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Holidays in Argentina

Understanding Argentina

Argentina is the second-largest country in South America, and the eighth-largest in the world The highest and the lowest points of South America are also located in Argentina: At 6,960m, Cerro Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in the Americas while Salinas Chicas, at 40m below sea level, is the lowest point in South America

At the southern tip of Argentina there are several routes between the South Atlantic and the South Pacific Oceans including the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel, and the Drake Passage---as alternatives to sailing around Cape Horn in the open ocean between South America and Antarctica

The name Argentina derives from argentum, the Latin word for silver, which is what early Spanish explorers sought when they first reached the region in the sixteenth century


Buenos Aires and the Pampas are temperate; cold in the winter, hot and humid in the summer

The deserts of Cuyo, which can reach temperatures of 50°C, are extremely hot and dry in the summer and moderately cold and dry in the winter Spring and fall often exhibit rapid temperature reversals; several days of extremely hot weather may be followed by several days of cold weather, then back to extremely hot

The Andes are cool in the summer and very cold in the winter, varying according to altitude

Patagonia is cool in the summer and cold in the winter Extreme temperature shifts within a single day are even more common here; pack a variety of clothes and dress in layers

Don't forget that seasons are reversed from those of the Northern Hemisphere


The central region of Argentina is the rich plain known as La Pampa There is jungle in the extreme northeast The southern half of Argentina is dominated by the flat to rolling plateau of Patagonia The western border with Chile is along the rugged Andes mountains, including the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside the Himalayas The western Cuyo regions at the base of the Andes are mostly rocky desert with some poisonous frock trees


Following independence from Spain in 1816, Argentina experienced periods of internal political conflict between conservatives and liberals In the first decade of the 20th century, Argentina became the richest nation in Latin America, its wealth symbolized by the opulence of its capital city

European immigrants flowed into Argentina, particularly from the northern parts of Italy and Spain; by 1914 nearly 6 million people had come to the country

After World War II, a long period of Peronist rule in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976

Democracy returned in 1983 after the abortive attempt to wrest the Falkland Islands Islas Malvinas from United Kingdom sovereignty

A painful economic crisis at the turn of the 21st century devalued the Argentine peso by a factor of three and ushered in a series of weak, short-lived governments along with social and economic instability From the 2003 election onwards, the country has stabilized under President Nestor Kirchner, and the economy has experienced a strong recovery


Argentine electricity is officially 220V, 50Hz Adapters and transformers for North American equipment are readily available

The best way to use imported electrical equipment in Argentina is to purchase an adapter once there These are available in the Florida shopping area in Buenos Aires for around US$2, or less in hardware stores outside the city center Buildings use a mix of European and Australian plug fittings However, the live and neutral pins in the Australian fittings are reversed so as to prevent cheap imports into Australia Therefore an Australian adapter may be incompatible The IRAM-2073, which are physically identical to the Australian AS-3112 standard two blades in a V-shape, with or without a third blade for ground

European standard CEE-7/7 "Schukostecker" or "Schuko" outlets and the non-grounded, but compatible, European CEE-7/16 "Europlug" outlets may still be found in some older buildings US and Canadian travelers may want to pack adapters for these outlets as well

Many sockets have no earth pin Laptop adapters should have little problem with this for short term use

Some Argentine sockets accept North American plugs, particularly ones on power strips Beware - this does not mean that these sockets deliver 110 volts Make sure that your equipment can handle 220 volts! Simply changing the shape of the plug with a US$2 adapter will not allow 110 volt equipment to operate on 220 volt Argentinian current, unless the device is specifically designed to work on both 110 and 220 volts, irreperable damage and even fire can result Most laptop power adapters and many portable electronics chargers are designed to work on dual voltage; check the specifications for your equipment to be sure If your equipment cannot accept 220 volt current, you can purchase a '220 to 110' volt transformer for approximately US$6 in most Argentinian electronics shops This is much heavier and bulkier than a small adapter

