Argentina is the second largest country in South America, full of contrasts, with a variety of landscapes and climates. From the vast pampas to the rugged and pristine Patagonia and the ‘end-of-the-world’ in the far south. From the bustling metropolis of Buenos Aires to the inhospitable north where the original Andean cultures still thrive.
Buenos Aires is the capital and cultural center of Argentina. It is the city of tango, with excellent gastronomic culture and a thriving nightlife.
From Buenos Aires to the middle of the country, grassy plains stretch out in the countryside where the gaucho culture still exists. In northeastern Argentina are the widest waterfalls in the world, the Puerto Iguazú on the Argentine side and Foz de Iguazú on the Brazilian side, located in the middle of the tropical rainforest. In the valleys of the Andes, the great and famous bodegas have their own wineries. All around the province of Mendoza which is the oldest and largest wine region of Argentina. Patagonia in the south of Argentina is well known for its rugged and pristine wilderness. The Perito Moreno glacier in the far south, the Parque Nacional los Glaciares and Valdes makes this area a natural highlight. Tierra del Fuego, or Fire land with its capital Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. This ‘end of world’- point is the perfect starting point for an expedition cruise to Antarctica.
Travel to Argentina
Geography Argentina, meaning ‘land of silver’, is a rich and vast land. It’s the second largest (after Brazil) country in South America and eighth largest in the world. Argentina is a vast natural wonderland, from mighty Iguazú Falls in the subtropical north to the thunderous, crackling advance of the Glaciar Perito Moreno in the south.
When to travel Given the size of Argentina, when you choose to go will very much depend on where you want to visit. Generally, Spring (October to mid-December) and Autumn (April to mid-June) are the best months to plan your trip. Buenos Aires will be very hot and sticky in the Summer (December to February). But for climbing the highest Andean peaks it is the best and also the most reliable time of year to head for Tierra del Fuego. Autumn (March and April) is a great time to visit Mendoza and San Juan provinces for the wine harvests. And visit Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego to witness the eye-catching red and orange hues of the beech groves. The winter months (June, July and August) are the time to head for the Andean ski resorts. Temperatures in the north of the country should be more pleasant at this time of year.
Time difference The official time is 3 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-3). During summer time difference between Amsterdam and Argentina is 5 hours (it is 5 hours earlier in Argentina). During winter the time difference is 4 hours.
Languages The official language of the Argentina is Spanish. But Argentinian Spanish is different from the Spanish spoken in Spain. In some ways it sounds more like Italian than Spanish. There are also many other languages spoken in Argentina, including Italian, German, English and French. Indigenous languages include Mapuche, Guarani, Aymara, Toba and Quechua.
Travel documents A valid Dutch passport is needed upon entering Argentina. Upon return in your home country the passport should be valid for 6 months more. No long stay visa is needed if your stay in Argentina is no longer then three months. For all other nationalities, we advise you to contact the embassy or consulate of Argentina. All travelers, including kids at any age need to carry their own international passport. Keep a copy of your passport and other documents in your luggage and keep a digital copy, for instance in your mail. In case you lose your original documents you still have the copies.
Security Argentina is a safe travel destination. Buenos Aires is not particularly dangerous, be aware of petty theft. It is important to remember there are always pickpockets in tourist areas. Use common sense while traveling in Argentina, just as you would in any other location.• Take the normal precautions to guard against purse snatchers. • Carry a copy of identification documents. Keep originals and your valuables in the safety deposit box of your hotel and make sure to list down what you deposit and verify the responsibility assumed by the establishment. • Carry valuables discreetly. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Keep an eye on your bags and luggage. • Do not carry suitcases, bags or sac packs on your back. • Do not exchange money out in the street. • Do not walk around at night through areas with poor lighting or without companion.
Currency and banks The official currency is the Argentine Peso. You can always exchange dollars at the official rate in several Banco de La Nación (state owned bank) branches or at exchange bureaus across town. At the airport of Buenos Aires, there is a branch of the Banco de La Nación located in the arrivals area. ATMs are spread all over the city, in banks but also in shopping centers and many large supermarkets.
