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Argentina travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.
Argentina Travel
Submitted by M16603 on 2009-05-27
The seasons in Argentina are reverse to those experienced in the northern hemisphere, with January and February the hottest months while jumper and jacket weather is usually July to October. Buenos Aires is best visited ... view more when the temperature is mild and the streets are comfortably full; the city’s best suited to autumn (March-May) and spring (September-November), while summer (December-March) sees its streets deserted.

During the summer months, beaches and resort towns are busy and Patagonia and the southern Andes are ideal destinations as the days are longer and warmer. A good time to head northwest is during winter (June to August) or spring when it’s drier and cooler. The ski season, meanwhile, runs from mid June to mid October and the slopes are at their busiest during July and August.

January, February and July are the big vacation months in Argentina so expect a healthy flow of visitors to popular tourist spots during these times, together with higher travel and accommodation prices. There are several festivals that are worth experiencing. Carnaval (Mardi Gras) takes place the week before Lent and is celebrated throughout the country and the Gaucho Parade in Salta in June sees Argentina’s own cowboys in full regalia.

How to get to Patagonia?
Submitted by M10333 on 2010-07-01
The Patagonia region is the southern portion of South America and is shared between the two countries of Chile and Argentina. The best way to get to Patagonia is to fly to Buenos Aires (BUE) or Santiago de Chile (SCL).
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Note: Check the difference in taxes charged to travelers flying into Argentina or Chile. This could help you decide whether it is more affordable to fly to BUE or SCL. Taxes are not always the same when you are driving or riding a bus between the two countries as when you are flying in.

From Buenos Aires:

To Southern Patagonia, you will fly to El Calafate or Ushuaia. To Northern Patagonia you fly to San Carlos de Bariloche.

From Santiago de Chile:

To Southern Patagonia you will fly to Punta Arenas. To Central Patagonia you will fly to Balmaceda, Coihayque. To Northern Patagonia and the Lake District, you fly to Temuco or Puerto Montt according to your destination.
For Domestic flights within Argentina and Chile .

Bus transportation between cities is very good also. There are many destinations with frequent trips between them. Buses are much larger and more comfortable than standard buses in North America. A 'Coche Cama' seat is comparable to a 'First Class' seat on a nice airline, and it is cheaper domestic flights if you are not in a rush there are many reliable bus lines.

Currency exchange and money issues
Submitted by M10333 on 2010-07-01
The local Argentinian currency is the Argentinian Peso and Chilean currency is Chilean Peso. Check current rate of exchange at www.xe.com currency converter.

Credit cards and Debit cards are commonly accepted though ... view more many establishments will only except cash or charge more for their product when a customer pays with a card. It is good to always have some cash with you. There are ATMs all over Bariloche and Patagonia, including El Chalten.

Many towns have places to exchange currency as well. The more remote the town you are visiting, the more likely that the exchange rate will not be as good and ATMs may not be filled as regularly.

Visas
Submitted by M10333 on 2010-07-01
To stay in Argentina people from Canada, United States, and any country of the (CEE) (EEC) European Economic Community will have 90 days as a “tourist” to stay without requiring a special Visa. There is currently no ... view more fee to enter Argentina as a tourist. For extra and current information check the embassy’s website.
Language
Submitted by M10333 on 2010-07-01
The people of Patagonia speak Spanish! Many people know some English, especially in destination towns and businesses that service travelers. Carry a Spanish- English Dictionary or phrase book with you so you can communicate better.
Communications
Submitted by M10333 on 2010-07-01
Internet access with WIFI is available in many coffee shops or restaurants in Bariloche and El Calafate. Many times it is free. “Locutorios” are shops which offer computers with Internet services, for 1-2 USD per ... view more hour on average, and have public phones to make international calls.

If you plan on making many international phone calls, using a calling card is much more affordable. We recommend www.tarjetastelefonicas.com With this service, you can get different access numbers so that people can call you, and you can make calls using the same credit.

