Planning Your Trip to Argentina

What’s the best time to travel to Argentina?

This depends entirely on what region(s) you would like to focus on. The seasons in Argentina are opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere. Buenos Aires and Iguazu are enjoyable year round. The summer season (November – March) is generally warmer with temperatures in the 80s °F (30 °C). An excellent time to visit these spots is often during the shoulder seasons (October – November or April – May) when you will enjoy milder temperatures and often less visitors.

If you are interested in wine touring, Mendoza is the wine capital of Argentina, and pleasant year round. During the summer months (November – March) the highs are generally in the 80s °F (30 °C). During the winter (April – October)  the temperatures are a bit cooler, with average daytime temperatures in the 60s °F.

The best time to visit Patagonia is during the summer months (November – March). The weather will be the warmest from December to February. The shoulder seasons (October – November or April – May) will be cooler but also less windy. This is a great time to go if you plan to spend time in Iguazu or Buenos Aires as well. During the winter months Northern Patagonia is quite rainy and Southern Patagonia is cold and could have snow, although during these times there are very few visitors and deals are available, so if you don’t mind the cold it’s a great time to visit.

Does Argentina have any visa requirements or is there anything I need to do ahead of time to get into the country?

United States citizens do not have to pay a reciprocity fee in order to enter Argentina. Visitors from Canada and Australia are required to pay a reciprocity fee online prior to arrival (Canadian nationals: $72 USD, Australian nationals: $100 USD). To pay this fee, please follow these steps:

You should also ensure your passport is valid at least six months after your departure date, and also have proof of onward passage.

Is it safe to travel in Argentina?

Argentina is considered a very safe country. Most statistics reflect that there is less violent crime in Argentina than in the U.S. and many European cities, however petty crime and, on occasion, more serious crimes do occur. It is best not to be out alone at night and to stay in populated well-lit areas. Keep a close eye on your personal belongings. Do not to use loosely hanging bags or purses, and we encourage women to use purses that zip.

Check out the US State Department travel advisories for the latest information.

What immunizations and shots do I need to travel to Argentina?

Argentina does not have any vaccination requirements beyond being up to date on your routine vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control recommends getting the hepatitis A and B and typhoid vaccination. If you are visiting the northern or northeastern regions of Argentina, including Iguazu Falls, it is also advisable to get the yellow fever vaccine. The CDC also recommends anti-malarial medication if you are visiting areas near the Bolivia or Paraguay borders. Ultimately it is a good idea to visit a travel clinic 4-8 weeks prior to any international travel.

How far in advance should I book?

You can book at any time. Generally the earlier the better as, during the warmer weather season especially, some of our favorite hotels fill up and regional airfare costs increase. We recommend trying to have your trip booked at least two months out, however we have arranged trips leaving in less than a week. If you’re a last-minute traveler to Argentina and especially Patagonia during the high season you may need to be flexible about accommodation choices.

Holiday travel to Argentina over the Christmas and New Years holiday is extremely popular. Due to high demand for these dates you should consider booking more than 6 months in advance.

It is worth noting that airlines in Argentina require a passport number to book flights so it is important you have a valid passport when booking.

What type of vehicles are used?

Unless otherwise noted, you will travel in a clean, comfortable newer private vans or vehicles for smaller groups.

What kind of planes are used for internal flights?

Almost all flights within Argentina are on mid-sized jets such as 727s with a capacity of around 100 people.

Is trip insurance included and should I purchase trip insurance?

Trip insurance is not included in your trip cost. Knowmad highly encourages purchasing insurance as the unforeseeable is just that, unforeseeable. Shortly registering for your trip your Trip Specialist will send you a link to a pre-built policy for Travel Guard Gold that corresponds with your trip, trip cost including estimated international and regional air, and your age. Simply click the orange ‘Review My Policy’ link, review the coverage, and enter payment info to purchase.

What’s the best way to get money and pay for things while in Argentina?

For many people, the most economical way to get money while traveling in Argentina is to use local ATMs. They distribute local Argentine pesos, use the most current exchange rate, and don’t charge a percentage. However the ATM will charge an international ATM fee (usually $5 USD or under), but many banks have programs where they will refund the charges. Bring two cash cards if you can. Credit cards are often accepted at nice restaurants and shops. Cabs and markets may accept U.S. dollars, but we recommend only having greenbacks as backup funds.

It is best to bring at least a hundred U.S. dollars in newer condition. You can also order local currency, the Argentine peso, from your bank for a fee.

Do I need a converter/adapter for my camera and other electronics in Argentina?

To charge things in Argentina you’ll need a plug adapter. Argentina uses two types of plugs “Type C” (two pronged, wider set and have round prongs) and “Type I” (two flat pins in a V-shape as well as a grounding pin). A converter is also a good idea to convert the voltage to 220 volts. Many higher-end electronics like cameras and phone chargers will accept 220 volts without damage, while cheaper hairdryers and curlers of 110 volts will likely fry without a converter.

It is recommended to purchase an all-in-one universal adapter and converter kit ($10 USD). This is a single device that adapts/converts power for multiple countries.

Can I drink the water in Argentina?

The water in Buenos Aires and many areas is good and most locals drink from the tap, however the water has a high mineral content and may cause upset stomachs to those not accustomed to it.  When in doubt, stick to bottled water or ask your guide. 

What time zone is Argentina in?

Argentina is three hours behind GMT most of the year. During the US Daylight Savings time (April-October), which is not recognized by Argentina, they are only 1 hour ahead of EST.

