Argentina Travel Guide
🗝️ Key Facts
🏛️Capital: Buenos Aires
💶Currency: Argentine Peso (ARS) ($)
🕙Time Zone: -3 GMT
📞Phone Code: +54
🌐Language: Spanish (Argentine Dialect)
✈️Best time to visit: All year round
🍴Eat: Parrillada, Alfajores
🍷Drink: Mate, Fernet & Coke
🗺️Don't miss: Quebrada de Humahuaca, watching a Tango Show, Tierra del Fuego scenery.
🗺 Menu of Contents:
Argentina spans an incredible 3,650km from north to south, giving the country a huge variety of landscapes and attractions ranging from the desert landscapes, filled with cactus, of the Pampas in the north to the glaciers and penguin colonies of Tierra del Fuego in the south.
In between those extremes lies the heart of Argentina and its capital, Buenos Aires. The birthplace of the tango, Buenos Aires is a fascinating city of history and culture and is overflowing with amazing restaurants, theatres, nightclubs and dance halls. 400 km south of Buenos Aires lies Argentina's most popular beach resort, Mar del Plata, which attracts around millions of local tourists every summer.
However, it is interesting to notice that many of Argentina's most popular attractions are not in the cities, but spread across its varied landscape. The famous Iguazú Falls, voted one of the natural wonders of the world in 2011, draw tourists from all over the globe, as do the excellent vineyards of the wine region in Mendoza, and the popular ski resorts Bariloche and Las Leñas.
Argentina is a patchwork made up of colourful panoramas and even more colourful people. A hugely popular tourist destination in South America, a holiday in Argentina is an adventure likely to be repeated, over and over!
Arriving to Argentina is possible by many means of transport, the country has many airports spread across its mass land. Depends where you coming from/going, then different transport options apply. The main gateway to the country is via its two main Airports, Ezeiza and Jorge Newbery, (Aeroparque) both located in the capital.
Ezeiza (EZE) serves most international traffic including long haul flights. Aerolineas Argentinas is the flag carrier. You can fly direct to Buenos Aires from Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam, New York, Miami, Atalanta, Houston, Auckland and many south American Destinations. As for Jorge Newbery (AEP), it's used most for domestic traffic plus international South American destinations. For more info please visit the website for Argentinian Airports.
In recent years it's now possible to fly low cost in Argentina thanks to the revolution in air travel. New airlines such as Jet Smart and Flybondi has made it possible for many more people to now fly, instead of taking the long hour busses.
Some travellers arrive to Argentina by long-distance bus. These connect major cities in South America, mainly direct from Montevideo, Asuncion, Santiago de Chile, Lima or La Paz with Buenos Aires. But its also possible to reach smaller cities or towns, specially if you are coming from Bolivia or Chile. Intercity busses in Argentina are called Omnibus and they offer comfortable reclining seats and on board service, food and drinks, are often provided, when travelling at night. Many now are including Wifi and fully air conditioned. Times are long and tiring, however there is a lot of competition so make sure you compare all the sites before you buy a ticket. For timetables and fares travelling by long distance bus, both domestic and international, check the following websites: Plataforma10 and Ticketonline.
Argentina is probably the only country is South America, which has a more developed train network across the country. However, services are limited and often mean travelling by night. But the advantage is that they are safe, cheap and comfortable. For more information on the trains in Argentina check Trenes Argentinos.
❗Attention: Don't expose personal belongings in busses such as cameras, laptops, etc as it's been reported things go missing when busses make stops in-between the trips or even along the way with thiefs travelling on-board.
In Argentina they have a continental climate which is characterised by the Southern Hemisphere, with often very hot Summers (temperatures reaching up to 35-40°C) and cold rainy Winters (temperatures generally on average 15-20°C. However, due to the length of the country being around 3.650 Km, the differences in climate, terrain and temperature from North to South are very noticable.
Please check the individual city guides for more information about the climate in each area.
Note that in Argentina their Summer's are between December to March, whilst Winter is from June to September. (like the rest of the southern Hemisphere).
The best time to visit Argentina is generally Autumn and Spring, in the cities to do tourism and activities. The North is good to visit from March to October with more mild temperatures thus avoiding the heat during the Summer (December to March). If you are visiting in the South, all year round is good to go, taking note that the Winter can be harsh around June to September, with temperatures not more than 10°C.
Most will associate Argentina with tasty food, highlighting specially meat pasta and pizza. However it, offers a wide selection of culinary types with Japanese, Thai and Asian-fusion food becoming very popular recently.
Wherever you are in the country, meat is the main dish, with a great array of carnivorous treats to taste. Restaurants offer great selection of meat dishes, cooked in many different ways (grilled, barbecued, smoked, fried.. ) accompanied with salad or fries.
