Argentina Travel Guide
A VALID PASSPORT is necessary with at least 6 months remaining until expiration. No visa or entry fee is required for UK citizens to enter Argentina, unless you’re travelling on an Emergency Travel Document. On presentation of a valid British passport you will be granted a 90-day stay in the country. If you are not a UK citizen, please contact your local authorities for advice or call our office on 01970 631737 and we can find out for you. Your guide will be holding up a Tango Tours boards at Buenos Aires airport.
The Argentine Currency is the Peso ($).The US dollar is widely accepted and you can change dollars for Pesos at your hotel or any bank. When you pay in dollars, most merchants give change in pesos which is a good way to get small bills for cabs, tips or porters, although dollars may be used as well. It is difficult to exchange traveler’s checks of any kind outside Buenos Aires. American Express, Visa and Master Card are widely accepted. ATM machines can usually only be found in bigger towns and cities and dispense money in pesos (SOME dispense in dollars too). Most ATMs dispense a maximum of 700 pesos per day. Don’t forget to tell your bank that you are going to Argentina, as sometimes anti-fraud systems can suspend your card if it is unexpectedly used in South America.
Seasons are opposite to those in Europe, so our winter is their summer and vice versa. As Argentina is such a large country weather varies depending on where you go. In general, Buenos Aires is predominantly warm, but in the rest of the country it can vary from subtropical climate in the north to sub polar in the far south of Patagonia.
There no strict dress codes to be followed in Argentina. Evening venues don’t tend to be fussy about what is worn, so you can generally wear what you want to restaurants/bars. Argentinian women don’t tend to wear very short skirts and dresses, so if you did so you may attract unwanted attention.
It tends to be difficult and is not really worth getting an Argentinian SIM card. The best way to call home is by buying ‘long distance calling cards’ at a very low cost. You can buy these at local LOCUTORIO’s (public telephone offices). These are everywhere! You simply go in and ask for a ‘Cabina’. It’s very simple and cheap. When dialing the number don’t forget to start with the country code (0044 for the UK).
Your mobile phone will work fine in Argentina, but we suggest you turn off ‘Data Roaming’ and don’t make international calls as you may have a nasty shock on your phone bill when you return!
Most places have WIFI but if you need to use your mobile data, turn data roaming back on and turn off when you’re done.
All plugs in Argentina are on 220 volts and you will need an adapter for electrical products from the UK. In some places it is the two prong adapter, in some it is the flat three pronged. Therefore we advise taking an international adapter or one of each.
Argentina is a very safe country and they are used to having visitors from the UK. Although Buenos Aires is not an especially unsafe city, it still is a very large one bringing all the common problems of a big city i.e pickpockets, untrustworthy taxi drivers and dangerous neighborhoods so just be wary and stick together or in a crowd if you are alone.
We suggest you bring a COPY of your passport with you (to carry on you at all times), and as soon as you check in to your hotel room, put your actual passport in the safe. Do not make it obvious you are carrying expensive technology like cameras or phones. Do not wear jewelry or expensive watches.
There are increasingly more stray dogs around Argentina, they are not vicious but it is suggested not to stroke or approach them.
There is no malaria risk in Argentina and no mandatory health requirements – so you do not need to get any injections or tablets. However, we suggest you contact your local GP or travel nurse before you leave for current advice and recommendations on immunisations and medication. You can also visit www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk for up-to-date advice and information.
Ensure you take out adequate travel insurance before you travel, in case of any accident or injury.
Take necessary precautions to protect yourself against mosquitoes and the sun.
The main water system in Buenos Aires has purified and drinkable water and it is perfectly safe to drink. However, in rural areas we suggest you drink bottled water as the water is not guaranteed to be as safe.
If you plan on taking a bath or washing your clothes, take a universal sink plug with you as they do not usually come in hotel or hostel rooms.
Argentina is 4 hours behind the UK (this changes to 3 hours with our daylight saving time).
IN COUNTRY TRANSPORT
Buenos Aires has a huge supply of Public Transport. The Subway Trains cover large areas of the city, and run very frequently. However, taxis are probably the best way to get around and they are very inexpensive. You will need Argentine Pesos for all transport. In the more rural areas local buses and taxis are common, but check the availability before you go.
DINING OUT & SHOPPING
It is customary (although not mandatory), to tip for all services. In bars, cafés and restaurants, you are generally expected to leave between a 10% to 15% tip to the waiters - always in cash, on the table. It can never be added to your credit card.
Many shops take their siesta between 1pm and 4pm and restaurants and bars open late – usually after 9pm but snacks are available throughout the day in other places.
The language of Argentina is Spanish. It is very useful to carry a phrasebook with you or learn some basic Spanish phrases before you go.
Police – 101 (911 in Buenos Aires)
Medical emergency – 107
British Embassy – 01148082200