111

If you are visiting another city, there are a number of airports in the country. Many find it much easier to fly to a neighbouring country and then make a short hop to the smaller airport. All of Argentina’s major cities and main tourist destinations such as Mendoza, Perito Moreno and Iguazu Falls have airports nearby. There are several national airlines, with varying levels of service. In general, flying allows you to get anywhere quickly and relatively cheaply. Although buses in Argentina are some of the most comfortable in the world and inexpensive, travel is time consuming due to the distances and slow roads.

Passengers departing from Ezeiza airport will no longer have to pay the ‘departure tax’ of USD 29 (USD 8 to Uruguay and for domestic flights) after check-in, as it is now included in the ticket price.

Get In - By bus

International coaches run from all neighbouring countries.

The Retiro bus station is large and hidden behind the Retiro and Subte train stations. For long-distance buses, it is advisable to buy a ticket several days before your trip. Make sure you arrive about 45 minutes before departure and always ask at an information desk if your door number matches the one printed on your ticket. You will be given a range of possible gate numbers (for example 17-27). Take care of your belongings at the Retiro, as it is often crowded and there have been reports of thefts and even muggings at night. Travelling by bus is something you won’t regret. You’ll find the best customer service and world-class seats. Comparing Argentine tourist buses to those in the US would be an insult to Argentina, as they have much higher standards than Greyhound.

Get In - By boat

There are regular catamaran services from Buenos Aires to Montevideo and Colonia in Uruguay. The Buquebus company offers a slow (3 hours) and fast (1 hour) ferry service that runs several times a day to Colonia. The ferries depart from downtown Buenos Aires, from the Puerto Madero district. Two companies (Cacciola and Líneas Delta) connect the city of Tigre with Carmelo and Nueva Palmira, respectively, in Uruguay. Trains to Tigre leave every ten minutes from Retiro (one of the main stations in Buenos Aires). The journey costs 1.1 ARS and takes 50 minutes.

On a smaller scale, Grimaldi operates FreightersFreighters that carry up to 12 passengers every 9 days from Hamburg, London, Antwerp, Le Havre and Bilbao to Montevideo (Uruguay). They also carry cars and you drive your car to and from the destination, unlike other freight services.

How To Travel Around Argentina

Get Around - By train

In recent years, the government has encouraged the reintroduction of long-distance passenger trains, although most lines still operate at low frequency (one or two departures per week). The rail network is very limited, and intercity buses offer better service and faster journeys. Train tickets are very cheap – often only a quarter of the price of a bus ticket.

Local transport in the province of Buenos Aires is provided by buses and commuter trains, with express trains being the fastest way to get through the city’s traffic. The three largest train stations in Buenos Aires are Retiro, Constitucion and Once. Retiro is actually three stations side by side, with the main long-distance (or “micro”) bus terminal behind the furthest rail terminal (from the city centre).

One of the main long-distance train operators is Trenes Argentinos, which operates between Retiro (Buenos Aires) and Rosario, Córdoba and Tucumán, and between Constitución (Buenos Aires) and Bahía Blanca. See also Satélite Ferroviario for updated information on trains and services (in Spanish).

The Tren a las nubes (train to the clouds), in the northwestern province of Salta, is an amazing train ride, but some people can get altitude sickness. The service, which was discontinued for some time, resumed in August 2008.

Get Around - By air

Domestic flights are available within Argentina, but tickets are expensive and most domestic flights are via the Aeroparque Jorge Newbery domestic airport in Buenos Aires. The main airlines are Aerolíneas Argentinas and LATAM Argentina. Austral, the subsidiary of Aerolíneas Argentinas, shares the parent company’s fleet, and tickets for both can be booked at the same office. The price of tickets is doubled for non-residents, so beware of published prices.

An exception to the requirement to fly via Buenos Aires for domestic flights is Aerolineas Argentinas’ ‘great circle route’, which offers BA-Bariloche-Mendoza-Salta-Iguazu-BA flights in both directions on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays (and in the opposite direction on both days).

When you fly Aerolíneas for your international trip to Argentina, you sometimes get discounts on domestic flights. Sometimes you even get free flights with your international ticket, but remember that you’ve probably already paid for this with the inflated price of your international ticket.

Always plan to arrive at your destination 2 or 3 days before your return flight, as Argentina, like most Latin American countries, experiences more travel delays and cancellations than most other parts of the world.

Get Around - By bus

Argentina has an excellent network of short and long distance buses. With limited regional train service and more expensive airfares, the bus is the most common way to get from one city to another in Argentina. Note that this mode of transport is not as cheap as it used to be, costing around US$4-5 per hour of travel (Puerto Iguazú to Buenos Aires: around US$100).

In Buenos Aires, an urban bus is called a “colectivo” or “bondi”, while a long-distance intercity bus is called a “micro” or “omnibus”; however, this is not always true, as usage varies somewhat in provincial areas. The hub of this network is certainly the Terminal de Omnibus de Retiro in Buenos Aires; it has up to 2,000 bus arrivals and departures per day, with several companies serving most destinations. Buses depart and arrive from a total of 75 hubs, and to buy your ticket you have to choose from around 200 ticket offices on the upper level of the terminal.

The more expensive buses tend to offer a high quality of service, and on journeys of over 200 km it is common for food to be served on board. There is usually plenty of legroom and many coaches have seats that convert horizontally into beds (called camas), making them very similar to business class on an aircraft. The best category with fully reclining seats is usually called cama suite, but other names such as tutto letoejecutivo cama vip or salon real are also common. Slightly cheaper seats recline only partially (semi-camas) or not at all (servicio común). Each service falls into one of five official comfort classes, with minimum requirements set by law for comparison. The best buses provide everything you need, while for the lower categories it may be wise to bring drinks and food, as well as toilet paper and earplugs. If the journey is really long, say more than 12 hours, it is better to spend a few euros more and pay for a better bus service. If you are travelling with a large bag or suitcase, bring a handful of coins to tip the porter who carries your luggage in the taxi and bus.

Remember that although buses usually arrive at their destination a little late, they almost always leave on time. Don’t think that this relaxed attitude will affect the departure times of the buses!

For more information on bus timetables and fares, visit the websites of online ticket sellers Plataforma 10Central dePasajes. To buy tickets and have a real choice between different bus companies, you can visit Ticket Online or VoyEnBus. For buses to and from Buenos Aires, you can check the websites of Terminal Retiro de Buenos Aires. A second bus station in Buenos Aires is located in the Liniers district, but it is smaller and less accessible than the Retiro one.

For Buenos Aires city buses, check out BACómoLlego (in English, also an app for smartphones) and Omnilineas (in English).

Get Around - By car

Car rental services are available throughout Argentina, although they are a little expensive compared to other means of transport. Travelling by car allows you to visit places that are difficult to access by public transport. Patagonia, in southern Argentina, is a popular destination for tourists due to the breathtaking views it offers over many miles of open land.

