Argentina Country Guide
Passport & Visa Requirements
|Country||Visa Required||Reciprocity Fees||Return Ticket Required|
|Rest of World||Citizen of countries NOT mentioned on this list, it is vital that you check your specific visa requirements before traveling to Argentina. We recommend visiting VisaHQ to stay up-to-date with all the latest visa & passport requirements. Visit VisaHQ.com|
Travelers from New Zealand, South Africa, and many other Latin American countries DO NOT REQUIRE A VISA to enter Argentina. However, it is still very important you check with your local consulate or embassy for the most up-to-date visa & passport requirements.
Citizens of ALL countries: To enter Argentina, your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after your travel dates. For example, if you are traveling to Argentina in March, your passport must be valid through September of that year.
We strongly recommend making copies of your passport. Keep your original passport locked away in the safe of your hotel and carry a photocopy of your passport with you during your travels. You might also consider purchasing a passport holder to keep all your documents safe.
Tourist visas for most countries are NOT REQUIRED for entry into Argentina. Instead, you will receive a visa stamp valid for 90 days upon arrival. However, prior to traveling, it is always a good idea to check with the nearest Embassy for the most up-to-date information.
Note about traveling to the Iguazu Falls:
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 Iguazu Falls (even just for a day trip), you will need to obtain a Brazil tourist visa, and/or a Paraguay tourist visa. For tourist visa information to enter Brazil, please see our Brazil Visa & Passport page.
We highly recommend visiting the World Health Organization website for the most up-to-date country-specific vaccination requirements.
General Consulate of Argentina in Houston, Texas, USA
Address: 2200 West Loop South, Suite 1025
Houston, Texas 77027, U.S.A.Hours: Monday through Friday from 9 am to 1 pm
Emergency Phone: 832-279-5096
Consular jurisdiction: Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
Email address: [email protected]
From outside of South America, most flights to Argentina are to Buenos Aires Ezeiza airport (EZE). There are also regional South America flights to other cities in Argentina such as Mendoza, Cordoba and Salta with Latam, Avianca and Copa.
Flights from the United States to Argentina
There are flights from New York airports JFK and Newark to Buenos Aires with American Airlines, United Airlines and Aerolineas Argentinas. Delta fly from Atlanta to Buenos Aires. American Airlines also have flights from Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami to Buenos Aires. Other airlines which connect Miami and Buenos Aires include Latam and Aerolineas Argentinas. Additionally, United fly from Houston to Buenos Aires. So plenty of choice!
Flights from Canada to Argentina
Air Canada flies from Toronto to Buenos Aires with a stop on the way in Santiago.
Flights from Europe to Argentina
British Airways and Norwegian fly from London to Buenos Aires. Air France KLM flies between Amsterdam and Paris and Buenos Aires. Lufthansa flies from Frankfurt, Swiss from Zurich and Alitalia from Rome. From Madrid, there are many flights to Buenos Aires including with Iberia, Air Europa and Aerolineas Argentinas. A new route from Madrid to Puerto Iguazu begins in 2019. Budget airline Level flies from Barcelona. Turkish Airlines fly via Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires.
Flights from the Middle East to Argentina
Qatar flies from Doha with a stop Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires. Emirates flies from Dubai with a stop in Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires.
Flights from Africa to Argentina
Star Alliance members Ethiopian Airlines fly from Addis Ababa with a stop in Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires. From South Africa, a change of planes in Sao Paulo is likely to be your best option.
Flights from Australia and New Zealand to Argentina
Air New Zealand flies from Auckland to Buenos Aires. From Australia, you can fly via Santiago or Auckland.
Flights from Asia to Argentina
Flying through Europe or the Middle East will be your quickest route between most Asian countries and Argentina.
Domestic flights in Argentina
There is now more competition than there used to be on domestic flights in Argentina with new companies such as Norwegian and Fly Bondi starting to lower fares on the bigger airlines Aerolineas Argentinas and Latam. Often you’ll have to fly via Buenos Aires which has a domestic downtown airport called Aeroparque. Close to travel, domestic flights can get pricey, especially at peak times in Patagonia, so the earlier flights are purchased the better.
