Argentina

Argentina Travel Guide

You’re about to embark on a travel adventure to “the land of silver”. Discover the cultural and natural richness of the southernmost country in South America and live a close encounter with people and nature in Iguazú and Patagonia.

Argentina is one of the southernmost countries in the world. Located in South America, its populations arise up to more than 40.000.000 people whose mother tongue is Spanish in its Argentinian version (with a slight difference in pronunciation and words from Spain). Is the second-largest country in the region after Brazil (in its territory France could be fit 3 times!), and all kinds of weather and natural landscapes can be found all over the country.

From the sophisticated Buenos Aires and it’s tango and soccer culture, to the vastness of the Pampas, the multicolored mountains and Falls of the North to mighty Patagonia and its glacier. Argentina was born as an independent country in 1810 and was named after the Latin word Argentum, which means “silver”, the color of the Río de La Plata which can be seen from Buenos Aires. It has 24 provinces and its currency is the peso Argentino. 

Attractions

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and sits on the coast of Río de la Plata, the widest river in the world. This city is the jumping point for almost any trip to Argentina, since the international airport (best known for “Ezeiza”) and a domestic airport (called “Aeroparque”) concentrated the affluent of most of the flights in the country. The port is also a popular access gate to “the city that never sleeps”, and many cruises dock every year. Culture and arts are very important in Buenos Aires, museums, architecture and theaters are widely spread, craft markets too! We recommend staying at least 5 days to wander the streets, the many cafés and taste the delicious meat for which Argentina is famous worldwide.

Location: Middle
Can be reached by: Flight/Cruise/Self-drive/Bus


Do you want to learn more about Buenos Aires? Read our Buenos Aires Travel Guide.

 

Patagonia

Patagonia is a vast region that extends from the province of Bariloche to Tierra del Fuego (which is actually a big island!). This is a legendary land and we know exactly why. Though always featuring unpredictable weather, Patagonia hosts stunning glaciers, and incredibly diverse wildlife (especially in Península Valdés, the famous marine wildlife natural reserve). This is the home of the Perito Moreno Glacier, the penguins of Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego) and the most reputed hiking trails of the región (El Chaltén).

Location: South
Can be reached by: Flight/Cruise/Self-drive/Bus

Iguazú Falls

The greatest falls in the world, and the seven natural wonders in the world. Iguazú Falls is the most international destination of Argentina and it can be visited all year round. The National Park spreads between Argentina and Brazil, so the travel adventure to Iguazú Falls usually involves crossing borders, easily doing! This is the perfect destination to live and adventure in the rainforest, meet exotic wildlife, learn about the maté (our national drink which is produced in Iguazú)  and sail near the most powerful waters of the south.

Location: Northeastern
Can be reached by: Flight/Self-drive/Bus

Do you want to learn more about Iguazú? Read our Iguazú Travel Guide.

 

Northern Argentina

This is one of the most beautiful and unexplored regions of Argentina. Salta, Jujuy and Tucumán are the main provinces known as “the North”. The natural highlights of the north are the Calchachí Valleys (Salta), the Humahuaca Gorge (Jujuy), declared World Heritage by Unesco, and the Great Salt Flats (Jujuy). But, much more can be found in the lands of the people who worship above all the Pachamama (Mother Earth). Northern Argentina is not only a trip to see fabulous landscapes but to get closer and learn from the humility of its locals and their ancient traditions.

Location: Northwest
Can be reached by: Flight/Self-drive/Bus/Train

Do you want to learn more about the North? Read our Northern Argentina Travel Guide.

Mendoza

Argentina is world-known by the tango, the Poppe, Maradona and its delicious Malbec wine! Mendoza is the capital of the wine country and a destination for food enthusiasts and sybarites. Travel to Mendoza and discover beautiful vineyards, wineries of all types and shapes and enjoy adventure tours like horseback riding and white water rafting. Mendoza sits at the base of the Cordillera de los Andes, and is the perfect escape for couples seeking to relax and enjoy an unstressful trip.