Argentina generally recognises valid driving licences issued abroad. Drivers must be over 21 years of age. Car rental companies charge USD 6,000 on the renter’s card, which is used in case of an accident. They cancel this charge when the car is returned. On the rutas in the border provinces, the police often stop cars at police checkpoints to check insurance, registration papers and driving licences. They do not stop all cars, however; if you arrive at a police checkpoint, drive slowly and you will usually be allowed to pass without stopping. Near provincial borders, these checks may include a trunk inspection for contraband and a mandatory two-peso fee for “disinfecting” or removing insects from the underside of the car by running it over a mechanical sprayer that sprays water or does nothing. Police are known to set up roadblocks and demand bribes to pass, especially around Buenos Aires.

Traffic rules in Argentina are generally the same as in the US or Europe, but locals are often unaware of these rules. On roads and highways, it is mandatory to turn on your car lights, even during the day. Be aware that the driving style in Argentina is aggressive and chaotic. Be careful at night.

Maximum speed: 60 km/h in town, 40 km/h on secondary roads and 100 km/h to 130 km/h on roads outside town and on motorways. Speed checks are frequent. However, speed limits and lane markings are generally ignored and running red lights is common. Most drivers treat stop signs, red octagonal signs that read PARE, as if they were “yield” signs, although some drivers ignore them completely. In the cities around Buenos Aires, it is common to honk your horn as you approach an intersection, and whoever honks first has the right of way. Right of way is determined somewhat arbitrarily by a combination of the size of the vehicle and who comes first. Make sure you are confident in your driving skills before attempting to drive in Argentina.

Highways are limited to the areas around the major cities. Most of the country is connected by unpaved two-lane roads (rutas) used by buses, cars and large trucks. Some areas are only accessible by gravel or dirt roads – indeed, some of the main roads in southern Argentina are unpaved, making 4WD vehicles more popular. This is particularly the case in the south. It is important to travel with a good map (for example, the World Mapping Project’s waterproof road map of Argentina) and to be well-informed about distances, road conditions and estimated travel time. In addition to a good map, the cochera andinapublishing website offers useful information on over 120 routes in Argentina.

The current cost of petrol in central and southern Argentina is about 6 pesos per litre. In many small towns, especially in the north, petrol may be rationed to sell enough until the next tanker arrives. In this case you can only buy 30 pesos worth of petrol at a time. It is advisable to fill up at regular intervals when the opportunity arises. In the Andes, the fuel consumption of non-turbocharged engines increases due to the altitude.

Get Around - The hitchhiking

The hitchhiking club Autostop Argentina was founded in Argentina in 2002, inspired by clubs in France, Germany, Italy and the United States. As a result, hitchhiking has become more acceptable to the younger generation, and giving a thumbs up on a highway is a symbol that most people understand.

Nevertheless, a woman’s thumb has a gigantic success compared to a man’s today. A single man has to expect hours of waiting or just plain luck. But if you are taken, you are usually treated very generously.

Destinations in Argentina

Regions in Argentina

  • Northwestern Andes (Catamarca, Jujuy, La Rioja, Tucuman, western parts of Salta and Santiago del Estero)
  • Chaco (Chaco, Formosa, eastern parts of Salta and Santiago del Estero)
  • Cuyo (Mendoza, San Juan, San Luis)
  • Mesopotamian (Corrientes, Entre Rios, Misiones)
  • Pampas (Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires City, Córdoba, La Pampa, Santa Fe)
  • Patagonia (Chubut, Neuquen, Rio Negro, Santa Cruz)
  • Tierra del Fuego (Ushuaia)

In addition, the Falkland Islands, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, are claimed by Argentina as Islas Malvinas, but as they are not governed by Argentina, they are dealt with in a separate article. This fact should not be taken as an expression of approval or disapproval of either party’s claims.

Cities in Argentina

  • Buenos Aires – or “Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires”, sometimes called the federal capital to distinguish it from the province of Buenos Aires.
  • Cordoba – the country’s second largest city, in the heart of the Pampa region.
  • Rosario – third largest city, known for its beautiful neoclassical architecture.
  • Mendoza – known for its extensive and high-quality wine production. It is also close to Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside the Himalayas. Mendoza is the capital of the province of Mendoza.
  • San Miguel de Tucuman – the largest city in the northwest and the fifth largest city in Argentina.
  • La Plata – known as the “perfect city” for its layout; just look at a map showing the layout of the city streets.
  • Salta – known as “La Linda” because of its beautiful surroundings.
  • San Juan – a focal point for quality wine production
  • San Carlos de Bariloche – in the foothills of the Andes, with many opportunities for skiing and trekking. Known for its picturesque snow-covered landscapes and the European style of its buildings.

Other destinations in Argentina

  • El Calafate – the main destination when visiting the Glaciers National Park; the drive to the Perito Moreno Glacier is a must when visiting Argentina.
  • Ibera Wetlands – a 13,000 km² nature reserve with the Colonia Carlos Pellegrini eco-village at the heart of the reserve.
  • Iguazú Falls – impressive waterfalls in the north-east of the country.
  • Nahuel Huapi National Park – at the foot of the Andes, with lakes, rivers, waterfalls, peaks, glaciers and forests.

Accommodation & Hotels in Argentina

There is a wide range of accommodation options in Buenos Aires and the rest of the country, from student dormitories to luxurious palaces and modern five-star hotels, as well as cosy guesthouses and trendy boutique hotels in the city. There are also many beautiful lakeside lodges in Patagonia and fabulous regional farms (estancias) outside the cities.

Many holiday cabañas (cottages or weekend houses) can be rented on a short-term basis directly from the owners in mountain, seaside and country areas. Drive around and look for signs saying “alquiler” (“rental”), or check the classified section of any major newspaper.

Bear in mind that, except for 5-star hotels, rooms are generally not as large as in hotels around the world.

Things To See in Argentina

For many travellers, Argentina as a country has the same seductive appeal as the tango for which it is famous. Like this iconic couple’s dance, Argentina embraces you, constantly moving to the rhythm of the streets and improvising with every step.

Urban atmosphere

Its major cities are all full of life. The famous capital Buenos Aires is South America’s most visited city and a place like no other. Sure, there’s chic cosmopolitan shopping, world-class nightlife and gourmet cuisine. But it’s the city’s classic rawness that makes it a global magnet for travellers. The ramshackle but colourful neighbourhoods where traffic noise drowns out accordion tunes, the cafes and parillas (grills), the bustling open-air markets, and the beautiful historic centre with its European colonial architecture. San Telmo is the city’s oldest neighbourhood and a good place to enjoy the urban atmosphere of cafes, street performers, tango lounges and antique markets in a colonial setting. The atmosphere is perhaps the biggest attraction in Buenos Aires, but the Recoleta Cemetery and Plaza de Mayo are among the main sights.

Argentina’s other major cities share the energetic bustle of BA, but have their own character. Mendoza is a lively but relaxed city, characterised by wide avenues. It is known as the wine capital far beyond Argentina’s borders and is an ideal starting point for the Argentine Wine Route, which passes through the hundreds of wineries in the region. Due to its proximity to the Andes, it is also a good starting point for winter sports and other outdoor activities. The ancient university city of Córdoba is known for its distinctive musical culture, with the Cuarteto being the number one musical style. The city also boasts some of the best colonial sites in the country. Bariloche, also located at the foot of the Andes, is a major tourist destination, popular for its skiing opportunities, beautiful beaches and chocolate shops.

