Passports and Visas
All passengers require a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip, with appropriate visas. You should carry your passport with you at all times to ensure against its loss or theft in hotels. Check with the Argentine Consulate to determine if any visas are needed. Securing required documents is the responsibility of the traveler. A reciprocity fee must be prepaid. Please check: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/Registro.aspx. This information is a guide only and it is essential that you check all current passport and visa rules with your travel agent before departure.
Before traveling to South America, we recommend you see a healthcare provider at least 4-6 weeks prior to your trip (particularly one who specializes in travel medicine). These professionals will have the most up-to-date information about required vaccinations and how to protect yourself from illness. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know all of the countries you will be visiting. If you have a medical condition, you should discuss your travel plans with any doctors you are currently working with. You can also check the CDC website,
It is recommended that travelers drink and brush their teeth with bottled water. Avoid eating uncooked vegetables, ice and fruits or vegetables that may have been washed in local, untreated water. Do not purchase food from street vendors. A good sun block and insect repellant should be worn at all times.
Many parts of South America have very high altitudes, with air so thin that altitude sickness is a concern. Symptoms include a headache, loss of appetite, nausea, feeling weak or dizzy, insomnia and shortness of breath. When arriving at a high-altitude destination, plan on resting to get acclimated, drink plenty of water, and stay away from alcohol and heavy foods.
The official Argentine currency is the Peso. There are bills of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pesos, and coins of 1 peso and 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents.You can change US dollars at banks and currency exchange agencies for the best rates, hotels and some shops can also change them for you, but the rate will likely be much higher. ATMs are also an efficient way to get money in the local currency. If you carry Traveler's Checks there may be difficulties in changing them outside of Buenos Aires.
Argentina has 220 V at 50 Hz, with a type C or I socket. America's electrical currents are 120 V at 60 Hz, with a type A or B socket, so you'll need a converter and an adapter.
Wireless and wired Internet access is available throughout most of Argentina. Many of the hotels we use offer this service free or at a small charge. There are also Internet cafés in main cities that allow you access, usually for a small charge.
Phoning home from another country can be expensive. All hotels will add a service charge to the cost of any phone calls you make from your room. This charge can be very high. It is always cheaper for you to use public telephones (payphones) if your cell phone is not set for international calls. Your Travel Director can explain how to dial internationally if you are unsure.
General business hours in Argentina are:
Banks and Exchange Bureaus: Mon-Fri, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Business Offices: Mon-Fri, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Restaurants: lunch is served from 12:30 p.m. and dinner from 8:30 p.m. Fast food menus are served in many restaurants at all times.
Stores: in the big cities, Mon-Fri, 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., although in the outskirts and the provinces they generally close at midday. Sat, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Some typical Argentine souvenirs and gifts are wine, handicrafts, a mate set, a CD of Tango music, dulce de leche candy and alfajores cookies. Ask your Travel Director for advice.
We suggest the following tipping rates: Taxis 10-15% of the fare on the meter, Restaurants and bars 10-15% of the total bill. If a service charge has already been added there is no need to tip as much or at all.
In Buenos Aires, the best way to get around is the subway, called the subte. You can usually get maps of subway and bus lines from tourist offices and hotels (ask for the QuickGuide Buenos Aires). The subte can be crowded over rush hour and hot during the summer. At these times and after the system has closed for the night, use a taxi to get around the city.
Buses are convenient, though less commonly used by tourists. Bus lines generally run on the main streets, with the numbered routes posted on poles. These list the main points and neighborhoods the bus will pass through. Watch for pickpockets in the subway and on buses.
If you aren't comfortable navigating by bus or subway, try a taxi. Remises (radio-taxis called in advance) are a better bet than ordinary street taxis. Radio-taxis have a plastic light box on their rooftops. If the taxi is in service and available, libre will flash in red on its windshield. Set the fare in advance if possible. Otherwise, be vigilant and have a general idea of where you are going, so the fare isn't artificially inflated. A common taxi scam is for the driver to return change for a smaller denomination than what he has been given. Be sure to know the value of the bill/s you use to pay, and state it to the driver.
Buenos Aires is also a great walking city. Most of the center is small enough to traverse on foot, and there are plazas and parks providing a shady place to rest. Be careful when crossing streets, as traffic tends to be fast, and traffic laws frequently ignored.
Taxis are a safe and easy way to explore Mendoza. They are black and yellow, and are clearly marked. Remises are unmarked taxis that look like regular cars, but with a small antenna and a yellow number on the trunk.
Riding the bus or colectivo is a good way to see the city, although the bus system can be difficult to figure out. Buses are numbered and usually carry a placard indicating their final destination. In Mendoza you must buy a prepaid bus card.
If you decide to walk, be watchful. Traffic can be fast and aggressive. Be very careful crossing streets, as stop signs are frequently ignored. The sidewalks are made of tile, and can be uneven and slippery when wet. There are small, open canals throughout the city. All sidewalks have small paths over these canals, so to be safe, make sure you stay on the path.
In other cities, taking a pre-arranged taxi (not hailed on the street) is a good, safe way to travel.
Clothing recommendations will vary with the areas you are planning on visiting. Generally, casual clothing is fine, though shorts should not be worn when sightseeing in churches, cathedrals, museums and other sites where they might not be appropriate. Pack according to the time of year you are traveling and general temperatures as noted below, always remembering to bring comfortable walking shoes (essential), a sun hat or visor, and a sweater or jacket for cooler evenings. Also, don't forget a swimming suit, sun screen and sunglasses. If you are traveling to a jungle or rainforest, long-sleeved shirts, pants and insect repellent are advisable for protection from mosquitoes. Patagonia can be cold year round due to its proximity to the Antarctic. If you use a cane, bring one with a rubber tip (rather than a pointed one).