Can I use my U.S. or European cell phone while traveling in Argentina?

Check with your cell phone provider. Each company is different and they can give you the most up-to-date information, although we recommend leaving the phone at home if possible.

What is the best way to communicate with people back home while in Argentina?

Email is the cheapest and fastest way to communicate while traveling in Argentina. Most hotels will have public computers with access to email, and most towns also have internet cafes you may use for a small fee. If you wish to communicate by phone and your cell phone will not work, our guides can offer assistance to travelers wishing to purchase a pre-paid international phone card.

How much should I budget for an Argentina trip beyond the tour fee and international airfare?

There is no clear answer for this as it all comes down to your own habits and choices, but here are some general guidelines:

Meals/beverages not included in trip price $20 – $25 USD per day

Tips, depending on activities and length of trip $40 – $150 USD

How much should I tip while on my trip?

The recommendation for private guides is between $10-20 USD per full day of guiding per person and $3-5 USD for private drivers per full day per person. This is simply a guideline and it is Knowmad’s hope that you use it only as a framework and tip appropriate to the level of service you feel you received. Tipping in South America is seen as a bonus: 10% in restaurants reflects very good service; spare change or small sums are customary for cab drivers and porters. For included meals Knowmad will have paid a service charge in advance.

Beyond open eyes, mind and your sense of adventure it’s entirely up to you, but here are some guidelines to help. Locals tend to dress stylish but casual in the city, and conservative and practical in the more rural settings. Shorts are not as common in Argentina, however they are acceptable in most settings. Weather varies dramatically from region to region and can change quickly in many places; so layerable, versatile clothes are a plus. Below you’ll find the weather outlined from region to region, and before you depart we’ll send you a detailed, location specific, pack list in your trip information packet.

What should I pack for Patagonia trips? What’s the weather like in Patagonia?

The summer season in Patagonia is November through March, and daytime temperatures are typically in the 50s and 60s  F (10-16 C) but it can rain any time of year and can also get windy. Layerable, non-cotton clothing designed for hiking and athletics with a rain shell is the recommended outfit for a day in the Patagonia. The Northern Patagonia or Lakes Region is similar to Southern Patagonia but a bit warmer and wetter. 

What should I pack for Buenos Aires and what’s the weather like?

The weather is mild in Buenos Aires during fall (March through May) and spring (September through October), but during the their hot and humid summer (November through March) the average highs are in the 80s °F. Winter (June through August) is moderated by the South Atlantic with temperatures in the 50s °F. Most important is to bring practical footwear as you’ll be doing lots of walking in this city.

What’s the weather like and what should I pack for Iguazu Falls and Northern Argentina?

Iguazu Falls experiences a subtropical climate with abundant precipitation and high temperatures year-round. Bring your rain gear and you’ll want to wear light-colored and light-weight clothing, but pants and long-sleeves are handy to ward off the insects.

What shoes and footwear should I use for hiking in Patagonia?

For hiking intensive itineraries hiking boots are fine, however not a necessity. Comfortable walking shoes with good ankle support are sufficient for most people and are less bulky, therefore we recommend them for most itineraries. A change of shoes intended for leisure activities is recommended.

What to pack for kayaking trips in Argentina?

Wetsuits and required gear will be provided as well as a dry bag for your camera and any day items like sunscreen and glasses. We recommend using shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and layerable synthetic clothing.

What should I pack for biking in Argentina?

Helmet and gloves are supplied. We recommend tighter fitting pants or shorts for the bottom half, a warmer layer like a fleece or raincoat in case, sunglasses, sunscreen and camera.

What should I pack for horseback riding in Argentina?

Helmets and often times half-chaps are supplied. Wear jeans or pants made of durable fabric and tennis shoes. If the weather calls for a warmer top layer, try and use one with a full zip. 

Other helpful items (these depend on your specific itinerary but are items you should consider):

  • Passport and photocopies of passport
  • Vaccination certificate
  • Health insurance card
  • International airline tickets (regional flights purchased by Knowmad are e-tickets which you will not receive physical tickets for)
  • Credit cards
  • Cash (at least $100 in newer condition, varying bills)
  • Book, journal, and pen
  • Hat for sun
  • Hat for warmth
  • Swimsuit
  • Hiking/tennis shoes
  • Large plastic bag (for dirty shoes)
  • Day pack
  • Headlamp (useful for some trips)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Basic first aid kit (Neosporin, band-aids, Imodium, aspirin, etc.)
  • Toiletries in small bottles
  • Necessary medications
  • Watch/battery operated alarm
  • Camera; extra batteries and memory cards
  • Guidebook such as Frommer’s, Fodor’s or Lonely Planet

Knowing a lot about a country before you travel there can enrich your travels and help you meet and relate to more local people. To learn more about the country we recommend consulting guidebooks such as Frommer’s, which has sections on history, politics, etc. In addition to our own, there are many websites as well with information on Argentina.

Suggested reading for traveling to Argentina

  • IN PATAGONIA by Bruce Chatwin
  • UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH by Lacas Bridge
  • KISS AND TANGO by Marina Palmer
  • LABYRINTHS by Jorge Luis Borges
  • MOTORCYCLE DIARIES by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

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Have a question that you can’t find an answer to on our site? Or if you’d simply like to ask a real, live person your questions instead of browsing through these FAQ sections, we are more than happy to help. Just give us a call at 612-315-2894 or email travel@knowmadadventures.com.