A natural wonder

As fascinating as city life in Argentina can be, the country’s powerful natural attractions are at least as good a reason to visit. The landscapes are incredibly diverse, from the high peaks of the Andes and the famous Perito Moreno glacier to cactus-filled deserts, sandy Atlantic beaches and biodiversity-rich wetlands. With some 30 national parks in the country, there’s always a good place nearby to see some of the country’s natural wonders. One of the highlights of the subtropical north is the spectacular Iguaçu Falls, by far one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world. Argentina’s wildlife includes flamingos, penguins, caimans and capybaras, sea lions and sometimes even whales. The coastal town of Puerto Madryn is a must-see, especially if you visit in autumn.

From here you can easily travel to Punta Tombo and Peninsula Valdes for whale watching and to see up close some of the millions of penguins that come to Patagonia each year to nest and raise their young. Head to El Calafate for a visit to the popular Los Glaciares National Park, where you’ll see the famous glaciers and the icy Lago Argentino. Marvel at the many colours and remarkable rock formations of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a northern mountain range that stretches far beyond the Bolivian border. You’ll pass through traditional villages and see indigenous women with their herds of goats. Other great destinations for nature lovers include the Ibera wetlands (home to the country’s most diverse wildlife) and Talampaya National Park, an important site for archaeological and paleontological discoveries.

Some other highlights

Rural life in general is a very pleasant facet of Argentina, relaxed and close to nature. Rural villages are a breath of fresh air from the country’s bustling cities and a great way to experience traditional culture. The north is as South American as Argentina gets. Its wine regions are world famous and an increasingly popular tourist destination. If the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires is too much for your taste, Mendoza and Salta are excellent choices.

They are also a good starting point for exploring the picturesque regional vineyards and friendly villages with the Andes mountains in the background. Salta is also the starting point for the Cloud Train, a historic railway that seems to operate only to provide travellers with unforgettable views. The Traslasierra Valley is a pleasant, green valley and one of the many places where you can enjoy a world-class spa, as there are of course hot springs here. Finally, if you like to spend a day at the beach, Argentina has much to offer. Mar del Plata is one of the main destinations for beach resorts.

Things To Do in Argentina

Hiking

Buenos Aires offers a number of walking tour options. These include the typical tours that can be found in any city, as well as interesting options such as free guided tours, downloadable MP3 tours and even guided running tours.

Sports

The most popular sport in Argentina is fútbol (football). If you come to Argentina, you should not miss the opportunity to see a professional match live. Argentina’s fans are very passionate.

Football teams

There are five teams, called “Los 5 grandes”, which represent the elite of Argentine football:

  • Boca Juniors – famous stadium “La Bombonera”, where Diego Maradona played.
  • River Plate – “El monumental de Nuñez” stadium, where Argentina won the 1978 FIFA World Cup.
  • Racing Club – The first Argentine team to win the World Club Championship.
  • Independiente – has won the most Copa Libertadores
  • San Lorenzo

Other teams

  • Rosario Central – Stadium: “El gigante de Arroyito” (The giant of Arroyito)
  • Velez Sarfield (European Champion of the South American Cup in Tokyo 1994)
  • Estudiantes de La Plata – World Champions 68, American Champions 1968 – 1969 – 1970 -2009. Club where Juan Sebastián Verón played.
  • Newell’s Old Boys – team in which Gabriel Batistuta played
  • Colón De Santa Fe – the team with the largest fan base on the Argentine coast

Other sports

Rugby and basketball (basquet) are also popular.

Argentine polo is famous throughout the world, and the country is now home to all the top-ranked players. First introduced by British settlers in the 1870s, skilled gauchos took up the sport and the passion spread like wildfire. The Argentine Polo Open, usually held in early December each year, is a must-attend event for polo enthusiasts around the world. The sport’s governing body is the Asociacion Argentina de polo, and its website lists all the official tournaments that take place each year. Argentina is also known for the many polo clinics held in clubs and farms around Buenos Aires.

Tennis has grown in popularity over the last three decades thanks to the constant production of top players in Argentina.

Hockey has also become a popular sport, especially among women. The national women’s hockey team, Las Leonas (the Lionesses), has grown in recent years to become a team that competes with the best in the world.

Car racing is also popular: the main championships are Turismo Carretera (Ford versus Chevrolet), TC2000 (touring cars) and TopRace. The most important racing circuit in Argentina is the “Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez” in Buenos Aires.

Golf in Argentina is an increasingly popular sport, thanks in part to the success of Argentine players such as Angel Cabrera, Andres Romero and Eduardo Romero. There are currently around 280 golf courses in the country, most of them in the Buenos Aires area, including such well-known names as the Jockey Club, Olivos and Hurlingham. On the Atlantic coast, in Mar del Plata, some courses have hosted international events. In Patagonia, there are excellent resort courses such as Llao Lloa, Arelauquen and Chapelco (designed by Nicklaus), as well as the 9-hole course in Ushaia.

Food & Drinks in Argentina

Food in Argentina

Argentine breakfast is a little light compared to what travellers from English-speaking countries are used to. It usually consists of a hot drink (coffee, tea, milk) accompanied by some toast, medialunas (croissants, literally “half moons”) or bread.

Hotels usually offer a free buffet of coffee, tea, yoghurt drinks, various pastries and toast, fruit and perhaps cereals. This type of breakfast is also available in many cafés.

Lunch in Argentina is a hearty meal, usually taken in the early afternoon. The reason lunch is so important is that dinner is late: 8.30-9pm at the earliest, more often 10pm or even later. Most restaurants do not serve anything until then, except for pastries or small grilled ham and cheese sandwiches (tostados) for afternoon tea from 6 to 8 pm. Tea is the only meal that is rarely skipped. Some cafés offer more substantial meals throughout the day, but don’t expect anything more substantial than pizza, milanesa (breaded meat fillet) or lomito (steak sandwich) outside normal Argentine meal times. Dinner is usually at 10pm and consists of starters, a main course and desserts.

By the way, North Americans should be wary of Argentines using the term “entrée” to refer to appetizers. This is common outside North America, but may surprise some Canadians and most Americans. Only in those parts of North America (outside the province of Quebec) is the “appetizer” a “main course”. In Argentina, the main course is a “plato principal”.

In Argentina, appetizers usually consist of empanadas (baked dumplings filled with meat), chorizo or morcilla (meat or blood sausage) and assorted achuras (offal). The main course is usually bife de chorizo (beef fillet/New York steak) and various types of salad. Dessert is often a pudding with dulce de leche and whipped cream.

