Passports: anyone entering Argentina should have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry, and ideally past the date the passport holder leaves the country.
Visas: nationals of Canada, most Western European countries, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to visit Argentina. Upon arrival, most visitors get a 90-day stamp in their passport. Canadians must pay a ‘reciprocity fee’ before arriving. Ideally it will be reminded when buying the airplane ticket: this fee is equal to what Argentines are charged for visas to visit those countries. The fee is paid online and with a credit card.
Customs Regulations: electronic items (laptops, cameras and mobile phones) can be brought into the country duty free, provided they are not intended for resale. If you have a lot of equipment, it is recommended to take an item list with the serial numbers and preferably the purchase receipts.
Electricity: Argentina’s electric current operates on 220V; 50Hz; plugs are C/I type. Adapters are readily available from almost any ferretería (hardware store). Most electronic equipment (such as cameras, telephones and computers) are dual/multi-voltage, but some equipment may require a voltage converter or you might short out your device.
Internet Access: Wi-Fi is available at most hotels, cafes, restaurants and airports, and it’s generally good and free. In remote spots like El Chaltén and other parts of Patagonia Wi-Fi service may be usually poor.
Mobile Phones: it’s best to bring your own unlocked tri- or quad-band GSM cell phone to Argentina, then buy an inexpensive SIM chip (you’ll get a local number) and credits (or carga virtual) as needed. All SIM Cards now must be registered to users before they can be activated. In theory, a foreigner can activate a SIM card with identification. Both SIM chips and credits can be bought at many kiosks or “locutorios”.
Money: ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants. ATMs can also be used for cash advances on major credit cards (not all foreign cards work in ATMs). They’re the best way to get money, and nearly all have instructions in English. Limits on withdrawal can be very low, though the withdrawal fee can be relatively high. Banelco ATMs tend to allow larger withdrawals. In some spots in Patagonia (El Calafate and El Chaltén, e.g.) and most touristic destinations they quickly run out of cash in high season.
Cash: the Argentine unit of currency is the peso (AR$). Notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 pesos. One peso equals 100 “centavos”; coins come in denominations of 25 and 50 centavos, as well as 1, 2, 5 and 10 pesos. Currently, US dollars are accepted by many companies dedicated to tourism, but it is always recommended to carry some pesos.
Credit Cards: many (but not all!) tourist services, larger stores, hotels and restaurants – especially in the bigger cities – take credit cards. The most widely accepted are Visa and MasterCard, though American Express and a few others are valid in some establishments. Important: many places will give a small discount if you pay in cash rather than use a credit card.
Money Changers: US dollars are by far the preferred foreign currency, although Chilean and Uruguayan pesos can be readily exchanged at the borders. Cash dollars and Euros can be changed at banks and “casas de cambios” (exchange houses) in larger cities, but other currencies can be difficult to change outside Buenos Aires. Passport is needed to change money; we strongly suggest avoiding any sort of street-tout money changer.
Tipping: restaurants and cafes: it’s customary to tip about 10% of the bill. Spa: 15% of the bill. Hotel staff, delivery people, hotel and bus porters and taxi drivers: give a few bills.
Banks 10 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday.
Bars 7 pm / 9 pm to 4 am / 6 am nightly.
Cafes 6 am to midnight or much later; open daily.
Clubs 1 am / 2 am to 6 am / 8 am Friday and Saturday.
Office business hours 9 am to 6 pm.
Restaurants Noon to 3:30 pm and 8 pm to midnight or 1am (later on weekends).
Shops 9 am / 10 am to 8 pm / 9 pm Monday to Saturday.
Mention Argentina, and people think about solitary gauchos or maybe tango dancers. It is country blessed with abundant natural resources and a highly educated population. The country boasts a wide variety of cultural attractions, but for many travelers, its natural wonders are the primary draw. From the northern deserts down to the southern Andean Cordillera, from the Iguazú Falls to the magnificent desolation of Patagonia, Argentina's geography is varied and stunning. For cosmopolitan types, there's the elegant capital, Buenos Aires. This fabulous city is renowned for its sophistication, although travelers expecting a more 'South American' experience are sometimes disappointed with its European touch.
