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Travel Guide to Argentina with Local Expertise

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Argentina at a glance

Argentina is so diverse it can be hard to decide where to start exploring. From the dramatic sun-kissed mountains in the north to the stunning frozen landscapes of Patagonia, the natural scenery of Argentina provides various sublime views. While the country’s stereotypes may leave you with visions of gauchos horseback riding across broad Pampas plains, seductive tango dancers locked in sensual embraces and buoyant soccer fans chanting Maradona’s name, the country offers so much more.

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Like the ‘Abrazo cerrado’ embrace of tango, Buenos Aires’ enthralling metropolis will take hold of you with its stunning sights and sounds. When it comes to culture, history, nightlife, and fashion, Buenos Aires easily keeps up with any other world capital. The dusk till dawn nightlife is unforgettable; the rich cafe culture slows down the fast pace of the city, and the array of restaurants takes you on an impressive tour of Argentina’s finest meats and wines. In the north of Argentina, you’ll encounter pristine villages with colonial architecture and traditional cultures in the cities and towns of Salta, Cafayate, and Jujuy. Running down the west of Argentina is the emblematic Andes which offer opportunities to enjoy spectacular landscapes and outdoor activities. From cascading waterfalls and pristine lakes to the most incredible mountain scenery in the Americas, the Patagonia Lake District is not only a hiker's wonderland but a feast for your eyes. At the southernmost tip of South America and the doorway to Antarctica lies the magical frozen world and huge glacial fields of Patagonia. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, the penguins, whales and marine wildlife of Peninsula Valdes in the south and the vast, verdant wetlands of Esteros del Ibera in the northwest will keep you more than entertained. Argentina has much to offer, including the wonder that is Iguazu Falls. Read on to find out more about where to go and what to do in Argentina as well as other useful information.


Important Info When Visiting Argentina

Useful Traveler Information

This is the section with a road map to help you in planning your trip to Argentina, give an idea of a general idea of the region, what areas may be of interest, visas and other great information worth considering when preparing for your journey to the region.


All travelers need a valid passport for at least 90 days after your departure from Argentina. However, we strongly recommend traveling with at least 6 months validity on your passport at all times. If you are a U.S. citizen we recommend visiting VisaHQ who can help you with a range of expedited passport services, including new passport applications, passport renewals, and any required visas. Argentina requires that you have sufficient unused pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure. Check with your airline in case you have any connecting flights overseas as part of your journey to Argentina. It may be the case that countries you pass through en route to your destination may require a separate transit visa.

Family travel

Taking the Family to Argentina? It’s the family vacation of a lifetime. Taking in incredible sights such as Iguazú Falls, the Perito Moreno Glacier or a southern right whale in Puerto Madryn are bound to make a lasting impression. Within the towns and cities, there are plenty of parks and tree-lined town squares to enjoy, while Argentina’s stunning national parks will dazzle your kids with everything from mighty glaciers and mountains to mesmerizing waterfalls. If your kids love cowboys, they’re in for a treat in Argentina. They’ll be able to spot Gauchos strolling through the cities or riding their way through the Pampas, with plenty of chances to join them, especially with a day visit or stay at a traditional estancia. Involving the family in nature, you’ll all be able to enjoy spotting walrus, southern right and killer whales, and penguins in the south and, plus capybara, giant anteaters, and alligators in the north and east.

Culture & Language

Argentine Spanish is different from the Spanish spoken in other Spanish speaking countries, with the most notable difference being with the use of ‘vos’ instead of ‘tu’ in the second person. Argentinians also have different pronunciations with ‘ll’ and ‘y’ becoming ‘sh’. The differences to the Spanish spoken in Argentina are not so significant that if you already speak some Spanish, communicating won’t be a problem. Argentina is home to more languages than just Spanish, divided into two groups. The first group includes indigenous languages spoken in different regions of the country such as Mapuche, Quechua, Toba, and Guarani. The second group consists of the languages spoken by immigrants such as Welsh in Puerto Madryn and German in Bariloche. Many of the immigrant groups continue to converse in their language to keep their culture alive. French, Polish and Russian can also be heard along with large communities of Koreans, Chinese and Iranians in Argentina.