Central Argentina consists of the Pampas, Cordoba Hills, Mar de Plata, and Buenos Aires. In central Argentina, the weather is mostly hot and humid during the summer and cool and dry during the winter.
Buenos Aires faces Uruguay to the north and rests very close to the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is temperate with distinct seasons. You can expect warm weather in the Fall, ranging from 10-21 degrees Celsius, cooler weather in the Winter ranging from 2-12 degrees Celsius, and Spring and Summer experience warmer weather ranging from 13-31 degrees Celsius.
The northeastern edge of Argentina is covered in the Atlantic Rainforest jungle, and the northwestern side of Argentina remains a desert region with high-altitude plains and river valleys. The Andes run on a line starting from northern Argentina 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).
Take note of the three major seasons in Argentina: the low season, the shoulder season, and the high season.
The low season is from June to August and is a fantastic time to visit northern Argentina. Some beach resorts can close, and snow can block mountain passes. Note that July is a highly popular month for tourism in Argentina, and destinations can get very busy.
The shoulder season is from September to November and March to May. This shoulder season is the best time to visit Argentina if you’re focused on temperature. The Lake District is beautiful during this time of the year as the leaves start to change color. Visit Mendoza because the grapes are in full harvest, and the wine festival begins!
The high season in Argentina is from November to February, and the month of July. During the high season, in Patagonia, the weather is perfect. Many people come to hike and explore the Patagonia region. Beaches become crowded from late December through January, and the ski resorts are packed with guests from June to August.
Remember that the seasons in the southern hemisphere are opposite of North America.
Best Time to Travel
Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world, and has one of the greatest varieties of ecosystem on the planet. With a country so large, you must look at the region you want to travel to in order to determine the best time to go. Located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons of Argentina are opposite to those in North America. Winter is from June to September and summer is from December to March. So when is the best time for you to travel to Argentina? Well it depends on what you’re looking to do when you get there!
Buenos Aires is best enjoyed in the spring and fall, which are the months of March through May and October through November. The summer time is also great if you’re a fan of the heat and humidity! If you travel there during the months June to August, you will most likely run into some cold and cloudy weather.
If you’re headed for the northwestern part of Argentina, expect to find destinations like Salta, Jujuy, Tucuman and Cafayate. These locations have exceptional landscapes, striking mountains, and rich indigenous cultures. Sitting at a perfect altitude for growing Torrontes grapes, the northwestern region of Argentina can produce a white wine that is only seen in this region of the world. Take note that the air here will be dry and temperatures tend to be lower.
Looking for some fabulous wine? Well, head to Mendoza. Mendoza is famous for its wine and beautiful views of the Andes mountains. And the best part of Mendoza is that it receives sunshine year-round! Visit Aconcagua during the summer months when the region experiences comfortable temperatures, and an arid climate. This is a perfect time to hike, or explore the red soil and winding rivers of the region.
If a tropical vacation is calling your name, head to Northeastern Argentina. The climate here is subtropical and experiences high temperatures with frequent rainfall. The best time to visit is during the months September to November, when the temperature drops to a comfortable level and crowds tend to be smaller. This is the best time to visit Iguazu Falls, and the Atlantic Rainforest.
If you are searching for a destination with beautiful landscapes of lakes and mountains, look no further than Bariloche! It has been dubbed the “Switzerland of South America” for its incredible scenery and European influence. You can visit Bariloche year round, but the best time to visit would be between September and April.
For the hikers and explorers out there, we recommend visiting southern Patagonia, especially Ushuaia and El Calafate, between October and March. The rest of the year tends to be chilly, with the accommodations & activities being very limited.
One exception to this is in Puerto Madryn, which we do recommend going a bit earlier if you’re looking to spot the whales! The best time of year to visit for whale-watching is between September and November.
So as you can see, Argentina is a perfect place to visit any time of year! Just make sure that if weather is an important factor, to plan carefully to see your preferred destinations at the right times of year.
