To ensure that you have the best possible holiday experience, we ask you to read the following information carefully. If you have any questions, please discuss them with us before you depart.
Hand Luggage – pack essential items for a day or two in your hand luggage, in case your bags go astray and take a few days to catch up with you, especially if you have any tight connecting flights.
Documents – take a copy of your travel insurance policy with you, and leave a copy of your passport with a reliable contact at home, in case the originals are lost or stolen.
Electronic Devices – ensure these are all fully charge before travel, as you may be required to switch them on at airport security. Any device that does not switch on cannot be checked in and must be surrendered.
Mobile Phones – make sure they are set up for international calls and turn off data roaming to avoid nasty bills. Be aware that some remote areas may not have cell phone coverage, but reception is good in urban areas and many hotels offer free Wi-Fi.
Credit Cards – remember to inform your bank when travelling abroad. Credit cards are widely accepted, but always ensure you have cash when travelling in the countryside as some places may not accept them.
Clothing – pack in layers according to the region you are visiting and the season. Take good walking shoes, a day pack, T-shirts, shorts, jeans, sunhat, swimming costume, sunglasses and sunscreen. Pack lightweigh clothing for the north of the country and rain gear in the wet season. Take a fleece, scarf, warm hat and thermals for Patagonia, where it can be very cold even in summer. If you are joining an expedition cruise, long waterproof trousers and jacket are also essential for disembarking on zodiacs, well as waterproof gloves. Sanitising hand cleaner/wet wipes and eye drops can also be handy, especially if you wear contact lenses.
Accessories – pack your phone (with charger and a spare battery pack), camera (with spare memory cards and batteries – a 200 mm zoom lens is good for wildlife photography) and binoculars (large 8x40 is best). If you are a keen birder we suggest one pair per person, as it can be frustrating to share.
Plugs – Type C (European 2-prong) and I.
Books – pack a good travel guide and a Spanish phrase book. Knowing a few simple greetings will go down well. Also pack a generous supply of English reading material for quiet evenings and when waiting for flights, as these will be hard to come by.
Water – tap water is generally safe for brushing teeth, but drink only bottled water.
Food – Argentina is renowned for its outstanding cuisine, with its beef widely regarded as the best in the world. Pategonian lamb is also famous. Buenos Aires has many outstanding restaurants, and the Mendoza wine region produces world-famous Malbec wine. Vegetarians and food allergies are well catered for.
Taxis – in cities use only the regulated Radio Taxis, which are clearly marked.
Self-Drive – driving is on the right. It is relatively easy to self-drive in Argentina, but remember that distances are vast, all road signs will be in Spanish and very little English will be understood in rural areas. Purchase a good road map in advance (in English) and download the Google Maps (offline) app or hire a sat-nav, as signage can be sparse in rural areas. On gravel roads be careful to avoid stones thrown up by passing vehicles and keep your lights on, at least dipped, at all times. Officially an international driving permit is required (available from most major post offices) but any valid UK, European or American driving license is usually accepted, as long as it has a photograph and signature. If you intend to cross the border into Chile, be aware that extra paperwork will be required for your vehicle. Pack some CDs as local radio stations can be a little limited, and always allow some extra time to stop for photographs along the way. A credit card is essential if you are hiring a car.
Safety – as this is a third-world country, take all sensible precautions. Leave valuable jewellery/watches at home, wear a money belt and be alert when outside your hotel. In particular, avoid taking out large wads of cash in public view and keep your spare cash in your hotel safe.
Tipping – this is voluntary and should depend on the level of service received. We suggest the local currency equivalent of the following USD per couple, but this can be reduced for longer stays:
- city guide & driver: $8/$2 per day ($4/$1 for half day)
- overland guide & driver: $10/$5 per day
- tipping box for hotel staff $2 per day
- waiters: 10% if not already added to your bill
- porters $1 per bag.