Final Thoughts: Argentina

by Dave on April 24, 2013 · 9 comments

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

Last year, I spent two and a half months traveling in Argentina. From 6 weeks in Buenos Aires to Patagonia, I covered a good amount of ground.

There was a lot to appreciate in the country. Patagonia was by far my favorite region, followed by Mendoza and Cordoba.

If and when I return, it’d be to visit Iguazu Falls, Bariloche, and Salta.

Ice climbing in Patagonia

Ice climbing in Patagonia

Highlights

Japanese gardens in Buenos Aires

Japanese gardens in Buenos Aires

Lowlights

  • My Canon S100 camera broke on the last day of my Patagonia trip, on the flight from Ushuaia back to Buenos Aires. I later learned it was due to a manufacturer defect. Luckily, Eric and Shaun of Overyonderlust had a friend coming to visit from the USA, and he was willing to receive and bring me a replacement S100.
  • Coming back to a hostel to find my storage “locker” ajar, and immediately thinking the other guy in the room (who’d checked out while I was gone) had robbed me. All my belongings, money, and passport were OK, but I’m now much more careful about securing my belongings.
  • I went through avocado withdrawal.
Steak with blue cheese at La Cabrera in Buenos Aires

Steak with blue cheese at La Cabrera in Buenos Aires

Food & Drink

My studio apartment in Palermo Soho

My studio apartment in Palermo Soho

Average Cost Per Day

I don’t have exact figures, but I was surprised at the cost of living in Argentina. It was higher than I expected. I’d estimate 25% higher than Colombia or Peru.

Sample Expenses:

  • $800 – Studio apartment rental in Buenos Aires’ Palermo Soho neighborhood (via AirBnB)
  • $140 – Cost of entry / tourist visa for American citizens
  • $120 – Boca Juniors game (when booked as organized trip through hostel)
  • $50 – Hourly rate for private tango lessons
  • $20 – Cost of a dorm room at a popular hostel in Buenos Aires (old building, average facilities)

By comparison, I found Uruguay to be about 25% more expensive than Argentina.

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Categories: Features

9 Comments

Kevin Post April 24, 2013 at 9:55 am

The Argentinians are catching on. They know that their country is a prime destination and that expats and foreign tourists are going to pay up.

When I crossed into Argentina via Chile in 2006 I don’t remember paying anything at all for my visa but I’ve heard that when flying into Buenos Aires there is a hefty airport tax (something like $100). From what I’ve heard Montevideo does not have such a tax and may encourage people to take flights there and then hop on the ferry to B.A.

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Dave April 24, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I believe the entry fee for Americans is $140 still. They say this is because the USA charges Argentinians. Brazil and Bolivia charge us for the same reason, unfortunately. Let’s hope Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru don’t go that route.

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Kevin Post April 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm

The reciprocal visa debate is a difficult one for me. On one hand I think it’s silly that countries would deter tourists from entering their country to literally import and spend money. I ended up not going to Paraguay in 2006 simply because they wanted to charge me a ridiculous fee of $80 just to spend a few days in their country; I probably would have spent more on the visa than I would have my entire time there.

However, on the other hand I support their stance. Why is it that they have to pay heavily to enter the U.S. while U.S. citizens can come and go as we please? I have heard from frustrated Europeans and South Americans that they had to pay some sort of fee/tax while in transit through the U.S. (plane transfers, layovers) when they weren’t even leaving the airport on their way to Europe or South America! That’s absurd! So if they want to charge me $140 to see their impressive country by all means I don’t blame them.

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Dave April 27, 2013 at 12:19 am

I agree that any transit fees are ridiculous. I’d be annoyed if I had to pay in that situation too.

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Jeff May 7, 2013 at 10:41 am

The reciprocity fee is actually $160. US citizens do not need a visa for visits to Argentina of up to 90 days for tourism or business. However, per a recent change in Argentine law, prior to arrival in Argentina at any entry point, US citizen tourist and business travelers must pay a $160 reciprocity fee by credit card online at the Provincia Pagos website. You need to print out the receipt and present it in immigration at the time of entry. The fee is valid for 10 years from the date of payment and is good for multiple Argentina entries. In Brazil it is different, you actually need a tourist visa that costs $160 for US citizens and the visa application requires documentation such as flight itinerary and hotel confirmation and can take a while to get. The Brazil tourist visa is also good for 10 years and multiple entries.

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Sam April 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm

My partner and are love Argentina. We’ve already been down south and now have been in Buenos Aires now for 5 weeks, and will be sad to leave next week, but are looking forward to visiting the north. We haven’t been to the Japanese gardens in BA yet, but it’s on our list now! The avocado withdrawal is going to be rough when we leave, though!

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Andi of My Beautiful Adventures April 25, 2013 at 9:40 am

Great post about my beloved Argentina! So sorry about your camera and robbery!

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Dave April 25, 2013 at 4:44 pm

To clarify, I didn’t actually get robbed of anything in the hostel. I just thought I did when I returned to my room.

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Pepe Michel August 9, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Before I left Mexico, I inquire in all the south american embasies and found out about the entry fees for US citizens Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Brazil I don”t know about Uruguay I did not pay any entry fees at the Buquebus terminal. Am a naturalized American so, before We left I got me a new Mexican passport and save myself about US $ 700.00 almost the cost of my plane ticket from Rio de Janeiro to Mexico City by Avianca. When in Buenos Aires we had a reservation in a Hostal in San Telmo neighborhood. No tv, internet out of order, boring as hell. Right away we went walking toAvenida de Mayo and found an old hotel for Arg.$ 200.00 a night with tv, fridge and community kitchen two blocks from Ave 9 de Julio and 6 blocks from Casa Rosada, across the street from the Tango Palace. On my humble opinion, aftr visiting 9 countries in S. America Argentina has the most to offer. We entered from Bolivia at la Quiaca/Villazon border crossing stayed in Salta and Mendoza visited the Aconcagua Provincial Park and crossed to Chile from Puerto Mont we crossed the Andes by bus to Bariloche, Peninsula Valdez to see the pinguins in Punta Tomba (home of 1000,000 of this little guys) continued to Rio Gallegos and el Calafate to see the Perito Moreno Glaciar, back to Rio Gallegos to catch another bus to Ushuaia we crossed the Magallanes Strait by Ferry scorted by pinguins and in Ushuaia sailed the Beagle Channel, flew to Buenos Aires crossed the River Plate to Uruguay for three days in Colonia, Montevideo and Punta del Este, back to Buenos Aires and by way of Santa Fe after crossing the Parana River we arrived to Puerto Iguazu, crossed the Junction of the Iguazu and Parana Rivers to Ciudad del Este en Paraguay, Back to Argentina to Visit the Iguazu falls three days later we continued to Brazil. When We go Back to South America, am planning to stay about three months in beautiful Argentina.

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