Transport Distances are immense in Argentina. Ground transport (mostly bus) is best for giving a true impression of the scale of the country and for appreciating the landscape. However, particularly to and around Patagonia, travelling by domestic flights can often save a day or more.• By bus. By far the most common and straightforward method of transport in Argentina. Many buses are modern and designed for long-distance travel. • By air. Who wants to get an overview of Argentina’s tremendous variety in a limited time may rely heavily on domestic flights. • By car. You’ll find a car pretty indispensable if you want to explore some of the more isolated areas of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, the Northwest, Mendoza or San Juan. • Car rental. Driving requirements in Argentina are not as strict as those of other countries. Argentina simply requires foreign nationals to have a valid driver's license from their home country. • Taxis. There are two main types of taxi: regular urban taxis that you can flag down in the street. And remises, or minicab radio taxis, that you must book by phone or at their central booking booth. • By boat. Boat or river travel in and around Argentina are limited. Though there are regular international services to/from Uruguay and to/from Chile via the Lake District. Further south, from Ushuaia, operators offer boat trips on the Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego. • By rail. Argentina’s train network, developed through British investment in the late nineteenth century and nationalized by the Perón administration in 1948, collapsed in 1993 when government subsidies were withdrawn. The railways are now in a pitiful state, with very little in the way of long-distance services. • Cycling. Most towns with a tourist infrastructure have at least one place that rents out bicycles for half- or full-day to visit sights. Don’t expect much consideration from other vehicles on the road.
When taking public transport, safeguard valuables by keeping them on your body at all times. Always padlock your bag as this is a huge deterrent for would-be thieves. On longer bus journeys make sure to pack enough water and snacks. Always be alert at bus terminals or bus stops for pickpockets and bag snatchers.
Electricity The voltage in Argentina is 220V. We advise you to bring a power plug and/or voltage adapter.
Mobile phones If you bring a compatible (GSM only) cell phone to Argentina, it will only work if your provider offers roaming. Argentina uses GSM 1900 frequency, so check, if your cell phone supports this one (older European phones don't).
Internet Internet is commonly available throughout Argentina, almost all hotels provide good and free wireless internet (WIFI). Internet cafes in major cities are easy to find.
Health & Vaccinations Seek for medical advice before travelling to Argentina from your local health practitioner and ensure that you receive all of the appropriate vaccinations. As a guide tetanus, diphtheria, polio, typhoid, hepatitis A (for stays over 4 weeks) and hepatitis B (for stays over 3 months) are recommended.Argentina is a modern country with good health and dental services. Sanitation and hygiene at restaurants is relatively high, and tap water is generally safe to drink throughout the country. Though the high mineral content can cause stomach upsets, so it's safer to drink bottled water. Take a small first-aid kit along with you which includes iodine, plasters, sterilon and anti-fever, diarrhea, constipation, insect bites, sunburn and possibly a cure for motion sickness. Consider also a tick, thermometer (unbreakable), ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts, from dehydration) and vitamin tablets. Hygiene traveling including a bottle disinfectant gel (to wash your hands without the need for water and soap) and disinfecting wipes. If you go to a malaria area, think of anti-malaria tablets, an ointment containing DEET and an impregnated mosquito net.
Clothes Considering that Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world, it is no wonder that the traveler passes through nearly every biosphere imaginable, from high deserts of the North to vast glacial fields of the Patagonia South. As a result, Argentina can be a tricky country to pack for as the contents of your suitcase will largely depend on your itinerary and the season. The key to packing for a country with such wide-ranging temperatures is: LAYERS. Invest in a base layer made out of a good, sturdy and moisture wicking fabric (like merino wool). Then add a mid-layer, which can include a fleece jacket, sweater or in colder climates a down/core loft jacket. Lastly, finish the outfit with a waterproof shell.Addresses Ambassade van de Argentijnse Republiek Javastraat 20 2585 AN 'S-Gravenhage The Netherlands Tel: (+31) 70 311 84 11 Fax: (+31) 70 311 84 10 Website: www.epbaj.mrecic.gov.ar Netherlands Embassy in Bueno Aires Edificio Porteño Plaza II Olga Cossettini 831 Buenos Aires, Argentina Tel: (+54) 11 4338 0050 Fax: (+54) 11 4338 0060/70 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org