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Tips For Those Visiting Argentina

Argentina is a great country and has recently been chosen as a popular travel destination.  Since I have a lot of experience visiting Argentina (my wife is from there), I thought I’d share some of the basic tips to make your visit a little smoother. 

1.  If you are traveling from the United States, there are 9 daily direct flights from various U.S. cities to Buenos Aires:

 -American from New York City. 

-American, Aerolineas Argentinas and LAN from Miami

-Continental from Houston.

-American from Dallas

-Delta from Atlanta

-United from Washington

2.    You’ll probably be visiting more than just Buenos Aires when you go.  Both Aerolineas Argentinas and LAN offer various internal flights throughout the country.  Keep in mind that they have different luggage restrictions within the country than those you’ll have on your international flight visiting Argentina.  Both companies don’t have a limit on the amount of checked bags you have but the total weight of all checked bags cannot exceed 15 kilos (or about 33 pounds).

3.    The official currency in Argentina is the Argentine peso.  It comes in bill denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.  Coins have .05, .10, .25, .50 and $1 denominations.  The exchange rate normally fluctuates between $3.50-$3.90 Argentine Pesos to the US dollar.

4.    Tourist visas are not required for European and American visitors but make sure to check with the Argentine Consulate before you travel.  There are rumors that they may impose a tourist visa fee for Americans some time in the future in response to the fact that Argentines have to pay for a visa to get in to the States.

5.    If you’re a tourist and you go shopping while visiting Argentina, look for shops that display the blue and gray Tax Free Shopping decal.  Under this system, you can get a tax refund for purchases on goods that were made in Argentina and that are valued at over $70 Argentine Pesos.  Ask for a Tax Free receipt and you can claim your refund at the international airport on your way back home or by mail once you’ve arrived to your home.  The VAT tax you’ll be getting a refund on is currently at 21%.

6.    The electrical power system in the country works with 220 watt, 50hg plugs so be sure to bring adapter plugs or transformers if your electrical goods don’t already have them.

7.    Tipping while visiting Argentina is normally done at around 10% for services such as meals and bar tabs.  If you take any guided tours, feel free to tip them around $20 pesos if you’re happy with the service.  Cab drivers don’t normally expect a tip but many people round up to the nearest peso since coins can be hard to come by.

I hope this information has been of use to you and may you have a wonderful time while visiting Argentina.  The people are wonderful there.