Location: Middlewest
Can be reached by: Flight/Self-drive/Bus

Do you want to learn more about Mendoza? Read our Mendoza Travel Guide.

Park Entrance Fees in Argentina, Chile & Bolivia

Iguazú Falls

Iguazú National Park Argentina – USD 26.- (Cash in pesos and credit/debit cards (Visa – Mastercard)

Iguazú National Park Brazil – USD 20.- (Payable in the equivalent in local currency or dollars in cash, credit or debit card)

San Ignacio Mini Ruins – USD  6.- (Only payable in the equivalent in local currency, in cash)

Iguazu Eco Fee:  this is a mandatory tax that you have to pay once you get to your hotel in Iguazú. It’s about $5 USD per guest, per night, and it varies according to your hotel category. Only cash is accepted.

Visit Iguazú National Park here!

 

Bariloche

Nahuel Huapi National Park – USD 17.-

Some tours require you to pay an entrance fee like Puerto Blest, Arrayanes Wood, Los Alerces, Clairlift of Cerro Catedral or Tronador, etc.

Bariloche Eco Fee:  This is a mandatory tax that you have to pay once you get to your hotel in Bariloche. It’s about $5 USD per guest, per night, and it varies according to your hotel category. Only cash is accepted.

Visit Bariloche and Nahuel Huapi National Park here!

El Calafate

Los Glaciares National Park – USD 24.- (The access ticket can be purchased by credit card (Visa/Mastercard) or in cash (Argentinean pesos).

Visit Los Glaciares National Park and the Perito Moreno Glacier here!

Ushuaia

Tierra del Fuego National Park – USD 20.- (Cash with pesos, and credit/cards: Visa – Mastercard)

Ushuaia Port Tax – USD 0.50.-

Harberton Entrance: USD 10.-

Visit Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego National Park here!

Puerto Madryn

Península Valdés – USD 11.- (Only payable in the equivalent in local currency or dollars, in cash).

Punta Tombo – USD 7.- (Only payable in the equivalent in local currency or dollars, in cash).

Visit Península Valdés and Punta Tombo here!

San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)

If you visit the park for more than 3 days, the price is USD 55

Visit the Atacama Desert here!

Puerto Varas (Chile)

Valle de la Luna – USD 5 (Only payable in the equivalent in local currency, in cash).

Geysers del Tatio – USD 12 (Only payable in the equivalent in the local currency, in cash).

Visit the Atacama Desert here!

Tips & Advices

Security

 

In every big city of the world, you have to be cautious with your belongings and South America is not an exception. Street robbery has become an increasing problem, but, fortunately, actual assault or violence is still extremely rare. A combination of common sense, caution, and listening to local advice will be your best defense against any possible mishap.

We strongly advise you not to wear valuable jewelry or watches, to use the safe box for your documentation and money while in a hotel, and to carry your valuable things in a money belt inside your clothes while you are traveling. Do not carry more cash on you than necessary. Never carry money or a wallet in your back pockets and always be aware of where you put your camera and cell phone. When you go into a restaurant, don’t leave your purse in a chair. 


Emergencies

 

Here you will find a list with useful phone numbers that can be used in case of emergency:

  • Medical Emergencies: 107 (provides free ambulance service and urgent medical attention)
  • Firefighters: 100 (for emergencies and accidents)
  •  Police Department: 101 or 911 (Direct line to the Radio Command)
  •  Civil Defense: 103 (for floods, accidents on public roads, toxic spill, )
  •  Environmental emergencies: 105 (coordinates activities with other agencies for accidents or unexpected events)

For urgent matters, we recommend contacting the Embassy and/or Consulate of your country in Argentina, which are responsible to protect and assist citizens of their country who are in other countries.

 


Yellow fever vaccine

 

The only country where the yellow fever vaccine is required is in Bolivia – and it’s only demanded in high-risk areas: Chuquisaca, La Paz, Cochabamba, Tarija, Santa Cruz, Beni & Pando.