It's a large country - the eighth largest in the world, and the second largest on the South American continent. It borders Chile to the west (separated by the Andean Cordilleras range) and Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia to the north and east (separated by rivers). It also shares the offshore island territory of Tierra del Fuego with Chile, and continues claiming the possession of the Malvinas Islands (Falkland Islands) and the Antarctic territory, where Argentina has installed several scientific bases, including the most famous: Marambio.
Argentina's topography is affected by both latitude and altitude, and is accordingly varied. The country can be divided into four major physiographic provinces: the Andes to the west (with arid basins, grape-filled foothills, glacial mountains and the Lake District), the fertile lowland north (with subtropical rainforests), the central Pampas (a flat mixture of humid and dry expanses) and Patagonia (a combination of pastoral steppes and glacial regions).
Population: 46 million (2022 CENSUS)
Capital city: Buenos Aires
People: 85% European descent, 15% mestizo, native and other minorities
Language: American Spanish, plus 17 native languages
Religion: 93% Roman Catholic, 2.5% protestant, 2% Jewish, 1.5% Ukrainian catholic, 1% Armenian orthodox
A unique tour that sails through The Andes Mountains, across three beautiful lakes, connected by four overland legs, from San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina to Puerto Varas in Chile, and vice versa. A journey that can be enjoyed every single day of the year, revealing mountainous landscapes of great beauty that are located in the most colorful area of the Patagonia. It takes just one day to travel from one country to the other, but the option exists of extending the trip to two days or more, staying in Puella and/or Puerto Blast at the half-way mark. • MITRE OFFICE | 8:00 am | Departure by bus from the Bariloche Office to Puerto Pañuelo, passing by Lake Nahuel Huapi. • HOTELS | 8:30 am | Departure by bus from the main hotels in Bariloche (verify list) to Puerto Pañuelo, passing by Lake Nahuel Huapi. • BARILOCHE - PUERTO PAÑUELO | 8:30 - 10:00 am | En route, you'll be marveled by the beautiful Swiss-style architecture that characterizes the constructions of the area. Beautiful gardens and flowers color the landscapes all the way to Puerto Pañuelo. • PTO. PAÑUELO - BLEST | 10:00 - 11:00 am | We'll sail from Puerto Pañuelo to Puerto Blest aboard the Gran Victoria, navigating across Lake Nahuel Huapi. You'll observe the grandeur of the landscapes, the green tones of the forests, the birds that fly close and you'll learn more about the destination's fascinating history. (Shipping tax not included). • BLEST - FRIAS | 11:00 am - 12:00 noon | Arrival to Puerto Blest. We travel by bus along River Frías to Puerto Alegre, and then continue the sailing trip across Lake Frías, aboard the Victoria del Sur. Along this stretch of the lake, we'll experience beautiful views of Cerro Tronador. After a short sail, we'll arrive to Puerto Frías where we will complete the necessary steps at the border. • FRIAS – PEULLA | 12:00 - 2:00 pm | We'll continue by bus to Peulla with beautiful views of the Andes Mountains. • LUNCH IN PEULLA | 2:00 - 3:30 pm | Arrival to Peulla, an ecological lodge and a paradise for nature lovers. Lunch (additional cost). • PEULLA - PETROHUE | 3:30 - 5:30 pm | We'll sail to Petrohué, navigating across Lake Todos los Santos. If the weather permits, different and breathtaking views of the Osorno and Puntiagudo volcanoes and Cerro Tronador can be seen. • PETROHUE - PTO. VARAS | 5:30 - 8:00 pm | We'll continue to Puerto Varas, passing by Lake Llanquihue. Impressive views of Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes dominate the landscape. Arrival to Puerto Varas. Note: schedules are referential and can suffer changes due to weather conditions and number of passengers.
We offer a unique immersion in a transition area between the forest and the steppe that allows for the bird watching of many different bird species and reach stunning viewpoints. Passengers are picked up at their hotel and driven to Challhuaco Valley, an approximately 40-minute-drive from San Carlos de Bariloche. The starting point of the interpretation trek is through the transition forest in which we make a slow and progressive ascent. The forest and its surroundings unfold before us in a very special way. In this tour we hike along trails with spectacular views of the transition forest and the steppe as we discover its flora and fauna. Subject to the necessary conditions, we may see local large birds like the Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) as well as other smaller birds. Halfway through the morning, a snack will be provided and later on a rustic countryside lunch. Time permitting; we may visit a third viewpoint in search for the precious Challhuaco Small Frog (Atelognathus nitoi), an endemic species of Nahuel Huapi National Park.
