Argentina

Gaucho cowboys, the tango, and the romance of Evita may characterise Argentina, but the country has so much more to offer. It presents visitors with a wide variety of cultural attractions and an array of natural wonders including impressive mountain peaks, rare geological formations, pampean plains, tropical jungles and a diverse variety of fauna. Sample the stunning scenery of the lush Lake District, revel in Patagonia’s glacier-carved landscapes, explore painted Andean deserts and city slickers will adore fabulous Buenos Aires.

When to Visit

Buenos Aires blossoms in spring, from September to November. The Lake District explodes with colour in autumn when the temperatures are comfortable and the crowds are thin. Patagonia's climate best suits a summer visit.

Highlights

BUENOS AIRES Known as the “Paris of the Americas”, Buenos Aires, the birthplace of the tango, is a city of contrasts. The glamour and elegance of its European roots are interwoven with its undeniable Latin American essence.

IGUAZU FALLS The spectacular Iguazu Falls is made up of numerous cascades producing vast sprays of water. On the Argentine side there is a network of trails that lead to different viewpoints of the 275 waterfalls that make up the Falls.

MENDOZA Not only Argentina’s wine capital but one of the great wine capitals of the world. Mendoza is positioned at the foot of the Andes Mountains and is a bustling city boasting a distinctly European feel.

BARILOCHE A city in the province of Patagonia, surrounded by silent millenary woods with indigenous botanical species lining the shores of the still lakes, Bariloche offers natural scenery of rugged beauty in the heart of Andean Patagonia.

EL CALAFATE A small town situated where the Santa Cruz plateau meets the Andes and arguably the national capital of the glaciers, El Calafate town is the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park.

COLONIA, URUGUAY Only 50km from Buenos Aires by ferry, Colonia, in Uruguay, is a picturesque town filled with old colonial buildings and narrow cobbled streets. Colonia’s charm and its proximity to Buenos Aires draws thousands of visitors.

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Useful Information

Health

The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor on (+64) 9 373 3531. Vaccination against Hepatitis A is recommended for travellers to Argentina. Vaccination against Hepatitis B and Typhoid should also be considered, while persons staying in Argentina for extended periods or visiting certain regions may require immunisation against Rabies. Cholera is present in Argentina, but vaccination is usually not recommended. Argentina is considered as a low risk country for Malaria. Yellow Fever does occur in Argentina and depending on a travellers itinerary, vaccination may be recommended and in some cases certification of this is required. Dengue Fever is also present in Argentina, as such insect avoidance measures may be necessary. Food and water precautions are also advised. Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. New Zealanders travelling to Argentina should also ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. 

Electricity

Electrical Plug: New Zealand and European Voltage: 220-240 volts Modem Plug: American (same as New Zealand) Special Tip: The Argentine electrical plug and the New Zealand socket look the same, however the polarity of the active and neutral pins are reversed. This should not cause any problems in normal use of travel products. Source: Korjo Travel Products. To purchase electrical/modem adapters, please view the Korjo adapter guide at www.korjo.com.au.

Communications

Country Code for Argentina: +54 International Operator: 000 Offical Travel Advice: Visit www.safetravel.govt.nz Emergency Services: Ambulance - 107 Police - 101 or 911 Fire - 100 The emergency services may not have English speaking staff. Tourist Police (English Speaking): Buenos Aires - 0800 999 5000 Mendoza - 0261 413 2135

Shopping

Most Stores in main cities of Argentina, are open from Monday to Friday 9.00am to 8.00pm, and Saturday are open since 9.00am until 2.00pm and they do not open on Sundays.  Some shops open an hour earlier, close for lunch, between 12.00 and 4.00pm and reopen until 8.00pm. Shops and Services are open between 9.00am and 7.00pm, and 9.00am to 2.00pm on Saturdays. During the day, they may close during hours at midday to avoid the heat, and are generally open much later, often until 8.00pm or even 10.00pm, and on Saturday afternoon, especially in the summer.  Large shopping malls don't close before 10.00pm and their food and drink sections may stay open as late as midnight and, many of them, open on Sundays.

Tipping

Tipping is common in restaurants and bars, usually around 10% of the bill when happy with the service received. Leaving no tip when feeling dissatisfied is not uncommon, and the reason is understood. Many restaurants also levy a small fixed cover charge (cubierto; typically no more than 12 Argentine pesos per person). Tips are also usually given for food delivery services and luggage carrying and loading/unloading from buses. Taxi drivers are not tipped. It is customary to tip the ushers in theaters and opera houses if they hand out programmes. It is now starting to be a common practice to tip taxi drivers.

Getting around

Distances are immense in Argentina, and you are likely to spend a considerable portion of your budget on travel. Ground transport (mostly bus) is best for giving a true impression of the scale of the country and for appreciating the landscape. However, you may want to cover some big legs, particularly to and around Patagonia, in which case travelling by domestic flights can often save a day or more. The inter-city bus network is extensive but services in remote areas can be poor and infrequent; in these places, it is worth considering car rental. Train services are run-down and limited and not generally a viable method of getting around.

Language

Spanish is the official language of Argentina, however the dialect spoken differs from that in Spain and has a strong Italian influence. Italian, English, German and French are minority languages.

Visa's

Official travel advice regarding visas is available by calling 04 439 8000 or visiting their website www.safetravel.govt.nz

Customs

Both men and women greet each other by kissing on the cheek. In very formal encounters men and women shake hands. People address each other with the colloquial form vos (singular "you," equivalent to tu in other Spanish speaking countries). To convey social distance, people employ the more formal usted (to talk to superiors or to elders). Social physical distance in everyday encounters is much closer than in the United States. Argentines might touch each other when talking and might feel awkward when North Americans reject physical proximity and contact. Women and men gaze at each other and it is still quite common that men use piropos (flirtateous remarks) when a woman walks by.

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