Tips for Travel to Argentina (By a Local)

Here are some recommendations and tips for travel to Argentina, one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Written by Argentines!

From Patagonia, through the hills of the northwest, the mountain ranges in the center of the country, the waterfalls and the entire beach area facing the Atlantic Ocean, the diversity of landscapes is incredible.

El Calafate with its glaciers, Ushuaia and the end of the world, the imposing Iguazu Falls, Mendoza and the mountain range and the Northeast of Argentina, are some of the many places to visit in Argentina.

Tips for travel to Argentina

Suggested itinerary for travel in Argentina

This suggested itinerary is based on our experience traveling the country on several occasions. There are many things to visit if you are travel to Argentina:

  • If you do not have many days, the ideal is to focus on the main tourist destinations: Buenos Aires and surroundings, El Calafate, Ushuaia and Iguazu Falls. This will take about two weeks.
  • If you have three weeks, you can add a week in the mountain range area near Bariloche, or a tour of the Argentine Northwest in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy or Mendoza and surroundings.

As you can see, there are plenty of places to visit in the country. In addition to those mentioned above, it is also worth visiting the Valle de la Luna in San Juan, the sierras of Córdoba and San Luis, the Valdes peninsula near Puerto Madryn and the Iberá marshes in Corrientes.

Also from the wildlife point of view, there is a lot of diversity to see, such as penguins, sea lions and whales in Patagonia.

Travel to Argentina

Requirements to travel to Argentina as a tourist

If you are a citizen of any of the South American countries, you only need your national identity card to enter the country. Thus, citizens from Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia may stay in the country for 90 days without a passport .

If you are Spanish, member of an EU country, Mexican, Canadian, Australian, American, English, Norwegian, Swedish: the maximum stay is 90 days, no visa is required, and you must enter with a valid passport.

Citizens of the United States and Canada have to pay the so-called Reciprocity Fee. It must be paid online at least five days before departure from the country of origin. The reciprocity fee is valid for 10 years and multiple entries, or up to one month prior to the expiry date of the passport.

The electronic receipt must be shown to the airline when checking in and then presented to the immigration authorities upon arrival in Argentina. To process and pay the reciprocity fee, you must enter the official Migration website.

An extension of stay in the country can be requested for another 90 days. This request for extension must be made in person at one of the offices of the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones and must be made between 60 and 10 days prior to the expiration of the original deadline.

Argentina travel restrictions covid (2023)

There is currently no restriction or Covid form declaration for entering the country as a tourist. No vaccination certificate or PCR test is required.

Best time to travel to Argentina

Being a very large country, the climate is different in the south, north and center. Depending on the time of the year you will be traveling to Argentina, you should bring both warm and lighter clothing.

If you are going to visit Patagonia, the best time to travel is from November to March, when temperatures during the day are pleasant, although at night they drop, especially in the mountain range area. In winter it is very cold, but this is the season when people go to the ski resorts in the Andes Mountains.

If you are going to visit Iguazu Falls or the Argentine Northwest, the best time is winter, from May to October, when the heat is not suffocating. It should be taken into account that during the Argentinean summer, rainfall in the Northwest produces precipitations that flood the roads.

Buenos Aires and the central area of the country can be visited all year round. Winters are not so cold and summers are not so hot, although the summer season can be used to visit some of the beaches near Buenos Aires such as Pinamar or Mar del Plata, and even enjoy the wild beaches of Patagonia such as Puerto Madryn.

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Language spoken in Argentina

The official language is Spanish, but many people know English, especially if they go to tourist areas. It should be noted that it has a difference with Spanish, both in tone and in the use of certain words.

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Exchange money in Argentina (in 2023)

What currency does Argentina have? The currency is the Argentine peso. For reference in this article, the current exchange rate (January 2023) is: 1 euro ≅ 188 Argentine pesos, 1 dollar ≅ 178,5 Argentine pesos.

At the same time, there is a parallel market called blue, where you can exchange foreign currency for pesos at a much better exchange rate than the official one (they will give you almost twice as much pesos as in the official market). It should be noted that this is illegal, but it is a very common practice among locals. In the blue market the quotations as of January 2023 are 1 euro ≅ 335 Argentine pesos, 1 dollar ≅ 320 Argentine pesos.

