Argentina, home of the gauchos and tango, is a vast nation! The second largest country in South America, it is also the 8th largest in the world, yet with a population of only 45million people. Between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Andes mountain range to the West, Argentina inevitably offers visitors many varied landscapes and experiences to discover. Bustling Buenos Aires, the capital city proudly bears its colonial history with a cosmopolitan, European feel. To the North, the mighty Iguaçu Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world forms the border with Argentina. The Ibera Wetlands on the border with Paraguay is home to a vast range of wildlife in a national park the size of Belgium. The fertile interior of the country proves perfect for all type agriculture. The most notable of course is cattle for the famous steaks and vineyards, especially in the Mendoza region producing excellent wines. There’s the mineral rich lands of Patagonia and to the south, as you head to Ushuaia and the Tierra del Fuego, the country reaches its final point heading for the Antarctic. Argentina is a country as vast as the array of experiences it offers visitors!
IMPORTANT - As most of our Argentina tours cross the border and enter Brazil at Iguazú Falls, please ensure you also check the requirements for entry to Brazil, as they differ to those for Argentina.
Your passport should be issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay. Please be sure to fill out the "Emergency Next of Kin" section in your passport
Most U.S., Canadian, Australian and Western European citizens may enter Argentina for up to 90 days for tourist purposes without a visa. All other nationalities must check the visa entry requirements before your departure. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
- Canadian travellers & Reciprocity Fees – Although a visa is not required for entry, Canadian citizens must pay a Reciprocity Fee (tasa de reciprocidad) before arriving in Argentina, equal to the visa charge Canada levies on Argentines. This must be paid online by via credit card prior to travel and is approximately US$78. Please see the section 'Reciprocity Fee.’ on www.migraciones.gov.ar/accesibleingles for further details.
• Consular Information
There are a number of major international embassies located in Buenos Aires, including those for the US, Canada, UK Australia and New Zealand. However, embassies for other countries, including are located in other South American cities. Please check with your relevant government for the relevant contact details.
N.B. Please note, visa and entry requirements, regulations and restrictions can vary on a regular basis. Please ensure you check in good time prior to travel the current requirements applicable to you.
HEALTH, INSURANCE AND SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
• Travel Insurance
It is company policy that all passengers must have valid travel insurance prior to travelling, to include but not limited to health insurance and cancellation insurance. It is vital that ALL members of the travelling party are fully insured for the dates of travel. All pre-existing medical conditions must be declared to the insurer and the correct cover must be taken in regard to the specific type of holiday you are taking.
The details of your insurance must be advised to The Big Journey Company at least 6 weeks before your departure date. Please make sure to write down important information from your insurance policy, such as the company’s 24hr emergency telephone number (including dial code from abroad) and your policy number and take these with you on tour.
• General Health
Please talk to your doctor or travel health clinic in person at least eight weeks before you travel, where a health professional can provide you with the necessary health information for your personal needs.
- Argentine Wine Tour – Altitude – As part of the Argentine Wine Tour, we will be travelling at high altitudes. It is advisable to speak to your doctor about how this may affect any existing medical conditions, as well as discuss precautions available to you to avoid the inconveniences that altitude causes to some people. The highest point on this tour is in the Northwest area at Great Salar. Here we will reach an altitude of 4,170m or 13,680ft above sea level.
Wearing sunscreen, drinking plenty of water, washing your hands properly before eating and avoiding insect bites should keep you healthy on tour. We recommend you carry a simple travellers’ first-aid kit containing any basic items that you feel may be required, including remedies for minor stomach complaints.
If you do need to see a doctor during the tour, please speak to your Big Journey Company tour escort.
• Passengers with Disabilities or Reduced Mobility
Our Argentina Tours are Activity Level 2 and will require moderate physical activity and include various forms of transport. Please check our Activity Levels description page to see if this level is suitable to you or contact us if you require further information on the activities involved in the tour.
If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability which may affect your holiday, please provide us with full details before we confirm your booking, or as soon as possible at the time they occur, so that we can try to advise on the suitability of your chosen arrangements. Please note, we may require you to produce a doctor’s certificate certifying that you are fit to participate in the tour.
• Medical Conditions and Personal Medication
Please advise us prior to travel if you have any medical conditions requiring special attention during your trip. If you have a specific medical condition, it is wise to carry the relevant doctor’s prescription with you.
- Pack a sufficient supply of any medications you are taking, copies of the prescriptions and the telephone/fax numbers of your doctor.
- Please note, some countries require that prescription drugs be carried in their original container, with the label clearly visible. In the event of you losing your medication, a qualified pharmacist should be able to source a replacement.
