Argentine peso (Ars)
Known for its beautiful and diverse landscapes as well as delicious food, Argentina definitely has enjoyment for people of all ages. This is a country that is home to lush green tropical zones and rainforest, the highest mountain in South America, ranches, mineral mines, glaciers, and deserts! It time to travel to Argentina!
Travel to Argentina, where you can navigate between ice floes, cross mountains, immerse yourself in the jungle, bathe in incredible beaches, and even see volcanoes. Add to this a vibrant, cosmopolitan capital city, with an amazing atmosphere and incalculable cultural variety to offer. All of this plus the rhythm of tango is what makes Argentina so loveable and special.
WHY WE LOVE
Argentina is a place where you can go on one of the world’s best drives. Imagine being on a route that has transported people from the Andes to the plains for over 10,000 years! Argentina is full of music, excitement, and wine! Drink world-renowned Malbec, from the fifth largest wine producing country in the world, while sitting back in a chair and taking in the magnificent surroundings.
Not only is Argentina’s land special, the people are as well. There is an Argentinian saying that goes “los argentinos descienden de los barcos” which translates to “the Argentinians descend from boats”. This 6-word phrase refers to Argentina’s immense immigrant culture. Although Argentina has deep South American roots, it also has a major European culture. So much so, that it even has a Welsh settlement on Patagonia’s coast!
Argentina is a country filled with beauty and tradition. Ride with gauchos, see giant guinea pigs, frolic among the wilderness, or go for a glamorous coffee break. This country has so many things to do and unique quirks that it’s almost impossible to not fall in love with it. Did you know that Argentina is the country where people require the least amount of personal space? Interesting, right? Don’t be afraid to get up and personal with Argentine’s and their fabulous culture.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s travel to Argentina! This incredible country is waiting for you to discover its marvellous land and culture!
“Everyone should learn to tango in argentina before they die.” Ian Mckeever
Did you know…?
- Argentina's name comes from the Latin word 'argentum' which means silver. Early European settlers believed the land was full of this metal.
- Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world!
- In 2001, Argentina went through a major political crisis resulting in the country having 5 different presidents over a 10-day period.
- The world's widest avenue is found within Buenos Aires. This avenue, named after Argentina's Independence Day, is 14 lanes wide plus an extra 4 lanes of parallel streets.
- Argentina has the highest number of psychiatrists per capita in the world.
- Ernesto “Che” Guevara, known for his major role in the Cuban Revolution, was born in Argentina.
- Almost 40% of the Argentine population is of Italian descent.
Argentina travel guide
When to go
Most people travel to Argentina in the months from November to February, and July. Although December to March are the months in which Southern Argentina, Patagonia, is most accessible, the country as a whole, can be visited all year-round.
Buenos Aires is usually very hot during these months and if you are not a fan of the heat we suggest you visit during the cooler months of July and August.
If you are looking to visit Patagonia, otherwise known as the Lake District, we suggest you head over during the spring months (September to November) when everything comes alive with wildflowers or during autumn when the wine valleys surrounding Mendoza feature gold and copper coloured vines…a striking image especially when contrasted against the backdrop of the Andes.
How to get there/around
There are many ways to travel to Argentina. Getting to Argentina is fun because you have options. If you have a lot of time on your hands we suggest you fly into neighbouring country, such as Brazil or Chile, and continue overland to Argentina. If you´d rather not do all of that extra travelling, just fly directly into your province of choice. Domestic flights in Argentina are a great way to get around quickly, but of course this is usually the more expensive option. If you are looking to visit the Southern part of Argentina we suggest you research a car hire or private transfers for car rental companies offer minimal service in the event of a breakdown. Unless you are taking the famous ´Train to the Clouds´ route we suggest you stay away from trains as well, they are scarce and unreliable. Bus services in Argentina are excellent and are a good transport option; they have on board toilets, and usually offer steward service during dinner and breakfast. Most bus meals also come with wine! Take the metro and or cabs if you´re staying in the Buenos Aires area.
What to see & do
Apart from drinking wine and eating at every chance you get, you should take a visit to the Estancia Cristina and Patagonia region. Here you will find wildflowers, icebergs, and come face-to-face with Gaucho culture. Gauchos have a rich history in Argentina and because of that their meaning has morphed throughout the years. We suggest adventuring through the capital city while you dance and eat your way down South.
The city of Buenos Aires is full of life and excitement. There you can visit shops, bars, and theaters. Chat with locals and learn the tango! On your way South to the Patagonia region we recommend visiting El Calafate as well as El Chaltén. These regions offer nothing but beauty and nature. Where else will you be able to stop at mineral mines before visiting petrified wood forests?
El Calafate is known for its amazing glaciers and outdoor activities. This popular town is home to some of the most remarkable kayaking. El Chaltén, which isn’t too far from Calafate, is known for its colourful village, amazing views, scenic walking trails, white-water rafting and bohemian vibe. Chaltén is one of the best cities in the World to know according to Lonely Planet. Not only that but it is also Argentina’s trekking capitol.
What to pack
Keep two things in mind for this one; 1. Argentina has a varied climate and 2. The seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. Winter is from June to September and summer lasts from December to March.
