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Argentina

  • Argentina

  • Argentina

  • Argentina

ARGENTINA COUNTRY INFORMATION

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
US, Canadian and Australian passport holders must prepay reciprocity fee.

Starting January 1st, 2013, the reciprocity fee prepayment control is in place at all the border control points (land, sea and air). Cruise ship passengers will be exempted from the reciprocity fee payment until June 2013, please verify with your cruise line.
The payment receipt is needed to be presented upon arrival in Argentina. The lack of such proof will generate the denial of entry and return to their departure city.

The website link for the payment is www.migraciones.gov.ar.

Country Name: Republic of Argentina
Area: 2.800.000 Square Km. (1.085 Square Miles, aprox.)
Population: 40.3 million (growth rate: 1.01%, estimate for 2011)
Capital City: Buenos Aires
Capital Population: 2.9 million inhabitants. (Greater Buenos Aires region reaches aprox.12.8 million inhabitants).
Argentina Country Code: (54) Buenos Aires (11)

Language: Spanish is the official language in Argentina and predominates throughout the country. English is widely spoken in major hotels and the main tourist centers and facilities throughout the country. Other languages frequently spoken are Italian, French and German.

Religion: The Roman Catholic religion predominates, followed by Protestants. There is a large Jewish community and also a significant Muslim population.

Currency: The official currency is the Argentine Peso (Peso Argentino)

Time Zones: All of Argentina: GMT – 3 (No Daylight Saving Time in 2012).

Measures System: Decimal Metric System. 1 meter equals to 3.3 feet. 1.6 kilometers equals to 1 mile; 1 Kilo equals to 2.2 pounds and 1 liter equals to 0.26 gallons. Temperatures are measured in Celsius Degrees: 0 Celsius equals to 32 Farenheit and 100 C equals to 212 F.

USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION
Passports and Documentation: A valid Passport is necessary for travelling as tourists to Argentina. Passport’s validity must extend to six months after the visit. Nationals of the United States, Canada and most European and Latin American countries do NOT need visas for tourism activities in Argentina. For other nationalities, please ask us or contact the nearest Argentine Embassy or Consulate.

Iguassu Falls U.S. CITIZEN ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Located between Brazil and Argentina, there are two spellings of the name, two airports and two views!

If you are visiting the falls en route between Argentina and Brazil, you will easily have a chance to visit both sides. Border crossing between these countries is fairly relaxed – authorities assume most people are on a day trip across the border however please note that US passport holders require a visa to visit the Brazilian side of the falls which is NOT issued at the border. (allow 3 weeks to obtain)

Electricity: 220 volts AC; 50 Hz. Plug fittings in older buildings are of the two-pin round type, but some new buildings use the three-pin flat type. 

Water: Urban water supplies are usually potable. However, tap water is not recommendable for drinking. Thus, the best option is to drink bottled water, available most everywhere. Alternatively, boiling the water should be a good measure.

Transportation: Argentina is easily accessible by its main International Airport of Ezeiza, located near the country’s capital city of Buenos Aires. Mendoza handles some international flights from neighboring countries. There is a wide network of domestic flights, serving several national airports throughout the vast extension of the Argentine territory, including the Patagonian Region. International cruise ships seasonally dock at Buenos Aires’ sea port. An ample network of good quality roads provides the facilities for land travel in all of Argentina and bus travel through the country has reached high levels of quality and reliability. There are some road links between Argentina and the bordering countries. Buenos Aires, the capital city, as well as the popular resort city of Mar del Plata and the cities of Mendoza, Cordoba and a few others, boast a wide system of taxis and public bus services. Buenos Aires is the only city in Argentina with an Underground mass-transportation system, locally called the “Subte”. Buses, coaches and car rental facilities are available for travel between cities and to the main tourist attractions in the country. River ferry connections are also available for transportation between Argentina and Uruguay. Train services also connect several Argentine cities.

Communications: Telephone communications for local, national and international calls are available at public cabins and booths, (locally called “locutorios”), as well as in hotels (some surcharges may apply) and other tourist venues. Prepaid phone cards are also available, it is recommended to make sure to use reliable and compatible carriers. Cell or mobile phones are also available and can be rented by tourists. Internet services are also widely offered at hotels (usually free for guests); Wi-Fi zones at most tourist venues and on cyber cafes.