 

Travel Insurance

 

If you are interested in getting Travel Insurance, Say Hueque has an agreement with World Nomads, a travel & medical Insurance company very well known worldwide. Please check this link on  World Nomads webpage to get a free quotation and let us know if you have any questions.

 


Best time to travel to Argentina

 

South America is located in the southern hemisphere. For that reason, our seasons are:

  • Summer:  December 21st to March 20th
  • Autumn:  March 21st to June 20th
  • Winter: June 21st to September 20th
  • Spring:  September 21st to December 20th

Argentina is a large country with a significant variation of landscapes and weathers, thus, you can visit the country all year round. 

 

Meals

 

Meals included will be stated in your itinerary. If you have a special dietary requirement we will try our best to organize every included meal for you. However, we can’t always guarantee the availability of special products. For this reason, it is very important that you let us know during the booking process so that we can reserve it ahead of time.

 

Park Entrance Fees

 

Unless otherwise stated, national park entrance fees are not included in your itinerary. This is because in some cases, national parks and reserves do not allow pre-paid tickets. We are sorry about the inconvenience. You will find at the end of your itinerary a list of places and corresponding prices that you will have to pay to enter. These prices are always per person. 

 

Energy

 

In South America, each country has different types of plugs, with diverse voltages and frequencies. For this reason, we highly recommend bringing a universal plug adapter before getting to this part of the world. Although they can be bought in the main cities, in some remote areas these articles may be difficult to find or can be really expensive.

COUNTRYVOLTAGEFREQUENCY
Argentina220V50 Hz
Bolivia220/230V50 Hz
Brazil110/220V60 Hz
Chile220V50 Hz
Uruguay220V50 Hz

 

 

Tipping

 

Tipping is not compulsory but it is greatly appreciated throughout South America, especially in the service industry. For reference, we have provided a general guideline below.

  • We recommend around US$10 -15/day/traveler for guides and US$5-7/day/traveler for drivers if less than 4 people in a group.
  • Around US$5-10/day/traveler for guides and US$3-5/day/traveler for drivers if there are 5 people or more.
  • We use to tip 10% of the total bill in restaurants. In restaurants, although you can pay by credit card, try to leave a tip in cash.
  • If you stay a couple of days in the same hotel, tipping the maid service of $2-3/day is appreciated. For porters, US$2-3/time/room is acceptable.
  • Keep small denominations of dollars or local currency on hand.
  • Don’t forget drivers, who in many cases may have shown extreme skill to keep you safe on difficult roads.
  •  If you are on a cruise, there is often a single “kitty” tip for all employees. Ask about this once you are on board.

 


Luggage for domestic  flights

 

For domestic flights, there is a maximum of 15 Kilos (33 pounds) plus one carry-on of a maximum of 5 kilos (11 pounds) per person.

 


Hotels check-in/out time, Breakfast and Vat

 

Note that, as in most cities of the world, check-in time in Argentine hotels is usually after 2 am, and the check-out time is around 10 am. All of the Hotels we work with are willing to store your luggage in case it’s necessary. Please consider that if you notify the agency in time, the check-out/in time can be extended for an additional cost

Unless specifically stated otherwise, breakfast is included in all our hotels. In case of a very early departure, we cannot guarantee the included breakfast at the hotel. Depending on the hotel and time there might not be breakfast at all or if so, it might be a reduced one.

 

Documentation, visas & tax

Passports

 

Passengers taking international flights, irrespective of the passenger’s age (even children and babies), should have a valid passport with them. In the case of families traveling with minors under 18 years of age, parents/guardians will be asked to show the birth certificates of the minors. If children are traveling with one of their parents or if they are traveling unaccompanied, they will need to submit an authorization certified by a court or a Notary Public.

For travel to Northern Argentina, it is necessary to have your actual passport (not a photocopy) with you during the entirety of your trip. There are legal procedures that require passengers to show their passport on many occasions while traveling in the North part of Argentina, as well as when crossing provincial and international borders. 

