ARGENTINA

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Argentina guide

The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin word “silver.”

Argentina Time (AST) is GMT -3 hours, meaning that it’s 1 hour ahead of New York and 4 hours behind London. Argentina has not calculated Daylight Savings time since 2011. 

US Citizens will need: 

  • A passport with validity upon entry, must have at least one page empty to be stamped. 
  • Tourist or Business Visa not required for stays of 90 days or less.

For more detailed info, check out Argentina Travel.

These are 3 popular international airports in Argentina: Ministro Pistarini (Ezeiza) International Airport (EZE), Jorge Newbery Airport (AFP), and Cordoba Airport (COR). 

Bueno Aires Ministro Pistarini (Ezeiza) International Airport (EZE) is the main and busiest international airport in Argentina. The airport is in Ezeiza, Bueno Aires which is around 23 km southwest from the city center. This airport mostly serves international flights.

Bueno Aires Jorge Newbery Airport (AFP) is the second busiest airport in Argentina. AFP covers the broader Bueno Aires area. Located in Palermo which is 2 km northeast of the city center. This airport serves mostly domestic flights. 

Cordoba Airport (COR) also known as Pajas Blancas Airport or Ingeniero Aeronáutico Ambrosio L.V. Taravella International Airport. Located in Cordoba – 10 km north from the city center. This is a smaller international airport.

Argentina has a few modes of public transport that are easily accessible. Larger cities within Argentina have reliable transit options. Within these cities, there are public transit such as taxis, trams, car rentals, bicycling and buses.

  • While Uber is currently legal in Argentina, it is in a constant legal battle with the city of Buenos Aires due to possible scams, cancellations and confusion. It was legalized in 2016 then illegal and then legal again. 
  • Traveling by train is the most comfortable way to travel through Argentina but takes up a lot of time. Major cities like Buenos Aires have their own transit/bus system.  
  • If you want to travel within Argentina, the fastest way would be flying. You’re better off booking the flight while already in Argentina versus prior to going. You are more likely to pay less that way.
  • Renting a car is another way to travel through Argentina. You must be over 21 to rent a car and have a valid driver’s license in your own country but it is preferred to have an international one. Renting a car can be expensive from a major corporation, so it is best to rent from an off brand for better prices. Also, driving in Argentina can be dangerous because Argentinians drive aggressively, there are tons of pot holes and unpaved roads.

Argentina is considered one of the best destinations to solo travel and as a female too, but there are always safety precautions to take when traveling to unfamiliar places. There is petty theft, so be street smart and hang on tightly to your valuables. It’s important to be vigilant and wary of your surroundings.

The emergency number in Buenos Aires is 101 or 911.

Safety tips:

Don’t leave valuable possessions in your back pockets.

Do not take unfamiliar streets or alleyways when walking in town.

Always stay cautious and be aware of your surroundings when walking alone.

Ignore cat-calling, if you feel uncomfortable, politely but firmly tell them to stop and walk towards a big crowd.  

Safety tips for the night-owls:

Try to avoid taxis alone at night unless it is a “Radio Taxi”. You are less likely to be harassed or scammed in a “Radio Taxi”. Avoid walking alone at night even if it is to and from a bar.

Travel in groups of 2 or more- especially if you are a solo female traveler. Make sure you lock your doors.

Argentinian summers are very hot while winters are mildly warm. The South of Argentina is warmer than the North of Argentina. 

  • December, January, February (Summer): Hottest months.
  • March: Wettest month. 
  • October, November, December, April, May, June (Spring/Autumn): BEST TIME TO VISIT 
  • July, August, September: Coldest months.

Spanish is the official language of Argentina but there is a large population that speak Italian and Levantine Arabic. Regardless, Spanish remains the most widely spoken language in Argentina. 

Here’s a few basic words and phrases:

Hello: Hola

Thank you: Gracias

You’re welcome: De nada

Excuse me: Perdóneme

I’m sorry: Lo siento

Please: Por favor

Good morning: Buenos días

Goodnight: Buenas noches

My name is…: Me llamo…

Check, please: La cuenta por favor

I don’t understand: No entiendo

Do you speak English?: ¿Hablas inglés?

Where is…?: ¿Dónde está…?

Call the police: Llama la policía

Appropriate etiquette can guide you through this interesting and unique culture. These tips are helpful to avoid any misunderstandings with locals.

Social settings:

  • A kiss on the cheek is how Argentinians greet one another, even strangers. 
  • Argentinian’s have good eye contact, but the men tend to stare.
  • Argentinian’s are direct, open and communicate loudly.
  • Argentina’s use of personal features as nicknames, do not take it personally. 
  • Do not take their jokes offensively, Argentinians, culturally, make jokes that have to do with your appearance. 
  • Argentina has a lively nightlife but it does not start until 2am, therefore do not go to clubs until then.
  • Do not drink alcohol in public areas, you may see adolescents doing so but it is not a respectable thing for adults.
  • Stray away from conversations about politics, religion, or any sensitive topics that can offend Argentina. 

