1. When is the best time to travel to Argentina?
Travelers should be prepared for unpredictable weather at any time of year. Most travelers consider the warmer months of November to March (seasons are reversed south of the Equator), to be the best time to visit southern Argentina. However, the hottest summer months, (December - February) can be unpleasantly humid in Buenos Aires so travelers that plan on extending their stay in the capital may opt for the shoulder seasons (October - November or April -May) instead. Holiday weeks (Easter and Christmas) tend to be the busiest times so avoid these times if you want to avoid the crowds. Travelers can visit Iguazu Falls year round, though again the summer months can be incredibly hot. Visitors to Northwest Argentina will also want to avoid these hot summer months. In fact, the best time to visit this area is during the coolest months of May to September. Recommendations for the best time to do each tour are listed on the Argentina Tours
2. What are the accommodations like?
In Argentina, we have selected a variety of charming accommodations ranging from cozy mountain lodges to comfortable city hotels with all of the modern conveniences. In general, we use small, family-run accommodations that are locally owned and characteristic of each area instead of luxury chain resorts. For more information, check out our Argentina lodging
page to view pictures of our standard hotels/ lodges.
3. Are meals included?
Meals are included on most of our Argentina excursions. We have tried to balance flexibility and convenience regarding meal options. For this reason, we include meals on all of our tour days when you are traveling off the beaten path where restaurant choices are limited. In the major cities, where there are a wide variety of restaurants, we generally do not include meals, to allow our travelers the flexibility of choosing their own food preferences. Your tour leader will always recommend some great restaurant options and will usually offer to join any group members who would like to go out to eat together. Your hotel will also provide a light continental breakfast on these days. Included meals are listed in parenthesis next to the tour itinerary on each tour page. An estimated meal budget can also be found under Recommended Budgeting near the bottom of the itinerary page.
4. What are the tour leaders like?
All of our tour leaders are exceptional! They are fluent in English and Spanish. They are from the local areas where they guide and are among the very best guides available in each region. Our tour leaders treat our travelers like friends, showing visitors both the major highlights and the local treasures.
5. What type of transportation is used?
Our Argentina tours utilize a variety of transportation including private vans, comfortable tourist buses, ferries, flights, etc. We use a mix of private/ public transportation to provide travelers with the safest and most efficient transportation in each area. Each tour itinerary page has a description of the transportation included on that tour. If you have additional questions, just ask!
6. What type of food is typical of Argentina?
Beef is central to the Argentinean diet. Barbecue grills and steak houses are common, often with 10-15 different choices of beef cuts. For vegetarians, pasta dishes and pizza are also fairly ubiquitous. In the Lake District, game dishes such as trout and venison are regional specialties and the Northwest is particularly well known for spicy dishes.
7. What is the climate like?
Argentina's climate is as varied as its terrain, ranging from subtropical in the north to humid and steamy in the central region, and cold in the temperate south. The Andes region has erratic rainfall, flash floods in summer, searing heat, snow at higher elevations, and the Zonda - a hot, dry wind. The lowlands receive sufficient rainfall to support swampy forests and upland savanna, but rainfall decreases from east to west; shallow summer flooding is common in the east. The winter dry season is pronounced, and the summer heat can be brutal. Patagonia is mild year-round in the east and glacial in the south. Weather in Patagonia can be very unpredictable, and can change drastically and unexpectedly. Argentine Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego have summer averages of just 11°C (52°F); nighttime temperatures will most likely be in the 1°C-5°C. For more weather information in other regions, check out Weather in South & Central America.
See weather in » El Calafate
| Buenos Aires
8. Are these trips suitable for kids?
Yes and no. The Mare Australis cruise and Iguazu Falls tours are great choices for families with school-aged children who have an interest in nature and wildlife. Awesome Argentina and the Northwest Cultures and Landscape tours are also possible options for kids that enjoy hiking and nature. Most of our other Argentina tours
include multi-day treks so they are generally recommended only for kids age 12 and above. Our Family Travel Page
has some helpful hints for making the most of your family vacation. We realize that you know your kids best so we will be happy to answer all of your questions and try to give you the most accurate impression of what to expect. However, please remember that these are adventure tours and flexibility is essential!
To make family tours easier, we often recommend having a private group and guide, though families with well-behaved children are welcome on our group departures as well. We have special private tour rates for families- please ask your trip coordinator if you are interested.
9. What is the typical age range for these tours?
Our Argentina tours tend to attract all ages. The more adventurous trekking tours tend to attract a slightly younger group (mostly 20s-40s), but we've also had active travelers in their 70s do great on these treks so don't let age discourage you if you are fit and healthy. Expect a wide range of ages and ask your trip coordinator if you are curious about the demographics for a particular departure.
10. Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?
Yes, some are. Solo travelers are welcome on any of our tours, but some trips tend to attract more couples and families so single travelers may feel out of place. Our Awesome Argentina, Argentina Glacier Adventure, and Pure Patagonia tours are great choices for solo travelers - attracting varied groups and offering reasonable single traveler rates! If you are interested in another tour, just ask your trip coordinator. He or she can recommend a departure date that is likely to have a good mix of other travelers. Solo travelers should also take a look at our exclusive Solo Traveler Departures
11. Do tour rates include international flights?
Tour rates do not include international flights. We find that it is usually less expensive for travelers to book these separately and this also allows you the flexibility to choose the schedule and routing that is most convenient for you. Alternatively, we can help you arrange these flights with an airfare consolidator who specializes in South America flights.