Money, Budgeting & Tipping for Argentina
The currency in Argentina is the Argentinean peso. The Argentinean peso is subject to inflation and changes on an almost daily basis. When looking to exchange currency, take note that there is an official exchange rate and an unofficial exchange rate. You may be able to get more for your US dollar if you exchange with money-changers on the street or with exchange agencies. But it is safer and convenient if you exchange currency at a hotel or bank. Credit card issues use the official exchange rate, so you will be better off paying with cash for smaller purchases.
It is 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 smart idea to bring two types of credit card, just in case one is not accepted. If you are concerned about your credit card information being stolen abroad, upgrade your credit card to the chip-installed version for extra security protection. Credit cards that are commonly accepted abroad include Visa, MasterCard, and Diners Club. Some merchants and restaurants will add a credit card transaction fee.
Notify your bank well in advance that you will be traveling to Argentina. For certain banks, such as Wells Fargo, you will have to add a “Travel Plan,” so that you can use your debit and credit cards in locations outside of your home country. ATM’s will be plentiful in major cities as well as small towns. You shouldn’t have a problem finding one to withdraw some cash. While shopping, you may be asked to show your ID, such as a driver’s license. In this case, it is best to make a copy of your passport or carry your ID with you, and leave your passport in the hotel safe.
Beware of counterfeit bills. If you exchange currency on the street, you may be subjected to counterfeit bills. Consider purchasing a marker that can help detect counterfeit bills, from shops in Argentina. These markers cost a few pesos and also work on Peruvian and Bolivian currency. Meals and drinks will generally cost half to two-thirds the price you’d see in the United States or in Canada. There is no sales tax in Argentina, though some hotels will add 21% to the bill.
As for tipping, you can add 10% if you think the service has been good. You can also tip porters a quarter to a dollar per bag. You don’t need to tip taxi drivers. Professional tour guides appreciate a $5 tip per day, and drivers expect a $2 to $3 tip per day. If you have an exceptional private guide, consider tipping up to $10.
For shopping in Argentina, Buenos Aires is the best place to buy antiques, art deco-style furniture, artwork, fashion, leather, and gaucho-style textiles. Head to the San Telmo Antiques Market that opens every Sunday. This 20-block market has all sorts of art, handcrafted goods, and street food available. It is a must for travelers craving a fabulous international shopping experience.
Argentina is the fourth largest Spanish-speaking country (after Mexico, Spain & Colombia), but the dialect is slightly different from the Spanish you will hear in other parts of Central or South America. At the beginning of the 20th century, Argentina received a wave of Italian immigrants that greatly influenced the language. As they settled, a new tongue evolved. When traveling through Argentina, it would be helpful to learn to speak like the porteños – the “people of the harbor”.
The most easily identifiable sound is the “sh.” A porteño, instead of pronouncing words with “ll” as “y”, pronounces them with a “sh” sound. Pollo (chicken) would be “posho” instead of “poyoh”.
Another important difference is the usage of “vos” instead of “tu” (you) when speaking. Known as “voseo”, Argentina is one of the few Spanish-speaking countries that uses it. Other countries that use it, are neighboring Uruguay, El Salvador and Honduras.
While traveling through Argentina, you will also come across their special slang, called “lunfardo”. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the lower class segments of Buenos Aires. It contains elements of not only Spanish and Italian, but also Portuguese and other languages. A common way to speak in “lunfardo” is to reverse the syllables of a certain word. For example, café, becomes “feca” and tango becomes “gotan”.
Other popular words that are not in reverse are:
- guita – money
- mina – young woman, girl (comes from the italian femmina)
- mango – an Argentine peso
While Spanish is the dominant language in Argentina, there are many other languages spoken in Argentina. They include Italian (second most spoken language in Argentina), Quechua (mainly spoken by Bolivian immigrants who settled in Northern Argentina) and Guaraní (mainly spoken in the province of Corrientes).
Today, there is a lot of access to language learning. If you are a carrier of a smartphone, we recommend downloading the Duolingo app. Duolingo offers lessons in Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and more. If you don’t have a smartphone with access to language apps, we recommend taking 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. With some studying and a little bit of practice, you may be able to show off your language skills with the locals!
