Argentina Travel Guide: Top Destinations
Buenos Aires – It is no surprise that Buenos Aires gave birth to the alluring tango dance, given its vibrant European architecture, lively neighborhoods, amazing shopping, and hot nightlife. Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and one of Latin America’s biggest cities, is situated off the southeast coast of South America. There is a lot to lure tourists to the expansive town with its French and Italian-style buildings, from theater performances and glamorous bars to stylish art galleries and a vibrant party scene. Everything in Buenos Aires happens late, from dinner to late-night clubbing, so if you want to do it all right, don’t plan on getting much sleep.
El Chalten – In the Patagonian region of southern Argentina, El Chaltén is a charming frontier village that was first established as an outpost in the late 1970s. Even though it’s small, Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torres, two of Patagonia’s most remarkable peaks, have made this picturesque, tiny community a popular destination for treks, mountain bike rides, and hiking excursions. The village will likely be bustling with tourists over the summer.
Mendoza – Mendoza, which is situated in Latin America’s greatest wine-producing region, is a well-liked tourist destination because of its wine as well as its proximity to Aconcagua, the Americas’ highest mountain. Mendoza also provides access to breathtaking scenery and outdoor activities, including hiking, horseback riding, river rafting, and more. At night, Independence Plaza, Mendoza’s central plaza, is flanked by eateries, stores, and lovely buildings that are illuminated at night. Mendoza is all very well know to be an excellent region for making wine. Mendoza has a unique irrigation system that keeps the area well-watered despite being a hugely barren desert zone.
Cordoba — Famous for its stunning valley and mountain views and its old Spanish colonial buildings. For history junkies, this is a must-visit.
Rosario — A historic city mainly because it’s the birthplace of the Argentine flag, Che Guevara, and soccer superstar Lionel Messi (who happens to be my favorite player!). Tourists adore its beautiful, European alleys and neoclassical architecture that is evident in old houses and buildings all over the city.
Argentina Travel Guide: When to Visit
Argentina is possibly best visited in the spring. From September to November, almost everywhere in Argentina experiences ideal springtime weather, but the further south can still experience cold conditions. The only time you can climb the tallest Andean peaks, like Aconcagua, is during the summer (Dec-Feb). Even though it can snow there at any time of year, it’s also the most dependable season to travel to Tierra del Fuego. In December and January, Buenos Aires is typically warm and muggy. A portion of the north should also be avoided because of the potentially sweltering temperatures and sometimes flooded roadways. Autumn (March and April) is a fantastic season to travel to Argentina, especially to the provinces of Mendoza and San Juan for the wine harvests. To witness the beech woods as their leaves, change color, travel to Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. The best time to visit the Andean ski resorts is undoubted during the winter months of June, July, and August. In Patagonia, winter blizzards sometimes block off communities, and the region’s many businesses close from April to October. Buenos Aires might be gloomy in July and August, but temperatures in the north of the country should be pleasant at this time of year.
Argentina Travel Guide: How to Reach Argentina
The Ministro Pistarini International Airport or
Ezeiza International Airport
is located in Buenos Aires is the largest airport in Argentina and where most international flights land. The Aeroparque Jorge Newbery however is a domestic airport that is also located in Buenos Aires. This is the main hub for those traveling from the capital city to other destinations in Argentina.
Getting around Argentina: Transportation Tips
Travel by bus in Argentina
The bus is by far the most popular and convenient mode of transportation in Argentina (omnibus, bus, or micro). Numerous private businesses exist; the majority of them focus on a single area, while some, like TAC and Cruz del Sur, operate basically nationally.
Travel by Air in Argentina
The Aeroparque Jorge Newbery in Buenos Aires, which offers flights to all of Argentina’s provincial capitals and key tourist destinations, is the country’s main domestic airport. Domestic flights are frequently used to overcome the great distances required by people who wish to quickly gain a sense of Argentina’s enormous landscape. What takes twenty or more hours by bus might only take one or two by plane.
Renting a car in Argentina
Although you probably won’t want or need a car for the entirety of your trip to Argentina, you’ll find one to be pretty essential for getting around some of the country’s more remote regions, such as Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, the Northwest, Mendoza, or San Juan. In order to reduce costs and share driving time, which may be exhausting and sometimes dangerous, especially on some of the back roads, it seems sensible to get a group of friends together for the journey if at all possible.
