The second largest economy in the South American continent and the 3rd most populous state, Argentina is the most overlooked countries as compared to Brazil and Chile. An adventurous delight and cultural oasis, Argentina has a lot to offer along with a delicious gourmet paradise. Well, if you are already tempted by these few lines, here are some tips and reasons why Argentina should be on your list.
Before traveling to Argentina, there are few things that you need to know and they are:
- Money – Be careful not to carry large bills and examine the bills that you are spending and receiving as there is a lot of corruption in the monetary system. Also be prudent, when handling the bills, as it is wrinkled and thin almost like Monopoly money so handle it with care. Know all the neighborhood ATMs and the withdrawal limit so that you can be secured on money matters. Do carry your VISA and MasterCard and don’t expect to use your credit card in stores though so carry enough cash to be sure.
- Transportation – the most common mode of transport is subway as it is easy, cheap, and only crowded during peak hours, which are 9 am and 7 pm. You can also travel by taxis and it is also cheap. So for a foreigner, it’s going to take longer if you take a taxi. To ease your job, just write the address on a piece of paper and give it to the driver or you can activate your GPS so that you don’t get lost. Be careful though, car accidents are quite frequent. You can also use the bus as a mode of transport but be sure of the name of the place where you want to go.
- Food and Water – Argentina is not the perfect country for vegetarians and vegans, though now they are on the path. The meat lovers’ haven, beef is a staple item on any Argentinean menu. Get ready to expand your palate with incredible flavors. Always have bottled water so as to be sure.
- Weather – Study the weather patterns before packing for your trip. As Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere, better take your precautions. Be sure to pack a jacket and light clothes.
- Cultural Insights – During the holidays, better avoid Argentina as almost everything is closed Even the McDonald’s stores are closed. Some stores are closed until January 15th, so be cautious when planning your visit. Waving is considered rude, so when you meet someone be sure to ‘cheek kiss’ them. In businesses, generic handshakes are welcomed. One thing that I love about Argentinians is that they take their time to have a perfect meal and relax and enjoy the company of those who they are dining with.
- Safety – Be discrete with cameras and other electronics items in Buenos Aires. San Telmo and La Boca are hot spots for pickpockets. To be safe, be sure to travel in groups and stay in the light after hours. Stay away from downtown areas when booking for hotels. Always carry a copy of your passport and keep the original somewhere else.
- Health – Argentina has a reasonably good and free public healthcare system.
- Things to avoid and bring – Avoid demonstrations and buses! Bring your cellphones and laptops. Internet cafes are quite common, so don’t miss the opportunity to show how beautiful Argentina is.
Hopefully, these tips are handy in the future, now let’s head to the reasons why Argentina should be your next destination plan!
- Visit the amazing and mind-blogging landscapes. From the northern deserts where the Rallye Dakar is staged every year to the vast ‘pampas’ lands, you can actually find everything in Argentina. Some of the unmissable sights are Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world, the wetlands of Esteros del Ibera, the Glaciers National Park, the striking Patagonian peaks, and the island of Tierra del Fuego which is shared with Chile. Don’t forget Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of Asia and also Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.
- Impressive architecture – One of the most architecturally enticing countries in South America, Argentina has a strong European impact that is coupled with modern architecture and impressive colonial buildings.
- Argentine wine – It is always special to drink a glass of wine in the same city in which its grape was grown. Argentina is the sixth largest wine producing country by volume. Argentina offers wine tours and tastings.
- Ushuaia winter sports – The southernmost city offers abundant opportunities to enjoy its rich culture, history, and natural beauty. The haven for sports enthusiasts, you can enjoy winter sports in the wonderlands of Glacier El Martial and Cerro Castor.
- Mesmerizing wildlife – Home to the tropical, desert, and arctic wildlife making it one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Argentina has all kinds of tropical animals, including the four-eyed frogs. In the deserts, you can witness some highly endangered cats, notably jaguars and pumas.
- Sports events and cultural festivities – Argentina is a football-crazy country, so be prepared to have a lively discussion about football. Lionel Messi, the prodigy of football is adored by everyone there. Be sure to book a ticket for the football to witness the amazing atmosphere prevailing there. If you are not into football, then go to the Tango Buenos Aires Festival, a quintessential Argentinian tradition that attracts more than one million visitors every August.
When are you packing your bags?