Fun Facts From Globus Tours
- Argentina has the highest point in the Southern hemisphere in Mount Aconcagua (22,830 ft)
- Argentina in Latin is Argentum, meaning “Land of Silver”
- Argentina declared independence from Spain in 1816
- Argentina as 2,899 miles of coastline
- Cheek kissing is very common in Argentina
From your first steps into Buenos Aires to the Andean lakes of Bariloche, the wine country of Mendoza and the glacial peaks of Patagonia, you will feel a surge of energy that is unique to Argentina. The fiery passion that resonates through Buenos Aires, the birthplace of the tango, has a contagious aura that spreads across the city when night falls. And witnessing the almighty power of Iguassu Falls, trumping North America’s Niagara Falls, is an unforgettable experience. Argentina in one word? … FUN. With some of the friendliest people in South America and the holiday getaway spots for locals and tourists alike woven with the soft openness of the wine country and impressive natural wonders, visiting Argentina is an essential part of traveling to South America.
Buenos Aires is one of the liveliest capitals in South America. Even New York City, “The City that Never Sleeps,” could take a lesson or two from Buenos Aires. Known as the Paris of South America, it is a place that combines Latin spice with European class. The provocative tango lives all over the city, the food is legendary, and everywhere you turn, there are things to see, tastes to enjoy, and tango steps to learn! Along with the world-famous steaks and wine you’ll try here, you must experience a few others: the brightly colored La Boca district, the Recoleta Cemetery, the Metropolitan Cathedral and La Casa Rosada in the Plaza de Mayo. And if you can, head south to the pampas to get a little taste of Argentine country life and see the gauchos (cowboys) at work. San Telmo is a fantastic spot to visit in the city for a sense of the old Buenos Aires – it is packed with lots of interesting shops, eateries, and it has that distinctly European flare that makes the city so unique. Normally, a cemetery might not have a lot of allure, but the Recoleta Cemetery is a different beast. Home to Eva Perón’s burial site along with other famous people, it surely has a macabre feel to it, but it’s also fascinating to explore on foot – rows of massive granite structures and mausoleums display occasional mismatched coffins and mazes of statues. For the extremely adventurous, if Buenos Aires is featuring a soccer game during your stay there, it is a wild, feverish event of surging crowds and energy unlike anywhere else in the city. The Argentineans love their fútbol and it’s a wild experience to be among the frenetic fans. Whatever your style, Buenos Aires will accommodate with superior style – dining, shopping, history, culture, dance, nightlife, and fun.
North of Buenos Aires and planted on the border of Brazil and Argentina, Iguassu Falls, in full flow, showcases 275 different waterfalls spanning almost two miles. With clouds of mist, deafening, plunging waters, and miles of drenching waterfalls, seeing Iguassu is an absolute must. The falls are a recent winner for one of the new seven wonders of nature, but only seeing is believing. You can walk over the falls for incomparable views and you can walk the boardwalks at the base and get delightfully drenched. If the chance to see the falls at sunrise or sunset is a possibility, it’s truly a moving experience beyond description. Aside from just viewing the falls, you can also do a bit of exploration in the surrounding jungles of Iguassu before you retire to your hotel. There are amazing and luxurious accommodations here, allowing you to make the most of your experience. You’ll feel the power of the falls even as you sink into bed. Iguassu is a true spectacle and an inspiring marvel of South America.
Wine lovers – saddle up for Mendoza, the fifth top wine producer in the world! Not only will you be able to tour great wineries here and sample incredible wines, but Mendoza features a charming city center, gorgeous landscapes, and a year-long mild climate. You can really feel the Spanish Colonial style throughout the city and discover the history of this centuries-old region. Your choice of winery tours is endless – be sure to sample the famous Malbec of Mendoza and learn about the old and modern wine- making processes, the history of its vineyards, and the best part – trying all the wines! Sip down your velvety, smooth Argentinean vino as the sun sinks beyond the massive Andes backdrop – this is unlike any vineyard of France or California.