Getting around by taxi in Argentina
In Argentina, there are primarily two types of taxis: conventional urban taxis, which you can hail on the street; and remises, or minicab radio taxis, which you must reserve over the phone or in person at their main reservation desk. Make sure that the meters in urban taxis are being used. Sometimes they won’t turn them on and you end up with a hefty fare. Each municipality sets its own tariffs.
Traveling by boat Argentina
In Argentina, there are two main types of boat services: those that are used for transportation and (with some overlap) those that are used to see tourist attractions. The two ferry services that you are most likely to use are the plush ones that travel from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay (also served by the faster hydrofoil) and the significantly more basic Chilean ones that transport vehicles and foot passengers across the Magellan Straits to Tierra del Fuego at Punta Delgada and Porvenir.
Travel by train in Argentina
When government subsidies were cut off in 1993, Argentina’s railroad system, which had been built with British investment in the late nineteenth century and nationalized by the Perón administration in 1948, collapsed. The trains are currently in terrible shape and offer very few long-distance services.
Top Argentina Travel tips
1. Spend some time seeing less popular attractions.
There are a few iconic attractions in Buenos Aires that you will cross off your “To-See” list when you first land (Caminito Street, La Casa Rosada, Plaza de Mayo, Recoleta Cemetery, San Telmo market).
2. Try a steak (or five).
Argentina has a global reputation for its meat. The steaks in Argentina are incredibly tasty and very reasonably priced. An Argentina trip is not complete without getting beef juice all over your fingers and face at a typical asado.
3. Learn some Spanish.
When visiting Argentina, it is a smart idea to learn a little bit of Spanish, even if you only take a few sessions before. There are also many private language schools where you may enroll in locally in Buenos Aires, but you can also set up private instruction with regional teachers.
4. Accept the peck on the cheek.
The majority of hellos and goodbyes in Argentina, aside from official or professional engagements, involve a cheek kiss (which is really more of a cheek touch). Although it is a warm and cordial greeting, it can be unexpected the first time you visit Argentina. Don’t freak out if someone tries to kiss you; simply accept it, and ultimately it will seem natural to you.
5. Exercise caution.
Keep your wits about you and keep an eye on your valuables at all times when you’re in a huge city like Buenos Aires. Pickpockets are infamous in tourist areas like La Boca and San Telmo, and if given the opportunity, they’ll be happy to take your camera or smartphone. After nightfall, it’s not a good idea to venture out on your own. If you must hire a cab, be sure it comes from a respected business (sometimes it is better to call for a taxi than to hail one in the street).
6. Be prepared for any type of weather.
Argentina is a huge country, and because of its size, it has almost every type of weather imaginable. You should pack for everything from hiking through glacier vistas to lounging on the beach, depending on where you intend to spend the majority of your time. The fact that porteos, or those who live in Buenos Aires, place great importance on fashion only serves to muddle matters further. You are a skilled packer if you can prepare for every type of terrain, weather, and social setting in Argentina.
7. Trade the blue dollar.
Blue Dollar AKA Dolar Blue or unofficial dollar is the parallel dollar rate of USD in Argentina. In short, it’s a black market for exchanging currency where you can get more Pesos for your dollar (or Euro/GBP). Many foreign visitors set up something with their hotel and they will recommend a “cueva”. Another way is to simply head to central shopping streets and respond to one of the million calls of “Cambio! Cambio!” (exchange in Spanish); Be sure to ask the rate first to avoid them bartering with you.
Argentina Travel Guide: Typical Costs
Price Range for Hotels
There are different types of accommodations available for all travelers in Argentina. In every city, there are many options to choose from depending on your lifestyle and preference for comfort/amenities. Hostels are located throughout the country and provide a cheap place to stay. A typical accommodation in a hostel will cost about $7 to $20 for a dorm bed while a small private room cost about $15 up to $30 a night. A 5-star hotel accommodation starts at around $250 a night while a 3-4 star hotel is around $80 to $150.
For a more unique experience, some travelers can opt to stay at a ranch, amidst the stunning mountain view. Ranch accommodation is quite expensive at around $200 a night. According to some budget travelers, small ranch owners offer their place for as low as $40 a night but yes, you only get what you pay for.
Cost of Meal
A regular meal at a budget Eat and Drink would cost about $5 to $15 while a fast food meal starts at around $7. At a nicer Eat and Drink, a meal cost about $20 to $40 per person. A bottle of wine starts at around $15. It’s more expensive in wine cities such as Mendoza and San Juan. A tip of about 10-15% is customary in Eat and Drinks although tourists usually tip more.