Talking in Argentina

The official language is Spanish Generally, most people speak the Spanish language correctly, with a local accent; but be aware of the regional dialect, Castellano Rioplatense Rioplatense Spanish, better known as argentino, is subtly different from both the language of Spain and that of Central America Most notably, the pronoun "tu" is replaced by "vos", and the you plural pronoun "vosotros" replaced with "ustedes", the latter being common throughout Latin America Besides, there are separate verb conjugations, sometimes significantly different for irregular verbs in present tense and informal commands Additionally, people from each city pronounce words differently too! In this way, people from Buenos Aires speak differently compared to those from Spain and other Spanish speaking countries; example: chicken in Spanish pollo is pronounced PO-zhO or PO-SHO by the "Porteños" residents of Buenos Aires, with the SH sound harder than in spaniards speakers; unlike most other Spanish speakers of South America who pronounces it PO-yo

Hey Big Balls

Don't be surprised if you hear some creative terms of endearment on the street It's not uncommon to refer to one's friends as boludo "big balls" or loco "crazy" "Che" is also used

There is no such thing as political correctness in Argentina In a colloquial speech, larger people are unapologetically addressed as gordo fat, blacks as "negro", and anyone resembling indigenous peoples are also commonly addressed as "bolita" also regardless of their actual ancestry; Italians are tanos; spaniards gallegos; jews rusos; anyone Asian chinos and the like This sort of blunt address is considered somewhat normal in Argentina Try to take it lightly, as it is usually not meant to offend, but don't copy it, because in certain circles this practice is considered racist and xenophobic

The Argentine accent evinces heavy Italian influence from the large influx of Italian immigrants Hand gestures derived from Italy are extremely common, and many colloquialisms are borrowed from Italian for example: instead of saying "cerveza", which means beer, young argentineans find "birra" cooler, which is in italian Most locals can readily understand most Spanish dialects, and Portuguese or Italian if spoken slowly English is mandatory in high school and usually understood in at least a basic level in tourists' areas German and French can be understood and to some extent spoken by small fractions of the population A few places in Patagonia near Rawson have native Welsh speakers Words borrowed from aboriginal languages include: quechua, guarani, mataco, che, mate and others

The interjection "che loco" are extremely common and mean approximately the same as English "hey!" It can also be employed as a phrase known to someone you don't remember their names Ex: "Oíme, Che," Sometimes it is peppered through out the speech, similar to the English phrase "you killa man" Nonetheless, communication will not be a problem for any Spanish speaker

Argentines will communicate with each other using lunfardo, a street dialect or slang It is used together with Spanish by replacing nouns with their synonyms in lunfardo As opposed to changing the original meaning, it just makes the phrase more colourful An important aspect of lunfardo is that it is only spoken For example, one knows the word dinero money, but may use the word "guita" in order to refer to the same things Lunfardo is composed of about 5,000 words, many of which do not appear in the dictionary

What to do in Argentina

Walking Tours

Buenos Aires has a number of walking tour options They include the typical tours you may find in any city, as well as interesting options including free walking tours, Downloadable MP3 Walking Tours, and even Running Tours


The most popular sport in Argentina is futbol soccer If you come to Argentina, you shouldn't miss the chance to experience a professional match live Argentina's fans are very passionate

Football teams

There are five teams called "Los 5 grandes" and are the elite of the argentinian football tournaments:

  • Boca Juniors - famous stadium "La Bombonera" where Diego Maradona played
  • River Plate - Stadium "El monumental de Nuñez"
  • Racing Club - The first Argentine team to win the Club World Championships
  • Independiente
  • San Lorenzo

Other Teams

  • Rosario Central - Stadium "El gigante de Arroyito"
  • Velez Sarfield European SouthAmerican Cup Champion in Tokyo 1994
  • Estudiantes de La Plata - World Champion '68, Champion of America '68 - '69 - '70 Club where Juan Sebastián Verón plays
  • Newell's Old Boys - team where Gabriel Batistuta played
  • Colón de Santa Fe - Stadium "Cementerio de los elefantes" Elephants cemetery
  • Ferrocarril Oeste