Prior to travel, please consult your doctor to discuss the destinations you are visiting, the latest immunisation information and requirements as well as advice according to your unique medical needs.
Travellers should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended. These vaccinations include for example measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccine. Vaccinations for Tetanus, Hepatitis A & B, Rabies, Typhoid and Yellow Fever may be recommended depending on the tour you are taking. For further information, please see: wwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/argentina.htm
You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Any feverish illness during or after returning from travel must be reported to a doctor immediately.
• Travelling with CPAP or other Medical Machines
Please inform The Big Journey Company that you are travelling with such a device as early as possible, and well before you travel. This is especially important in places where there may be issues with power supply, such as on safari or smaller cruise ships. Also,
- Check that you have the correct electrical and voltage adapters for the country and accommodation you are visiting;
- Check with your airline that they allow your device to be carried as additional hand luggage and ensure that your device is easily accessible and properly labelled as medical machinery;
- Always carry a letter from your medical practitioner prescribing its use for you;
- Ensure you have details of your machine separately in case of the need to secure repairs/replacements whilst you are travelling;
- Check with your medical practitioner about the use of tap or bottled water in the event that distilled water cannot be sourced in the country you are travelling to.
Please note, if you require distilled or ionised water, you must inform The Big Journey Company of this at least two weeks ahead of travel, so we are able to make preparations with our ground agents. There will be an additional charge for this.
• Special Dietary Requirements
Please let us know in good time prior to travel if you have any special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, gluten-free, etc.). We will make every effort to accommodate your request with the resources available to us.
• What to Pack and Wear
We would recommend comfortable clothes and shoes for this tour. Feel free to include a smart-casual outfit for dinner if you wish, however there is no pressure to follow a dress code. Given the variable weather we’re likely to experience as we travel through Argentina, you may wish to bring layers, adding a sweater to shirt sleeves on cooler days. You will need a warm, waterproof jacket. Pack light and remember the basic essentials: camera and attachments; a good pair of lightweight binoculars; adaptor plugs; toiletries including insect repellent and sunscreen. Remember any medications and prescriptions; extra reading glasses; sunhat; and notebook or journal.
• Luggage Allowances
International airlines are often strict about the size and weight of checked in baggage and carry-on luggage. Prior to your departure, please contact your airline or visit their website for specific luggage requirements, as size and weight limitations may vary according to the airline and destination.
This Argentina Wine Tour and Argentina and Brazil tours includes internal/local flights. Please check with The Big Journey Company regarding specific luggage allowances for this flight as Argentinian airlines have a very low checked-luggage allowance, usually 15kg!
Luggage handling is not included in our Argentina tour. It may be available at the hotel for a local charge.
Laundry services are available in some hotels on the tour.
The main language of Argentina is Spanish. However, due to the vast size of the country, local languages are spoken in the various regions, as well as a large number of Italian and German speakers due to the immigrant populations. English is spoken in the hospitality industry widely across the country.
The time zone in Argentina is GMT-3, 3 hours behind London GMT.
As it is located in the southern hemisphere, the weather in Argentina is the opposite season to that in the northern hemisphere. The winter months of June to August can be cold but is a good time to visit the north of the country. Spring and Autumn months, from September to November and then from March to May are probably the best times to visit Argentina. As temperatures are pleasant. In the summer months of November to February, temperatures can rise quite high, and be humid, especially in the north of the country. As a large portion of the country is at altitude, temperatures up high are generally colder than those at lower altitudes.
In Argentina, the standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. You will need a Type I plug adapter (three-pronged adaptor, commonly known as the South Pacific adaptor, and commonly used in Australia, New Zealand). You may also require a converter depending on which electrical appliances you bring with you.
MOBILES & INTERNET COMMUNICATION
Argentina has a good communications infrastructure. A number of cellphone/mobile phone providers offer national coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. In populated urban areas, there should be good mobile signal but as we head into rural areas, signal will fluctuate. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas and most hotels and restaurants provide free WIFI. Please check data roaming and call charges for Argentina with your service provider before leaving home as these can quickly become very expensive.
The currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso (ARS). Restrictions apply on purchasing Argentine Pesos prior to travel, so it is likely you will need to exchange money once arrived in the country.
US Dollars are not generally accepted in Argentina. When exchanging your money for local currency, we advise you to do this at the banks or ask your hotel reception desk.
ATMs are widely available in cities, but not so in smaller villages. AMEX, Mastercard and VISA are accepted by most hotels, larger restaurants and shops. Not all foreign cards work in ATMs. Bring more than one option and be sure to alert your home bank that you are traveling in Argentina. It is likely you may be asked for ID when paying by card.