Beef is an important part of the Argentine diet and Argentine beef is world famous for good reason. Argentina and Uruguay are the top two countries in the world for meat consumption per capita. Be sure to try the Argentine barbecue: the asado, sometimes called parrillada because it is cooked on a parrilla, or grill. There’s no escaping it: in culinary terms, Argentina is practically synonymous with beef. Beef is some of the best in the world, and there are many different types of meat. Lomo (tenderloin) and ‘bife de chorizo’ are excellent. Costillas (ribs) are considered by the locals to be the true cut of meat “asado” and are very tasty. North Americans will find the costillas different from those at home. Argentines cut the ribs perpendicular to the bone. A parrillada dinner is one of the best ways to experience Argentine cuisine, preferably with a bottle of wine and plenty of salads. In some popular areas, parrilladas are served in small buffets, or in street carts and barbecue trailers. Kebabs and steak sandwiches can then be bought to take away.

Given that a large percentage of Argentines are of Italian, Spanish and French descent, these dishes are very common and of high quality; pizzerias and specialist restaurants are very common. Note that it is a convention in Argentina to treat pasta and sauce as separate items; some travellers have discovered what they thought was cheap pasta, only to find they had no sauce. You’ll see the pasta at one price, then the sauces at an additional price.

Cafés, bakeries and ice cream parlours (heladerías) are very popular. Inexpensive and quality snacks are available in most shopping areas, and many have outdoor seating. Empanadas (dumplings) filled with meat, cheese or other ingredients can be bought cheaply from restaurants or takeaways. A must-try is the alfajor, a snack consisting of two biscuits filled with dulce de leche, which is available at all kiosks.

Smoking is now prohibited in all restaurants in Buenos Aires and Mendoza. In most cities, smoking is prohibited in all public buildings (cafes, shops, banks, bus stations, etc.), so it is best to ask before smoking anywhere.

Signature/National Shorts

  • Asado
  • Empanada (baked dumplings filled with meat, cheese and/or vegetables)
  • Milanesa (breaded meat fillets)
  • Humita
  • Chorizo (sausage) and choripan (with bread)
  • Tarta de Jamón y Queso (baked pastry crust with ham and cheese filling)
  • Guiso Criollo – with meat, vegetables and fruit

Desserts and snacks

  • dulce de leche
  • Alfajores
  • Helado
  • Flan con Dulce de Leche
  • Torta de Ricotta
  • Facturas

Drinks in Argentina

Yerba mate (pronounced in two syllables, “MAH-tae”) is a traditional Argentine herbal drink, prepared in a hollow calabash that is passed around socially and drunk through a metal straw. Although usually drunk hot, mate can also be served cold, usually called “tereré” – the preferred version in Paraguay. Mate contains less caffeine than coffee, but other vitamins and minerals that give it a stimulating effect, especially for those not used to it. It is quite bitter by nature, so it is not unusual to add sugar to it, although it is polite to ask before adding sugar. Drinking mate with friends is an important social ritual in Argentina. The informal tea ceremony is conducted by a “cebador” or waiter and people arrange themselves in a “rueda” or wheel. Those who like the drink bitter and those who like it sweet are grouped together to help the server.

Argentina is known for its excellent selection of wines. The most popular is Mendoza, which is one of the most popular regions in the world due to its high altitude, volcanic soils and proximity to the Andes. The terrain seems to complement European grape varieties with interesting notes that are not present in other climates, allowing Argentine wine to play in a league of its own. The best way to discover and understand the range of Argentine grape varieties is to attend one of the many tastings.

The official drinking age is 18, although most establishments serve anyone aged 16 or over. Most restaurants serve a wide range of spiritsBeer is available on tap in a chopp (small glass) or served in bottles or cans. It is usually a light, easy-drinking lager. The most popular local beer brands are Quilmes, Isenbeck, Schneider and Brahma (although it is Brazilian). The most common imports are Warsteiner, Heineken, Budweiser and Corona. There are now many small pubs and bars in Buenos Aires that brew beer locally, but most of them offer a product of mediocre quality compared to what is widely available in parts of the US and Europe. In the Buenos Aires area, Buller Brewing Company in Recoleta and Antares Brewery in Mar del Plata offer excellent English/American craft beers. Ask to see “cervezas artesanales” to see if there are any local craft beers.

Fernet is widely consumed by Argentines, especially in Córdoba, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires. Originating in Italy, it is a bitter herbal drink, 40% alcohol by volume and dark brown in colour. It can be mixed with Coke (served in bars, pubs and clubs) and if you go to an Argentinian house you will be offered Fernet and Coke. In addition, Fernet is usually served as a digestif after a meal, but it can also be enjoyed with coffee and espresso, or mixed with coffee and espresso drinks. It can be enjoyed at room temperature or with ice.

Cafés often offer freshly squeezed fruit juice, which is difficult to find elsewhere.

Money & Shopping in Argentina

Currency

The official currency of Argentina is the peso (ARS), divided into 100 centavos. Coins are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos and 1 and 2 pesos. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos. Be prepared to receive change in the form of golosinas (sweets), especially in Chinese supermarkets.

Since 1969, thirteen zeros have been removed (a factor of ten thousand billion) as the various denominations of the peso have been revalued.

More recently, the exchange rate hovered around ARS3 = 1 USD from 2002 to 2008, fell to around ARS4 = 1 USD from 2009 to 2011, and officially reached 6 pesos in Nov 2013. Since a new office took over the government in December 2015, all currency restrictions have been lifted and the average exchange rate is around ARS15/USD (Nov 2016).

Black market

The government keeps the peso artificially high and severely restricts the exchange of pesos for dollars, resulting in a thriving black market for the ‘blue dollar’ (dólar blue). The market is so large that current exchange rates are published in newspapers and on websites such as DolarBlue.net. In September 2014, the government rate was 8.40 pesos per US dollar, while the black market rate fluctuated around ARS14 = 1 USD. This means that 100 USD is worth about 840 pesos when officially exchanged or withdrawn from an ATM, compared to 1,400 pesos on the black market. Other currencies, such as the Chilean and Uruguayan pesos, show similar behaviour when exchanged for pesos, although the dollar commands a premium. The best rates are obtained for USD 100 notes in good condition when exchanging over USD 1,000.

Black market traders are called arbolitos (‘little trees’) and operate from cuevas (‘caves’). They can be found everywhere, with Florida Street in Buenos Aires being particularly well known. If you decide to use this route, remember that it is illegal. So take every precaution to avoid being ripped off and remember that your money can be confiscated if you are stopped by the police.

As of October 2013, all exchange offices in Foz do Iguaçu were officially selling Argentine pesos at rates closer to the Blue Rate than the official rate. Other ways to get a good rate are to transfer money electronically via services such as Xoom (from the US only) or Azimo (from the UK only), or compare with My Currency Transfer (from any country).

In December 2015, the newly elected government lifted most exchange restrictions and unified exchange rates with the peso trading in a range of ARS 13-15/USD, the blue dollar is no longer recommended as an exchange option as you can get pesos anywhere with a similar rate.

Credit cards

Peso purchases made with foreign credit cards are exchanged at the terrible official rate, so it is best to avoid this. If you want to use a debit or credit card, you must present both your card and an ID such as a driving licence at the checkout, for example in supermarkets. Present both at the same time and with confidence at the checkout. If you lack confidence, you will be asked to show your passport as identification. For larger purchases, such as long-distance bus tickets, you will need to show your passport and credit card. Although this makes purchases more difficult, try to keep your passport in one place, such as the hotel room safe.