Northern Argentina is hot and humid compared to the much drier and colder southern end. If you are visiting during the Argentinian spring or fall, long sleeves and light jackets are a good choice plus a sweater and cooler clothes like shorts or a t-shirt. This way you will be prepared for whatever weather comes your way. If you are visiting during the Argentinian summer, remember that most areas of the country are hot and humid, so pack cool clothing. Visiting the Andean region is a must, and in order to be comfortable there we suggest you bring along warm clothing and jackets, no matter the season. Bring both stylish city clothing and rugged sportswear, both will come in handy and save you from being uncomfortable.
Argentines are known for their impeccable style, they tend to dress more formally than people from North America and Europe. Men usually wear slacks or jeans as opposed to shorts, and the women are usually seen in skirts. Generally speaking, the more rural or provincial the area is, the more conservative the dress will be.
Make sure to bring a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or boots for visits outside of the city normally include a hike. Dancing shoes are a must! Cisgender female travellers should also bring menstrual products for they might be expensive or difficult to find in certain areas.
Where to go
Valdes Peninsula, Puerto Madryn
Some travel insights from our experts about Argentina
Always carry small change, it will come in handy considering very few stores offer change for anything bigger than a 20 and taxi never (rarely ever) have change for anything over a 10.
If you are hitting the town or taking a tango class, you should most definitely wear dress shoes. Argentina is a very stylish country and takes fashion seriously.
Do: Attend a festival. Argentina is a fun-loving, exciting, and beautiful country in South America that knows how to party, try to squeeze a festival into your visit if you can.
Do: Be patient and wait in line. Argentines respect queues and don´t take kindly to those who try and skip other people in line.
Do: Expect a kiss on the cheek, this is a typical greeting and send off. Both are usually accompanied by a “chau”.
Do: Show up ´late´. Showing up 20 to 30 minutes after a scheduled party arrival time is considered perfectly normal and acceptable.
Do: Tip at least 10% when dining out.
Don’t: Do not eat on the street or on public transportation, it is considered distasteful (excuse the pun).
Don’t: Compare Dulce de Leche with caramel, or Yerba mate with tea. Argentines take this one very seriously.
Don’t: Get offended if an Argentine refers to you by a nickname that recalls one of your physical traits. Chances are you will be called something that harps on a characteristic of yours. Try not to take this to heart, it is meant to be endearing. Examples of said nicknames include; ´flaco/a´ (skinny), ´negro/a´ (black), ´gordo/a´ (fat) etc.
Don’t: Hit the town before midnight. Argentina has a lively and impressive nightlife scene but if you are looking to dance you are going to have to wait a while, most nightclubs don´t open until 1am.
Don’t: Expect to dine out before 9pm, you will not find anything open. Argentines will normally have dinner around 9pm or 10pm, and even later on weekends.
Cuisine delights (3 best dishes)
Asado aka parrillada, or BBQ in English, is a must-try especially when you are visiting one of the greatest beef countries in the world. Asado usually refers to beef but can also include pork, ribs, sausages and sweetbreads. You might also want to keep an eye out for a whole lamb or pig roasting over an open flame. The meat is usually lightly salted, covered in chimichurri, and paired with a nice glass of Malbec.
Provoleta is the Argentinean variant of provolone cheese. This delicious piece of ooey gooey goodness shows just how significant Italian immigration is to modern day Argentine culture. Proveleta is pungent and soft and usually sliced into disks and topped with herbs. The cheese in enjoyed in various forms including as an accompaniment to meat, topped with chimichurri, served as a snack, or melted within a soup.
Another delicious food that can be easily found and enjoyed in Argentina is, empanada. This filled pastry is a gift from the Moors to the Spanish and from the Spanish to the Argentines. This food is hot, cheap, accessible, and portable, making it a favourite among the working class. Empanadas have found their way into South American culture and are considered somewhat of a staple food item. They can be deep fried or baked and can contain either a sweet or savoury filling.
CHATTING CORNER – SURVIVAL GUIDE - Spanish & Argentinian SLANG
- Hello – Hola
- How are you? - ¿Cómo estás?
- What is your name? - ¿Como te llamas?
- My name is …. – Me llamo __
- Where are you from? - ¿De donde eres?
- I am from …. – Yo soy de ___
- How much is it? - ¿Cuánto cuesta?
- Where is…? - ¿Dónde está…?
- Do you speak English? - ¿Hablas inglés?
- Thank you - Gracias
- Please – Por favor
Argentinian Slang: Words you can expect to hear
- Che – This word is a discourse market, it doesn´t really have a specific meaning. Example: “Che, qué onda?” – ‘Che, how’s it going?’
- Boludo – Be careful with this word, it can be tricky. ´boludo´ is a derogatory term used to describe someone as idiotic BUT is it also used in a friendly way. It is common for a group of friends to refer to each other as ´boludo´ while conversing.
- Fiaca – This word is used to describe laziness and or apathy.
- Laburo - This word means ‘work’ and is commonly used in Argentina instead of the Spanish word trabajo.
- Plata – This word literally means silver but is mostly used to refer to money.