Other sports

Rugby and basketball basquet are also popular Polo is popular among the upper classes although it is still part of the nation's culture and can be readily seen in all areas of life Tennis has been growing in popularity with the Argentina's steady production of top players over the past three decades

Field hockey has also became a popular sport, especially among women The National Women's Field Hockey Team, Las Leonas The Lionesses, has grown in the past years and developed into a now competes against the best in the world

Car racing is popular too: The main leagues are Turismo Carretera Ford vs Chevrolet, TC2000 Touring Cars and TopRace The most important racetrack in Argentina is in Buenos Aires is "Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez

Golf in Argentina is an increasingly popular sport in Argentina, thanks in part to the success of Argentinian players such as Angel Cabrera, Andres Romero and Eduardo Romero There are currently around 280 courses in the country, most located around Buenos Aires and including such well-known names as the Jockey Club, Olivos and Hurlingham On the Atlantic coast in Mar del Plata are a couple of courses that have held international events, and Patagonia has excellent resort courses such as Llao Lloa, Arelauquen and Chapelco a Nicklaus design as well as the 9-hole course in Ushaia

Buying stuff in Argentina

The official currency of Argentina is the peso ARS, divided into 100 centavos Generally, the exchange rate floats around ARS385/USD 1 and ARS520/€1

Coins come in 5, 10, 25, 50 centavo and 1 peso denominations Banknotes are issued in values of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pesos Be prepared to receive 5 or 10 cent change in the form of golosinas candies, specially in chinese supermarkets

The fashion and art scenes are booming Buenos Aires' signature European-South American style overflows with unique art pieces, art deco furniture, and antiques Creative and independent, local fashion designers - who are becoming a source of inspiration for the US and European high-end markets - compose their collections based on lots of leather, wools, woven fabrics, and delicate laces with a gaucho twist The dollar and the euro are very strong in Argentina as of early 2006, so this has indeed become a shopping paradise for tourists from these regions

Fashionable clothing and leather products can be found in most commercial areas; jackets, boots and shoes are easily available However, Buenos Aires only has a relatively mild climate, so truly cold-weather gear is harder to find here Long coats or heavy gloves may not be in stock; similarly, jeans and other basics, are thinly constructed compared to those in cooler countries The Andes regions and Patagonia are considerably colder in the winter, so thick clothing is much easier to find here

Electronics will not be cheap, as they are imported from elsewhere; music, books, and movies will be discounted by the weak peso, though

Most freestanding shops in Buenos Aires are open 10AM-8PM on weekdays, and some of them also Saturdays and Sundays, depending on what area of the city they are in Enclosed malls, however, set their own hours, and are also open on the weekends

Most places outside of the city of Buenos Aires, where most stores remain open during a siesta, still observe a siesta from approximately 12 until 4 PM; almost all businesses are closed during this time The precise closing hours vary from store to store, according to the preferences of the owner Shops and offices generally open again in the evening until 9 or 10 PM

Food and eating in Argentina

Argentinian breakfast is somewhat light compared to what travellers from English-speaking countries are accustomed to Hotels typically provide a free buffet consisting of coffee, tea, drinkable yogurt, assorted pastries and toast, fruit, and perhaps cereal These kinds of breakfasts are also readily available in the many cafes

Lunch is a big meal in Argentina, typically taken in the early afternoon Lunch is so big because dinner is not until late: 830PM to 900PM at the earliest, more commonly at 9PM or even later Most restaurants do not serve food until then except for pastries or small ham-and-cheese toasted sandwiches tostados, for afternoon tea between 6 and 8 PM Tea is the one meal that is rarely skipped A few cafes do offer heartier fare all day long, but don't expect anything more substantial than pizza or a milanesa breaded meat fillets or a lomito steak sandwiches outside of normal Argentine mealtimes

