The South American country of Argentina is a fascinating and diverse place with plenty of memorable experiences, whether you’re looking for arts and culture, nightlife or anything in between. If you’re considering a trip, take a look at these travel tips for travelling in Argentina and get some helpful advice to make the most of your visit.
Plan your itinerary
Argentina is a massive country. In fact, it’s roughly 60 percent of the size of Europe and contains everything from glacial areas to tropical jungles. You could easily spend the whole time in a city like Buenos Aires or explore a few different places close to each other. Instead of jumping around the country and trying to see it all, it’s best to plan an itinerary that includes time to explore and relax in different destinations. You’ll not only ensure that you have an enjoyable experience, but you’ll also avoid missing out on anything you really want to see.
Learn how to get there and around
Many airlines offer direct or 1-stop flights from major Australian cities to various places in Argentina. Once you arrive, you can take the bus from city to city or use the country’s extensive train network to get around. If you’re planning on travelling a lot, you can get a SUBE card for public transport to save on multiple trips. In some areas, you may want to consider taking a taxi or hiring a car to set your own sightseeing pace and schedule.
Know that the seasons are the same
Like Australia, Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere and has opposite seasons from the Northern Hemisphere, so Argentina’s summer and winter are Australia’s summer and winter, and the activities, crowds and rates reflect that. Argentina’s size and varied landscape give you plenty of opportunities for winter or summer sports, so you can simply plan the type of activities you want and decide your destination based on that. The majority of Argentina is temperate and experiences hot, humid summers and cold, dry winter.
Bring cash with you
Unlike other countries with consistent exchange rates, the Argentine peso can change day to day. This is one of the most important travel tips to know, not only for sticking to your budget, but also for anticipating how you’ll handle your money. Unfortunately, most places don’t take cards, so you’ll need to have cash. If you’re going to bring your currency to Argentina, you’ll have a favourable exchange rate. Avoid using ATMs if you can help it, which have low maximum withdrawal amounts and high fees that can add up.
Don’t expect prompt times
The residents of Argentina like to take their time, and nothing is punctual. Most people don’t start work until 10 a.m. or eat dinner until 9 or 10 p.m., which can be an adjustment if you’re used to early mornings and evenings. Drinks after dinner are common as well, which means your late dinner can turn into an early-morning affair. Fortunately, the point of a holiday is to take it easy, so enjoy the opportunity to sleep in and take your time exploring.
Be safe when travelling
Demonstrations are common in Argentina, especially in the large cities. If you encounter a demonstration, it’s best to move along and avoid getting caught up in the event. To help avoid being the victim of a crime, what to know is to avoid looking too ‘touristy’ by appearing lost, even if you are. Also, be sure to exercise caution when travelling around by staying aware of your surroundings and avoiding isolated areas, especially at night. If possible, take a taxi to your destination.
Avoid the dogs
Argentina’s large cities have tons of dogs that appear to be strays but are actually owned by residents and roam free. In most cases, the worst experience you’ll have is attracting some new canine friends that follow you around. However, some dogs roam in packs and hang around bus stations, which can be risky for people walking around. Dogs may not be vaccinated as well, so you don’t want to get bitten on your trip. Also, the roaming dogs can make the streets messy, so watch your step!
Ditch your diet
Argentinian food is very rich and includes a lot of meat-based dishes. You can find steakhouses all over the country, and asados – or barbecues – are popular. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you should prepare by finding appropriate dining options and factor them into your itinerary, because they’re not as common. If you do eat meat, you’ll be delighted with the high-quality meat options and array of unique dishes. Wine is also popular, and Argentina is a huge global wine producer, so be sure to indulge a little on your trip.
Learn some Spanish
While many of the well-travelled areas have some English-speaking people, you’re likely to find yourself in areas of Argentina where people speak little to no English. If you’re in this situation, you’ll wish you knew some Spanish to get by. Argentina has its own version of Spanish that arose from native peoples, colonisation and European immigration, but any Spanish dialect is enough to get around. Take some time to know before you go and learn some basic phrases and questions that you’ll need to get around.
Find the hidden gems
Many of Argentina’s most beautiful and fascinating attractions lie beyond the city limits. Its small towns have their own arts and cultural treasures, family restaurants and souvenir shops. In the wilderness, you can see stunning natural wonders like the Iguazu waterfall or the Perito Moreno Glacier on a hike. For something truly adventurous, visit Patagonia for wilderness adventures and winter sports. You could also ski in Bariloche, hike the foothills of El Chaltén or tour the wine valley of Mendoza.
Ready to plan your adventure?
With so many things to see and do, it’s no wonder that Argentina is such a popular South American destination. Now that you have all the essential information before visiting Argentina,