Leaving Bariloche by route 40 we will begin to see the wide Nahuel Huapi Lake. The visual change in a few kilometers, leaving the transition area to enter an arid landscape of low vegetation, where various species of birds, guanacos and sheep will be seen along the route and the main highlight will be the Limay River (the which we will border from its nascent). This river can be crossed by bridge or by raft, one of the few remaining in the country (PHOTO); through one of these options we will arrive to the other margin to visit Villa Llanquin, a town of 350 inhabitants that harvests its own food and produces raw material for its crafts and weavings. We will know and we will be chatting with them, learning about gardens, plantations and manual works among other things. We will then return to route 40 towards Confluencia -union of the rivers Traful and Limay- place of imposing beauty surrounded by volcanic mountains, where wind and water carved them naturally giving shape to this wonderful “Enchanted Valley” (Valle Encantado).
We drive from the hotel to the area of Colonia Suiza, at the foot of Cerro Lopez. After a brief reception there’s a 15 minute safety briefing in which the guides show the basic safety and sliding techniques, using a cable in a course designed at 2 meters off the ground. Visitors are fitted with harnesses and helmets and are ready to start the adventure. An exciting drive up in a 4x4, then a short hike to the first platform 1 meter off ground and ready to start your first fly, which is short for an easy adaptation. The following platforms gradually increase the height and length of runs and have amazing panoramic views. Professional guides are always there on each platform and are very safety conscious. We finish our adventure with a short walk through the forest towards the 4x4 and a drive down to the base of the mountain and back to the hotel.
Cerro Catedral is an important international ski center and another of the traditional attractions of Bariloche, especially during the winter season, although it remains open all year round. It offers a wide and varied service infrastructure to practice all types of skiing and other winter sports. Hospitality, gastronomy and a variety of places satisfy the tastes and needs of skiers and tourists. To climb Cerro Catedral there are some alternatives for pedestrians (optional, lifts not included). At the top we will find bars and restaurants. Every year the National Snow Festival is celebrated, with fireworks and the famous torch descent from the Hill.
It is located in the southern Andes and on the border between Argentina and Chile. Cerro Tronador is in between two national parks: Nahuel Huapi Park in Río Negro and Neuquén provinces (Argentina) and Vicente Pérez Rosales Park in Llanquihue province (Chile). The mountain’s name comes from the Spanish word for “thunder”, a reference to the sound that the breaking ice glaciers make. It is 3,554 m.a.s.l. (11,660 feet), has seven glaciers and it is Bariloche's highest mountain. Leaving from downtown, the famous National Route 40 takes us south along the banks of lakes Gutiérrez and Mascardi until the intersection with Provincial Route 82. Along the way there are stunning views of mounts Bonete and Cresta de Gallo or we can visit one the shores of Mascardi Lake. Then we follow a road surrounded by native forests until reaching Manso River; the winding road goes up until the highest point. From there we take the road to the base of the mountain and then the ascent continues until the last viewpoint along the route: Ventisquero Negro, a glacier that comes down from Mount Tronador and stands out because of its dark color. Then we start our way back to Bariloche.
4WD tour along the magnificent Rio Negro steppe landscapes. Nature interpretation and fauna watching hike. From your hotel we head to Llanquin Village on the road that runs along Limay River Valley. Amazing geological formations will be observed on our way till we get to the river crossing on a traditional floating bridge, or cable ferry that will lead us to the untamed steppe. We drive off the beaten track colonized by the local flora where only the wind breaks the infinite silence. We stop at a viewpoint which is the starting point of a short trek to admire the magnificent view of Patagonia and discover the dodging local fauna. Mealtime will meet us after some ascents where we’ll have a delicious rustic country lunch. We head back through a countryside track towards the cable ferry to take the paved road that leads us to San Carlos de Bariloche where we expect to arrive in the afternoon.