If you will be crossing a border into Chile (San Pedro de Atacama, Torres del Paine, Santiago de Chile, etc.) during your trip, there is some additional information you may need. Do not forget to carry your passports with you when traveling. It is also important to remember that it is not allowed to take any fresh food, plants, seeds, etc. from Argentina to Chile. Chilean custom officials are very strict and fines can be high. If you are not sure if something is allowed, please declare it on the form with which you are provided and they will inform you of whether or not you can have it.


Visas

 

Argentina: Citizens from the countries listed here does not require visa

Chile: Chile requires visas for citizens from many countries. Please, check with your local embassy if you require a visa to travel to Chile. You can apply for the online visa here. Then, you’ll be contacted by the Consulate of Chile in your country (you can find the consulate running in your country here) and follow the status of your online-visa request

Brazil: If your tour includes a stop in Brazil (for example visiting the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls) – please check the procedure to apply for a Brazilian visa and the cost of it. You can find the information here! Please note that some countries can issue the visa online. Every Brazilian Consulate has its own workflow. For any questions regarding fees and payment methods, as well as types of service offered, please contact the Brazilian Consulate where your application will be processed.

  • Citizens from Australia, Canada, the United States, and Japan no longer need visitor visas to enter Brazil 

Uruguay: Neither Australians, Canadians nor Americans need a visa to visit this country. In case of belonging to any other nationality, we suggest checking the requirements for each case at this link

Perú: Neither Australians, Canadians nor Americans need a visa to visit this country. In case of belonging to any other nationality, we suggest checking the requirements for each case here.

Bolivia: To enter Bolivia as tourists, some countries require entry visas. Each country has different requirements for entering Bolivia. Please check the corresponding procedure and price for the Bolivian Visa. Visas can be obtained at any Consulate of Bolivia or at the border offices. You can check the requirements for your nationality here, but please also check the requirements and processing time with your local consulate. 

  • Australian and Canadians do not require a visa, while Americans do.


Important

 

Please note that this is general information. Be advised that Say Hueque is unable to give up-to-date information about travel visa requirements due to the vast number of nationalities which our customers represent. While some nationalities can travel freely across borders, others require permission in advance in order to enter. Since there are also changes in requirements from time to time, we advise that you check your local embassy or consulate’s website for the latest information before traveling. It is your responsibility to have all the necessary documentation before getting into a country.

 

Tax & Reciprocity Fees

 

Argentina: Travelers from Australia, Canada, and the US don’t need to pay reciprocity fees anymore. 

Ushuaia: The airport doesn’t allow us to include the tax fee within the flight tickets. For that reason, if you plan on visiting this city, you will have to pay the fee locally and in the national currency (the price will be mentioned on your itinerary). We are very sorry for this inconvenience, but as this is part of the airport’s policies, it’s completely out of our hands.

Tax refund in Argentina: Any foreign passenger who may have bought items in the country for an amount exceeding $70 at the stores adhering to this system (identified with the Tax-Free logo) must keep the receipts to provide them at the Customs office in the airport before boarding. There, officers will stamp a seal on the receipts to allow the collection of the relevant refund. You may receive this refund in cash at the Customs office, in the form of a check sent to your address or through a deposit to your credit card or bank account. 

Prices are excluding VAT from the accommodation in hotels in Argentina (except Ushuaia). Guests must provide a copy of their passport so as to prove they are not residents in Argentina, also they may be asked to show during their check-in the stamp of entry to Argentina. If these conditions haven’t complied, they will be asked to pay the VAT from the accommodation.

  • The amount of the refund corresponds to the VAT charge (21%) minus any administrative charge.

For more information, please visit the Argentinas Government website (only in Spanish).

Chile: All passengers with passports from Australia and Mexico must pay a reciprocity tax before entering Interpol control. This procedure can be done once travelers arrive in the country, and can be paid in cash or credit card. Once the Entry Reciprocity Fee receipt is attached to your passport, you have to proceed to immigration control. All the taxes have to be paid in US dollars or credit cards. This tax is paid just when entering the country by Santiago de Chile airport.