PIN cards have become the most common and should be accepted everywhere, as should magnetic stripe cards. PIN codes should be accepted, but if they are not, shop staff will ask you to sign the bill. Contactless credit cards have generally not been accepted since November 2016.

Tipping

There is no obligation to tip in Argentina, although it is considered a custom. Sometimes it is enough to round up or say to keep the change if it is for small checks, deliveries, gas stations, etc. In restaurants, cafés, hotels, beauty salons, hairdressers, ushers and car washers, it is considered polite to leave a tip of at least 10%. It is not customary to tip bartenders. Not tipping if you are not satisfied is not an unusual gesture and is interpreted as such. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip, but most people do.

Another local custom is to tip the ushers at theatres and opera houses if they are also responsible for distributing the programmes (you can ask for one without a tip, at the risk of looking like a cheapskate).

Most high-end hotels and restaurants include a service charge, usually around 15%

Shopping

The fashion and art scenes are booming. Buenos Aires’ characteristic European and South American style is full of unique works of art, art deco furniture and antiques. Creative, independent local fashion designers – who are becoming a source of inspiration for the high-end American and European markets – compose their collections from lots of leather, wool, fabrics and delicate lace with a gaucho touch. Sometimes the exchange rate can be advantageous for international tourists. For example, in early 2006, the dollar and euro were strong against the then weak Argentine peso.

Fashionable clothing and leather goods can be found in most shopping areas; jackets, boots and shoes are readily available. However, Buenos Aires has a relatively mild climate, so it is more difficult to find cold weather clothing. Long coats or thick gloves may not be in stock; similarly, jeans and other basics tend to be thinner cut than in cooler countries. In the Andean regions and Patagonia, it is much colder in winter, so it is much easier to find thick clothing.

Electronic goods are not cheap as they are subject to high import duties. The price of music, books and films follows the exchange rate somewhat and can be a good deal when volatile exchange rates are in your favour.

Most independent shops in Buenos Aires are open from 10am to 8pm on weekdays, and some are also open on Saturdays and Sundays, depending on which part of the city they are in. However, closed shopping centres set their own hours and are also open on weekends.

Most places outside the city of Buenos Aires, where most shops remain open during siesta, still observe a siesta from about noon to 4pm; almost all shops are closed during this period. The exact closing times vary from shop to store, depending on the owner’s preferences. Shops and offices usually reopen in the evening until 9 or 10 pm.

Traditions & Customs in Argentina

Successive peso crises have left many Argentines bitter towards certain authorities and institutions. Although many shops will accept payment in US dollars or euros and even offer you a better exchange rate than banks, try to adapt elsewhere. Keep a supply of pesos on hand for shops that don’t accept dollars.

Conversation

Argentines are very engaging people who can ask very personal questions within minutes of their first meeting. They expect you to do the same. If you don’t, it is a sign of a lack of interest in the other person.

Do not be offended if someone calls you “boludo”. Even though it is a dirty word, to Argentines it means “buddy” or “comrade” (depending on the tone in which it is said). Argentines are notorious for the amount of swearing they do, so when they talk to you, don’t pay attention to the swearing. When Argentines are angry, teasing or making fun of you, you can tell by the expression on their face or the tone of their voice, and they swear even more than usual.

Also, don’t be offended if an Argentinian says things to you in a very direct way: this is very common among locals and can sometimes offend foreigners. Argentines are very emotional and extreme, whether they say good or bad things about someone. You will also find that they have a bitter sense of humour, they make fun of themselves in all sorts of ways and sometimes they make fun of you. Just respond with another joke if this is the case; the locals will not take it as an insult.

The taxi drivers (especially the older ones) are very friendly and generally very knowledgeable about everything. Feel free to talk about anything you want. Some of them even know a lot about the history and politics of the city.

Don’t try to compare “dulce de leche”, pretty women, football, Birome (Bic pen) and public buses to anything else in the world, the same goes for Argentine meat; to do so is considered an insult.

Greetings

Cheek kissing is very common in Argentina, especially in big cities, between women and men. You touch your right cheek and make a slight “kissing noise”, but do not touch the cheek with your lips (once, twice -right and then left- is very rare). When two women or other sexes meet for the first time, it is not unusual to kiss. Two men shake hands first if they do not know each other, but are likely to kiss each other goodbye, especially if they have been talking for a while. Male friends kiss on the cheek every time they greet each other, as a sign of trust. Attempting to shake hands when offered a kiss is considered strange, but never rude, especially if you are an obvious stranger. Remember that when you visit another country, it is always interesting to try out new customs.

In the rest of the country, the normal handshake applies. Women also greet each other with a kiss as described above, but this is reserved for other women and men they know. All of the above also apply elsewhere in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula (except the man-to-man cheek kiss, which is not customary elsewhere).

Soccer

As some Argentines are keen football fans, avoid wearing rival club shirts, as it can be dangerous in poorer neighbourhoods to take the wrong street or enter a bar with the wrong colours. You can wear European football club shirts with the name of an Argentinian player on the back (for example, a Manchester City shirt with Tevez’s name, a Barcelona shirt with Mascherano’s name, etc.) If you really want to wear a shirt, the safest thing to do is to wear an Argentina World Cup shirt.

Argentine “barrabravas” (an equivalent of the term “hooligans”) are responsible for various acts of vandalism, assaults and fatal shootings, sometimes due to debates about football. It is recommended not to wear the local football uniform too often, and it is best to avoid any football attire.

The colors of Peruvian national football (and the design of the shirts) are almost identical to those of the local team River Plate, so care must be taken to avoid misunderstandings.

Punctuality and perception of time

Argentines generally have a relaxed attitude to time. This may be disconcerting to visitors from North America and parts of Europe other than Latin America, where punctuality is highly valued. You should expect your Argentinean contacts to be at least 10-15 minutes late for any appointment. This is considered normal in Argentina and is not a sign of disrespect for the relationship. Of course, this does not apply to business meetings.

If you are invited to a dinner or party, for example at 9pm, this does not mean that you have to be there at 9pm, but that you should not arrive before 9pm. You are welcome at any time after that. Arriving an hour late to a party is usually normal and sometimes expected.

This parameter extends to any scheduled activity in Argentina. Plays and concerts usually start about half an hour after the scheduled time. Long-distance buses, on the other hand, leave on time. Public transport such as city buses and the metro don’t even care about time estimates; they arrive when they arrive! Take this into account when calculating how long things will take.

Late departures of buses or trains are not uncommon, especially in big cities. This is usually not a problem, as no one expects you to be on time anyway. However, long-distance buses almost always leave on time (even if they arrive late), so don’t expect impecuniosity to save you if you arrive late at the bus terminal.

Things to avoid

Avoid talking about the “Falkland Islands” (Las Islas Malvinas), including the Falklands War and the conflict, by their English name. These topics are very sensitive for many Argentines and may cause a strong reaction and an uncomfortable situation for you.

Avoid wearing any English and British symbols for the reasons given above. English and British flags and English football shirts should be avoided at all costs. Although no assaults on people wearing them have been recorded, some people may be very upset and you may receive very cold looks and treatment from the public.