Update December 2022! If you are a foreign tourist, it is no longer necessary to use the so-called blue dollar, exchanging cash for Argentine pesos. The new legislation makes it convenient to spend with a foreign credit card, because the exchange rate applied is that of the MEP dollar, whose current rate is higher than that of the blue dollar. Currently the MEP dollar is quoted at 1 euro ≅ 338 Argentine pesos, 1 dollar ≅ 322 Argentine pesos.

It should be noted that, in recent years, the Argentine peso has fluctuated constantly due to devaluation and high inflation in the country. For this reason, before traveling to Argentina, it is recommended to check the official website of Banco Nación Argentina to have an idea of the current exchange rate.

Average price in the country ≅ €15/20 per day per person taking into account the economic situation of the country in 2023, for a normal budget. This average price can change from year to year due to the country’s high inflation (more than 70% per year).

This average price may vary depending on the region to be traveled; the high prices in Patagonia are not the same as in the Northwest of Argentina, where everything can be half the price than in the south of the country.

Is it safe to travel to Argentina?

There is a lot of talk about insecurity in Argentina and we as locals can tell you that depending on where you are you have to walk carefully on the street, especially when it starts to get dark.

In general, large cities are the most conflictive. Buenos Aires, Rosario, Córdoba City, Mar del Plata, Mendoza City suffer insecurity incidents every day, although if you move around crowded places and during the day probably nothing will happen to you.

The outlook is different if you travel to the tourist places in the interior of the country. Traveling in Patagonia Argentina is very safe, there are no major incidents of insecurity and you can walk peacefully during the day and night in the cities.

The northwest of the country is also safe, just be careful at night in San Miguel de Tucumán. In Mendoza, only the city suffers some acts of insecurity, the rest of the province is safe.

In general and as locals, we can give you the following recommendations regarding safety in Argentina if you visit the big cities, especially Buenos Aires:

  • Walk in crowded places and try to avoid going out after midnight.
  • Do not wear jewelry, high-end watches, cameras or laptops in plain sight at night.
  • If you are dining out, try to return to your accommodation by cab.

Transportation for travel in Argentina

To travel in Argentina there are:

Airplanes: very useful to communicate from Buenos Aires with the north and south of the country due to the great distances that separate the cities. Thanks to the boom of low cost airlines in Argentina, there is now greater connectivity with tourist destinations without the need to go through Buenos Aires. The flag carrier and the one with the highest frequency of flights within the country is Aerolíneas Argentinas, but it also operates low cost airlines such as Flybondi or Jetsmart.

Buses: there are many companies, but we recommend it only for short trips, since a trip from Buenos Aires to Patagonia can take almost a whole day and nowadays there is not much difference in price with respect to the airplane. The bus seats are very comfortable, so you will travel in total comfort.

Train: practically non-existent to travel around the country. From Buenos Aires there are only trains to Mar del Plata, Rosario and Córdoba, but very infrequently and not very comfortably.

Ferries: ferries are used to cross the Río de la Plata and connect the city of Buenos Aires with the Uruguayan cities of Colonia or Montevideo. There are three companies that make the trip, the best known being Buquebus.

Car rental: it is a good option to move within a region, such as the seven lakes area in Patagonia, the Argentine Northwest or the surroundings of Buenos Aires. Due to the distances, it is not advisable to travel the country by car if you do not have many days, the distances are enormous and you will lose time on the road.

Tips for travel to Argentina

Lodging in Argentina

Lodging prices vary according to the area, with the most expensive places to stay being Patagonia and the capital Buenos Aires.

Hotels and hostels: these are the most frequented by tourists. There are many options for all budgets.
Average price hotel/hostel – 15-25 € /5-10 €.

We use Booking to make our hotel reservations, we are a Genius Client and this gives us access to many discounts and very juicy benefits. Just in case a better offer (better price and better location) comes along later, we usually book with free early cancellation.

Apartments: since we travel with little Benjamin, we only book apartments for more independence.
Average price apartments – 15-20 €.

Cabins: these lodgings built with wood are very typical in some places such as Patagonia or the sierras of Córdoba.
Average price cabins – 15-25 €.

Travel Guide to Argentina

Eating in Argentina

What do you eat in Argentina? In our country we are fans of meat and pasta. Due to the large number of Italian immigrants who settled in the country, pasta is always present among the local dishes.

Although the tradition of the country is that the asado, with different cuts of meat and offal, is undoubtedly the favorite to eat with the family.

Sweet treats also play an important role, with cakes and pastries sold in bakeries and cafeterias.