Dinner is usually eaten at 10:00 PM and typically consists of appetizers, entrees, and desserts Be aware that, similarly to the European "entree", entrada refers to the appetizers The north american "entree" is refered to as "main dish" or "plato principal" For appetizers, there are empanadas meat turnovers or dumplings, chorizo or morcilla pork or blood sausage, and assortments of achuras entrails For an entree there is usually bife de chorizo T-bone steak and various types of salads Then for dessert, there is flan custard topped with dulce de leche and whipped cream

Beef is the central component of the Argentine diet, and Argentine beef is world-famous for good reason Definitely check out Argentine barbecue: asado, sometimes also called parrillada, because it is made on a parrilla, or grill There is no way around it - foodwise Argentina is virtually synonymous with beef The beef is some of the best in the world, and there are many different cuts of meat Lomo tenderloin and bife de chorizo are excellent Having a parrillada dinner is one of the best ways to experience it, preferably with a bottle of wine from Mendoza In some popular areas, parrilladas are available from small buffets, or sidewalk carts and barbecue trailers Skewers and steak sandwiches can then be purchased to go

Given that a large portion of Argentines are of Italian, Spanish and French descent, such fare is very widespread and of high quality; pizzerias and specialized restaurants are very common Take note that a convention observed in Argentina is to treat the pasta and sauce as separate items; some travellers have found out what they thought was cheap pasta only to find that they were not getting any sauce You will see the pastas for one price and then the sauces for an additional charge

Cafes, bakeries, and ice-cream shops heladerías are very popular Inexpensive and high-quality snacks can be found in most commercial areas, and many have outdoor seating areas Empanadas turnovers containing meats, cheeses, or many other fillings can be bought cheaply from restaurants or lunch counters The Alfajor is a must try snack of a two cookies with a dulce de leche filling and can be purchased at virtually any local kiosco

Smoking is now prohibited in most restaurants of Capital Federal and all of Mendoza's restaurants

Drinking in Argentina

Yerba mate pronounced in two syllables, 'MAH-tae' is a traditional Argentine herbal drink, prepared in a hollowed-out gourd which is passed around in a social setting and drunk through a metal straw Though usually drunk hot, mate can also be served cold, usually known as "tereré" Terere is prefered by the populace in Uruguay and Paraguay Mate contains less caffeine than coffee, but contains other vitamins and minerals that give it a stimulating effect, particularly to those who are not used to it It is naturally rather bitter, so it's not uncommon to add sugar The drinking of mate with friends is an important social ritual in Argentina The informal tea ceremony is lead by a "cebador" or server and people arrange themselves in a "rueda" or wheel Those who like the drink bitter and those who like it sweet are clustered together to aide the server

Argentina is renowned for its excellent selection of wine The most popular being Mendoza which is rated amongst the worlds most popular regions due to its high altitude, volcanic soils and proximity to the Andes Mountains The terrain seems to complement the European grape varietals with interesting notes not present when produced in other climates, this allows the Argentine wine to be positioned in a league of its own The best way to experience and understand the selection of Argentine varietals is one of the many degustation events

Most restaurants serve a broad range of liquors Beer is offered in draft form in a chopp small glass or served in bottles or cans, and is typically a light, easily drinkable lager The most popular locally made brands of beer are Quilmes, Isenbeck, Schneider and Brahmaalthough it's brazilian Widely-available imports include Warsteiner, Heineken, Budweiser and Corona There are now many small pubs and bars in Buenos Aires that brew beer on premises, but most of these offer a poor quality product compared to what is widely available in parts of the USA and Europe In the Buenos Aires area, the Buller Brewing Company in Recoleta and the Antares Brewery in Mar del Plata offer excellent handcrafted English/American style ales If you ask if there are "cervezas artesanales" you will be able to find out if there are local handcrafted beers

