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Travel Advice for Argentina

Climate

Argentina is a large country with an area exceeding 2.60 million sq km, which lends itself to the country’s diverse climate. Argentina can be divided into four broad climatic regions: East Central Argentina or the
Pampas, the Northeastern interior, Western Argentina, and Patagonia or Southern Argentina, to which should be added the distinctive mountain climate of the high Andes.

East Central Argentina, Buenos Aires, the Pampas

This area includes the province of Buenos Aires, a large area of Entre Rios, center and south of Santa Fe, the eastern strip of Cordoba and a part to the NE of La Pampa. The climate is generally healthy
and pleasant. Winters are mild and summers warm, with more rainfall during the summer months. rainfall lasts a few days so wet, changeable weather is not very frequent and rain is often heavy. The weather in Buenos Aires can be expected to be hot and humid from December to January. Daytime high temperatures can be expected to be 30-35°C (85-95°F) with up to 70-75% humidity. Buenos Aires is generally hotter than Santiago. Nighttime lows should average 17-21°C (63-70°F) during these months.

Northeast – Iguazu

This region is humid and extremely hot during the summer (December to March) which are at the same time the months where the falls have their highest water levels (rainy season). It’s also during this period that both Brazilians and Argentinians take their annual holidays, so the park is particularly crowded. Iguazu is best visited in the dry season, between May and September, when the heat and humidity is more bearable. During these periods of lower rainfall, the waterfalls are not at their peak, but they are certainly no less impressive.

Patagonia, El Calafate & Ushuaia

December to March (summer time) are the best months to travel to Argentine Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Daytime high temperatures during the months of November through February on the mainland will be between 15-22° C (58-72°F). Nighttime temperatures range between 4-7°C (40-45°F). Pack a variety of clothes and dress in layers. The winter months, July and August, can be extremely cold and facilities sometimes shut down.

Mendoza

Mendoza has a Mediterranean climate, perfect for travel all year round. The summer months, from mid-December to late-February, are both the high season and hot season. Expect temperatures of over 32°C (90°F) during the day and mild nights of 15-18°C (59-64°F). Don’t be surprised if the days hit the 40°C (104°F), either. The harvest of grapes marked the end of summer. Late spring (October to mid-December) and autumn  (April to June) offer cooler temperatures and generally fewer tourists. Autumn is particularly beautiful, as with the change of the season the countryside becomes a blanket of orange and red. Winter temperatures range from 2-14°C (35-57°F). While mornings can be cold, clear skies and sunshine make afternoons enjoyable. The ski season runs from mid-June to October.

Western Argentina – Salta, Jujuy, Tucuman

Western Argentina, including the Northern Andes, is a dry region. Even on the higher mountains snowfall is light and the dryness matches that of Northern Chile on the western side of the Andes. In many places the annual rainfall is below 250 mm/10 inches and is very unpredictable. Rainfall is more frequent during the summer months (from December to March) which are generally hot and very sunny.

Best time to visit

  • The best time to visit Argentina depends on the specific regions and experiences you are seeking during your trip. As you have read in the previous section Argentina is a vast country with diverse climates and landscapes, so the ideal time can vary across different areas.
  • The most visited tourist destinations in Argentina are Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls and Patagonia making March an ideal month to visit the country.
  • The prime seasons for observing Marine Wildlife in Patagonia are as follows:
    • Southern Right Whale: You can catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures from June to December, with the optimal viewing spot being Peninsula Valdes – a UNESCO World Heritage site.
    • Magellanic Penguins: Your best opportunity to witness these charming penguins is from November to March, particularly in Ushuaia.
    • South American Sea Lions and Antarctic Fur Seals: The months of August to March offer the ideal window for observing these fascinating species, and Puerto Madryn is the recommended location for the best viewing experience.

Currency

  • The soaring inflation is evident in prices of goods in Pesos can change even during the day to reflect the new exchange rate.
  • Keep in mind that it will be impossible to withdraw US dollars from your account while in Argentina. Therefore, we strongly advise securing US dollars in physical cash before your trip to Argentina, which you can then exchange locally upon arrival.
  • There are different currency exchange rates, which can be confusing for travelers. The ‘blue dollar’ is the informal name given to the US dollar you can find on the black market
  • When withdrawing Pesos, anticipate incurring a cash withdrawal fee, typically approx. 10% of the withdrawn amount. Additionally, you'll need to navigate the variance between the official and black market US dollar exchange rates..
  • Avoid exchanging large amounts of US dollars to Argentine Pesos, as the value of your Pesos will drop constantly, even in the short time of a trip.
  • Exchange only some of your money at the airport due to the poor exchange rates offered.
  • It's better to exchange money in the hotel or in the city at official exchange bureaus, as their rates are more favorable than banks.
  • Avoid using 'Arbolitos' or 'Cuevas' (illegal street exchanges and places where they operate), they may offer great rates but can be risky.
  • Keep your receipts and check the bills for authenticity.
  • It is advisable to have low-denomination bills for greater flexibility in giving tips.
  • Keep in mind that ATMs in remote tourist areas may be scarce. However, local businesses also accept US dollars, which are sometimes preferred due to their stability.

Tipping

Tipping in Argentina is voluntary yet expected. The staff members that receive tips are mostly porters bellmen and waiters. Here’s our quick guide to tipping in Argentina:

  • Porters in hotels and airports would appreciate 1 US dollar for 1 piece of luggage.
  • In most restaurants, service charges are not normally included. Although never mandatory, tipping at restaurants is certainly appreciated. If you receive good service and want to leave something, 10% will show your satisfaction with the service. Tipping on credit cards is not possible and you will need to leave a tip in cash.
  • Tipping on tours: If you’ve been given good service on a tour, you may like to consider tipping your guide and/or driver. 1 US dollar per hour or 10 US dollars per day would be a reasonable amount to tip per person.
  • Even though US dollars are always accepted as tips be sure to have plenty of change in your pocket for tipping—there is a serious shortage of it, and many restaurants and shops will refuse to break bills.