Patagonia is one of the top reasons to visit Argentina. Although this region is shared between Chile and Argentina, the Argentine side of Patagonia dominates, where you can descend deeper into the south to the “End of the World” – a place where glaciers calve into the ocean. Here you also find the Strait of Magellan, a water channel between the whole of South America, and its trailing tip of land, Cape Horn, where you are gripped by an almost eerie sensation that you may drop off the map, yet rocky and mountainous scenery keep you safely in the clutches of the world. Thousands of islets, rocky cliffs, and endless waters mingle with exceptional wildlife, forested areas, waterfalls, and activity. As you sail around, you can catch glimpses of penguins, wild horses, and elephant seals. With the Andes Mountains as a backdrop the view of glaciers, dazzling white and electric blue, dominating the cliffs is a spectacle beyond anything in the world. Most of the territory in the Patagonia is a protected wilderness area, roughly the size of Britain – but with a population that leaves less than one inhabitant per 2 km, you’ll have an overwhelming sensation that it’s you, your friends, and the world alone.
A Patagonian trip should include a couple of distinct places. Starting from the southern Argentinean side of the region, Ushuaia is parked at the very tip of the continent, not far above Cape Horn and it serves as the perfect gateway to explore Tierra del Fuego National Park or cruise the Chilean fjords. It is a proud and quiet city that happily welcomes visitors and is eager to share its cultural practices, teach them about the history of the indigenous Yamanas people, and show off the city’s unique position on the Tierra del Fuego region of Patagonia. Just north of Tierra del Fuego, El Calafate is a wild and beautiful destination filled with electric blue glaciers towering above you, expansive views of the Andes, and a variety of ways to experience the snowy nature and laid-back feeling of the city. Nearby the town of El Calafate in Los Glaciares National Park, you will find one of the few remaining advancing glaciers in the world, Perito Moreno. During a visit here, you can get up-close to this massive glacial cap, which spans over 95 square miles, and its terminus at Lake Argentino is over three miles wide and up to 240 feet high. During a visit, it’s not uncommon to witness this glacier calve into the lake below. Bariloche is another top destination in Patagonia. Positioned on the fjord-like Lago Nahuel Huapi, this is a playground of beautiful natural scenery and outdoor activity. If you haven’t already filled up your camera’s memory space, you’re sure to after spending a day in Bariloche. One of the most superior views of the landscape can be seen by taking a chairlift up to the lookout point of Cerro Campanario. The elevation might be an adjustment, but the spectacle from the top is superb and the impression of the valley leaves a permanent reflection on your heart. Bariloche is known for great dining, alpine-like resorts, and a charming town known for its friendly nature, unique shops, and chocolate factories…pure heaven.
The booming tableau of waterfall-stretching miles in Iguassu, the action-packed and steamy cosmopolitan show in Buenos Aires – including the tango-filled streets and never-ending parties at night – blend with the soft nature of Mendoza’s wine country and the vastly overwhelming terrain of Patagonia. The variety of Argentina, a country at the forefront of South America’s pride and culture, provides adventure every day and promises a journal-filled and camera-loaded journey unique in each of its destinations and unique to each of its visitors.
VISAS, PASSPORTS, AND OTHER ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
A visa for your visit to Argentina is not necessary for US citizens. If you hold a passport from another country, check with your local consulate about requirements for travel to Argentina.
All passengers traveling internationally are required to have a passport. Most countries require that the passport be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the conclusion of your trip, so please check the expiration date carefully. It is also recommended you have a minimum of three blank pages in your passport when traveling, as many countries require blank pages. Please carry proper identification (your passport) on you and do not leave it in your suitcase or hotel room. Most countries have laws that require you to carry your passport with you at all times.