It is advisable to carry money in cash with you for smaller transactions as not all shops, restaurants and bars accept cards. Traveller’s cheques are not recommended for travel in Argentina.
Argentina can be relatively inexpensive for eating out and for day to day items in supermarkets. However, when dining out, accompanying vegetables have to be ordered separate to meat dishes, and expect to have to tip well at the end of the meal.
• Bank Opening
Banks in Argentina are usually open 10am – 3pm Monday to Friday, though in the north they may open and closer earlier to avoid the hot afternoons.
Tipping is the culture in Argentina and is expected in almost every service industry. Our local travel service providers are paid well and fairly for their work. However, it is usual for groups to tip guides and drivers and it would be reasonable for each group member to factor in a contribution to the equivalent of around USD10 per person per day.
Argentinian cuisine has its roots in the country’s Mediterranean history. The county is famous for its beef, and you will find many a steak house about. Some of the typical dishes are locro, a type of stew, asado and parillas, a traditional barbeque with varying types and cuts of meat, and of course the famous dessert, Dulce de leche, a sweetened, condensed milk. Then there is the wine, with Mendoza being the most famous region, but it is grown in other areas across the country and is generally of very good quality.
We advise you to make the most of your visit by enjoying the local and international cuisine prepared in Argentina… you’re in for many culinary treats!
Some meals are included as part of your tour – please check your individual departure for the relevant meal inclusions.
The tap water in Buenos Aires and other big cities is generally safe to drink, though you may prefer to stick to bottled water. It is advised to check when in rural areas. Bottled water can be bought at supermarkets, kiosks and many shops.
Argentina produces a variety of crafts that are highly valued worldwide. Wandering through Argentinian street markets is a must in Buenos Aires as they are full of local craftspeople selling their homemade wares. Argentina is particularly known for leather goods. It is also the ideal place to pick up soccer memorabilia!
• Opening Hours
In the cities and towns, most retail shops are open from 9am – 8pm Monday–Friday, with reduced opening hours on Saturday, though may vary locally. Most shops are closed on Sundays, with the exception of certain grocery shops and souvenir shops.
• VAT/Tax Refund:
Numerous shops in Argentina offer a VAT refund when leaving the country. Please ask the salesperson whether tax-free shopping applies to the shop in question.
SAFETY & SECURITY
Crime levels in Argentina are low. However, there’s a risk of petty theft, particularly in airports, in popular tourist attractions and on public transport. Please take sensible precautions to protect your belongings, particularly your passport, money and credit cards. Protests may occur in Buenos Aires, and it is advised to should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities.
By law, everyone must carry photo ID on them at all times in Argentina.
Smoking is banned in most indoor public places, but there are usually designated outdoor areas where people can smoke. Smoking is prohibited on all means of public transport.
Argentina is mostly Catholic country, owing to its Spanish and Italian immigration, with the current Pope coming from Argentina.
Argentina offers photo opportunities one after another. You will return with many photos that can never be repeated. Remember to pack your camera, along with the charger, spare batteries and a spare memory card!
ARRIVAL IN ARGENTINA
Please note, standard hotel check-in is around 3pm, so should you arrive earlier than this, your room may not be available upon arrival. For those arriving early morning, we will do everything we can to work with the hotel to get you an earlier check-in subject to availability.
TOUR HOTEL INFORMATION
Please check your tour paperwork for hotel information attaining to your tour departure.
OTHER COUNTRIES ON TOUR ITINERARY
Please also check the notes for Brazil as most of our Argentina tours cross into Brazil, even if only briefly, at Iguazu Falls. Different entry requirements apply for Brazil to Argentina and you may need a visa! For other South American countries, please check the relevant Travel Tip pages for information on these countries.
FLYING & TRAVEL HINTS
• Photocopy the personal information pages of your passport; leave one copy at home with a friend or family member, and take a copy with you, but pack it separately from the passport itself.
• It is advisable to carry all your travel documentation as well as valuables and essential items in your hand luggage, such as camera, toiletries, reading material etc.
• Duty-Free shopping is always tempting, but please check the current Duty-Free limits applicable in the country of your destination.
• Longer flights can be made a little more enjoyable by wearing loose clothing and good, comfortable shoes. Walking in the aisles regularly, eating sensibly and drinking plenty of fluids (not alcohol) is also advised.
• Where possible, try to get some sleep during the flight and upon arrival at your destination, most people adjust better to the local time if they wait until the evening before sleeping – this should relieve some of the effects of jet lag.
If you have any other questions that we have not covered here; then please send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, the above information is provided as a guideline only. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, The Big Journey Company makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content on this website. The Big Journey Company assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained in the website.
Updated November 2019