Thursday, August 11, 2022

Tourism in Argentina

South AmericaArgentinaTourism in Argentina

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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 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 Ana, Nuestra 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.

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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,...

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...

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...

Language & Phrasebook 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",...

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...

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...

History Of Argentina

Pre-Columbian era The earliest traces of human life in the area now known as Argentina date back to the Paleolithic, with further traces in the Mesolithic and Neolithic. Until the time of European colonisation, Argentina was relatively sparsely populated, with many different cultures with different social organisations, which can be...

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...



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