Wanderers But Not Lost

Budget travel in Argentina


Argentina is a very vast country and any trip has to be very well prepared. Unless you have a lot of time or thinking of doing many internal flights, is very unlikely to get to know all the attractions because the trips are quite long. Prepare well your trip, investigate the time you need to make the connections between the various locations and take time to fully enjoy the beauty of the places. Also make time to do trekking. Even alone, it’s easy to arrange people to share the adventure. There surely must see places, as Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego or Iguaçu, but visit less popular sites can be equally or more rewarding. Reinforce your attention in large cities, mainly Buenos Aires, and if any misfortune contact the police which is generally efficient and attentive. Argentina is a fairly safe country to travel, whether accompanied either alone, even for a woman. As a woman traveling alone you’ll always have enough chivalry by men. The population of Argentina is very friendly and welcoming and always ready to help, making it very easy to travel in this country.


Perito Moreno, El Calafate

Getting to Argentina?

Plane: From Europe the most economical option for flights to Argentina will probably be with Air Europa from London (Gatwick) or Madrid. Flights departing from London calling at Madrid but bad way can compensate in terms of cost, since it can save around 200 Euros. Other alternatives that may be worth researching are with LAN, Iberia and Aerolineas Argentinas, via Madrid, although in the last two conditions of airplanes leave a bit to be desired. From Brazil and other neighboring countries, the most frequent air routes are with Gol, TAM, LAN or Aerolineas Argentinas.

Overland: On land there are also very good options to cross the border. Buses in Argentina are very comfortable and most include breakfast service, lunch and dinner. There are several options to cross borders with Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and most companies perform these journeys at night, which is great to save travel days and one night hotel. You  should do some research because if exist companies from neighboring countries to make the crossing, the prices are usually lower. For example, between Puerto Natales (Chile) and Ushuaia (Argentina) is more economical to use a Chilean company than an Argentine, and the quality of service is equivalent. The crossing between Argentina and Chile is also popular in the Andes, crossing the Andes between Mendoza (Argentina) and Santiago (Chile). Between the two cities there are dozens of daily buses that take about 6-7h. Another popular border is between Puerto Natales (Chile) and Calafate (Argentina), and the buses are also quite common either one side or the other, though predominate in the morning. The journey takes 5 hours. In recent years, the crossing bus + boat from Bariloche (Argentina) and Puerto Varas (Chile) has also become quite popular. The trip takes a full day and should be started early in the morning. Attention from Argentina to Chile you can not take any kind of food. Doing so will not have any problem; otherwise if they meet food in your luggage may have big problems. The crossing by land between Argentina and Brazil is quite easy in Puerto Iguazu and takes less than 30 minutes. Here, you can also cross over to Paraguay (Ciudad del Este), and goes by Brazil but the bus does not stop at this border. From Buenos Aires, and most of the cities of northern Argentina, you can take direct buses to Asuncion or Conception (Paraguay) and to Montevideo (Uruguay). The ferry is another option to cross to Montevideo or to Colonia Sacramiento (Uruguay) from the capital of Argentina. For Bolivia, the most popular way to cross the border is through Salta, enjoying the beautiful landscape of the Quebrada de Humahuaca.

There are plenty of buses companies in South America that make international service. The links to some of them and of sites that can serve for reference and purchase tickets: Plataforma10, Omnilineas, Andesmar, Crucero del Norte, Cruz del Sur, Ormeno, Pluma International, Pullman del Sur, El Rapido, Bus Sur.

El Chaltén, Patagonia

Health care

Argentina does not require any certificate of vaccination, except against cholera and yellow fever for passengers coming from countries where these diseases are endemic. According to official figures of the Argentine health authorities in the first quarter of 2009 there were more than 4000 cases of dengue in Argentina, 4 of them causing fatalities. Although this disease is manifested mainly in the north, in provinces such as Chaco, Salta, Jujuy and Catamarca, in 2011 spread to Santa Fe and Missions and cases were detected in Buenos Aires. All those who travel to the capital, south and center of the country no need to worry about this problem, but those wishing to visit the north, where dengue is endemic, should take anti-mosquito measures and be aware of the symptoms. Hospitals and health care are considered high level all over the country, especially in Buenos Aires. For more detailed information is always recommended a Traveler Consultation.


Argentina is a fairly safe country. However, the capital Buenos Aires has some unsafe areas, particularly the more remote areas, Retiro and La Boca neighborhoods. It is not advisable to walk alone at night and should have increased attention in tourist areas due to thefts, which are quite common throughout the city. The south of the country is clearly safer but one should never forget that it is a South American country and major cities have some risk due to pressure population. Normal precautions should be taken. The Argentine territory is very susceptible to the occurrence of earthquakes. The last earthquake of great proportions (7.4 Richter) was found in the province of Caucete in 1977. Note that on February 1, 2011, there was an earthquake of magnitude 7 in the province of Santiago del Estero.


