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.
There is currently no international connection to Argentina. A connection between Chile and Argentina is under construction.
International coaches run from all neighbouring countries.
- Retiro bus station: +54 11 4310-0700
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.
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. For more information, visit the website.