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
We leave Humahuaca and we cross “Peña Blanca”, east border of the Humahuaca Gorge. Here we begin our adventure of “colorful towns and gorges”. After a few kilometers we meet the first towns. The overwhelming plains of the Coctaca Valley remind us of one of the main Inca agricultural sites. During the morning we walk this valley and take our lunch once in town. During the afternoon we go hiking for 2 and a half hour to watch the ancient paintings on rocks on Cerro Negro. From here we enjoy spectaculars view over the valley. After getting back in our vehicle we cross by different towns such as Valiaso and Pucará to climb the Serrania of Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara Hills) reaching 4,200 m.a.s.l. We end up the day at the viewpoint in Cerro Hornocal, with beautiful views over the Abra (huge prairie) de Zenta. We take a typical northwest tea time and get back to Tilcara. Trekking: 2.30 hs Maximum height 4,200 m.a.s.l. It is advisable to wear a hat and drinking water Total transportation Km from Tilcara: 250
Leaving Tilcara in the afternoon we drive 42 km up to Humahuaca. Once there we headed east on Provincial Route 73, which leads us into Coctaca culture valleys. We stop to taste a regional coca tea and then back to the path uphill to the 4,200 m.a.s.l. where we can enjoy excellent views of the Cerro Multicolor (multicolor hill) in Serrania del Hornocal. Beautiful panoramic views where we can appreciate and understand Humahuaca region geography. A unique attraction worth visiting.
Departing Tilcara we travel about 80 km along Route Nº 9 to reach Inca Cueva. From there begins the 7 hours trek through Chulín riverbed and sometimes by Inca trail; while we visit 10,000 years rock art caves and continue the journey to Sapagua petro glyphs, where we find traces of Spanish arrival printed on the stones. Route: 140 km total by vehicle Height 3,800 m.a.s.l.
In a transition between the desert and the jungle and crossing through 4.000 mt, we find Valles de Altura (Height Valleys), where the ancient people were able to organize self-sufficiency food based on farming terraces built in the mountains foothills, and using the catchment water that comes from top of the hills. These ancient traditions are valid today and dazzle us with their story. Nestled amidst these mythical mountains is located Iruya village. Round trip route: 232 km total by vehicle - Maximum height: 4000 m.a.s.l.
We cross Quebrada de Humahuaca (Humahuaca ravine) to reach La Puna region and there we visit the historic town named Yavi, main church altar laminated in gold, Marques de Tojo House and Hydraulic Mill in Historic District. Then we run through the village of Yavi and climb to the formation of the 8 brothers to visit the petro glyphs in Laguna Colorada. Returning we know La Quiaca city.
Visit the most imposing Flamingos reserve in Northwest region, touring the Puna. We travel by car part of Jujuys Puna to reach this spectacular reserve of Pink Flamingos and andean fauna. We can admire vicunas, foxes, Puna birds and hopefully also some Suris (ostriches), among other animals. A real visit to the center of the vast region of the Puna through its capital: Abra Pampa, where we visit the regional market and craftsmen cooperatives.
Pozo Colorado is a beautiful place with a small village located in the East border of Salinas Grandes. Its 200 inhabitants (native community) base their production activity mainly in extracting salt and breeding the most famous animal in our province: “the llamas”. The native community is currently working to recover its cultural heritage: spinning and weaving llama wool; carving laja stones; manufacturing salt stones crafts; and, recently, along with Caravana de Llamas, using the llama as pack animal. During the car trip towards the town of Pozo Colorado we can enjoy the spectacular landscape of “Cuesta de Lipán”, observing vicuñas and guanacos (south American wild camelids). When we arrive to Pozo Colorado we prepare the llamas for the expedition and we begin the llama trekking that lasts about and hour and a half. We penetrate the salt surface, we visit the salt extraction spots and then we have lunch. After a well-deserved rest, we return to the community to end the journey. Season: all year round (in January and February it migth rain) Difficulty: medium exigency Highest altitude: 3500 meters a.s.l. Duration: 4 hs. (Trekking time: about 3 hs.) Departure hour: 11.30 am Departure place: Pozo Colorado (the journey by car from Tilcara to Pozo takes around 2 hours). Departure location: Pozo Colorado (near Salinas Grandes) Includes: Guide from the community; full lunch with wine (regional picnic); water during the walk. We recommend bringing hat, jacket, trekking shoes and sun block.
Every corner of the Quebrada de Humahuaca is amazing! This tour takes us through local roads in a rural environment. You can visit fossil remains in the imposing Cerro Amarillo and also make a short walk to the Pucará de Juella. Then you will enjoy a tempting lunch in a family house, sharing stories and legends of the place.
Salinas Grandes is one of the most visited destinations in Jujuy's Puna region. This tour is an invitation to discover a way of life and ancient economic activity: salt extraction. An unforgettable day visiting the salt flat, their communities, their workers and the processes that led this mineral to be a recognized and renewable activity. The Salina, surrounding landscapes and its people offer us the possibility to enjoy and learn the salt processes until reaching consumption and livelihoods of many people. An unforgettable proposal in Puna! Includes: salt community local guide, visit the salt mine, collection, visit the collection center and artisan fractionation, lunch in salt communities. Route: 250 km total by vehicle Maximum height: 4,170 m.a.s.l.