Tango, beef, gauchos, fútbol, Patagonia, the Andes; the classics alone make it an appealing travel destination. Known for it’s juicy steaks that are often washed down with a glass of Malbec wine, Argentina is a land of natural wonders and people who have persevered through good and very bad times while maintaining their traditions and pride with a smile on their face. Part European and part Latin American, it is hard not to fall in love with Argentina. This Argentina travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Argentina Travel Guide: Fast Facts
- Argentine power voltage is 230 V 50Hz; Plug C & I
- The Argentine currency is the Argentine peso and is around 9 ARS to 1 USD
- Argentina has an unofficial exchange rate of US Dollars in Argentina which is undeniably the best exchange rate a traveler can possibly get. In fact, the unofficial rate or the “blue” rate is so widely used in the country, that it is published in the newspaper. In short, if you are visiting Argentina take a good amount of dollars and exchange them into pesos in the black market. Click here to learn more about the Argentine “Blue” Rate.
- In Buenos Aires be cautious in all tourist areas. Stay in the tourist area of La Boca and avoid wandering around, especially after dark. Exercise caution in San Telmo, Congreso and Retiro.
- Travelers of all budgets can easily travel between Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Santiago (Chile) either with an airline (Air Canada flies between Santiago and Buenos Aires) or by overnight bus. There are different bus companies but the two best options are CATA International and Andesmar. Sometimes companies require that you pay with a Chilean or Argentine credit card or that you have a resident number – in that particular case you will have to physically go to the station to buy and pick up your tickets.
- If you plan on crossing the Chile-Argentina border in the winter time [principally between the months of May – September] than make sure you double check the weather before departing to the bus station. Winter time means a lot of snow in the mountains, which can translate to border closures. Border control has a TWITTER account that is updated regularly, stating if the border is open or not.
- Beware of the multitude of taxi scams in Buenos Aires! Never take unofficial taxis, keep an eye on the meter, take an official taxi from the airport, never pay in USD and don’t fall for the “this is a fake bill you gave me!!!”
- The seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere (winter lasts June through September and summer is December through March)
Top Packing Tips for Argentina Travel
Argentina has a varied climate from the subtropics along the northeastern border with Brazil to the subpolar regions of Tierra del Fuego in the south. Buenos Aires and the Pampas have a temperate climate; it’s pretty cold in winter, hot and humid in summer.
- Classic Basic items – You do not need to be a fashionista to blend in. The key is in embracing neutral toned items that can be mixed and matched easily. Avoid logos, baseball caps, shorts, hoodies, flip-flops and running shoes as these items scream tourist!
- Layers – You could possibly be sweating all afternoon and then be freezing by nightfall! Make sure to stock up on the layers. Buenos Aires can get pretty chilly in the winter time so make sure to bring a light jacket, scarf and gloves to keep warm. If you plan on going to Patagonia, especially during the winter time, make sure to pack a high-quality insulating layer.
- Feminine Products – hey ladies! If have a particular brand that you love, pack it. Products are available but options are limited.
- Personal Safety products – Certain areas in Buenos Aires are known as pickpocket hotspots. Before leaving for your trip, make sure to pack some personal safety products, like money belts and locks, so that you can keep your valuables safe on your trip.
Top Things to Do in Argentina
- Visit the Fin del Mundo – The catch phrase for Ushuaia, Argentina is Fin Del Mundo (The End of the World) and it truly feels like you are at the bottom of the world when visiting this southernmost city on earth.