In most hotels and tourist destinations, the staff will be English-speaking and all of our guides are English-speaking.
A few phrases for meat lovers in Argentina:
- bien jugoso – rare
- jugoso – medium-rare
- a punto – medium
- bien cocida – well done
Recommended Food & Drink
In 4 star superior and 5 star hotels, you can expect eggs and other hot dishes served at breakfast. In all hotels, expect coffee, tea, juice, yogurt, pastries, toast, fruit, and cereal. Afternoon tea is common in Argentina, as many gather to drink mate with a pastry or toasted sandwich on the side. All meals in Argentina, start later in the day compared to the United States and Europe. Usually, lunch is served around 1 pm or later and dinner is served around 9 pm.
Buenos Aires is a city that takes dining seriously, and meals can easily last for hours. Argentina is renowned for steak, and there are several parrilla steak houses in the city, where you can find asado – barbecued beef, of excellent quality. Pair an asado with a glass of red wine for the ultimate dining delight.
A typical Argentine barbecue will also include “chimichurri”, a green salsa made of parsley, organ, onion and chili pepper; “provoleta” or grilled cheese; and for starters, a traditional “empanada” the most common pastry, usually filled with red meat and onions. Also, the “choripan” is Argentina’s most famous sandwich or snack, with a barbecue or more specifically, before a football match.
Some great steak houses are: Don Julio, La Cabrera, La Brigada and Calden del Soho.
Due to Italian immigration in the early 1900s, pasta and pizza are very popular. There are many Italian restaurants, and most typical Argentine restaurants or old school “bodegones” or canteens serving no-frills dishes, base their food in Italian influenced recipes. Pizza has its own style in Argentina, and for a typical BA pizza, head to Corrientes Avenue and try the thick dough-super cheesy delicacy (Guerrin, Banchero and Palacio de la Pizza are good examples)
Italians also contributed to Argentines passion for ice cream, and you can try some of the world’s best gelato in the different shops that populate the country. Some great places to visit are: Chungo, Freddo, Papa Nui and Luccianno’s.
You can’t leave Argentina, let alone a meal, without trying their national desserts. The national desserts consist of dulce de leche, a sweet confection of milk jelly, and the alfajores cookie. An alfajores is a cookie sandwich filled with dulce de leche. They can be found in Spain, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil.
Over the last few years Argentina has experienced a gastronomy boom, so there are also great restaurants specializing in modern, groundbreaking cuisine, mixing Argentine and Latin American food, in a brand new way. Some good examples are ILatina, Tegui, Aramburu, Chila
More restaurants in Buenos Aires:
La Cabrera: If you’re looking for steak, La Cabrera has top quality steaks that are slow-cooked and bring out the flavor of Argentine grass-fed beef.
Don Julio: Located in Palermo, this family owned parrilla offers excellent food, great wines, and friendly staff that’ll make you come back for more.
The Argentine Experience: If you are looking for a cultural experience where you can indulge in traditional Argentine cuisine, spend an evening cooking delicious dishes at the Argentine Experience.
Hierba Buena: A healthy alternative to the steak houses in Buenos Aires with salads, fresh fruit smoothies, fish and vegetarian plates, and more.
i Latina: This popular restaurant is Buenos Aires’ best closed-door restaurant that serves the flavors of Latin America in a unique and sophisticated way.
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 pick-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 on 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 traveling 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 northeastern 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.
Travel & Medical Insurance
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 https://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.
Internet Access & Telephones
With exciting cities, beautiful mountains, vineyards, and tropical waterfalls, Argentina is a great place to disconnect and soak up your surroundings. That said, for those who have to stay connected, here are our tips:
Most hotels in Argentina provide internet access (sometimes at a cost) and international telephones – although for calling home, you will likely receive better rates using an internet-based phone service such as Skype or WhatsApp. Do not expect good WiFi access in all locations, especially in remote lodges and on cruises. In particular, in Argentina parts of Patagonia, the region around Salta (outside of Salta itself) and parts of the province of Missiones are remote areas and WiFi should not be relied on. On the Australis cruise from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas, there is no internet.
