Essential Argentina Travel Tips

There are a few things you must know before heading to Argentina. As with any trip, the better prepared you are, the more you’ll get out of the experience! 

1- Visas and Passport


Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from the date of your return flight home. Depending on your citizenship, you may not need a visa if your stay as a tourist is 90 days or shorter. Make sure to check the requirements here, check with your local Argentine Consulate or Embassy.  The payment of a reciprocity fee for the Canadian, USA and Australian citizens has been suspended so you don’t need to pay any fee.


2- Money

Argentina national Notes come in denominations of two, five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 pesos.


Argentina’s national currency is the Argentine peso. Although the US dollar and the Euro are generally accepted in stores and shops, foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and authorized agencies. The most widely accepted credit cards are American Express, VISA, Diners, and MasterCard.


We usually recommend arriving with at least a small amount of cash, and always having cash on hand when visiting rural areas.


How much cash do you need? There’s no correct answer to this — you will know your spending habits and tastes better than anyone, though be prepared to be tempted by all the fabulous shopping and dining opportunities! A lunch/dinner in a good restaurant with a good wine can be around USD 25-USD 50 in Buenos Aires and Patagonia. Expect the north of the country to be much cheaper than Buenos Aires.  


3- Vat refunds on accommodation

International visitors receive a direct and automatic reimbursement of the 21% value-added tax (VAT) charged on accommodation in Argentina. VAT on hotel stays and other accommodation will automatically be refunded for international visitors who pay with a foreign credit card or via bank transfer from a foreign bank. The elimination of VAT on accommodation charges, combined with a favorable exchange rate, make visiting Argentina more affordable.


4- Tax-free shopping

Foreign tourists are eligible to reclaim tax (VAT) on purchases of domestically-manufactured goods with a value over ARS $70 when made at participating outlets. The Global Blue website has useful information on the tax reclaim process here. AFIP, the Argentine tax authority, also has information in Spanish here.


5- Traveling Around Argentina

Due to the large size of the country, flying is the most convenient way of traveling long distances all over the country. Flying can be combined with land transportation. There are a number of airlines offering domestic flights, including Aerolíneas Argentinas, Austral, Andes Líneas Aéreas, LADE and LATAM Argentina. Domestic flights and flights to Uruguay depart from Jorge Newbery Airport, located to the north of the City of Buenos Aires As far as traveling by land goes, dozens of buses leave daily from Retiro Bus Station, located in downtown Buenos Aires, to most of the country’s main cities. Long-distance buses are equipped with onboard toilets, air conditioning, and a bar.


6- Prepaid telephone cards and sim cards

Prepaid telephone cards are available from many tobacconists and newsagents (‘kioscos’), or call-shops/cyber cafes (‘locutorios’). Locutorios can be found all over the city, and offer telephone booths and internet access. Local sim cards/chips for your mobile phone can be bought from mobile phone stores and from many kiosks. The leading telephone networks in Buenos Aires are Personal, Movistar and Claro.


7 – Internet 

Hotels, cafes and restaurants have free wifi in Argentina. In Buenos Aires you can download an app and have access to free wi-fi un many points of the city.

Buenos Aires has over 250 free wifi hotspots in the city, including on the subway and Metrobus transport networks. The BA WiFi app allows users to locate hotspots from their smartphones. You can download the BA WiFi application here. Many bars, cafes and restaurants have free wifi for clients. In the rest of the country, internet is often available in hotels, but not always available during your excursions.


8 – Opening hours

The time zone in Argentina is UTC/GMT-3 and there are no time changes during the year. Activity in Argentina starts early in the morning and continues until very late at night.


Shops: Most shops open 9am – 8pm Monday to Friday and at least 9am – 1pm on Saturdays, but many stores on the main avenues and in the main commercial areas also open all Saturday afternoon. Shopping malls usually open until 10pm, including on Sundays and public holidays.


Banks open 10am – 3pm, Monday – Friday. Some branches in the central downtown area may open until 4pm. Cash withdrawals can be made from ATMs/cash machines 24 hours a day.


Times: Locals fit their meals around work and other commitments and times may vary, but in general breakfast is between 7am and 10pm, lunch between 12.30pm and 3pm and dinner between 8pm and 11pm. 


9 – Electricity

Electric current in Argentina is AC 220-380 volts. Electric plug configurations used have 2 or 3 flat pins with the top two pins diagonally angled.


10 – Health and security

Argentina is a safe, modern country with high police presence and good quality health provision. No vaccinations are required for entry into Argentina. Tap water is drinkable. Although Public hospitals are open 24 hours a day and attend patients free of charge, we always recommend getting a travel medical insurance for your trip.


In Buenos Aires, like in many large metropolis, visitors should always take precautions, particularly in tourist hot spots and crowded places.