Also avoid talking about the Perón and Kirchner years, as well as politics, the military junta and religion in general. These are very sensitive subjects for many Argentines and can also provoke strong reactions.

Avoid comparing Argentina to its neighbours Brazil and Chile, as they are seen as rivals, especially in the economic sphere.

Avoid comparing regional foods. This can also be a tricky issue, as recipes and key ingredients vary from province to province.

Avoid asking for ketchup for anything other than a hot dog. Argentine beef is fantastic, and asking for ketchup or barbecue sauce to pour over a steak is not popular. You should ask for salsa criolla or chimichurri for beef and chorizo.

Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2010, but in small towns or in the more conservative northern part of the country, some people (especially the older generations) may be offended by the public display of same-sex affection.

Drug use is legal in Argentina, but is frowned upon by most residents. Alcohol is generally the vice of choice here. Paco, a crack-like mixture of by-products of cocaine manufacture, is a serious problem and its users should be avoided at all costs. These people are undeniably violent and unpredictable.

Mansions or ghettos, which are usually wooden or steel shacks, should also be avoided because of the high crime rate in these areas.

Culture Of Argentina

Argentina is a multicultural country with significant European influences. Its cities are largely characterised by the predominance of people of European origin and the deliberate emulation of European styles in fashion, architecture and design. Modern Argentine culture has been strongly influenced by immigrants from Italy, Spain and other European countries such as France, Britain and Northern Ireland, Germany, etc.

Argentina is largely characterised by the predominance of people of European origin and the deliberate imitation of European styles in architecture. Museums, cinemas and galleries abound in all major urban centres, as do traditional establishments such as literary bars or bars with live music of various genres, although Amerindian and African influences are less present, especially in the fields of music and art. The other major influence is that of the gauchos and their traditional rural lifestyle of self-sufficiency. Finally, Amerindian traditions are integrated into the general cultural milieu.

Music

Tango, a Rioplatense musical style with European and African influences, is one of Argentina’s international cultural symbols. The golden age of tango (1930s to mid-1950s) mirrors that of jazz and swing in the United States, with great orchestras such as those of Osvaldo Pugliese, Aníbal Troilo, Francisco Canaro, Julio de Caro and Juan d’Arienzo. After 1955, the virtuoso Astor Piazzolla popularised Nuevo Tango, a more subtle and intellectual orientation of the genre. Today, tango enjoys worldwide popularity with groups such as Gotan Project, Bajofondo and Tanghetto.

Argentina has developed a strong classical music and dance scene that has produced such renowned artists as composer Alberto Ginastera, violinist Alberto Lysy, pianists Martha Argerich and Eduardo Delgado; Daniel Barenboim, pianist and director of the symphony orchestra; José Cura and Marcelo Álvarez, tenors; and ballet dancers Jorge Donn, José Neglia, Norma Fontenla, Maximiliano Guerra, Paloma Herrera, Marianela Núñez, Iñaki Urlezaga and Julio Bocca.

A national Argentine folk style emerged in the 1930s from dozens of regional musical genres and influenced all Latin American music. Some of its performers, such as Atahualpa Yupanqui and Mercedes Sosa, have achieved worldwide fame.

The romantic ballad genre included internationally renowned singers such as Sandro de América.

Argentine rock emerged as a distinct musical style in the mid-1960s, when Buenos Aires and Rosario became cradles for aspiring musicians. Founding groups such as Los Gatos, Sui Generis, Almendra and Manal were followed by Seru Giran, Los Abuelos de la Nada, Soda Stereo and Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota, with leading artists such as Gustavo Cerati, Litto Nebbia, Andrés Calamaro, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Charly García, Fito Páez and León Gieco.

Tenor saxophonist Leandro “Gato” Barbieri and composer and conductor Lalo Schifrin are among the best-known Argentine jazz musicians on the international scene.

Theatre

Buenos Aires is one of the world’s great theatrical capitals, with a world-class stage centred on Corrientes Avenue, “the street that never sleeps”, sometimes called the intellectual Broadway of Buenos Aires. The Teatro Colón is a world-class venue for opera and classical performances; its acoustics are considered one of the five best in the world. Other important theatres include Teatro General San Martín, Cervantes, both in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentino in La Plata, El Círculo in Rosario, Independencia in Mendoza and Libertador in Córdoba. Griselda Gambaro, Copi, Roberto Cossa, Marco Denevi, Carlos Gorostiza and Alberto Vaccarezza are some of the best known Argentine playwrights.

The origins of Argentine theatre date back to the foundation of the first theatre in the colony, La Ranchería, by Viceroy Juan José de Vértiz y Salcedo in 1783. It was on this stage that a tragedy entitled Siripo was premiered in 1786. Siripo is now a lost work (only the second act survives) and can be considered the first Argentine play, as it was written by the Buenos Aires poet Manuel José de Lavardén, premiered in Buenos Aires, and its plot is inspired by a historical episode from the early days of colonisation of the Río de la Plata basin: the destruction of the colony of Sancti Spiritu by the natives in 1529. The theatre of La Ranchería functioned until it was destroyed by fire in 1792. The second theatre stage in Buenos Aires was the Teatro Coliseo, opened in 1804 during the reign of Viceroy Rafael de Sobremonte. It was the longest continuously operating stage in the country. The musical creator of the Argentine national anthem, Blas Parera, became famous as a theatre composer in the early 19th century. The genre suffered under the regime of Juan Manuel de Rosas, but it flourished along with the economy later in the century. The national government gave Argentine theatre its first boost with the founding of the Colón Theatre in 1857, which hosted theatrical performances as well as classical and opera shows. The success of Antonio Petalardo’s play at the opening of the Teatro Opera in 1871 inspired others to fund the burgeoning arts in Argentina.

Cinema

The Argentine film industry is historically one of the three most developed in Latin American cinema, along with those produced in Mexico and Brazil. Founded in 1896, it was already the leading film producer in Latin America in the early 1930s, a position it maintained until the early 1950s. The world’s first animated feature films were produced and broadcast in Argentina in 1917 and 1918 by the cartoonist Quirino Cristiani.

Argentine films have gained worldwide recognition: the country has won two Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, with The Official Story (1985) and The Secret in Their Eyes (2009), which received seven nominations:

  • The armistice (La Tregua) in 1974
  • Camila (Camila) in 1984
  • The Official History (La Historia Oficial) in 1985
  • Tango (Tango) in 1998
  • The Bride’s Son (El hijo de la novia) in 2001
  • The Secret of His Eyes (El Secreto de sus Ojos) in 2009
  • Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes) in 2015

In addition, Argentine composers Luis Enrique Bacalov and Gustavo Santaolalla won the Oscar for Best Film Score in 2006 and 2007, respectively, and Armando Bo and Nicolás Giacobone won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2015. The Franco-Argentine actress Berenice Bejo was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2011 and won the César for Best Actress and the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in the film The Past.