Top Restaurant Recommendations

Buenos Aires

  • Aramburu $$$$ - Creative. 2-star Michelin
  • Don Julio $$$$ - Argentina's most prominent steakhouse
  • Franca $$$ - Grilled seefood & wine
  • Roux $$$ - Seafood, Mediterranean
  • Anchoíta Cava $$ - Gourmet charcuterie, cheese & wine
  • El Pobre Luis $$ - Steakhouse
  • Napoles Bar $$ - Italian, pizza, wine bar
  • CoChinChina Bar $$ - Asian dishes with a twist
  • La Cocina Recoleta $ - Empanadas (baked pastry)
  • Buenos Aires Verde $ - Healthy & conscious food
  • Pulperia Quilapán $ - Inclusive restaurant serving traditional food
  • Confiteria La Ideal $ - Century-old pastry shop & snacks

 

Puerto Iguazu

  • La Rueda 1975 $$ - Latin American & grilled meat
  • Aqva $$ - Latin American & vegeterian friendly
  • Yabuticaba Mercadito de la Selva $$ - Gourmet food hall
  • Excelso Coffee Co. $ - Café & desserts

 

El Calafate

  • Volpi Bistró Puertas Adentro $$ - Patagonian cuisine with Italian and French twists (4-course menu for only 12 guests, advance reservation required)
  • La Tablita $$ - Steakhouse & Patagonian lamb
  • Buenos Cruces $$ - Argentine with regional produce & pasta bar
  • La Zorra Taproom $ - Beer & burgers

 

Visas

Immunizations

  • Consider getting hepatitis A, typhoid, and rabies vaccinations. Some people who suffer from allergies, asthma, sinusitis, and bronchial ailments can have aggravated flair-ups caused by pollution in Buenos Aires and the high level of pollen during Spring.

e-SIM Cards

Argentina is serviced by three major mobile network operators that provide 4G services:

  • Personal
  • Claro
  • Movistar

The network quality of Personal and Claro is similar, but it's important to note that Argentina is a vast country. In remote areas of Patagonia and the Northwest (Salta), there may be no network connection. To obtain a SIM card or package, you can visit the official stores of the mobile providers. Alternatively, upon arrival at Buenos Aires international airport Ezeiza, you can purchase a tourist SIM card. Look for the stand of Personal in the departure hall, and don't forget to bring your passport to obtain the 'chip' (how the SIM is called in South America).

If you're in a hurry and have a device compatible with e-SIM, you can visit a user-friendly website:

They provide step-by-step instructions on how to activate and purchase an e-SIM for use in Chile. A more cost-effective option is Airalo.

Please note that as of June 2023, it is still uncertain when the Argentine government will initiate the tender for 5G services.

Time zone

Festland ist GMT -3 Stunden

Taxis

Taxi-hailing apps such as the ones listed below are available in the Argentine capital, however, due to the challenging economic situation in the country, it is important to note that these international apps may not provide guarantees, the cars used may not have proper formalities or insurance coverage and may not be in the best condition.

• Uber
• Cabify
• DiDi
• Beat

If you are looking at a taxi-hailing service, we recommend using the app below, you will be required to enter a local Argentine phone number in order to sign up for an account, so keep this in mind.

Taxi Premium

We recommend asking the reception staff for a local taxi ride option in smaller cities.

Electricity

Standard voltage is 220 -240V. If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100V - 127V you will need a voltage converter and eventually one for the local power sockets

Altitude Sickness

  • First signs of altitude sickness may already emerge in Andean regions as Salta and Jujuy surpassing 2,800m altitude (6,500ft). Avoid alcoholic beverages for the first day or two. Try to eat light food and drink a lot of water.

Top Restaurant Recommendations

Buenos Aires

  • Aramburu $$$$ - Creative. 2-star Michelin
  • Don Julio $$$$ - Argentina's most prominent steakhouse
  • Franca $$$ - Grilled seefood & wine
  • Roux $$$ - Seafood, Mediterranean
  • Anchoíta Cava $$ - Gourmet charcuterie, cheese & wine
  • El Pobre Luis $$ - Steakhouse
  • Napoles Bar $$ - Italian, pizza, wine bar
  • CoChinChina Bar $$ - Asian dishes with a twist
  • La Cocina Recoleta $ - Empanadas (baked pastry)
  • Buenos Aires Verde $ - Healthy & conscious food
  • Pulperia Quilapán $ - Inclusive restaurant serving traditional food
  • Confiteria La Ideal $ - Century-old pastry shop & snacks

 

Puerto Iguazu

  • La Rueda 1975 $$ - Latin American & grilled meat
  • Aqva $$ - Latin American & vegeterian friendly
  • Yabuticaba Mercadito de la Selva $$ - Gourmet food hall
  • Excelso Coffee Co. $ - Café & desserts

 

El Calafate

  • Volpi Bistró Puertas Adentro $$ - Patagonian cuisine with Italian and French twists (4-course menu for only 12 guests, advance reservation required)
  • La Tablita $$ - Steakhouse & Patagonian lamb
  • Buenos Cruces $$ - Argentine with regional produce & pasta bar
  • La Zorra Taproom $ - Beer & burgers

 

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