Recommended list of equipment to help with your Trek Planning in Argentina Trek Ideas

  • Your Original Passport will be required for your trip, take a photocopy with you when you are out and about.
  • Insurance We strongly recommend you take out travel insurance and/or adventure insurance
  • A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a range of changes in temperature & climate
  • Rain wear (Jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho.
  • Strong footwear and waterproof trekking boots are recommended with a strong sole and good ankle support. Extra socks are a must (woolly trekking socks).
  • Sandals or plastic slip-on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breathe in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf, and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
  • Head Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Camera, films, and batteries (batteries consume energy more quickly under cold conditions)
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain, and cold
  • Sunblock
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
  • Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – although no malaria risk has been reported
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. (Available on our treks but may you like your own supply also)
  • Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning. We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
  • Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, etc.
  • Small towel or sarong
  • Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs)
  • Cash – sufficient for your final meal in Aguas Calientes, tips, and souvenirs.
  • Walking poles.
  • Binoculars (if you have them)

Recommended Luggage Size for your trip

Every time you fly with us you can take a small bag or backpack (45-50L max size) in the cabin, regardless of the fare purchased. The maximum measurements of your personal item are 45 x 35 x 20 cm (height x length x width), including pockets, wheels, handles, etc. (17.8 x 13.8 x 7.9 in).


In addition, if you would like larger luggage we can upgrade the service to a Promo, Light, Plus, or Top fare, you can carry hand luggage that is stored in the upper compartment of the plane.


The maximum weight is 10 kg (22 lb) if you travel in the Economy cabin, and 16 kg (35 lb) if you travel in the Premium Economy or Premium Business cabin.


The maximum measurements of your additional item are 55 x 35 x 25 cm (height x length x width), including pockets, wheels, handle, etc. (22 x 13.8 x 10 in)


There is an additional charge for this of $20-$30 USD, per person, per flight (depending on the airline) 

During your trek, we advise you to store your excess luggage at your hotel in El Chalten – hotels, and hostels should provide you with luggage storage as a courtesy service as part of your stay with them. There is also a luggage storage service at the bus station.


• At your pre-trek briefing you will be briefed the evening before your departure. Depending on the logistics of the route, a porter will carry your sleeping bag if you require it and if you will be camping.


  • Most people carry their own day pack with up to 5kg of their things as part of their trek planning – a change of clothes and wet weather gear, etc. However, if you think that you will have a lot of luggage and you want a very light day pack (eg. just a camera, sunscreen, and water) then it’s advisable that you hire an extra porter.

Recommended Accommodation Options in Argentinian Patagonia.

El Chaltén

El Calafate


Recommended list of equipment to help with your Expedition Planning

  • Thick down puffer jacket plus a rainjacket or waterproof poncho
  • Thermal underwear x2, tops & bottoms
  • Layers type sweat t-shirts, underlay fleeces etc.
  • Trek pants type that zip off at knee & thicker mountain trousers with a fleece liner
  • Gloves both liners & outers
  • Thick Woolly Hat, we will give you a polar fleece snood when you arrive, which you can use around your neck and mouth also.
  • Thick socks for trekking in & also a pair for sleeping in
  • Very good UV sunglasses, type that wrap around or block UV rays from the side
  • Strongest factor sunscreen & a good lip balm
  • Camelbak (1.5l) and neoprene bottle (1l), no more than about 2.5l per day
  • Good sun cap with neck protection
  • Good Camera with powerful lens
  • Comfortable, used Trekking boots & Mountain boots apart, & a pair of sandals
  • Bathing suit (for hot-springs at the end)
  • Head Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc. (Available on our expeditions but may you like your own supply also)
  • Related climbing equipment, Crampons, Helmet, Iceaxe, Harness, Walking Pole (All available for hire or to be included as part of your expedition plan)

For the duration of the expedition we advise you to store your excess luggage at your hotel in Cusco – hotels and hostels should provide you with luggage storage as a courtesy service as part of your stay with them.


• At your pre-expedition briefing you will be provided with a small duffel bag to pack clothes required for the trek. Please limit your luggage in this duffel bag to 7kg (15lbs) each person. The mules will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trail. The duffel bags are waterproof but it is still advisable to put your things inside a plastic bag within the duffel bag. The approximate dimensions are 60cm by 30cm.


Most people carry their own day pack with up to 5kg of their things as part of their trek planning – a change of clothes and wet weather gear etc. However, if you think that you will have much luggage and you want a very light day pack (eg. just camera, sunscreen and water) then its advisable that you hire an extra mule. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the muleteers travel at a different pace than the group.


Your sleeping bag is always included in your duffel bag, so allow approx 2 kg of weight. This still gives you 5kg of things, which is more than adequate for a hike of several days.

At the end of your trip, please leave your duffel bag in the reception of your hotel. We will come to collect it.

What to be aware of when you’re planning to head into the Andes

Altitude sickness

One discomfort often faced by travellers in Peru is altitude sickness, locally known as soroche. Typically occurring at elevations above 8,000 feet, altitude sickness is common at the country’s popular inland destinations including Machu Picchu, and can affect any traveler, regardless of physical fitness. Symptoms include headache, nausea, and lethargy, among others.


It’s recommended to bring Diamox tablets with you in case you react strongly to changes in elevation—but know that if you do become ill, your guides, hotel staff, and other locals are extremely well-versed in knowing the signs and caring for travelers with altitude sickness. Taking extra time to acclimatize, getting lots of rest and water, and consuming coca tea and leaves should help.

For treks or climbs above 4,000m we recommend you arrive at least 2 days prior to departure to acclimatise fully before any physical exertion. When planning to arrive in Cusco, it’s often a good idea to stay in the Sacred Valley which is 1,000m lower than Cusco and this helps greatly with the altitude acclimatisation if you’re not used to being at altitude.


For other medical needs, we have our own on-call nurse who will be part of your high-altitude expeditions. It is highly recommended that you invest in travel insurance for emergency and evacuation coverage, especially if you are planning a more active adventure in remote areas.


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