12. How do I get to the hotel from the airport when I arrive?
We can arrange an airport transfer for you or you can take a local taxi. Taxis are usually less expensive, though some travelers prefer the convenience of having someone waiting for them at the airport when they arrive, especially after an exhausting flight. Please let us know your preference!
13. How much should I budget for tips?
Tips are not required on any of our tours. However, it is customary in Latin America to offer a small tip for exceptional service. Tipping amounts vary widely, though some travelers report that ~$2-$10/ day for your guide and ~$1-$3/ day for your driver is common. Other travelers opt to bring small gifts from their home to give to service providers along the way.
14. Are there any discounts available?
We offer select trip discounts periodically throughout the year. Check out our Travel Discounts
page for the latest offers and on-going discounts.
15. How far in advance should I book?
You can book your Argentina tour at any time and generally the earlier you book, the better. Mare Australis cruises (especially holiday departures) often fill up 6 months in advance or more. We usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that you book your tour, the sooner you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available. That said, we are often able to accommodate last minute travelers (some even departing in less than one week!!), so give us a call and we will do our best! For last minute bookings, it helps to be flexible and organized. Your first choice tour may not be available for your selected dates, but your trip coordinator can probably recommend some other similar options that would be equally interesting! Many lodges will not hold spaces less than 30 days before departure so for last minute bookings, you may be asked to send your registration form and trip payment in right away to secure your spaces.
16. Are tour dates flexible?
Please contact us if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed on-line. Most tours can be arranged on alternative departure dates for a minimum of two travelers as long as lodges/hotels are available.
17. Can I extend or change my stay?
Check out our Argentina Extensions
for ideas. Extra days can also be arranged in Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, or other areas if desired. Let us know how you would like to customize your trip and we will do our best to accommodate you.
18. What should I pack?
You will receive a detailed packing list specific to your tour after you book. A water/windproof jacket, fleece, and sun protection are recommended for all Argentina tours. Patagonia experiences an amazing variety of climates; snow and wet weather are common. Fast-drying clothes that can be layered work best for these areas.
19. How safe is Argentina?
According to the US State Department, there is no evidence of terrorist organizations or violent groups in Argentina that specifically target U.S. visitors. However, street crime is relatively common in the major cities and travelers should take common sense precautions. Don't walk alone or at night and don't carry large amounts of valuables with you. Most hotels have safes where you can store your belongings. Check out the US State Department travel advisories for the latest information at: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html
20. Is the water safe to drink?
The tap water is safe to drink in Buenos Aires and most parts of the country. To be sure, ask your tour leader or the hotel/restaurant staff. Bottled water is readily available and should be used in remote rural areas.
21. What immunizations are recommended/ required?
No immunizations are currently required for visiting Argentina. Hepatitis A and Typhoid are recommended. For the most current information, please consult your doctor and/or check out the Center for Disease Control web-site at www.cdc.gov
22. Do I need a visa/passport?
All visitors must have a valid passport to enter Argentina and proof of onward passage. Your passport should be valid for at least six months after your departure date. There is a reciprocity fee charged to citizens from the United States, Canada and Australia that must be paid online in advance of your arrival to Argentina. This includes airports, land border crossings, and ports. If one arrives in Argentina without showing proof that the fee was paid, he/she will not be able to enter Argentina.
*Payments can be made here: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/
This fee applies to citizens of the United States, Canada, and Australia. Each traveler must pay the following amount:
- -United States: $160 (fee is valid for 10 years - transferable to a new passport if you show your old one)
- -Canada: $75 (valid for one single entry)
- -Australia: $100 (valid for a year - and multiple entries for that year)
For all other nationalities, please consult with your nearest embassy or consulate for information on entry requirements. Entry requirements change with surprising frequency. It is each traveler's responsibility to check with the consulate for the most up-to-date visa information.
23. What is the local currency, exchange rate, etc.?
The local currency is the peso. Most restaurants, markets, and other service providers readily accept US dollars. They will generally give you change in local currency. It is handy to have a few pesos as post offices and some other institutions will not accept dollars. Check out a Currency Converter like, http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/
, for the latest exchange rates.
24. Should I bring cash or Traveler's checks? Are ATMs available? Can I use credit cards?
Most travelers bring a small amount of US cash with them and withdraw from ATMs as they need it along they way. ATMs are readily available in the larger towns and cities. Travelers can withdraw US dollars or local currency at fair exchange rates. Traveler's checks are fine, but they can be more difficult to exchange and you will usually receive a poorer rate or be charged an additional fee. Credit cards are accepted only in the larger restaurants and stores. Although it is helpful to bring a credit card along for emergencies, don't count on using it for most purchases.
25. Can I use my cell phone?
Check with your cell phone provider. Each company is different and they can give you the most up-to-date information.
26. What time zone is Argentina?
Argentina is three hours behind GMT (two hours before EST). They do not observe daylight-savings time so during these months (April-October), Argentina is only one hour ahead of EST.
27. Do I need an electrical adapter?
Argentina uses 220 volt, 50 cycle electricity. Travelers will require a voltage converter for 110 volt devices. Plugs are either two rounded prongs or three angled flat prongs so travelers from the US will also want plug adapters.
28. Is travel insurance recommended?
Absolutely!!! We work with a company called TravelGuard
that provides reasonably priced insurance for trip cancellation, medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost bags, etc. They have two different types of insurance available, depending upon whether or not you will need the cancellation coverage.