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
The trip begins in the Lerma Valley until El Carril, continuing to Chicoana. We enter to the Quebrada de los Laureles (The Laurel’s Gorge) and soon to the Quebrada de Escoipe (Escoipe Gorge). We arrive to the Maray entering Cuesta del Obispo (The Bishop’s Cliff), road with abundant curves from where it is possible to enjoy a panoramic view of the Enchanted Valley and small houses with maize and fruit trees. At Piedra del Molino (The Mill’s Stone) we reach 3.384 meters above the sea level, the highest spot in our trip. Soon Los Cardones National Park is crossed by the straight line of Tin-Tin (ancient Inca’s road). Arriving to Cachi, a panoramic view of the Nevado de Cachi and Payogasta is observed. We go the town of Cachi where the Archaeological Museum and the Church are visited. We return to Salta through the same route.
The journey starts from Salta city to the south, along route 68 through the Lerma Valley and its historical towns. We reach Quebrada de las Conchas (the Shell´s Gorge), where wind and water erosion carved curious shapes on the rocks (The Amphitheater, Devils throat, The Toad, The Castles, among others). When we arrive to Cafayate, we visit some wineries, famous for their production of Torrontes, with special characteristics due to the particularities of the climate and land. After lunch (optional, not included) we return to Salta through the Quebrada de las Conchas (the Shells´ Gorge) and the Lerma Valley.
Day 1: departure from Salta city towards south, through Route 68 along Lerma Valley whose points of interest are Chicoana, Quebrada del Escoipe, Cuesta del Obispo (road with abundant curves), Piedra del Molino (highest point of the route at 3384 m.s.), Los Cardones National Park and Tin-Tin straight. Arrival to Cachi at lunch time. The trip continues down Route 40 to admire mountainous landscapes with towns of great enchantment. Bordering the Calchaquí River, we can observe historical towns such as Seclantas, Molinos, Angastaco, San Carlos and Animana. By the end of the afternoon we arrive to Cafayate. Overnight. Day 2: we visit some wineries; after lunch we return to Salta through Quebrada de las Conchas (Shells’ ravine) visiting the peculiar rock formations caused by rain and wind, such as The Amphitheatre or The Devil´s Throat. We arrive to Salta after crossing the Lerma Valley.
Salta city was founded in 1582 and it still has a Spanish nature that makes it distinctive from the rest of the Argentinean capital cities. The surrounding hills provide the setting for the colonial style houses and churches that outline its urban features. Pass through its churches and museums: Cerro San Bernardo with a panoramic view of the city. Later visit San Lorenzo summer villa, 10 km away from the city, National University, Vaqueros River, Quebrada de Castellanos, Lesser and Crafts Market.
The trip begins in Salta towards the Tastil Ruins arriving to San Antonio de los Cobres, after a two hours stop for lunch (OPTIONAL) and a short visit the town. We continue our trip along Route 40 crossing one of the most desert areas of our country. Soon, and already in the province of Jujuy, we arrive to Salinas Grandes (The Great Salt Flat), where the immensity of the area, the white shiny salt invites you to relax and take good shots. We continue down the Lipán Cliff arriving to Purmamarca: it is one of the typical towns of Humahuaca Gorge, it has the Seven Colors Hill and the small houses enchant. We return to Salta.
The journey leaves from Salta, but really begins once arrived to Purmamarca Village where time will be enough to observe the Seven Colored Hill, the Church and the Craft Market on the square, and a small walk along its narrow streets. We continue towards the town of Tilcara where we visit the Pucará (ancient ruins), the Archaeological Museum, and Huacalera, and then we cross the Capricorn Tropic, from where the colors of La Pollera del Coya Hill can be seen and really good pictures taken because of the daylight. We visit Uquía and its church, where the paintings of the Arcabuceros Angels (important vestige in the zone of the Cuzqueña School) are kept. Arrival to Humahuaca will be at noon, this town has an important Church and the Independence Monument (the Indian) of the sculptor Soto Avendaño. After lunch (not included) we’ll observe, from the route, La Paleta del Pintor (Paintor's palette) framing the town of Maimara. Return to Salta.
Early morning departure; first we visit Purmamarca and then Salinas Grandes (Salt Flat). The "salinas" have 212 km2 of extension -the same surface as the city of Buenos Aires- and are located in the Puna at 3,450 m.a.s.l. A white stretch of salt that contrasts with the blue of the sky. It is a unique natural environment with its traditional artisanal exploitation of salt. The return to Salta is by the same road as the one way.
Leaving Salta, we travel along the route parallel to the Train to the Cloud’s railway track, at Quebrada del Toro (Bull’s Gorge), where the scenery will change its dense vegetation till the first cardones will be seen, as well as several viaducts and bridges such as The Bull, Alisal and Chorrillo, getting to know places as El Candado, El Gólgota, Alfarcito, etc. All lonely yet beautiful mountain landscapes. Once at Santa Rosa de Tastil, we’ll be able to visit the village, the Archaeological Museum and the pre Inca ruins where ancient housing and streets can be clearly distinguish. We continue through Finca La Encrucijada, to ascend up Muñano Cliff till to Abra Blanca, at 4,080 m.a.s.l. when we arrive to San Antonio de Los Cobres.
BUS+TRAIN+BUS: the excursion begins at Salta train station, located 10 blocks away from the main square. Check-in begins at 5:45 am, since the first bus leaves at 6:15 am while the last one leaves at 7:00 am. We travel along National Route 51, making several photo stops such as Campo Quijano, Viaducto El Toro and El Alfarcito where we have a country breakfast. Then we continue to San Antonio de los Cobres train station: at 12 noon the train departs making its highest and most emblematic route, which is the engineering work of Maury Engineer known as “La Polvorilla Viaduct” (4220 m.a.s.l.). This route is crossed twice (round trip) and a 20-minute stop is made at a panoramic point where we can descend to take pictures; then continue the return to San Antonio de los Cobres, scheduled for 3:00 pm. Here we take again the buses up to the center of this town, where we will have 1 hour and a half to walk around and have lunch (meals not included). Finally, we board the bus to return by the same route to Salta, arriving at 8:00 pm.
A circuit through the downtown area of the city, adapted to the taste and interests of each passenger. We will visit 9 de Julio square and the historical buildings that surround it: Cathedral church, Cabildo and San Francisco church will be appreciated in minimal detail, as well as the particularities of life and the movement of Salta city in their day to day. The Supply Market is an interesting point for culinary art lovers and the High Mountain Museum (MAAM), for those interested in archeology. Tickets and transfers are included. Pick up for hotels located in the downtown area.