Oh Argentina, the stuff many an exotic travel dream is made of. And yes, there’s no denying I was beyond excited when I finally realised an adventure in this much-fabled country was going to be within my grasp. Which was back in 2019. In the good old travel days!
While I had 6 whole weeks planned to journey the length and breadth of Argentina – from Salta in the north (after I crossed the land border from Bolivia), right down to Patagonia (the most epic hiking destination) in the south – suddenly everything changed when I found out I had been shortlisted for a British Travel Award (top blog *cough cough*) and so, in order to attend this rather prestigious London event, I had to return earlier than planned to the UK and, sadly, cut my time in Argentina short. Tch! Thankfully I did win the award (yes you are reading the words of the Best British Travel Blogger here… I know!) which made the returning home and the cutting of the time in Argentina well worth it!
And thankfully, I still did get 3 full weeks travelling across the north of the country, which was certainly enough to learn a lot about the things you need to know before you embark on a trip here. There’s no question I’ll be returning to travel Argentina (especially explore the south of this magical land) just as soon as this annoying pandemic does one, but until then, I’m bringing you my list of the 15 crucial things to know before you hit up this destination.
Because when it comes to what to pack, the issues around money, solo female travel and how to survive as a vegetarian out here, I’d definitely got my fair share of experience!
So first up, it’s probably a good idea to discuss how you’re going to get to Argentina to begin your travels there. If you’re already in South America, then it’s good to know Argentina has pretty straightforward land border crossings with Chile, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay (although the quickest way to this last country is actually via a ferry crossing!) Most of these countries have several land borders with Argentina – yes that’s just how huge all the nations are in South America – and I personally have crossed the border from near Uyuni in Bolivia as well across the border into Brazil from Iguazu Falls.
As long as you plan visas, make an early start and are prepared in advance, these borders shouldn’t present any problems. Alternatively, if you’re arriving into Argentina from further afield, it’s likely you’ll touch down in the main international airport in Buenos Aires – Ministro Pistarini International Airport, Ezeiza (EZE). This airport is located just over 22km outside of the city centre, but you can use Uber to get either to your accommodation in the city or to another domestic airport in the capital if you are immediately flying off to another region. As always, I use Skyscanner to find the best deals on international and domestic flights in Argentina. See more in #7 of this article.
Most travellers from Europe, the UK, North America, Australia and New Zealand do not require visas to travel Argentina. You simply get an entry stamp in your passport on arrival, which normally gives you 90 days to explore this country – a good amount of time. After this point, do make sure you leave the country however, as immigration officials here are very strict when tourists overstay their allocated time and I heard from several travellers that have been banned from re-entering Argentina for a year after not leaving the country on time.
As always, and no matter the passport you hold, I do recommend checking your travel rights in Argentina with your local embassy or foreign office website well in advance of your intended arrival date. Argentina is one mighty diverse land, which I’ll cover in more detail in the next point, but suffice to say if you are travelling to several destinations in this country you’ll need a range of clothes and essentials to keep you comfortable across all climates. This is especially true if you are heading down to the south of the country and / or you plan on doing some serious hiking here, which you certainly should FYI!
I give a complete item by item inventory of exactly what I recommend packing for your Argentinian travels in this complete checklist, so do check it out for more info. This list was put together after my own travels in Argentina, and more broadly throughout South America, so it certainly has everything you should need, whilst also keeping things light and simple if you’re backpacking like I always am!