For heavy internet users, a service such as Skyroam, a wireless hotspot device might be your best option for connecting to the internet in Argentina. GlocalMe is another good hotspot option. If you plan on bringing your smartphone to Argentina, make sure to remember to leave it on airplane mode to avoid any roaming charges. Just enable WiFi to access the Internet.
We don’t recommend buying a cell phone or sim card in Argentina. There are often long waits, non-English speaking employees and local ID may be required. In addition, if you are traveling to multiple countries within South America, you will most likely need to buy a sim card for each. The easiest option for travel to Argentina is to get a plan with your carrier in your home country that allows you to make emergency calls and/ or receive texts. If you do choose to buy a sim card in Argentina, ask your guide where they recommend finding one and make sure your telephone is unlocked. Before traveling, consider checking about international call options and prices with your network provider.
When traveling to Argentina, we recommend taking an electrical adapter on your trip. Some hotels in Argentina provide adapters, but you should not rely on this. Before using adapters make sure to check the voltage of your electronic device to ensure that you have a charger equipped to handle a higher voltage. If not, you will need to use a voltage converter.
Argentina uses plug type and socket type I. The standard voltage is 220 V and frequency 50 Hz.
- When traveling from the USA or Canada to Argentina, you will need an electrical adaptor and voltage converter.
- When traveling from Australia or New Zealand to Argentina, you will need an electrical adaptor.
- When traveling from the UK, Ireland, Malaysia or Singapore to Argentina, you will need an electrical adaptor.
- When traveling from South Africa to Argentina, you will need an electrical adaptor.
Depending on where and when you travel to Argentina will determine how you pack.
Buenos Aires: Are you going to spend most of your time in Buenos Aires? With a bustling city, make sure you have a jacket with plenty of pockets, a handy bag (such as a cross-body purse, or backpack), and your traveler’s camera case. The city’s weather can vary throughout the year, and often times resembles the weather changes of San Francisco. So, plan on packing a little bit of everything in terms of clothing.
Patagonia: If you’re visiting Patagonia, you will want to bring extra layers and a warm jacket for when temperatures drop. It would be a shame to travel all the way to Patagonia, and not go for a hike. Make sure to pack some sturdy, and comfortable hiking boots or exercise shoes. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a nice rain jacket, in case of a downpour.
Wine Country: Planning on sipping some of Argentina’s finest wine in the countryside during the summer season? It may be warm during the daytime hours, but once the sun begins to set, you may need to pull out a light jacket as temperatures start to drop.
Regardless of when you visit, here are a few essential things to pack for Argentina.
- Your passport, valid for at least 6 months after your travel dates
- Copy of your passport
- Any tourist visas necessary (see additional info above)
- Another form of identification, such as a driver’s license
- Cash for meals, souvenirs, and tips (budget according to how much these items cost in your home country)
- A camera with extra memory and/or batteries (You can share your trip photos on our Facebook page!)
- Your smartphone, set to airplane mode to avoid roaming charges, with our 12 Recommended Mobile Apps for Traveling
Hotel accommodations are an essential part of traveling. After a long day of tour guides, excursions, and exploring on your own, we want you to relax and rejuvenate in your hotel of choice.
Choose from an abundance of 4-star and 5-star hotels throughout the country of Argentina. However, take 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 standard 4-star accommodation, you may want to consider looking at superior rooms in 4-star hotels or even a standard room in a 5-star hotel.
Our expert staff vets the hotels that we work with, and we receive consistently positive feedback about these hotels.
View our recommended hotels in Argentina:
For more information, check out our blog on the 5 Hotels You Need to Add to Your Bucket List.
Argentina Blog Posts
Read articles from our blog about traveling in Argentina.
- Where Should I Go For a Historic Tour of Argentina?
- Why You Should Experience the Beautiful Waterfalls in Argentina
- Travel Guide to El Chalten: Argentina’s Gateway to Patagonia
- What to do in Salta & Northern Argentina: Here You’ll Linger Longer
- The Best Ski Resorts in Argentina