The country code for Argentina is 54. When calling to Argentina from overseas, dial your international access code (011 from the US/Canada), followed by the country code, area code, and phone number. Phone numbers in Argentina are 10 digits in length. Dialing from the US/Canada: 011 54 ## #### ####.
The official currency of Argentina is the Argentinean peso. Smaller denominations will come in handy.
● Banknote denominations: $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100
● Coin denominations: 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c, $1, $2
The US dollar is widely accepted in Argentina.
For the most current exchange rates, please go to our website at Globusjourneys.com/Currency.
Credit cards are accepted in Argentina, and you should have no problems using them in larger shops and restaurants. Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted. Smaller shops may ask you to pay in cash or have a minimum amount required to use a credit card. Be prepared to show your passport with credit card transactions.
Traveler’s Checks are extremely difficult to exchange in Argentina. Their use is not recommended.
- Mon. – Fri.: 10 am – 3 pm
- Sat. – Sun.: Closed
BUDGETING AND SHOPPING
The following budget guidelines are just approximate values or starting values for meals and are per person. Actual prices will vary widely by restaurant and city within a country but below are some averages as provided by our experienced personnel.
- The approximate cost of a soft drink/mineral water/coffee is $1.50.
- An average lunch consisting of a salad or sandwich and a soda or water starts at approximately $8.
- Dinner at a mid-range restaurant with dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage starts at approximately $20
In open street markets, try not to touch items unless you are interested in purchasing them. If you would like to take photos, please ask permission. Most vendors are happy to have their picture taken with the item you have just purchased. If you are being confronted by vendors, smile, say nothing and then shake your hand low to say no. This is polite and they understand. For many people, saying “No” means I want it at a lower price and they will follow you in attempt to bargain. In many areas of South America, bargaining for purchases is normal. First, ask for a price. Offer an amount slightly below what you wish to pay. It is important to be polite and smile while bargaining. In most cases, bargaining will not save you a lot of money. Keep different value bills folded and separated in different pockets, that way you can pull out the exact money you need, and sometimes this can close the deal. Opening a wallet or purse to pull a roll of bills out can lead to negotiation problems. Always finish the transaction with Thank You and a smile.
Tipping is customary in Argentina. An average tip in restaurants is 10%. In some restaurants a service fee in included already (average 15%).
For a taxi, tips are not expected unless the driver provides an extra service like carrying your bag. Generally tipping up to the next peso is customary.
Tipping hotel staff for room or bar service is not customary.
ELECTRICITY AND ELECTRICAL OUTLETS
Voltage for outlets is 220V. North American voltage is generally 110V. Therefore, you will need a converter for your travels. Adapters will be necessary to adapt your plug into the outlet, but these may not convert the voltage, so both devices are necessary. Argentina uses a round, 2-prong plug as well as a flat, 3-prong plug that looks like:
Argentina’s capital city of Buenos Aires is cold in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures for Argentina.
To convert to Celsius, subtract 30, then divide by 2. While not exact, this simple formula will give a close estimation.
Entrée in Argentina refers to appetizer and not the entrée you may be accustomed to in the United States. Beef is a major part of the Argentine diet. Food specialties include: empanadas (baked pastries with a meat filling), chorizo or morcilla (meat or blood sausage), and bife de chorizo (sirloin / New York Strip steak) In restaurants, always ask if they have menus in English, as many establishments will.
Bottled water is how many people drink water even at home. Never ask for tap water for many reasons. Ice is rarely used as well.
CUSTOMS AND CULTURE
Greeting and Interaction
- The best way to address people when you do not know their name is to simply use “Señor” (male) or “Señora” (female).
- It’s normal to introduce yourself with a polite greeting of “buenos días/tardes” (good morning/ afternoon or evening).
- Greeting customs in South America also incorporate a lot of personal contact. Women will generally greet other women by kissing once on each cheek, right to left. Men will also kiss women on the cheeks when greeting them, but handshaking is reserved for between two men.