Recommendations for Active Outdoor Activities
Submitted by M10333 on 2010-07-01
Best ski touring and back-country areas in Argentina and Chile:

Lake District of Northern Patagonia in the Bariloche area and Nahuel Huapi National Park because of their system of Mountain Huts and logical access. ... view more This also offers a good, reasonable distance to the Volcanoes and Ring of Fire for more variety. Las Lenas in Mendoza has World class free-ride steep skiing terrain as Alaska, unfortunately snow is not as great, but is totally worth it to be skiing in August!

Best Climbing areas in Argentina and Chile: (From smaller to bigger)

For Sport climbing: Bariloche is the best area for this activity. With the magic Valle Encantado (“Enchanted Valley”) and eight other local small crags which can entertain you for at least a month or more regardless of the weather.

For Alpine cragging: Frey Hut, near Bariloche in the Nahuel Huapi National Park, is one of the best options. Climbs range from one to eight pitches in pure, golden granite. Good cracks, not polished… just beautiful climbing in a great setting.

For alpine climbing: Southern Patagonia is famous for the massifs of Torres del Paine, Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre and their surrounding satellites.

For long trad walls: Visit Cochamo (www.cochamo.com). My friend Daniel Seelinger runs the hut there, and he is totally a good soul full of great information who will give you a hand for sure! (Enjoy an excellent pizza after a long day of climbing!)

Also visit Arenales in Mendoza and Torres del Brujo near Santiago, close to San Fernando (has few small glaciers).

Best Hiking –Trekking in Patagonia:

Torres del Paine and Glacier National Park in El Chalten (Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre area) are the best known. There are great hikes on trails and alpine treks as well.

Nahuel Huapi National Park near Bariloche offers a system of Mountain Huts and some wild treks with tent logistic. This area has warmer weather than Southern Patagonia and has lots of beautiful mountain lakes.

Best Ski Resorts in Argentina
Submitted by M10333 on 2010-07-01
Cerro Catedral - The most modern ski resort in South America, located 20km from the town of Bariloche.

Cerro Bayo - Small resort with great back-country terrain on the north shore of the Nahuel Huapi lake. Located 10 ... view more km from Villa La Angostura and 90km from Bariloche.

La Hoya Ski Area - Tiny resort with the best backcountry ever. Located near Esquel, 350 km south of Bariloche.

Chapelco - A good medium-sized resort with a nice little town 20 km from San Martin de los Andes.

Las Lenas - 1500 km north of Northern Patagonia, worldwide first-class Freeride terrain. Could be tricky due to weather, but when it is good, it is awesome! Excellent back country access!

Hiking Tip in Patagonia
Submitted by M18761 on 2010-11-01
When you are planning your hiking trip to Patagonia, remember to pack accordingly. We encourage our clients to use the "layer system" when going on hikes so that they can easily add or remove layers of clothes ... view more and adapt to the local conditions.

That said, pack your fleece and light-weight wind/waterproof jackets, as well as bring along a warm hat just in case the wind picks up (as it often does in Torres del Paine) and the sun goes behind the clouds. Temperatures in the mountains can drop quickly, so it is best to be prepared.

Before going hiking, check with your guide (or the park ranger) on local conditions and remember to bring plenty of water to keep hydrated as you enjoy the trails.

Visit Tierra del Fuego National Park
Submitted by M14951 on 2011-05-18
If you are in Ushuaia and have some spare time, you can’t miss Tierra del Fuego National Park.

From the commercial harbor (near the gas station) you can easily get one of the shared mini-vans that travel back and ... view more forward between Ushuaia and the National Park (from 9 AM to 8 PM) – 40 min. transfer.

Ask to be dropped off at La Pataia and walk back, passing by Turbal, Castorera until the interpretation center at the beginning of Hito XXIV, where you can be picked-up. Also there are many accessible paths in each main interest point.

If you have a full day, start the walk at Ensenada Bay (near the park entry) and walk until Lapataia. Trails are well signed and you get a basic map at the park, after you pay the entry fee. If you would like to have a better map, the best is to buy one at Ushuaia main street shops.

Even if it is a day walk, do not take any chances and bring with you a rain coat, flashlight, water and some food.

Enjoy your trek.