Find all you need to know when travelling to Argentina with the Argentina info & FAQ's from SouthAmerica.travel - the experts in 4* & 5* Argentina travel
Tourist visas are not required for entry into Argentina; you will receive a visa stamp valid for 90 days upon arrival. However, citizens of Canada and Australia must pay a reciprocity fee online, before arriving in Argentina. This is required for all entry points into Argentina.
As of March 24, 2016, Argentina has suspended the reciprocity fee required for U.S. citizens entering the country. This change is valid for at least the next three months. There is speculation that after the three months, an executive order could extend the suspended reciprocity fee indefinitely. Prior to traveling, please check with your Embassy for the most up-to-date information.
Please note, visa information stated here is only a guideline. Only the information given by the consulate of the country you are planning to visit is up-to-date, official and correct. To find the most updated information about Argentina tourist visa requirements, check http://www.projectvisa.com,http://www.visahq.com, check with your nearest consulate, or visit the Embassy of Argentina’s website.
As of July 2013, the Argentina Reciprocity Tax charges according to the following rates, per person:
|US Citizens||US 160
To pay the Argentina reciprocity fee in advance, complete the following steps:
Note about traveling to the Iguazu Falls: The Iguazu Falls lies on the border between Argentina and Brazil, and the border with Paraguay is very close by. If you want to enter Brazil or Paraguay to explore the area around the Iguazu Falls (even just for a day trip), you will need to obtain a Brazil tourist visa, which can take several weeks or a few months, and/or a Paraguay tourist visa. For the tourist visa into Brazil, please see our Brazil travel info page.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months after the date you enter Argentina. For instance, if you plan to travel to Argentina in March, your passport must be valid through September of that year. Carry a photocopy of your passport daily during your travels.
The main international hub in Argentina is the Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires. Note that there is a separate domestic airport in Buenos Aires, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP), so if you are transferring from an international flight to a domestic flight, you will need to factor in time to transfer between airports (takes about 1 hour with traffic to drive between the two). Flights to Paraguay and Uruguay depart from AEP. Double-check your flight info to make sure you're headed to the correct airport!
Major carriers into Argentina include Aeroflot, Avianca, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Air France, American Airlines, Alitalia, Aeroperu, Austral, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Dinar, Iberia, KLM, LAN, LAPA, Lloyd Aero Boliviano, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Pluna, South African Airways, Swissair, TAM and United. For Australians, Qantas offers flights from Sydney to Santiago, and from there to Argentina.
Note that the airport departure tax is now included in the price of the flight.
Flight delays and cancellations can occur, so you may want to schedule your trip with some buffer days. You can also purchase travel insurance that would cover trip cancellation for any reason and/or trip delays.
The northeastern edge of Argentina is shrouded in Atlantic Rainforest jungle, while the northwestern region is desert, high-altitude plains, and river valleys. To the west, the Andes run on a north-south line all the way to the southern extreme in Tierra del Fuego. Along the Atlantic Coast, there are mild temperature beaches, and in the southern inland territory, Patagonia dominates with its glaciers, granite peaks, and pampas - the open plains of the gauchos.
Buenos Aires is located on the Rio de la Plata, facing Uruguay to the north, and very close to the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is temperate; there are distinct seasons.
The weather in Buenos Aires is roughly as follows:
Fall (March-May) 10-21 Celsius
Winter (June-August) 2-12 Celsius
Spring - ranges between 13-25 C
Summer - ranges between 21-31 C
Visit Buenos Aires from September through May for the best weather. From June-August, the weather is a bit dreary and cold.
Visit the wine region in the northwest and the Igauzu Falls in the northeast anytime of year. Mendoza receives year-round sunshine!
Visit Patagonia between October and March; the rest of the year is quite cold and there are very few tours or accommodations available.
The currency is Argentina peso, and it is subject to inflation and changes on an almost daily basis. There is also an official exchange rate and an unofficial rate. You'll be able to get a better exchange rate with money-changers on the street or with exchange agencies rather than at hotels or banks.
Credit card issuers also use the official exchange rate, so you will be better off paying with cash for smaller purchases. It's always a good idea to arrive in South America with some cash in USD. This rings true for Australians and Europeans as well; the exchange rate is always better with USD than with the Euro or any other currency. It's also a good idea to bring at least 2 types of credit card in case one is not accepted.
Argentine Peso current exchange rate:
Tell your bank in advance that you will be traveling to Argentina. ATMs are plentiful in major cities as well as some small towns. Credit cards accepted include Visa, MasterCard, and Diners Club, but some merchants and restaurants will add a credit card transaction fee. You will usually need to show a form of ID such as a driver's license; leave your passport in the hotel safe when shopping.
Beware of counterfeit bills. You may even want to purchase a marker that can help detect counterfeit bills, from shops in Argentina. These cost a few pesos and also work on Peruvian and Bolivian currency.