- People here have a tendency to stand relatively close to each other when they are talking. Although you might find that this is perhaps a little too close for your liking, you should just accept that this is normal behavior, and trying to create more space between you and your counterpart could be seen as rude.
Ladies should always travel with tissue. If public restrooms have toilet paper, it is sometimes rationed. Hand sanitizers are recommended to bring with you as some bathrooms may not have hot water and soap. In some public restrooms you are required to pay a small fee.
FEW WORDS OF THE LOCAL LANGUAGE
¡Hola! Hi!, ¡Buenos Dias! Good morning!, ¡Buenas Noches! Good evening!, Me llamo _______. My name is _______., ¿Cómo se llama usted? What is your name?, Mucho gusto. Pleased to meet you., ¿Cómo está usted? How are you?, Bien, gracias. ¿Y usted? Fine, thanks. And you?, Mas o menos So-so, ¡Hasta luego! See you later!, Adiós. Good-bye., Por favor. Please., Vivo en ________I live in _____________, (Muchas) gracias. (Muy amable.) (Many) thanks. (Very kind.), De nada. You’re welcome., Lo siento. I’m sorry., ¿Me permite? May I?, Disculpe. Excuse me. (To get someone’s attention.), Con permiso. Excuse me. (For leaving or passing through.), Perdón. Excuse me. (For sneezing, arriving late, etc.), ¡Salud! Gesundheit! (When someone sneezes.) Cheers! (For toasting with drinks.), ¿Me pasa _______ por favor? Could you please pass me _______?, Sí. Yes., No. No., Gracias Thank you, No entiendoI don’t understand, No hablo español I don’t speak Spanish,¿Habla inglés? Do you speak English?, ¿Dónde está el baño? Where is the bathroom?, Está cerca? Is it near?, Está lejos? Is it far?, Siga recto. Go straight ahead., Gire a la derecha. Turn right., Gire a la izquierda. Turn left., Nescito esto. I would like this., Una mesa para dos, por favor. A table for two, please., La carta, por favor. The menu, please., La lista de vinos, por favor. The wine list, please., primer plato appetizers, plato principal main course, postre dessert, Quisiera algo para beber. I would like something to drink., Un vaso de agua, por favor. A glass of water, please., Una Cerveza. Beer, Una Copa de vino tinto/blanco Glass of red/white wine, La cuenta, por favor. The check, please., Incluye la propina? Is the tip included?, Desayuno Breakfast., Comida lunch, Cena dinner, ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy the meal!, ¡Salud! To your health!, Está riquísima! It’s delicious!, Plato. plate, Tenedor. fork, Cuchillo. knife, Cuchara. spoon, Servilleta. napkin, Hielo. ice, Sal. salt, Pimiento. pepper, Azúcar. sugar, Sopa. soup, Ensalada. salad, Pan. bread, Mantequilla. butter, Pollo. Chicken, Carne. Beef, Cerdo. Pork, Quisiera la carne poco cocida. I like my steak rare., Quisiera la carne a medio cocer. I like my steak medium., Quisiera la carne bien cocida. I like my steak well done.
Cero. Zero, Uno. 1, Dos. 2, Tres. 3, Cuatro. 4, Cinco. 5, Seis. 6, Siete. 7, Ocho. 8, Nueve. 9, Diez. 10, Once. 11, Doce. 12, Trece 13, Catorce 14, Quince 15, Dieciseis 16, Diecisiete. 17, Dieciocho. 18, Diecinueve. 19, Veinte. 20, Cien. 100, Mil. 1000.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE COUNTRY INFORMATION
Additional country-specific information for US citizens can be found on the US Government’s website www.travel.state.gov. Here, you can find the most up-to-date information about destination descriptions, passports/visas, safety and security, transportation, travel local laws, alerts/warnings, vaccinations, and more. For citizens of other nations, we recommend you consult your local consulate for travel information, regulations, and requirements.