Around Buenos Aires and the main cities, there are plenty of restaurants offering fresh meat, served daily and cooked to order. However prices vary a lot depending on place. Expensive restaurants are usually in the centre and in the case of Buenos Aires in Puerto Madero, but these restaurants don't necessarily mean you will get the best cut pieces and top flavour. It's advised to try more local restaurants away from the centre, for example Palermo (Buenos Aires) and the neighbourhoods around it are good for authentic Argentine meat but for a much more reasonable price!
The traditional food you can find in Argentina is: The national dish is Parrillada (mixed grill meats, from different cuts and type of meats) Morcilla (blood sausage). Choripan, (like a hotdog, but with red meat from chorizo) Bife de ancho (Rib eye steak), Bife de chorizo (Sirloin steak), Bife de lomo: Pork steak.
The most traditional snack, and a must take-away for visitors are the Alfajores, a traditional Argentine cookie, they’re also commonly found in other Latin American countries with slight variations in the making and ingredients. Alfajores are soft, delicate cookies, made with a combination of cornstarch and flour. The cornstarch gives the dough a smooth, silky texture, and produces a tender, crumbly cookie.Creamy dulce de leche holds the cookies together. (a caramelised milk sauce). Empanadas (Little pasties typically stuffed with meat, vegetable or cheese, and good in Jujuy and Salta in the northwest.of the country. Milanesa (Breaded veal or beefsteak, topped with cheese, ham or egg). Chimichurri (A sauce made from chopped parsley and oregano, garlic, olive oil and vinegar, served as a side dish with meat). Medialunas (Small, croissant-like pastries served for breakfast).
Eating out in Argentina can be generally cheaper than buying some some supermarkets. So it's no surprise that during the evening, you will find many food outlets and stans selling street food. Selling hot dogs (panchos) is very popular in Argentina, as well as hamburgers and Pizzas. They are local delicacies, which have to be tried as well!
However, be careful with street food, as sometimes the quality of the food can be bad and make one have stomach problems and other symptoms if you're not used to the water and oil they are prepared.
Vegetarians may struggle to find many options, particularly outside Buenos Aires, though fruits and salads are widely available. A strong Italian influence means quality coffee and ice cream is popular, and in Buenos Aires there are many Gelaterias (ice cream shops).
As for drinks, Argentina is very popular with wine and beer. Argentina produces some excellent wines. Try a light Pinot Noir from Patagonia, a silky red from Malbec and a white, the aromatic Torrontés grape. Another traditional drink, a must try for a visitor is Mate, it's essentially green tea made from the Yerba mate plant and drunk any time. Argentinians take flasks out to the streets and drink it as they walk, shop, work etc ,a true Argentine custom. Quilmes, is the national lager, very popular at every bar.
✔️Tip: In Argentina, local people usually dine quite late, specially during the weekends. Good restaurants get full quickly so going for dinner before 9 pm is advised or you might be waiting for a long time for a table. You can find restaurants open for dinning from 8pm till 1am.
Argentina is a country which never stops surprising me for its vast size and the different contrasts you can find when travelling across its entire 3600 Km is distance, North to South! I have travelled many times now to Argentina and each trip enlights me with new cities, culture and experiences.
From the beginning, Buenos Aires, its capital, has been a huge metropolis of life and adventures to enjoy late dinners and meet great friends in the country. The city is one of the most fascinating, mixing Spanish architecture and style with a modern contemporary twist. Many cultural places and interesting districts, helps not to get bored in the big city!
Travelling from the North of Argentina, the contrast is quite impressive. Local towns, are very close to the "Pachamama", the earth. Which they adore and celebrate. Traditions and culture are big in the area and it's very interesting seeing a more humble and basic style of life. Hot climate in the north prevails year round, with the blue skies, giving a big contrast to the arid, different colours and mountainous terrain, which one can see along many towns like Jujuy and Salta.
Continuing South, I visited Cordoba. The second biggest city in Argentina. Offering a more artistic side, yet full of culture, museums and interesting places to see. Especially the smaller towns of Alta Gracias and Villa General Belgrano, were worth visiting, for their cultural history and German/Swiss colonial influence for the latter. The scenery begins to be greener and less arid.
When you reach the south of Argentina, specially La Patagonia, which El Calafate and Tierra del Fuego belong to, one arrives to a very different climate. However, the scenery is the most dramatic and spectacular here. Tall peak mountains, covered with snow, ideal for trekking in the Summer and skiing in the Winter give many reasons to come to visit and take part in some of the unlimited activities which are offered in the area, year round. Ushuaia is the last city of the continent, a beautiful town in Winter, with an incredible backdrop of mountains full of snow and a very peaceful feel. Nature lovers should not miss travelling south of Argentina!
Lastly, the true reason, why I love Argentina. Is because its people are just so friendly, warm and loving, one of the key factors that make me go back over and over to this spectacular country with so much to offer!
(5 times visited)