Meals and drinks will cost approximately half to two-thirds the price as you'd expect to see in the United States or Canada. There is no sales tax, although some hotels will add 21% to the bill.
As for tipping, you can add 10% tip if you think the service has been good. You can tip porters a quarter to a dollar per bag. You don't need to tip taxi drivers. Professional tour guides appreciate a US $ 5 tip per day, and drivers US $ 2-3 per day. For exceptional private guides, you may want to tip US $ 10.
If you're looking to shop in Argentina, Buenos Aires is the place to buy antiques, art deco-style furniture, artwork, fashion, leather, and gaucho-style textiles. The San Telmo Antiques Market in Buenos Aires is a huge market open on Sundays - a must for shoppers.
The official language of Argentina is Spanish, although English is spoken in most hotels and tourist destinations. All of our tour guides are English-speaking. The Argentines use the second-person "vos" instead of "tu," which most other Latin American countries use.
Learning a few basic Spanish phrases will make it much easier and enjoyable as you travel through Argentina. We recommend that you take a "Spanish for Travelers" class at your local community center, or with a software program such as Rosetta Stone. Many travel guidebooks include brief language sections - study up before you go to familiarize yourself with basic Spanish.
The dining options in Buenos Aires are endless. This is a city that takes dining seriously, and meals can easily last a few hours. Nobody starts eating until 9pm or later. Main courses usually consist of an asado, barbecued beef. There are several parrilla steak houses in Buenos Aires where you can find asado of excellent quality. The local wine is also good, especially the reds. You also might want to try yerba mate, the traditional gaucho drink. The national deserts are dulce de leche, a milk jelly, and alfajores, a cookie sandwich made with dulce de leche.
Breakfast in the hotels we work with will usually provide a breakfast of coffee, tea, juice, yogurt, pastries, toast, fruit, and/or cereal.
Afternoon tea is a common ritual. Argentines gather to drink mate and perhaps have a pastry or toasted sandwich. Lunch is served around 2 PM or later. Note that the word "entree" means "appetizer," and the main dish is the "plato principal."
Dinner is served late, after 9 PM, in Buenos Aires as well as most of Argentina.
Argentina is a safe country to visit, but traffic can be terrible in Buenos Aires and major cities, so use caution as you walk about the city and give yourself plenty of time to get from place to place. Some neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, such as Retiro and La Boca, should be avoided at night. When hailing a cab, have your hotel or the restaurant call to request an official cab. Carry a copy of your passport, but keep the original in the hotel safe. Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for pit-pocketers.
We recommend that you leave valuable jewelry - including watches - at home, as well as expensive electronics. Carry a money belt, use the hotel safe to hold your passport and other important documents.
All our tours include professional tour guides, and we will arrange all transportation, transfers, hotels, and tours that we know personally and recommend highly.
For US Citizens, the State Department recommends bookmarking the Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts page, following their Twitter and Facebook accounts, and/or downloading their free Smart Traveler App through iTunes to stay up-to-date on travel warnings and news. They also offer useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has some recommendations on travelling safely in Argentina.
Visiting Argentina shouldn't cause any health concerns. You may want to consider getting a Yellow Fever vaccine if visiting Iguazu Falls and the northeastern jungle region. Dengue fever may also be present in the northeaster regions. Prevent infection by bringing 100% DEET mosquito repellent and wearing long-sleeve clothing.
Consult your doctor or the World Health Association website about vaccinations and other travel-related medical recommendations. Please note that our travel consultants cannot give medical advice.
While you are traveling abroad, consider obtaining travel insurance and additional medical coverage. Travel insurance can be useful in case of trip cancellation, trip delays, and other unforeseen events. We recommend TravelSafe travel insurance for citizens of the US; for citizens of other countries, check out http://www.squaremouth.com.
Medical coverage can be useful if your primary medical insurance plan does not cover you abroad, or is very limited for overseas travel. Inquire as to whether your primary medical insurance plan includes trips to a foreign hospital or a medical evacuation. For US citizens, consult the US State Department's medical insurance overseas page.
The majority of the hotels we work with offer Internet access and international telephone dialing, although for calling home, you'll get better rates by using an Internet-based phone service such as Skype.
Internet cafes in major cities - and even in small towns - are easy to find. Just ask for the "cafe de Internet." There are also lots of wi-fi hotspots in major cities.
If you bring your smartphone, you can put it on airplane mode to avoid roaming, and then enable Wi-Fi to access the Internet. From there, you can download VOIP apps to allow you to call home. Read our Top Recommended Mobile Apps for Travelling in South America.
Click here to view our Recommended Argentina Hotels.
Note that hotel standards in South America can be somewhat misleading, because the standards are not as high as in North America or Europe. If you're used to a standard 4-star accommodations, you may want to consider looking at superior rooms in 4-star hotels or even a standard room in a 5-star hotel. The hotels that we work with are vetted by our staff, and we receive consistently positive feedback about these hotels.
Read articles from our blog about traveling in Argentina.