Planning a Trip to Argentina: All You Need to Know
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Argentina has all the makings of an epic blockbuster movie. From the dramatic landscapes of Patagonia and the kaleidoscopic display of Sierra de Siete Colores in Quebrada to the passionate twirl of the tango in Buenos Aires, the country has several fascinating attractions. Planning a trip to Argentina to see them all can be demanding! Pack away your worries, as our guide suggests the most rewarding Argentina vacation.
Best time to visit Argentina
For refreshing weather and a manageable holiday crowd, it is best to visit Argentina in the shoulder seasons: March to May (fall) and September to November (spring). But, if you are traveling to Argentina during the peak season—between December to March—remember that both the crowd and prices are at their peak.
Argentina in March
Argentina in April
Argentina in December
Argentina in November
Argentina in January
Argentina in February
What not to miss in Argentina
Make the most of your vacation by touching upon the top attractions in Argentina:
- Icy adventures in Patagonia: Relish the pristine beauty of massive ice cliffs on a glacier cruise to Perito Moreno Glacier or get close with the wildlife at Parque Nacional Patagonia. For adventure seekers, the Mount Fitz Roy hike is a popular activity that takes you across the Los Glaciares National Park and deep into the heart of Patagonia— El Chaltén.
- Tango in Buenos Aires: The Argentinian capital is home to numerous museums, galleries, and restaurants. Embrace the electrifying energy of Buenos Aires by attending the Fair of the Mataderos and match steps with the pros at a tango club. Buenos Aires offers activities for people of all preferences.
- Reliving the past Cordoba: Tour the colonial past, and experience the cowboy culture of Argentina as you go around the streets of Cordoba. Explore more of the natural aspect of the city with a visit to La Cumbrecita, a pedestrian-only Alpine-style village nestled in the secluded Calamuchita Valley.
- Dolphin spotting at Punta Tombo: See the largest colony of Magellan penguins as they congregate on this island before setting off for their ritualistic migration. While here, hop on a boat at Puerto Rawson for a chance to encounter the Toninas world’s smallest dolphins. Finish your wild escapade by sipping some traditional Welsh Tea at Gaiman, a town with a Welsh immigration history.
- Wine tasting at Mendoza: Sip on the world-famous Argentine vino or the region's pride, Malbec, as you hop around the country's largest wine-producing area. Away from the vineyards, the city of Mendoza is adorned with beautiful churches and has plenty of sportfishing opportunities. Do not forget to visit Our Lady of Carrodila, a church dedicated to the patron saint of wine in Lujan de Cuyo, or indulge in the ice creams at one of the area's quaint heladerias (ice cream shops).
How long to stay in Argentina
First-timers should devote at least a fortnight in Argentina. Visit highlights like Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Puerto Madryn, Mendoza, El Calafate, and Ushuaia. For an immersive experience, a delightful three-week north-to-south rendezvous is perfect with additions like Salta, Quebrada de Humahuaca, Fagnano, and Escondido Lakes. If you have a time crunch, a regional focus makes the most sense; for a compelling cultural exploration, opt for a Buenos Aires tour with a day trip to Tigre Delta, or for an outdoor adventure in Patagonia.
How many days to spend in Argentina?
7 days in Argentina
10 days in Argentina
3 weeks in Argentina
How to get to Argentina
The most preferred way to arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital, is by air. Buenos Aires's Ministro Pistarini Airport is well connected with several cities worldwide. Alternatively, you can also pick international airports in Mendoza or Cordoba as your entry point. Two of the country's major airlines, AerolÍneas Argentinas and LATAM are the top choice for flyers.
If you are in a neighboring country, like Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Chile, or Uruguay, the next best approach to Argentina is by the land route. Long-distance international buses ply regularly to Buenos Aires's Retiro Bus Station from these countries.
An offbeat way to travel to Argentina is to embark upon a transatlantic voyage aboard a freighter cargo ship of the Grimaldis from Northern Europe.
Navigating this large country can be time-consuming, but thankfully, it is not only well-connected but also offers several modes of transport. Domestic flights from airlines like LATAM, LADE, or Aerolíneas Argentinas connect most tourist hubs. Their budget counterparts like Flybondi or JetSmart Argentina have limited city coverage. The most pocket-friendly and comfy way for intercity travel is to get a 'micro' or long-distance bus. In regions like Tierra del Fuego and the Andean Northwest, where public transport is limited, renting a car gives plenty of freedom to explore the remote reaches of these regions. Though highways sport good road conditions, the interior areas might be bumpy and peppered with potholes.
Budget and money
When compared to other South American countries, Argentina falls on the expensive end of the spectrum. Travelers can cap their daily expenditure to USD 62, including meals, stay, and local travel. A week-long trip in Argentina for two will come to approximately *USD 900 if booking a budget hotel. Hostel dorms charge around USD 15 for a bed. A luxury trip to Argentina can attract daily expenses of USD 100 to 200. Intercity buses charge between USD 30 (Bariloche to El Calafate) to USD 90 (Buenos Aires to El Calafate). Flight fares hover around USD 140 (Buenos Aires to Bariloche return) to USD 225 (Buenos Aires to El Calafate return).
*Note: The prices mentioned are of June 2022 and are subject to change.
What you didn’t know (but should)
Here are some additional travel titbits to make your Argentina escapade extra easy.
- Laidback lifestyle: The days are easygoing and hardly start before 9 am. Likewise, locals descend to party away as late as 12 am, and dinners are always around 9 pm. So add extra two hours to your city routine, and you are good to go!
- Warm hospitality: The locals are generally known to be easy to approach and friendly. However, some tend to invade your personal space, an acceptable mannerism in Argentine culture; don't take it as an affront.
- Meat-heavy diet: Argentinian diet is meat-heavy, and in dishes with no meat, there will be plenty of cheese. So research ahead for vegan restaurants if you don't consume meat or dairy.
- Safety: Though Argentina is one of the safest Latin American countries, there are things you should watch out for:
- Scammers: Fake pesos notes to unofficial taxi drivers ready to rip you off, Argentina is known for travel scams. Carry change, always hail a 'radio cab', and negotiate rates in advance to avoid unsavory situations.
- Petty crime: Pack your valuables carefully while commuting, and secure your money to avoid mugging, purse snatching, or pickpockets.
- Natural disasters: With storm-fed floodings in the northeast to volcanic activities around the Andes near the Chilean border, Argentina is a medium-risk country for natural disasters. Research in advance from trusted government websites and enquire with local contacts for reliable information before venturing out.
Argentina offers adventures of epic proportions ranging from the colonial cultural remnants of Cordoba to the austere color palette of Salinas Grandes or the ice fields of Patagonia. Yes, its sheer size might overwhelm, but it can be conquered easily. Take advice from our local travel experts in Argentina, who can customize your Argentina trip as per your desires and budget.