Let’s get to know the local dishes eaten in the country:

Asado: one of Argentina’s favorite foods. Asado is basically what in Spain is called barbacoa. It is meat cooked over charcoal or firewood on a grill. It should be noted that meat cuts in Argentina are varied and the name is very different from what they are called in other countries. Thus, we have cuts such as strip roast, matambre, vacío, tapa de asado, peceto, among others.

Dulce de Leche: the most common sweet in Argentina, you will see it everywhere. It is a mixture of milk and sugar cooked over a fire for a long time. The result is a thick and very sweet mixture, which Argentines use as a filling for cakes, alfajores, or to eat directly with toast or cookies.

Mate: the classic infusion during breakfast or snack. Yerba mate is produced in the northeast of the country. A bombilla and the mate itself, which contains the yerba mate, are used to drink the mate. Hot water is poured in and ingested through the bulb. The taste is a touch bitter, but it is a must in any Argentinean home.

Fernet con cola: although its origin is Italian, it is a very popular alcoholic beverage in the country, especially in the province of Córdoba. It has a high alcohol content, around 40 degrees, and its flavor is a touch bitter as it is a mixture of herbs. Normally to prepare the drink is served 1/3 fernet and 2/3 cola.

Argentine wines: the wines are famous in the country, being the producing region the mountain range area, mainly the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan, La Rioja, Salta and Neuquén. If you visit these provinces you will find a large number of wineries. The varieties are similar to those found in France, not by denomination of origin as in Spain. Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Bonarda are the most common.

Empanadas: very famous especially in the northwest of the country, especially in the province of Tucumán. Meat empanadas are the best known, although there are also different varieties such as humita.

◆ Regional foods: certain regions of the country have their own gastronomy, mainly the northwestern area. Here you can eat tamales, humitas and locro. In Patagonia, it is very common to eat Patagonian lamb or trout in the mountainous area of the lakes.

Alfajores: another of the typical local sweets. It is a double dough cover, which can have chocolate or dulce de leche in the middle. In turn, it may or may not be dipped in chocolate. You will find a wide variety of brands in any store (called kiosk) in the country.

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Curiosities of Argentina

  • Population: Argentina has about 40 million inhabitants, but their distribution in the country is not homogeneous. More than 30% of the population is concentrated between the capital city of Buenos Aires and the so-called Greater Buenos Aires, which includes the surrounding areas. In all of Patagonia, on the other hand, less than two million people live in an enormous territory.
  • Gauchos: one of the traditional characters of the Pampa Húmeda area (interior of the province of Buenos Aires, south of Santa Fe and Córdoba). The gaucho was a country character with a typical dress, usually riding a horse. There are many legends about this character and even the book Martín Fierrois based on him. Today, gauchos can still be seen in small towns in the interior of the province of Buenos Aires, but more modernized than in the past.
  • Mate: the usual infusion in any Argentinean table, regardless of the time of the year. It is usually eaten for breakfast or a snack and is a reason for family or friends to get together.
  • Sweet things: one of the characteristics of the country is the great variety of sweets and sweet products. There are alfajores, candies, nougats and countless cakes.
  • Argentinian-style Italian food: another Argentinian tradition that has been imported by Italian immigrants is pasta. Normally on Sundays at noon, a family gathering takes place to eat homemade pasta or pasta bought from a pasta factory.
  • The Argentine ego: there is a lot of talk about this in the world, and they are partly right. The Argentinean often comes off as arrogant, arrogant and know-it-all. Here it is not necessary to generalize, normally the porteños (that’s the name given to the inhabitants of Buenos Aires) are the ones who are most famous for their ego, but you will always find humble people in the street.
  • Customs of the indigenous population: it is well known that the Argentine territory was populated by indigenous people before the Spanish conquest. Although they were massacred centuries after centuries, there are still indigenous people in the country, especially in the northwest of Argentina, the provinces of Chaco and Formosa and the Mapuche in the south of the country. As for festivities and traditional foods of the indigenous people, traveling through the northwest of the country is where you will see the most. For example, the feast of the Pachamama (Mother Earth) is very important in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy.
  • Tango: one of the best shows in the country, mainly in the city of Buenos Aires, in neighborhoods such as San Telmo or La Boca. Originally from the cabarets, there are many “milongas” and show places in Buenos Aires to witness this wonderful dance and music that is still passed down from generation to generation.
Travel Guide to Argentina

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Tips for travel to Argentina

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