Food Scene & Dining

All meals in Argentina start later in the day than in the United States. Usually, lunch is served around 2 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 its steak, and there are several parrilla steakhouses in every Argentine city where you can find asado, barbecued beef, of excellent quality. Pair an asado with a glass of Malbec wine for the ultimate dining delight. You may also consider trying yerba mate with a dish at dinner, as it is the traditional gaucho drink. You can’t leave Argentina, let alone a meal, without trying their national dessert consisting of dulce de leche, a sweet confection of milk jelly, and the alfajores cookie. Alfajores are cookie sandwiches filled with dulce de leche. Your final program recommends our favorite restaurants throughout the country.

Thinking Safety

Generally speaking, Argentina is safe, but you should be careful of pickpockets, particularly in the larger cities. Keep a close eye on your belongings and don’t wear flashy jewelry or expensive show-off laptops, your iPhone or camera. Don’t take more cash with you than needed for the day, and keep your money close to your body with your passport and other documents. We recommend not hanging your bag over your chair at a restaurant, and instead of keeping it close to you. Some restaurants have tables with bag clips underneath so you can keep your bag safe while you eat. Don’t leave your wallet, cell phone, or purse on top of the table as they will attract opportunistic thieves. If you’re going to be traveling any real distance at night, Uber is available in Argentina and should be your go-to for getting around. If you do use Uber, it’s not uncommon for the driver to request that someone sits in the front passenger seat.

Vaccinations & Health

No vaccinations are required to visit Argentina, but please review the US Center for Disease Control & Prevention Recommendations. Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include the MMR vaccine, DTP vaccine, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and your yearly flu shot. Travelers do not need Yellow Fever inoculations which are not required for many countries in South America, however, sometimes they are required if you travel from one endemic country to another. For example, if you travel to Brazil you do not need a vaccination, however, if traveling to Bolivia and then on to Brazil it IS required, and if you don’t have a certificate, you will not be allowed to enter the country. Argentina does not have yellow fever so you can travel from Argentina to Brazil or vice versa without the certificate/vaccination. Visit your doctor or travel clinic for advice and make sure to schedule vaccinations 4-6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective.

Money & Currency

Argentina’s official currency is the Peso and the exchange rate as of 2018 is approximately ~ ARS $35.00 to USD $1.00 (for up to date exchange rates go to XE Currency Converter). Make sure to bring cash with you in US Dollars as they can be easily exchanged throughout Argentina. Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, and American Express are all accepted within Argentina, although Visa is by far the most widely accepted. You may have difficulties with changing your traveler’s checks outside of Buenos Aires. You shouldn’t have any problems using larger bills unless you are buying a small amount and try to use a ARS $500 or ARS $1000 bill, especially in smaller stores such as kiosks. They might not accept it as they may not have enough change to give back to you.

Getting around

From Argentina’s northernmost point to the End of the World in Ushuaia, Argentina stretches over 2,268 miles and 889 miles from east to west and is just slightly less than 1/3 the size of the USA. If you want to see all of Argentina’s highlights, the distances you’ll need to travel are pretty vast. We recommend travelers to take internal flights to save time and not endure long road trips. However, Argentina’s long-distance bus services are incredibly comfortable, and a 20+ hour bus journey is not as painful or uncomfortable as it sounds. The long-distance buses have different levels of comfort, and there isn’t much difference between a ‘comfort’ seat and a fully horizontal bed with waiter service included. In some regions of Argentina, hiring a car to drive through the stunning landscapes is the best way to get around, especially in the northeast and the Lake District in Patagonia.


Argentina recently switched its plugs and outlets to Type I (diagonal flat prongs). The neutral and line wires are reversed from those found in various countries such as Australia. You may need to take a plug adapter with you (changes your appliance plug and allows it to fit into the outlet) or a voltage converter. Before plugging anything into the outlet, double-check the voltage of your appliance to make sure that it is compatible. Travelers from North America can generally use a plug adapter with their devices such as laptops as they usually run between 120-220V and therefore they won’t need a voltage converter. However, this is not always true for other appliances which may not work at 220V such as hair dryers.

Related Blog Articles

Find out more about the culture, lifestyle, and places to travel in Argentina. We’ll be covering a range of destinations, traditions and travel tips for this incredible country on our Travel Blog. What’s better is you’ll be hearing tips straight from the horse’s mouth – from people living and working right here in Argentina. Discover our favorite restaurants in Buenos Aires, research the best Patagonia hiking trails or stay informed about upcoming festivals taking place across the country. Visit our Travel Blog for travel tips, inspiration, and all the latest news! Here are some of our favorite articles on Argentina:

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