The official currency is the Argentine peso, worth about 0.09 Euros and 1 Euro is 10 pesos. See Exchange Rate here. Symbol: $ (not to be confused with the American dollar is usually written as US $). International Code: ARS

US dollars are also accepted but only in tourist sites, so it is best to withdraw money at an ATM, which abound throughout the country, and use local currency. The internationally recognized bank cards, such as Visa, Visa Electron, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, etc. are commonly accepted and generally does not involve extra payments, but it is always advisable to first ask to make sure. The best place to change money is in banks, they are safe and have the updated rates. The exchange offices usually charge higher rates. It is always necessary to show a passport to exchange money. You can change Dollars and Euros or currencies of neighboring countries without any problem. The habit of tipping is not widespread and boils down to hotels and top class restaurants. No one will expect you to do in restaurants, bars, hotels or cheaper hostels. Inflation is rampant in Argentina (20%, in 2011) and the prices of goods and services change almost every month. You can eat economically advantage of the daily menus for about 80 $ -100 $ (6-7 €). In Patagonia, the power is considerably more expensive, including food sold in supermarkets due to taxes.


The electrical current is 220-240V and jacks are two round pins (equal to Europe) or three oblique flat pins. Tourist areas hotels have adapters to lend to customers and some taken with the European system. It’s easy and cheap to buy an adapter. If you stay a longer time in the country will be more practical to walk always with one. Note the holes so that they are wide enough to introduce these thicker chips computers, etc.

Iguazu falls, Missiones


The international code of Argentina is +54. The local phone network is good quality and there is “locotórios” across the country with national and international service. The europe mobile operators have roamig agreements in Argentina but it may be necessary to activate the roaming contract (not automatic). Check with your company. There are several mobile network operators in Argentina (Claro, Movistar, Personal) and is easy and cheap to buy a SIM card to use in our own phone. The use of the Internet is quite widespread. There are many Internet cafes, and, particularly in the tourist sites, there are many hotels, hostels, cafes and restaurants that have free Wi-Fi.

Salta province


Due to its large size and geography, Argentina has a great climatic diversity and all travel must be properly thought through. The Latitude (North / South) is determining the variation of climate and temperature. The Southern Summer is the high season and is from November to February. This is, without a doubt, the best time of year to visit the center and south of the country (Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego), when temperatures are warmer and visits to glaciers become easier. The same is true for all of the Andes, with respect to the mountain travel. This is also the time when it is expected some crowds at most tourist sites. Spring (Sep-Nov) and autumn (Mar-Jun) can also be good times to travel through these areas, but more cloudiness and cooler than in summer. On the other hand, with less wind and less people. In the depths of winter (Jul-Aug) is extremely difficult to travel in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. There are large amounts of snow and average monthly temperatures are negative. Visits to the Andes mountains this time of year are advised against, except where there are ski resorts such as Ushuaia and Bariloche.

In the north, where the influences of the Atacama desert climate are already being felt, temperatures are quite high during summer (Nov-Feb), so the spring (Sep-Nov) and autumn (Mar-Jun) are more suitable times to travel. In Missions, where there are the famous waterfalls of Iguazu, climate is humid tropical, which means high temperatures and abundant rainfall throughout the year. This type of climate also covers the areas of Corrientes, Entre Rios and the part of Chaco. The provinces of Salta, Formosa, Tucuman and Santiago del Estero have a climate similar to the above, but have a dry season until half.

The capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, has a temperate climate, which extends through the central region of the country and that prevails from the pampas to Cordoba. On the coast, south of the city of Mar del Plata to Santa Cruz, the climate is temperate oceanic with mild temperatures and some rainfall concentrated in the winter months.

The country’s interior is quite arid. The Andes of Catamarca, Puna, La Rioja and San Juan, Mendoza and San Rafael have arid steppe climate, but with slight variations due to the presence of the Andes. This climate extends this to the Pampas and has become progressively turning into cold-arid near Neuquén in northern Patagonia. All the Andes have a cold climate mountain, and in Patagonia this kind of weather allows the existence of the Patagonian ice fields, since combine the influence of latitude with altitude.

For more detailed information about the weather in Argentina advise the site Servicio National Weather. For those who intend to High Mountain activities, whether in winter (skiing, snowboarding) and summer (trekking, mountain climbing), the Snow Forecast Site forecasts are quite reliable.


Sarmiento petrified forest

Carla Mota

I am a tirelessly curious portuguese world wanderer and also a travel photographer. My main passion lies in capturing disappearing ancient cultures, human condition and amazing nature wonders, challenging situations. My passion for travel photography has taken me to more than 80 countries which has helped me to create a vast collection of images of people and places from around the world.

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  • Hi. Thank you so much for all this great information. It is on our bucket list. We hope to make it one day soon. I also wanted to share that we have a new Skyroam Solis Hotspot which looks like it should work good in Argentina for quick internet if needed. Just thought I would share that. Thank you again for the great information.