Opening Hours: Business Offices: usually from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 2:00 to 7:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays. Banks and Exchange Bureaus: Mondays to Fridays, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. 

Currency Exchange, Credit Cards & Banking Facilities: Foreign exchange transactions can be made at Banks and at licensed Exchange Houses or Bureaus. Most hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist venues accept US dollars and Euros. Visitors are not recommended to be tempted by street black marketers.

Credit and debit cards are accepted at most tourist locations, hotels and facilities. Do check with your credit or debit card companies for details about acceptability and possible restrictions. ATM machines are found in the main cities and tourist venues. Travelers Checks are not recommended for visitors to Argentina, as their use is complicated and limited.

Shopping and Souvenirs: Most stores in the big cities open from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays. On Saturdays, most open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Some large shopping malls may have extended opening hours. In the outskirts of Buenos Aires and in the provinces, stores usually close at midday.

Argentina is a shopper’s heaven, especially for leather and wool garments; fine gemstones; furs, antiques and the traditional “gaucho” goods and souvenirs. Argentina offers visitors a VAT return system: at the airport you may obtain a VAT reimbursement corresponding to purchases made within the country for an amount of over US $ 70,00 per invoice and at shops operating with the “Global Refund System”.

Tipping: Tipping, even though customary, is a personal matter, related to your impressions of how you were served. To express your satisfaction, the following international guidelines, per person, can be followed:
US $ 10, per day, for guide
US $ 5, per day, for driver

In restaurants and bars it is customary to give between 10 to 15% of the total charge, if not already included in the bill. If included, servers still expect a cash tip, especially for good service provided.

SAFETY AND HEALTH
Security, Valuables: Just like anywhere in the world, normal precautions to be taken are not to venture alone or even in couples into solitary, marginal or poorly illuminated areas; not to accept offers, gifts or unrequested assistance from strangers and not to carry flashy objects such as jewelry, electronic gadgets and others that might tempt thieves. In wild or nature areas, the main hazard is getting lost if walking or hiking alone. The company of a certified and reliable guide, ranger or similar is recommended and, otherwise, to advice the nearest authorities or your lodging place what your exploration plans are. Your valuables are best kept at the hotels and lodgings’ safety boxes. A photocopy of your passport or other photo ID is useful to carry handy with you.

Health and Medical Facilities: Buenos Aires, the capital, and other major cities like Mendoza or Cordoba, do have international-level hospitals and medical facilities. The major hotels offer on-call medical assistance on the main cities and in the most developed tourist centers. Travelers are suggested to seek the advice of their physicians prior to travelling for dietary restrictions; possible need of vaccines, altitude precautions if going to the mountains, etc. The local tour operator should be informed in advance of dietary restrictions and medical conditions which might require special care.

CLIMATE AND CLOTHING
Climate and weather conditions vary widely according to seasonal factors; regional and ecological characteristics; altitude and other elements. Thus, it is recommended to look for specific advice regarding climate, weather and appropriate clothing, depending on the places you are planning to visit and the time of the year your trip is being planned for. Please ask us for details.

GASTRONOMY AND CUISINE
The flagship element of Argentine cuisine is meat. This is the country with the reputation for having the best steaks. Traditional “asados” and “parrilladas”, outdoor or indoor, are popular ways of getting into the Argentine’s culinary culture around beef. However, vegetarians should not be alarmed. Nowadays, there are gastronomic alternatives for all tastes and needs. Italian, French and Japanese cuisine are also taking a strong grip in the Argentine cuisine, while their Chefs are rapidly joining the ranks of top-brasses of innovative cuisine, including the avant-garde molecular cuisine and recipes. As cosmopolitan as Buenos Aires is, there are restaurants of all kinds, featuring national and international specialties. Practically every town in the country has at least one pizza place and Argentines have some traditional “Heladerìas” (ice-cream shops), which could rival those across the Atlantic. Among the local delicacies, all sorts of empanadas are popular around the country and the fillings range from grounded beef, ham, cheese, olives or other ingredients. And among the sweets, perhaps Argentina’s most famous are the “alfajores”, dulce de leche, sandwiched between two sweet biscuits.

The national drink of Argentina, also popular in Uruguay and Paraguay, is the “mate”, made of the dried mate herb leafs. This tea-like drink is drank on the mate gourds or “guampas” and sipped with a metal straw, known as “bombilla”. Argentina is also famous for its great quality wines which are, nowadays, exported and drank throughout the world.

RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS

BUENOS AIRES

  • Restaurant Sotto Voce – Italian Cuisine
  • Chila  – Author Cuisine
  • Nanatsu  – Japanese  Cuisine
  • Osaka – Fusion food –Peruvian/Japanese
  • I Central Market – International Cuisine
  • El Bistró at Hotel Faena + Universe -Author food
  • La Cabrera – Steakhouse
  • Parolaccia del Mare – Sea Food
  • La Cabrera – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Las Lilas – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • La Cabaña – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • La Brigada – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Las Nazarenas – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Esquina Carlos Gardel – Dinner & Tango Show
  • Café de los Angelitos – Dinner & Tango Show
  • La Ventana – Dinner & Tango Show
  • El Querandí  – Dinner & Tango Show
  • Rojo Tango – Dinner & Tango Show
  • Gala Tango – Dinner & Tango Show

CORDOBA

  • Alcorta Carnes y Vinos – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Beto`s Parrilla-Lomitos – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • El Faro de Garrido – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • El Patio de Jesús María – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Faustino – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • La Yerra – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Los Cabritos – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Rancho Viejo – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • El Arrabal – Dinner & Tango Show
  • Il Gatto – Italian Cuisine
  • La Nieta – Regional Cuisine
  • Gula Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • La Pampa  – International Cuisine
  •  

MENDOZA

  • Entre Cielos Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • El Faro Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • Florentino Restaurant – Cocina De Autor
  • Farrah Restaurant – Cocina De Autor
  • Entre Cielos – BEEF CLUB & WINE HOUSE – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Don Mario – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • La Marchigiana – Italian Cuisine
  • Francesco Ristorante – Italian Cuisine

 
USHUAIA

  • Moustacchio – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Morada del Águila – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • La Rueda – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • La Estancia – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • El Fogón Gaucho – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Bodegón del Gato – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Tante Nina – Sea Food
  • Volver – Sea Food
  • Tía Elvira – Sea Food
  • Moustacchio – Sea Food
  • Maria Lola – Sea Food
  • Marcopolo – Sea Food
  • Macario – Sea Food

SALTA

  • El Charrua – Traditional cuisine
  • La Fiamma – Traditional cuisine
  • Andrés – Traditional cuisine
  • Bosque La Cava – Traditional cuisine
  • Doña Salta – Traditional cuisine
  • La Rinconada – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • El Charrua – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • La Posta – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Lo de Andres J.C. – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • Il Garda – Italian Cuisine
  • La Mia Mama – Italian Cuisine

IGUAZU

  • Bocamora – Traditional cuisine
  • El quincho del Tío Querido – Traditional cuisine
  • La Rueda – Traditional cuisine
  • El quincho del Tío Querido – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • El Andariego – Steak house/Typical Asados
  • La Vaca Enamorada – Steak house/Typical Asados

BARILOCHE

  • El Patacon  – Traditional cuisine
  • Bon Vivant – Traditional cuisine
  • Aura – Traditional cuisine
  • Aoniken
  • El Patacon  Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • The Map Room Pub & Restaurant Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • Sirius Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • Ristorante Brava by Europa Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • Luna de Oriente Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • La Tratoría de la Famiglia Bianchi
  • La Tavola (Hotel Edelweiss) Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • La Machaza Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • La Fragata Restaurant – International Cuisine

RECOMMENDED READING: 

  • Time Out Buenos Aires by Time Out
  • Buenos Aires, A Cultural History by Jason Wilson
  • Tango: the Dance, the Song, the Story by Simon Collier
  • Vino Argentino, An Insider’s Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina by Laura Catena
  • The Authentic Bars, Cafes and Restaurants of Buenos Aires by Gabriela Kogan
  • Argentina, A Traveler’s Literary Companion by Jill Gibian
CALENDAR OF FESTIVITIES
01 Jan – New Year
24 Mar – Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice
2 Apr – Malvinas Day
5 Apr – Maundy Thursday
1 May – Labor Day
25 May – May Revolution
20 Jun – National Flag Day
9 Jul – Independence Day
17 Aug – Anniversary of the death of General Jose de San Martin
12 Oct – Columbus Day
20 Nov – Day of the National Sovereignty
8 Dec – Immaculate Conception
25 Dec – Christmas

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