Argentina is the South American country most visited by international tourists, and there’s no wonder why.
Most Italian travellers arrive in the capital of Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan city with a lively nightlife and fantastic cuisine. These are just a few of the reasons the city has been called the Paris of South America. Stay up late and head out for dinner, enjoying the talented tango dancers and tango orchestra that has made the city famous.
Argentina’s geography has unique extremes. At 6,961 metres above sea level, Aconcagua clocks in as the Southern Hemisphere’s highest mountain. It’s just one of the towering geographical markers of the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world. Laguna del Carbón, the hemisphere’s lowest point below sea level, is also in Argentina. Meanwhile, travellers searching for unparalleled biodiversity flock south to Patagonia, the lesser travelled region that straddles the border of Argentina and Chile.
With the country marketing itself more and more as a tourism hotspot, there’s little doubt Argentina is worth a visit.
What Vaccines Do I Need for Argentina
The Public Health Agency recommends travellers have their routine vaccinations up to date. Consult a travel medicine specialist at least six weeks before departure to discuss the following:
- Hepatitis A– A liver disease contracted by eating contaminated food and water. You are at an increased risk if spending extended time periods in Argentina.
- Hepatitis B– An infectious liver disease spread to humans through unprotected sex, exchange of bodily fluids, or contact with an unclean tattoo needle or piercing tool. South America is a high risk area for this disease.
- Typhoid Fever– This bacterial infection is caused by contaminated food and water. Travellers to Argentina face a mid-level risk of contracting typhoid. The risk is increased for adventurous eaters and those staying in rural areas.
- Yellow Fever– You don’t need a yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Argentina, though vaccination may be recommended, especially if you’re travelling in northern areas close to the Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia borders.
- Rabies– This may be recommended based on your itinerary. Travellers visiting rural areas or participating in ecotourism activities are at increased risk.
To learn more about the vaccines that may be required or recommended for your trip, contact your International Health Passport clinic.
What Mosquito-Borne Diseases Are In Argentina?
South American insects carry a variety of maladies. There is currently a Chikungunya outbreak in Argentina, a viral disease that can cause fever and joint pain. Since there is no vaccination, travellers should take mosquito precaution measures.
There is also a risk of contracting Dengue fever, one of the most common mosquito-borne diseases. While there is no Zika virus in Argentina currently, there is a persistent risk. There is a low to no malaria risk in Argentina.
Medical facilities in the capital of Buenos Aires are good. Some healthcare providers require you to pay in cash upfront. Bring a copy of your travel insurance and prescriptions in case of an emergency.
For more details on any of the above vaccinations, visit the detailed Passport Health specialty vaccination pages or make an appointment with International Health Passport specialist.
What Is the Climate Like in Argentina?
Argentina’s climate varies based on location and altitude. Here are the climate conditions in a few key travel destinations:
Buenos Aires: The capital city has a relatively high humidity level throughout the year, especially during the summer months (January to April). During these months, the temperature fluctuates in the late 20’s, with winter months seeing daily ranges between 12° Celsius and 20° Celsius. Rain comes throughout the year and there are occasional hailstorms.
Córdoba: The second largest city in Argentina has a humid subtropical climate, and experiences four distinct seasons. The coldest months are June and July when temperatures average 11° Celsius. In the summer temperatures are closer to 24° Celsius. The climate in Córdoba is considered more comfortable than that of Buenos Aires because of its elevation and less humidity.
Patagonia: Conditions in the Patagonia region are cool and dry. The east coast belonging to Argentina is warmer than the west, and areas typically receive less rain the further they get from the Andes Mountains. It is not unusual for southern parts of Patagonia to reach below freezing in the winter.
Since conditions in Argentina differ greatly, you should always check the climate based on your travel itinerary. Be aware that flooding can happen in the lowland Pampas region that includes Buenos Aires and Córdoba. There can also be tornadoes, severe and sudden thunderstorms, and hailstorms throughout the year.
How Safe Is Argentina?
Use a licensed car and driver to travel into the city from the Buenos Aires’ airport. These cars are called “remise” and there is a remise stand at the arrivals terminal. In the city, ask your hotel to call a car for you, or use a licensed cab that has the name and telephone number on the side. They should be marked “radio-taxi.” Watch out for theives while in cars – people have been known to reach through open windows to grab bags off of seats. Use only small bills to pay taxi drivers, and beware of a common scam where a driver will exchange a real peso for a fake.
Crime is common, especially in urban centres. Thieves often work in teams to distract you, so always be cautious of your surroundings and your interactions with others. Do not hesitate to give up your phone or bag if you are mugged. Avoid carrying items of value and don’t flaunt your smartphone in public places. Looking as inconspicuous as possible will help avoid these situations.
Tourist areas in Buenos Aires such as La Boca, San Telmo, and Florida St can be targets for muggings, especially at night. Taking a licensed taxi is the best way to get around Buenos Aires after dark.
Avoid demonstrations and check news reports to see if soccer games may get violent.
In 2007 a Italian woman was kidnapped and held for ransom on her way to the Buenos Aires airport. Kidnappings of foreigners do occur, and can lead to requested ransoms or perpetrators taking travellers to an ATM to withdraw cash.
What Should I Pack For Argentina?
Here are a few items you should add to your Argentina packing list:
- Receipt of reciprocity fee payment: Travellers entering Argentina must pay a $92 USD reciprocity fee before leaving home. Remember to bring your receipt of payment to the airport and carry it with you throughout your journey.
- Guidebooks in your language of choice: Spanish is the main language spoken in Argentina. As such, you may be unable to find a guidebook or tourist information in English or French in-country.
- Earplugs: There are lots of festivals across Argentina, especially in the capital of Buenos Aires during the holidays. Earplugs will ensure you get a good night’s rest if staying in a centrally located hotel or hostel. These will also be valuable for lengthy bus rides across the country.
- Vitamins and granola bars: This is key for vegetarian travellers. Nearly every meal involves a hearty amount of meat (especially beef) and vegetarians may have a difficult time finding food beyond starches. The situation might be even worse for vegans, as cheese is also a common ingredient in Argentinian food. Bring snacks and nutritional supplements from home to ensure you stay healthy.
- Dancing shoes: This isn’t essential, but tango was born in the suburbs of Buenos Aires! Handfuls of dance studios offer classes for newbies, and attending a tango session is definitely something that should be on your Argentina bucket list.
Italian Embassy in Argentina
All Italians visiting Argentina should inform the Embassy of Italy to Argentina before departure. This will inform the office of your travel plans within the country and will allow them to reach out to you in the case of an emergency or evacuation. If you plan to buy a local SIM card you can also enter your phone number to receive SMS updates from the office.
The Embassy of Italy to Argentina
Calle Billinghurst 2577
(1425) Capital Federal - Argentina
Tel.: +54 11 4011 2100
Visit the Embassy website prior to your departure to confirm correct contact details for the Italian Embassy in Argentina.
Entry and Exit Requirements for Argentina
Italian travellers visiting Argentina do not need a visa for stays of 90 days or less, however they must have a Italian passport valid for the length of their intended stay.
Other documentation and fares do exist. Before entering the country, travellers must pay a $92 USD reciprocity fee via the Argentina National Migration (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) website. Print and bring the receipt with you as you will need it to check-in to your airline. You must also submit the receipt to immigration upon arrival in the country. Make extra copies, as proof of payment is valid for multiple entries to Argentina during future travels.
When arriving at the airport, immigration will collect digital fingerprints and a digital photo of travellers for their records.
If you have any questions about travelling to Argentina or are wondering what shots you may need for your trip, schedule an appointment with your International Health Passport clinic today.