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About Argentina

Argentine Identity

Argentina has many peculiarities that have traveled the world by word of mouth with the people who have visited the country. The outgoing personality of its people, who are friendly, fun and effusive; the typical cuisine which includes asado, mate, regional dishes, and dulce de leche treats; the traditional dances like tango, a couple dance with a 2 x 4 rhythm, which was born in Buenos Aires during the 19th century and today has reached an international level, or folklore, with different choreographic forms, according to each area; the passion for football, and the fanaticism for the major players and clubs, Boca Juniors and River Plate being the most popular ones, and the ones that fill their stadiums and cause proliferating displays of excitement every time they play; typical games like truco, a card game in which luck and the ability to trick or deceive the opponent are the most important things, or horse riding games in the outskirts of the city which reveal the powerful Spanish influence and the persistence of old traditions; and, of course, the personality that each special region knows how to maintain and strengthen as time goes by.

Location

The Argentine Republic, with an area of almost 3.8 million square kilometers (1,468,000 square miles), is located in the Southern Hemisphere of the American continent. Its 3,800 kilometers (2,361 miles) in length stretch from 22º to 55º south latitude. The country borders on Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile, and on the Atlantic Ocean to the East. The country is touristically divided in 6 regions, and politically divided in 24 provinces.

Geography and Weather

Argentina is usually described as a land of impressive contrasts, product of a varied geography. From the Andes to the west, which stretch along the Argentina-Chile border from north to south, with the highest peak, 6,959 meter / 22,831 feet Mount Aconcagua, to the Pampas and the Atlantic Coast, and across hill ranges, numerous forests, rainforests, deserts and fertile valleys, the biodiversity of these ecosystems allow the development of rich flora and fauna. Many natural sites in the country are protected areas like reserves and national parks. Moreover, some of the main natural landmarks have been declared World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO.

The main characteristic of Argentina is diversity, and this is also the case with the weather. The country enjoys a very varied climate: it is mild and humid in the Pampas; cold and damp in the western Patagonia; subtropical in the Mesopotamia region; and warm in the Northeast. The highest points at all latitudes are the coldest areas, with dry, snowy, mountain weather, and a wide temperature range.

Entry Requirements

Foreign tourists from neighboring countries only need their ID to enter Argentina. Visitors from other countries must have a valid passport, with or without a visa, as appropriate. It is recommended to check with the nearest embassy or consulate about the current legislation for each country. Visitors from non-bordering countries are exempt from all taxes on personal items or new items worth up to USD 300, as well as an additional USD 300 for items purchased at authorized duty-free shops within the national territory. Tourists can stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days. No vaccination certificates are required to enter the country. Only tourists from countries where cholera and yellow fever are endemic should present proof of being vaccinated against those diseases.

Business Information

In big cities, stores are open Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 8 pm. On Saturdays, stores are open from 9 am to 1 pm. However, stores located in major avenues remain open during the afternoon. In the provinces, it is usual to take a break at noon, usually from 1 pm to 4 pm. In shopping malls, operating hours are from 10 am to 10 pm, even during weekends and some national holidays. It is customary to leave a 10% tip for different services received (mainly in restaurants), which is not always included in the bill. It is also customary to tip doormen, hotel attendants, and ushers.


Payment Methods

Although the US dollar and the Euro are generally accepted in stores and shops, foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and authorized agencies. The most widely accepted credit cards are American Express, VISA, Diners, and MasterCard. Traveler’s checks can be easily traded in Buenos Aires, but not in some provincial towns.


Banking and Business Hours

Banks open Monday thru Friday, from 10 am to 3 pm –some banks close at 4 pm to perform only specific transactions. There are ATMs operating 24 hours a day where you can withdraw cash and do other transactions. For most business offices, the usual operating hours are from 9 am to 6 pm. In general, there is a one-hour lunch break at noon (from 12 pm to 1 pm or from 1 pm to 2 pm). In some towns where it is usual to take a “siesta” (a break after lunch, generally due to the hot-weather conditions of some regions), the recess is extended until the afternoon and the business hours are extended two more hours.

VAT Return

It is possible to get the VAT (value-added tax) refunded at the airport. If you have purchased national products for over $70 (per invoice) in shops operating with the “Global Refund” system, it is possible to get a VAT refund at Ministro Pistarini International Airport (Ezeiza).

Travelling Around Argentina

Due to the large size of the country, flying is the most convenient way of traveling long distances all over the country. Flying can be combined with land transportation. There are a number of airlines offering domestic flights, including: Aerolíneas Argentinas, Austral, Andes Líneas Aéreas, LADE, LAER, LAN Argentina, and Sol Líneas Aéreas. Domestic flights and flights to Uruguay depart from Jorge Newbery Airport, located to the north of the City of Buenos Aires by the De la Plata River. The boarding fee for domestic flights is USD 7.05, and for flights to Uruguay is USD 8.

CITIES TIME
San Salvador de Jujuy
Salta
San Miguel de Tucumán
Puerto Iguazú
Posadas
Rosario
Mendoza
Córdoba
Mar del Plata
San Carlos de Bariloche
Trelew
Río Gallegos
El Calafate
Ushuaia
2 h 10 min
2 h
1 h 50 min
1h 45 min
1 h 30 min
52 min
1 h 50 min
1 h 15 min
45 min
2 h 20 min
2 h.
2 h 55 min
3 h 15 min
3 h 20 min

As far as traveling by land goes, dozens of buses leave daily from Retiro Bus Station, located in downtown Buenos Aires, to most of the country’s main cities. Long-distance buses are equipped with on board toilets, air conditioning, and a bar.

Distances from Buenos Aires

CITIES DISTANCE CITIES DISTANCE
Bahía Blanca
Cafayate
Córdoba
Corrientes
El Calafate
Esquel
Formosa
Humahuaca
La Plata
La Rioja
Luján
Mar del Plata
Mendoza
Neuquén
Paraná
Pinamar
Posadas
Puerto Iguazú
Puerto Madryn
Rawson
Resistencia
Río Gallegos
660 Km
1.703 Km
710 Km
1.074 Km
2.681 Km
2.050 Km
1.181 Km
1.782 Km
52 Km
1.168 Km
64 Km
410 Km
1.037 Km
1.156 Km
495 Km
401Km
1.060 Km
1.346 Km
1.382 Km
1.441 Km
1.019 Km
2.630 Km
Río Grande
Rosario
Salta
San Antonio de Areco
San Carlos de Bariloche
San Juan
San Luis
San Martín de los Andes
San Miguel de Tucumán
San Rafael
San Salvador de Jujuy
Santa Fe
Santa Rosa
Santiago del Estero
Termas de Río Hondo
Tigre
Trelew
Ushuaia
Viedma
Valle de Las Leñas
Villa Gesell
Villa La Angostura
2.850 Km
306 Km
1.605 Km
114 Km
1.627 Km
1.119 Km
820 Km
1.607 Km
1.310 Km
999 Km
1.654 Km
476 Km
607 Km
1.150 Km
1.150 Km
33 Km
1.436 Km
3.171 Km
970 Km
1.218 Km
416 Km
1.695 Km

Tourists can also travel by train to many places in Argentina. From the City of Buenos Aires, trains depart from Constitución and Retiro stations to cities in other parts of the country. There are also tourist trains, including the train traveling along the northern suburban area of Buenos Aires, as well as other famous trains located in the provinces –such as the De las Nubes Train in Salta and the Del Fin del Mundo Train in Ushuaia, among others.