Wine and dine:

  • When entering an Argentinian home, greet with a kiss on the cheek and make sure to bring a gift for the host.
  • Do not introduce yourself to others, allow the host to introduce you.
  • Always dress nicely and presentable
  • Punctuality isn’t a large part of Argentinian culture; it is expected for people to be late and have a late meal.

The local unit of currency is the Argentine Peso (ARS). Approximately ARS 67.49 equates to USD $1.

Exchanging money is best done at the airports in Buenos Aires. It is recommended to not exchange money at ATMs on the streets.

Tipping! It is not expected but desired. If the service was great, most employees will hope for a tip. The usual rate for tipping is 10%. 

Argentina’s electricity outlets are 220 volts with 50 HZ standard frequency (C or I). If the appliances you use are between 220-240 volts, they can be used in Buenos Aires. Plugs are typically 2 pronged and flat. While some plugs are three dots and rounded.

Your converter should look like this:

Argentina power adapters - what plugs are used?

Drinking tap water straight from the faucet is safe to do. The British installed a water system in 1869 that made the water safe to drink, even better than the water in the UK.

Despite that it’s safe to drink, many travelers taste and smell chlorine and other chemicals in Argentinian tap water. So it is recommended to drink bottled water instead since the water compositions have changed. 

Here’s how to get a SIM card (“chip”) in Argentina:

  • Make sure your phone is unlocked. 
  • Claro, Movistar, Personal, and Nextel are the main carriers on the market with the most extensive networks. 
  • Pick up your SIM cards at the airport, official network store, supermarket, kiosk, pharmacies or shops.
  • Argentinian SIM cards usually cost approximately ARS 10 (about USD $0.64). 
  • The cost of making and receiving calls will vary depending on the carrier.

Argentina is one of the more progressive countries when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. Argentina was the first country in South America to legalized same-sex-marriage in 2010 but even in 1887, same sex relations/activities were allowed.

Rights to change gender without a doctor’s consultation was legalized in 2012; Argentinians do not need reassignment surgery or hormones but if they want them, they are provided for free by the state if requested. Rights to change gender without surgery was legalized in 2018. Same-sex adoption was legalized in 2010. The LGBTQ+ community has the rights to donate blood and be part of the military. It is illegal in some areas to discriminate towards the LGBTQ+ community and they are only protected by the military code but not included in the general discrimination code. 

Argentina is the second largest country in South America filled with natural life and has 36 natural parks. Argentina is a very popular country to visit because of eco-tours. It’s the top country for green travel, sustainability and eco-friendliness. 

Must-see highlights for eco-travelers:

  • Whale watching in Argentine Patagonia and bird watching in the highlands of Cordoba, the Ibera marshes, and Iguaza Waterfalls.
  • Nature Safaris in Patagonia 
  • Perito Moreno Glacier
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FOR ADVENTURERS:

A TIMELINE OF ARGENTINA'S HISTORY

The Spaniards colonization begins of River Plate and inlands.

16th century

The Viceroyalty is separated by space. Then the Viceroy was overthrown, the war began.

1775-1810

Independence was declared but there was a start of a civil war between centralist and federalist.

José de San Martín was the leader of the southern and central parts of South America’s successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire.
1816

Buenos Aires and Argentine Confederence unite. Liberal economic, immigration policy, education progression and population grow. Along with same sex activity to be allowed.

1861-1887

Economic growth declines. Argentina refused to break diplomatic relations with Japan and Germany since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Argentina then declares war on Germany and Japan.

1932-1945

Juan Peron was elected president twice. Then resigned but then took over leadership again. He died in July 1945. His third wife Isabel Peron took over operations and terrorism overruled the country.  The “Dirty War” occurred killing thousands. 

1946-1976

Argentina restores full diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom. A Jewish community in Buenos Aires was bombed killing 86 people and leaving over 200 people injured. 

1990-1994

The Supreme Court had revoked the amnesty law from 2003 that protected former military officers suspected of violating human rights from 1976-1983. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner becomes president. She was then re-elected in 2011.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
FACEBOOK Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
2005-2011

The parliament of Argentina claims Falkland Islands and other British territories that are in the area. LGBTQ+ rights of same sex marriage was passed.

2009-2010

Alberto Fernandez wins presidential election, being the first person to drive out an Argentine President. 

Alberto Fernández
FACEBOOK Alberto Fernández
2019

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