Argentina is one of the most popular destinations in South America. It is such a varied country and it has something to offer everyone – from the cultural hotspot of Buenos Aires to the stunning beauty of the lakes and towering mountains in the countryside.
Like any country, it has its own customs and traditions. Since we are experts in traveling and touring Argentina we thought we’d share our knowledge give you a head start for your own trip. So here are then things you have to know about Argentina before visiting.
It is a vast and varied country. Make sure your itinerary recognises that.
We have a tropical jungle like terrain in the north and ice and glaciers in Argentinian Patagonia – so there’s a lot to explore and experience. It’s a varied and vast country, in fact, it’s 60% the size of Europe. So, with all that in mind, make sure your itinerary gives you time to relax and experience this rich and varied place.
The stunning waterfalls at #Iguazu – the largest waterfalls system in the world. From waterfalls to wineries and everything in between, Argentina has a lot to offer the visitor.
Remember that it is in the southern hemisphere.
Argentina is in the southern hemisphere. If you happen to be in the northern hemisphere then our seasons are the reverse of yours. When it is your winter, it’s our summer and vice versa. This fact might affect the activities you want to undertake.
Argentina is split by the Andes mountain range, which is home to a vast array of ski and winter sport resorts. But remember, our winter season may be the opposite time of year to yours if you are in the northern hemisphere.
Do some research into our culture before you get here.
Manners are really very important here so you must say, or learn to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in Spanish before you arrive. Dressing appropriately is important to us too – so that means things like shorts and beach shoes in town or anywhere other than the beach are considered inappropriate.
Similarly, eating and snacking outside in public is considered bad manners.
If you are visiting from the USA, remember that we consider America to be a continent, so it is best to describe yourself as being from the USA, rather than American. Also, it’s best not to get involved in political discussions like the Falkland Islands, for instance, feelings can be intense about those subjects. Similarly, always try to avoid demonstrations when and if they happen. Feelings can run high on those too.
Our national drink is mate. If you are asked to share in it, it’s a sign of friendship.
Mate is a kind of tea-based drink. If you are asked to partake in a drink of it, then this is important to us and turning it down is very rude. Be prepared, it’s quite strong!
Mate is a traditional Argentinian and South American café infused drink.
Public transport is good, and reasonably cheap.
Compared to some countries, our public transport system is very good, and it is very reasonable. Research the apps that will help you work out which form of public transport to take for which journey.
It’s hard to get coins here, so bring some with you.
It is really hard to get coins in your change, so where you can, find out how you can bring some with you. You’ll also need coins for paying for public transport, so keep them aside if you plan to take the bus.
Similarly, bring small notes.
If you bring large notes with you, it’s likely that shop and café owners will dislike changing them. There is also a counterfeit money problem here, so the larger the note, then the more chance you have of being accused of giving over a counterfeit note (which means you’ll probably receive one in your change). Also there’s two exchange rates here – the official one and the ‘blue’ one. The ‘blue’ one is unofficial and a black market style one – it’s not as bad as it sounds. It will give you the best exchange rate. To change money you should bring US dollars or Euros.
Learn some Spanish.
When you travel, it’s easy to assume most host countries will speak English. However, that’s not the case here in Argentina. You will need to learn some basic Spanish phrases to get yourself around.
Beautiful Buenos Aires. Remember to learn some Spanish before you visit so you can make the most of your time here!
The food is rich and the menu is very much meat based.
If you love meat, then you’ll love the menu here in Argentina as we also love our meat. It is of really good and delicious quality. Similarly, the wine is of an excellent standard. We’re the fifth largest wine producer in the world. You can pick up a really good value bottle at the supermarket.
Beef is a huge component of the Argentinian diet and the standard here is excellent.
Always keep your personal safety in mind.
Unfortunately, muggings can occur in some areas, so it’s best to be aware of this. Manage your valuables carefully. Take taxis at night. Don’t travel alone at night either.
Explore with Gray Line Argentina
If you’re looking for a way to explore Argentina – then Gray Line Argentina is your perfect companion. We are both a local expert and a global leader in sightseeing for over 100 years. We’ll show you the breadth and variety that Argentina has to offer with our sightseeing trips operating from the buzz of Buenos Aires to the pristine peacefulness of Antarctica, and everything in between. For more information, check out our website and we'll see you soon!