Argentina has also won sixteen Goya Awards for Best Foreign Film in the Spanish Language with A King and His Film (1986), A Place in the World (1992), Gatica, el mono (1993), Autumn Sun (1996), Ashes from Heaven (1997), The Lighthouse (1998), The Burnt Money (2000), Escape (2001), Intimate Stories (2003), Blessed by Fire (2005), The Hands (2006), XXY (2007), The Secret in Their Eyes (2009), Chinese Take-Away (2011), Wild Tales (2014) and The Clan (2015), which is by far the most awarded film in Latin America with twenty-three nominations.

Many other Argentine films have been rejected by international critics: Camila (1984), Man Facing Southeast (1986), A Place in the World (1992), Pizza, Beer, and Cigarettes (1997), Nine Queens (2000), A Red Bear (2002), The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), The Aura (2005), Chinese Take-Away (2011) und Wild Tales (2014) are just a few.

In 2013, approximately 100 feature films were created each year.

Art

Among the best-known Argentine painters are Cándido López and Florencio Molina Campos (naive style); Ernesto de la Cárcova and Eduardo Sívori (realism); Fernando Fader (impressionism); Pío Collivadino, Atilio Malinverno and Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós (post-impressionism); Emilio Pettoruti (cubism); Julio Barragán (concretism and cubism); Antonio Berni (neo-figurativism); Roberto Aizenberg and Xul Solar (Surrealism); Gyula Košice (Constructivism); Eduardo Mac Entyre (Generative Art); Luis Seoane, Carlos TorrallardonaLuis Aquino and Alfredo Gramajo Gutiérrez (Modernism); Lucio Fontana (Spatialism); Tomás Maldonado and Guillermo Kuitca (Abstract Art); León Ferrari and Marta Minujín (Conceptual Art); and Gustavo Cabral (Fantastic Art)

In 1946, Gyula Košice and others founded the Madí movement in Argentina, which later spread to Europe and the United States, where it had a great influence. Tomás Maldonado is one of the main theorists of the Ulm model for design education, which still has a great influence on the world.

Other world-renowned Argentine artists include Adolfo Bellocq, whose lithographs have been influential since the 1920s, and Benito Quinquela Martín, the port painter par excellence, inspired by the immigrant neighbourhood of La Boca.

The sculptors Erminio Blotta, Lola Mora and Rogelio Yrurtia, winners of international awards, have created many of the classic and evocative monuments of the Argentine urban landscape.

Architecture

Colonisation brought Spanish Baroque architecture, whose simpler Rioplatense style is still visible in the reduction of San Ignacio Miní, the Cathedral of Cordoba and the Cabildo of Luján. Italian and French influences intensified in the early 19th century, with strong eclectic overtones that gave a unique character to the local architecture.

Many Argentine architects have enriched the urban landscape of their country and the world: Juan Antonio Buschiazzo helped popularise Beaux-Arts architecture, and Francisco Gianotti combined Art Nouveau and the Italian style, giving a special character to Argentine cities in the early 20th century. Francisco Salamone and Viktor Sulčič left a legacy of Art Deco, and Alejandro Bustillo created a rich body of neoclassical and rationalist architecture. Alberto Prebisch and Amancio Williams were strongly influenced by Le Corbusier, while Clorindo Testa introduced Brutalist architecture locally. The futuristic creations of César Pelli and Patricio Pouchulu have embellished cities around the world: Pelli’s returns to the Art Deco glamour of the 1920s have made him one of the world’s most renowned architects, and the Norwest Center and Petronas Towers are among his most famous works.

Sports

Pato is the national sport, an ancient equestrian game that originated in the early 1600s and is the predecessor of horseball. The most popular sport is football. The men’s national team is the only one outside France to have won the most important international treble: World Cup, Confederations Cup and Olympic gold medal. He has also won 14 Copas América, 6 Pan-American gold medals and many other trophies. Alfredo Di Stéfano, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi are among the best players in the history of football.

The Las Leonas women’s hockey team is one of the most successful in the world, having won four Olympic medals, two world championships, one World League and seven championships. Luciana Aymar is considered the best player in the history of the sport. She is the only person to have received the FIH Player of the Year award eight times.

Basketball is a very popular sport. The men’s national team is the only one in the FIBA Americas zone to have won the crown five times: World Championship, Olympic Gold Medal, Diamond Ball, Americas Championship and Pan American Gold Medal. She has also won 13 South American Championships and numerous other tournaments. 313] Emanuel Ginóbili, Luis Scola, Andrés Nocioni, Fabricio Oberto, Pablo Prigioni, Carlos Delfino and Juan Ignacio Sánchez are some of the country’s most famous players, all of whom play in the NBA. Argentina hosted the World Basketball Championships in 1950 and 1990.

Rugby is another popular sport in Argentina. Since 2014, the men’s national team, known as “Los Pumas”, has participated in the Rugby World Cup every time, its best result to date being a third place finish in 2007. Since 2012, “Los Pumas” have competed against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in the Rugby Championship, the most important international rugby competition in the southern hemisphere. Since 2009, the senior men’s team known as “Los Jaguares” has competed against senior teams from the United States and Canada, as well as Uruguay, in the Americas Rugby Championship. Los Jaguares have won every year.

Argentina has produced some of the most impressive boxing champions, including Carlos Monzón, the best middleweight in history; Pascual Pérez, one of the most decorated flyweight boxers of all time; Víctor Galíndez, who has held the record for consecutive lightweight title defenses since 2009; and Nicolino Locche, nicknamed “The Untouchable” for his masterful defense; all of whom have been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Tennis is very popular with people of all ages. Guillermo Vilas is the greatest Latin American player of the Open Era, while Gabriela Sabatini is the most successful Argentine player of all time – reaching third place in the WTA rankings – and both have been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Argentina is the undisputed king of polo, winning more international championships than any other country and rarely being beaten since the 1930s. The Argentine Polo Championship is the sport’s premier international team trophy. The country is home to many of the world’s best players, including Adolfo Cambiaso, the best in polo history.

Historically, Argentina has a strong presence in motor racing. Juan Manuel Fangiow was a five-time Formula One World Champion with four different teams, winning 102 of his 184 international races, and is widely regarded as the greatest driver of all time. Other notable racing drivers include Oscar Alfredo Gálvez, Juan Gálvez, José Froilán González and Carlos Reutemann.

Kitchen

In addition to many of the pasta, sausage and dessert dishes common to continental Europe, Argentines enjoy a wide variety of indigenous and criollo creations, including empanadas (a small filled pastry), locro (a mixture of corn, beans, meat, bacon, onions and squash), humita and mate.

The country has the highest consumption of red meat in the world, traditionally prepared in asado, the Argentine barbecue. It is prepared with different types of meat, often chorizo, sweetbreads, tripe and black pudding.

The most common desserts are facturas (Viennese pastries), cakes and pancakes with dulce de leche (a kind of milk and caramel jam), alfajores (butter biscuits with chocolate, dulce de leche or fruit paste filling) and tortas fritas (fried cakes).

Argentine wine, one of the best in the world, is an integral part of the local menu. Malbec, Torrontés, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay are among the most sought-after varieties.