Fernet is very consumed by argentineans, specially in Córdoba, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires It's a bitter drink mixed with coke, served in bars, pubs, clubs and if you go to an argentineanian's house he will have fernet and coke to offer youFernet is 40% alcohol by volume and is dark brown in color Fernet is usually served as a digestif after a meal, but may also be enjoyed with coffee and espresso, or mixed into coffee and espresso drinks It may be enjoyed at room temperature or with ice

Cafes often have fresh-squeezed fruit juices, which is otherwise hard to find The legal drinking age is officially 18, although most establishments will serve anyone approximately 16 or older

Accommodation in Argentina

A wide range of accommodation possibilities are available in Buenos Aires and the rest of the country, from student hostels to homey bed and breakfasts to trendy boutique hotels in the city to luxurious palaces and modern five-star hotels There are also many beautiful lake-side lodges in Patagonia, and fabulous regional farms estancias outside the cities

Many vacation cabañas cabins or weekend houses are available for short-term rent directly from the owners in the mountains, seaside, and in rural areas Drive around and look for signs saying alquiler "rental", or check the classified section of any major newspaper

Bear in mind that except in the 5-star hotels, usually the rooms are not as large as in hotels around the world

Working in Argentina

Working longer than three months requires an official working license, to be filed with the employer He also has to pay for it There might be good jobs at the tourism sector and the entertainment industry esp on-line casinos and sports betting

Cities in Argentina

alta gracia  azul  bahia blanca  bell ville  campana  catamarca  chacabuco  chivilcoy  comodoro rivadavia  concepcion del uruguay  concordia  cordoba  corrientes  dolores  eldorado  formosa  general pico  general roca  goya  gualeguaychu  gualeguay  jujuy  junin  la plata  la rioja  libertador general san martin  lincoln  lujan  lujan  mar del plata  mendoza  mercedes  mercedes  mercedes  necochea  neuquen  nueve de julio  obera  olavarria  parana  pergamino  posadas  presidencia roque saenz pena  puerto madryn  punta alta  rafaela  rawson  reconquista  resistencia  rio cuarto  rio gallegos  rio tercero  rivadavia  rosario  salta  san carlos de bariloche  san francisco  san juan  san lorenzo  san luis  san martin  san nicolas  san pedro  san pedro  san rafael  san ramon de la nueva oran  santa fe  santa rosa  santiago del estero  san vicente  tandil  tartagal  trelew  tres arroyos  tucuman  ushuaia  veinticinco de mayo  venado tuerto  victoria  viedma  villa carlos paz  villa constitucion  villa maria  zarate  

What do you think about Argentina?

How expensive is Argentina?
Meal in inexpensive restaurant9.7 USD
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)33.6 USD
McDonalds meal7.2 USD
Local beer (0.5 draft)2.4 USD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 4.43 USD
Cappuccino3.35 USD
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)1.81 USD
Water (0.33 bottle)1.34 USD
Milk (1l)1.16 USD
Fresh bread (500g)1.49 USD
White Rice (1kg)2.12 USD
Eggs (12) 2.55 USD
Local Cheese (1kg) 9.77 USD
Chicken Breast (1kg) 8.11 USD
Apples (1kg) 2.14 USD
Oranges (1kg) 1.72 USD
Tomato (1kg) 2.74 USD
Potato (1kg) 1.54 USD
Lettuce (1 head) 1.28 USD
Water (1.5l)1.56 USD
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 6.1 USD
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)1.51 USD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 3.04 USD
Cigarettes2.21 USD
One way local bus ticket0.47 USD
Monthly pass for bus24.5 USD
Taxi start1.69 USD
Taxi 1km1.84 USD
Taxi 1hour waiting22.2 USD
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.44 USD
Utilities for a "normal" apartment107.23 USD
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 18.8 USD
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 510.99 USD
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 324.74 USD
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 997.69 USD
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 787.42 USD, your travel companion

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