Argentina Travel Information
Planning a trip to Argentina? Here are some items to consider:
Visa for Argentina Canadians and Americans tourists do not need to get a special visa in advance of their trip, but will be given a visitors card to fill in on the inbound flight, Hang on to this as you will need to give it back when you leave. See Do I need a visa page to check for other types of visas for other nationalities or business travel.
Reciprocity Tax : Like a visa, but not, this reciprocity tax is charged to visitors from America ($130 USD), Canada ($100 CAD), and Australia ($70 AUD); these fees may change.
The amount for Americans, Canadians and Australians is based on what their respective governments charge Argentinians to enter their countries. You pay the fee when arriving by air at Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport, and it covers multiple entries for ten years. If you renew your passport before the reciprocity expiration date, have it transferred to your new passport.
Check before travel to see if you have to pay in cash, and what currency, or if you can use a credit card. There's an option to pay a higher fee that covers multiple entries. I paid the fee for Canadians by credit card when I entered Argentina from Australia. If you enter Argentina by road or boat, there is no reciprocity fee charged.
"All foreign visitors arriving in Argentina’s international airport of Ezeiza and who live in countries that charge the Argentines before they enter, will have to pay a reciprocity tax." Mercopress news
Argentina Airports I came to Buenos Aires via Ushuaia in the far south, so I arrived at the domestic airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP). International arrivals come to Ministro Pistarini International Airport, known as Ezeiza (EZE), for the district in which it's located, about 40 minutes driving time from downtown (see Airport Information), though it only took my driver 20 minutes to get to my hotel in the Centro area. Incidentally, Duty Free shops at EZE have very reasonable prices.
Where to Stay Argentina:
- Ushuaia Argentina Hotels: The Hotel Albatross has rooms overlooking Ushuaia Bay and cruise ship dock, so ask for a room at the front. The Hotel del Glaciar is right at the base of the ski hill and offers fabulous views of Ushuaia. Generally, hotels that are a short distance from downtown Ushuaia -- usually up a mountain side -- offer great views of the Beagle Channel and are in quieter locations. Hotels and hostels located in Ushuaia are located on busy streets that can be noisy throughout the night.
- Buenos Aires Hotels : I stayed at the Hotel Bristol in Buenos Aires last trip. I liked the location close to Av 16 Julio and the obelisk. I could walk to Florida Street and Santa Fe Av shopping areas, and Casa Rosada. Lots of restos in the area, and the hotel was most comfy, with good internet in lobby. I stayed at the Americas Towers, also in Centro, and the boutique hotel Esplendour Hotel Palermo, to see different parts of the city. There are hundreds of great hotels in Buenos Aires: Check out the ones I mention, and read reviews for all hotels.
- Mendoza Hotels: I toured the wineries around Mendoza, and stayed at the Villagio Hotel, and really enjoyed it. Ssee my pictures and info at Villagio Hotel,
What to Pack for Argentina Best time to travel is usually the shoulder seasons in spring and fall (opposite months to northern hemisphere) for fewer crowds and better prices. If you want to ski the Andes, plan to travel in June, July, August. The antipodean summer months of November, December, January, February can be very hot, especially in the north. Layer, layer, layer.
See Tips for packing clothers for South America and my main Travel Tips section. If you're traveling to warmer, more tropical areas such as Buenos Aires and Iguazu on the same trip as I did, you'll need to pack different clothes than if you are going to be spending all your time down south to Ushuaia and Tierra Del Fuego where the weather is much cooler.
What Money (Currency) do they use in Argentina? Argentine Peso (ARS) $1 ARS = $.30USD OR $1USD=$3 ARS (See travel currency tips for how to carry travel money)
What side of the road do they drive on? In Argentina, they drive on the right.
Argentina Travel Maps and Guidebooks Airports and hotels have usually will have tourism maps in brochures, and they might be all you need. Or get a travel guidebook, now -- like these on Amazon: Lonely Planet Argentina, Insight Guide, or Frommer's Argentina and Chile or Fodor's Argentina. Look for the most recent ones.
What is the food like in Argentina? Similar to foods in North America and Europe, but with Argentina's own special touches. I wish I'd had my copy of Food and Drink in Argentina (Amazon) before I traveled. It's a small book that's geared to tourists and residents, and fits into a purse or pocket. I've posted specific food information and pictures on the Argentina cities pages. See also my Blog post about chimichuri.
What Language do they speak in Argentina? The official language of Argentina is Spanish, but with their own Argentine style. For example, consider the word 'llama': in English, it's pronounced 'lamma'; in Santiago, Chile, it's pronounced 'yamma'; in Patagonia, South Chile, it's pronounced 'jamma'; here in Argentina, they say 'shamma'.
Take this along: Get a copy of the Spanish (Latin American) Phrasebook! English is commonly spoken (especially in larger centers), as well as German and Italian, but I heard little French (Many South American tourism people expressed a desire to learn French, but said they found French pronunciation, especially the 'G' sounds, very difficult)
Is it safe to travel to Argentina? Generally, yes, taking normal precautions as you would at home. Do leave good jewellery and watches, etc at home. Avoid costume jewellery in gold and silver colors: A mugger isn't going to stop and assay first. Economic conditions change rapidly leading to an upturn in muggings. Keep laptops etc secure and out of sight as much as possible. See my Disclaimer page for links to UK, USA, Canada, Australia government travel advisories pages, and check for any current issues.
Travel Health and Vaccinations for Argentina Consult a travel health clinic once you know where you'll be going. Argentina is a long country, north to south, and what is a risk in tropical areas like Iquazu Falls is likely non-existant in Ushuaia and Tierra Del Fuego. Generally, the tap water is potable (safe to drink) though once, in Iguazu, recent floods temporarily mandated bottled drinking water. Check current World Health Organization Argentina and make sure your regular vaccinations (see tips here) are up to date.