National symbols

Some of Argentina’s national symbols are established by law, while others are traditions that have no official designation. The flag of Argentina consists of three horizontal stripes of equal width in light blue, white and light blue, with the May sun in the centre of the central white stripe. The flag was designed by Manuel Belgrano in 1812; it was adopted as the national symbol on 20 July 1816. The coat of arms, representing the union of the provinces, was adopted as a seal for official documents in 1813. The Argentine national anthem was written by Vicente López y Planes with music by Blas Parera and adopted in 1813. The national cockade was first used during the revolution of May 1810 and was made official two years later. The Virgin of Luján is the patron saint of Argentina.

The hornero, which inhabits most of the national territory, was chosen as the national bird in 1928 after a survey of the lower classes. The ceibo is the national floral emblem and the national tree, while the Colorado quebracho is the national forest tree. Rhodochrosite is known as the national gemstone. The national sport is pato, an equestrian game that was popular among the gauchos.

Argentine wine is the national liquor and mate is the national brew. Asado and locro are considered the national dishes.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Argentina

Stay Safe in Argentina

The road death rate in Argentina is 12.6 per 100 000 inhabitants. This compares with 10.4 and 2.75 for the United States and the United Kingdom respectively. In Argentina, drivers kill 20 people a day (about 7,000 a year), and more than 120,000 people are injured each year. These deaths include some unfortunate tourists. Pedestrians should exercise extreme caution. Do not cross outside the traffic lights if you feel uncomfortable, and always keep your eyes on you when crossing the street.

There is a lot of activity and foot traffic at night. Nice neighbourhoods have a very strong police presence, perhaps one officer for every three blocks, plus shop security and auxiliary patrols. Public security in all major cities such as Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Rosario is provided by the Federal Police and the National Gendarmerie or the Navy Prefecture, especially in the Puerto Madero area of Buenos Aires.

As in any large city, specific areas of Buenos Aires and other cities are very dangerous. Some shady areas are Retiro, Villa Lugano, La Boca and Villa Riachuelo. Seek advice from trusted locals, such as hotel receptionists or police officers. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If an area seems suspicious, leave it.

On the street and in the metro, many people hand out small cards with horoscopes, lottery numbers, pictures of saints or pretty drawings on them. When you take the card, the person asks you to pay. You can simply send the card back with a “no, gracias.” or just be quiet if your Spanish is not good. Persistent beggars are usually not dangerous; a polite but firm no tengo nada (“I have nothing”) and/or hand gestures are usually sufficient.

Most robberies are not violent if you simply hand everything over to the thieves, as they may be drugged, drunk, have a knife or a gun; in most cases, if your wallet is stolen, you will not notice it until hours later. In the unlikely event that you are confronted by an attacker, simply hand over your valuables – they are replaceable. Watch out for pickpockets in the metro and on busy city streets. Never hang your wallet or purse on the back of your chair in a café or restaurant – surreptitious theft of these bags is common. Put your wallet or backpack on the floor between your legs while you eat.

Popular demonstrations are very common in Buenos Aires and tourists should avoid them, as they sometimes degenerate into violent clashes with the police or the national gendarmerie, especially when they approach government buildings in the city centre.

Since 2005, the government has successfully cracked down on illegal taxis. Petty crime (such as taking detours or, more rarely, giving counterfeit money) still exists. Taxis lurking outside popular tourist destinations like the National Museum are on the lookout for tourists. Do not approach them. The risk of being scammed increases in these situations. It is a good idea to hail a taxi one or two blocks away on a typical city street, where other residents do the same. Also, carrying small bills will help you avoid the problems mentioned above, and you will often find taxis that do not have change for 100 peso notes.

Take an ID with you, but not the original passport; a copy (easily obtained from your hotel) should suffice.

Security alert at Ezeiza International Airport

In July 2007, the Argentine television channel “Canal 13” conducted an investigation which revealed that a group of airport security employees were stealing valuables such as iPods, digital cameras, mobile phones, sunglasses, jewellery and laptops when checking passengers’ checked-in luggage. According to the special report, airport security staff are required to check each piece of luggage before it is loaded onto the plane; however, some employees take advantage of the scanning machine to identify and steal valuables. The report states that this incident occurs on a daily basis and that the items stolen range from electronics to perfume to art.

It is strongly recommended that you put valuable items in your hand luggage to avoid any mishaps.

Police officers will often try to convince you to bribe them during a traffic stop. It is better if you give them the money (otherwise they will arrest you for a long time). However, if you want to accept the ticket, they will give it to you without any problem.

Emergency numbers

  • Ambulance (Immediate Emergency Health Service, SAME in Buenos Aires): 107
  • Fire brigade (National Fire Brigade): 100
  • Police (Argentine Federal Police): mainly 911, in some small towns it may also be 101.
  • Tourist Police: +54 11 4346-5748 / 0800 999 5000

Stay Healthy in Argentina

Visiting Argentina does not pose any major health concerns. Some vaccinations may be necessary for visitors, depending on the areas of Argentina you plan to visit. Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for those visiting the northern forests. Different weather conditions may surprise your body, so check the weather forecast before you arrive. Stomach upsets are most likely as your body adapts to the local micro-organisms in the food. It’s also best to acclimatise slowly to the local diet – sudden amounts of red meat, red wine, strong coffee and sweet pastries can be very destabilising for a stomach used to milder meals – and although Argentina’s tap water is safe to drink, even if it is sometimes heavily chlorinated, it’s best to be cautious in the rural north.

Although oral contraceptives are available over the counter, a woman considering taking them would be well advised to first consult a knowledgeable and licensed physician about their proper use, as well as possible contraindications and side effects.

Hospitals are free. They will not charge you for treatment, but it is common to offer a contribution if you can afford it. In public/government hospitals, it is now illegal for any hospital employee to receive or even ask for payment. This does not apply to private health care facilities or medicines.

The use of sunscreen is recommended in the north of the country, where the heat can be intense (38°C in some areas). Heat rash, dehydration and sunburn are not uncommon among first-time visitors.

Dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, is a serious and potentially fatal disease, but it is only a risk in the far north. Mosquito bites should be avoided at all costs in the far north. There are many mosquito repellent products, from lotions and sprays to citronella candles and ‘espirals’ (spiral incense). They are available in most kiosks (kioskos) or pharmacies.

Asia

Africa

South America

Europe

North America

Read Next

Bariloche

San Carlos de Bariloche, often referred to as Bariloche, is a city in Argentina’s Ro Negro province, located in the Andes foothills on the...

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is Argentina’s capital and biggest city, as well as the country’s second-largest metropolitan region. It is situated on the southeastern coast of the...

Cordoba

Córdoba is a city in Argentina’s geographical center, in the Sierras Chicas foothills on the Suqua River, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) northwest of...

Mar Del Plata

Mar del Plata is an Argentine city situated on the Atlantic Ocean’s shore in the southeast portion of Buenos Aires Province. It is the...

Mendoza

Mendoza is the capital of Argentina’s Mendoza province. It is situated in the province’s northern-central section, on the eastern side of the Andes, amid...

Ushuaia

Ushuaia is the provincial capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, Antártida, and Islas del Atlántico Sur province. It is often referred to be the...