La estancia is located 30 km away from Bariloche -about a 45-minute drive; it is an old renovated rural school at the foot of one of the largest condoreras in the area. Within the Incredible Patagonian Steppe, it give us the possibility of riding through irregular, undulating terrain, where fords, streams and the most beautiful views are crossed. They have their own horses, very well cared for and tame, which are used to being ridden by different people; so no experience is necessary. It is a ride for the whole family that shows typical local fauna in a natural state such as deer and condors, one of the largest birds capable of flight. Finally a time to relax and enjoy a tasting typical barbecue…
We depart from the hotel to Puerto Pañuelo, located 25 km away from downtown, in front of Llao Llao. We start a 35-minute navigation until reaching Puerto Anchorena, located in the central and narrowest area of Isla Victoria. There are different options for guided or free walks on demarcated trails. Every corner of the island with its wonderful landscapes, its rich history and its stunning natural environment, make this tour an experience to be fully enjoyed. The excursion continues with a second navigation to the Quetrihué Peninsula where the other great attraction of the promenade is located: Los Arrayanes National Park, where a 25-minute walk is made to observe magnificent specimens of these trees, with striking bark and heights that exceed 15 meters. We return to Puerto Pañuelo in a last 50-minute navigation to find the transfer that will return us to Bariloche city.
A soft crossing inside the Llao Llao Municipal Park, paddling in a natural environment of beautiful forests and magnificent views of the Cerros López, the San Eduardo Chapel and the famous Llao Llao Hotel. This unique combination of landscapes, flavors and panoramic views begins with a pick-up from the hotel. After an approximately 25 km ride we arrive at the Llao Llao hotel where we will meet with the rest of the team to begin the journey. After the safety talk and the provision of equipment, we will receive an introduction to the basic rowing technique in cruise kayaks to start the activity in total harmony with nature, crossing different beaches and enjoying each new landscape. This excursion is ideal for those who have little time, or it can be combined with other activities. The arrival at Lake Moreno “angostura” under the vehicular bridge is the end of the journey and will take us to the meeting with the support vehicle that will allow us to enjoy a short rest and refreshment. The vehicle will transport us back to the hotel.
A hike in the forests and viewpoints, an ideal itinerary for those who have a half day opening in their busy agenda and wish to discover breathtaking balconies with magnificent views. We pick up at the hotel to drive to the base of Cerro Otto where we head uphill along its hillside in our vehicle. Throughout the ascent we’ll be able to rejoice in the views of San Carlos de Bariloche city in preparation for our hike. At the Summit we’ll start a hike in the native forest where, at some point, we’ll be able to have Nahuel Huapi and Gutierrez lakes on sight. A 40-minute easy walk will lead us to a natural stunning balcony to have a short snack and marvel at the ample Nahuel Huapi Lake along with amazing views of Mountains Catedral, Lopez and Capilla as well as other magnificent ones. After an additional 20-minute hike, we reach another natural viewpoint featuring magnificent views of Cerro Ventana and Gutierrez Lake. We head back along the same trail to the vehicle that will drive you back to the hotel.
Sailing the Andes towards Chile! Departing from Puerto Pañuelo a ferry trip takes us to the west extreme of Nahuel Huapi lake, were we are going to get into the Cordillera and its Valdivian jungle. You will visit the waterfalls and Lake Cantaros. You can also visit Frias Lake, although it’s optional. Description: Starting from Puerto Pañuelo, sailing over the Blest arm of Nahuel Huapi’s Lake, you will get to Puerto Cantaros. From this point you are going to make a hike into the jungle to visit Los Cantaros Waterfall and Lake. Also you will see a milienary Alerce three on the way. Before that, there is a restaurant in Puerto Blest were you can buy our lunch, and also there is a place where you can take a box lunch and have seat under roof. In the afternoon you will have free time to walk in the jungle 3 km and arrive to Frias Lake and its stunning emerald green waters, or you will have the option to go by bus to Frias Lake, sale it in a smaller navigation to get to the limit with Chile. In this short navigation there is an amazing view from the glacier of the Mount Tronador. You can hike 3 km´s to get back to Puerto Blest by the jungle coasting Frias river or else come back in the bus.
