Argentina Travel Guide

Argentina is in the southern half of South America.  It’s is a vibrant, authentic, and romantic country with cultural influence from Europe. When people think of Argentina, its capital, Buenos Aires often comes to mind first. Buenos Aires captures the essence of the country and offers many cultural experiences. A typical day here might involve dancing the tango, gorging on meat, and drinking wine from Mendoza. Outside of the countries capital, there are many incredible natural wonders to see… such as  Patagonia, Los Glaciares (glaciers), and the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls.

Picture of girl who wrote Argentina travel guide. Girl is in Buenos Aires in front of a colored house in the La Boca district of Buenos Aires.
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Know Before You Go

Language

Spanish is the official language of Argentina and is spoken by the majority of the population. English, Portuguese, and Italian are common secondary languages and spoken by some of the population.

When to Visit

Argentina is a great destination year-round but the best time to visit is during its shoulder seasons which are April – June (fall) or from September – December (spring). During the shoulder seasons, there are mild temperatures and minimal tourists. Prices also tend to be more reasonable during these months.

Currency & Payment

The official currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso (ARS). Credit cards are accepted as a form of payment in major cities. Small cities and local vendors will only accept cash. ATMs can be found throughout the country though at times they run out of money and don’t work, so it’s wise to take out as much cash as you think you’ll need when you go.

Transportation

Transferring between regions in Argentina is possible via bus or plane. Inner-city transportation varies. Major cities offer public buses and cabs. Rideshare apps such as Uber work in major cities. Always make sure that your cab is licensed and negotiate the rate before getting in if there is no meter.

What to Pack

Here’s a list of suggested items to pack for Argentina…in addition to what you’d automatically think to bring. 

  • Power adaptor: Argentina uses plug types C and I and operates on a standard voltage of 220V with a standard frequency of 50Hz.

  • Small backpack: If you plan to go on an outdoor excursion then be sure to bring a small backpack to carry your things in. 

  • Comfortable shoes: You’ll likely do a lot of walking in Argentinawhether you’re in a city or a small town, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes.

Experiences

Here’s a list of some top things to experience in Argentina:

  1. Spend time in Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires is Argentina’s capital city and there’s something to do here 24/7. By day, visitors can visit museums and stroll through the streets to view the European influenced architecture. At night, visitors can gorge on an all-meat meal and then head to a party that might get started at midnight and last until the break of dawn. 

  2. Sip wine in Mendoza: The wine region of Argentina has many vineyards, bars, and restaurants that guests can go to and sip endless amounts of Malbec. 

  3. Check out Iguazu Falls: One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Iguazu Falls is int the middle of a rainforest that connects Brazil and Argentina. 

  4. Spend time in Patagonia: Check out the wonders of Patagonia and while there, you can see Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi which is an enormous protected area that contains a dormant volcano or embark on a glacier expedition in Los Glaciares National Park.

  5. Visit Bariloche: A town located in Argentina’s Patagonia region. The town is known for its swiss influence and delicious chocolate. 

  6. Walk with the penguins: Head to Martillo Island to see the home of a colony of penguins; which are there between September and April. There are guided tours that facilitate hour-long walks with them along the area. 

  7. Go to Córdoba: A quaint city located 435 mi northwest of Buenos Aires. It’s known for its beautiful colonial Spanish architecture. 

  8. Stroll through Valle de la Luna: Also known as Moon Valley, it’s a large protected area containing otherworldly rock formations and dinosaur remains.

Fast Facts

Here are some facts about Argentina that you may have not already known!

  1. Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world.

  2. Buenos Aires is the most visited city in South America. 

  3. Meat is popular in Argentina. The country has the highest consumption of red meat in the world.

  4. Argentina was the first country in South America to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010.

  5. The first-ever animated feature film, El Apóstol, was created in Argentina… and it’s said to have been an inspiration to Walt Disney, who later visited Patagonia, where the idea of Bambi was born. 

  6. You’ll see a lot of European influence in Argentina. Europeans first migrated there in 1502.

  7. Argentina declared independence from Spain in 1816.

  8. The name Argentina is derived from the Latin-term, Argenti, which means, “silver.”

  9. There are over 30 national parks in Argentina.

  10. Argentinians love to dance…the tango started here in the 1890s.

Budget Suggestions

Here’s a look at what you might spend on the basics during a trip to Bolivia. Costs may fluctuate based on the region that you visit or the time of year that you go. This estimate is based on what it would cost to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina. 


Item

Budget Travel

Mid-Range

High End

Notes

Accommodation

$6 – $12/night (Hostel dorm)

$20 – $60/night 

(Airbnb or hotel)

$60 – $200+/night (Hotel)

Hostelworld.com, Booking.com & Airbnb are good resources for affordable housing.

Food

$5 – $10/meal
(Local Food)

$10 – $30/meal
(average restaurant)

$30 – $100+/meal
(high-end restaurant)

Alcohol

$2 – $5
(Domestic Drinks)

$6 – $10
(Cocktails, Wines, etc.)

Transportation

$.36/way 

(public transport)

$0.80/base + $0.34/km 

(public taxi)

Explore from Home

Due to COVID-19, it’s not as possible to travel freely. Because of this, I wanted to share some resources for experiencing the country virtually. 

 

  1. Discover the street art of Buenos Aires with a local on Airbnb Experiences

  2. Learn to make empanadas and chimichurri with an Argentine on Airbnb Experiences

  3. Discover Argentina in 4K

  4. Learn how to Tango from the comfort of your home