The route of this beautiful circuit includes the full range of landscapes that can be enjoyed in this privileged region. The first stop would be in Villa la Angostura where we will have time to get to know the center and its main street. We continue taking the "7 Lakes Route" towards San Martín on a wooded road that crosses rivers and streams, while bordering several lakes such as Nahuel Huapi, Correntoso, Espejo, Escondido, Villarino, Falkner and Machónico. Bordering Lake Lacar, we arrive at San Martín de los Andes to have lunch and get to know the city, its main street and the lake's coast. The return is by paved route that passes through Junín de Los Andes, La Rinconada, Collon Cura and joins National Route N40, with a rural and steppe landscape, crossed by beautiful Andean rivers that flow towards the Limay. Thus we arrive at Traful Confluence, where the rocky figures of the "Enchanted Valley" and the surprising formation of "El Amphitheater" are added to this magical landscape. Bordering the river to its source in Lake Nahuel Huapi, we return to Bariloche.
Departing from downtown Bariloche, we drive along the edge of the southern banks of Nahuel Huapi Lake, following Bustillo Avenue and at km 20 we reach San Pedro peninsula and Puerto Bueno. Then we reach Villa Llao Llao at km 23, with a stunning viewpoint and other attractions in the area including the Llao Llao hotel, Llao Llao Municipal Park, where Saint Edward's chapel is found. Shorter we find Puerto Pañuelo, the starting point of the lake tours and Victoria Island, the Myrtle Woods and Puerto Blest. The trail continues deep into the Llao Llao peninsula and then takes us to Escondido Lake. Once we leave the peninsula, at milestone km 33 the road crosses the Angostura stream and at km 40 you'll find another panoramic viewpoint - 945 meters (3,100 feet) above sea level - with an excellent view of the Moreno lake and the Llao Llao peninsula. Traveling along the banks of Moreno Lake, at km 42 we see the bridge that connects the east and west sides of the lake. Resuming the circuit route, 17 kilometers (10 miles) from the city you'll find Mount Campanario: From the viewpoint and cafeteria located at the top you can enjoy the most incredible panoramic views (lift not included). Finally, at km we begin heading back toward Bariloche.
By national route 237 with direction to the east we arrive to the Limay River, where the typical landscape of the patagónic steppe is observed. At this point there is the detour that takes National Route 231 to Villa La Angostura, a route that involves skirting the Huemul Arm of Lake Nahuel Huapi, where the traveler will be surrounded by cypress forests, which will gradually give way to the forest damp. The Villa is located on the north coast of Lake Nahuel Huapi and has different attractions: The ports in Bahía Mansa and Bahía Brava, the historic presidential residence El Messidor, and the La Asunción Chapel. Return to San Carlos de Bariloche. Only in Winter Season (June to August): you will enter Cerro Bayo, where you will have the possibility of taking a lift to get to know the slopes of skiers and paradores on the mountain. At this point we can choose between spending all day at the Ski Center (where we can do some activity such as skiing or snowboarding) or go down to lunch in the city of Villa la Angostura. Route: around 170 km Does not include Lunch or chairlift in Cerro Bayo
Leaving Bariloche on route 40, we will begin to see the breadth of Lake Nahuel Huapi. We will skirt Cerro Leones, to see several local birds and enter the steppe zone. Later we will pass the nascent of the river Limay and going through a lateral moraine (mountain of glacier material not stratified) of Nahuel Huapi, we will find the wide and arid landscape that will take over us, where guanacos and sheep, will be seen along the route and the main outstanding partner will be the Limay River. We will continue route 40 and we will go to Confluencia, where the river Traful joins the river Limay, imposing place surrounded by volcanic mountains of the region, where the wind and water were natural artisans of the carving of these, giving the shape to this wonderful Enchanted Valley (“Valle Encantado). From then on, we will begin to travel the gravel road 65 that will take us to beautiful spots, contemplate and be expectant in the search for condors, caverns of cave paintings, and the viewpoint of the wind with trees that mark the influence of this natural phenomenon. We get to Villa Traful, a town of 700 inhabitants, which offer several alternatives for summer lovers. There the chapel, the coast and the simplicity of nature inserted in a path of small buildings, will delight us.