The culture of Argentina is varied with a mix of ethnic groups. Modern Argentine culture has been largely influenced by European immigration and whilst Argentina is primarily a Spanish speaking country there are many variations of the language spoken throughout. In general you will find native Argentinians very welcoming to visitors and happy to share their cultural heritage.
The official currency in Argentina is the peso and the abbreviation is ARS. One peso equals 100 centavos. Coins come in 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavo and pesos come in values of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.
ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most major shops and restaurants. Travellers’ cheques are not always accepted. The Government of Argentina has in the past imposed restrictions on the purchase of foreign currency in Argentina. You should speak to a Travel Specialist for updates on any restrictions as they are subject to regular change.
Argentina time zones
The time difference between the UK and Argentina is as follows:
Buenos Aires - three hours behind
Mendoza - three hours behind
Weather in Argentina
The weather in Argentina will vary across the different areas of the country so when touring in Argentina we recommend you pack plenty of light, comfortable clothing that can be easily layered, as well as enough warm outdoor clothing. Rain gear is also a good idea to take as a wise precaution against inclement weather. A comfortable pair of shoes for walking and sightseeing is essential.
Driving in Argentina
Vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road in Argentina and the road conditions are varied. Many roads are bumpy and dusty but the stunning scenery along the way makes up for the less than perfect ride.
An International Driving Permit is required to drive in Argentina, so please ensure you have one of these before you travel. For more information please visit the Post Office website.
Health and safety in Argentina
The Department of Health does not make any specific health recommendations for visitors to Argentina; however we recommend you check with your doctor before departure. If you are planning on taking any medications with you on your holiday it is advised that you also carry a doctor’s certificate in order to avoid any problems with customs.
As with anywhere in the world, it is good practise to be vigilant about your property, both in terms of your motorhome and personal belongings, take sensible precautions to protect yourself from petty crime. Don’t leave your handbag or luggage unattended. Leave copies of important documents with family and friends in the UK. Carry a photocopy of your passport for ID. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office may make specif travel recommendations for visitors to Argentina.
Worldwide Motorhoming Holidays offer fully comprehensive medical and personal holiday insurance for peace of mind while you’re away. Enquire about our insurance here.
Passports and visas in Argentina
To travel to Argentina from the UK you will need a full UK passport. Your passport must be valid until at least 24 hours beyond your return flight to the UK (but preferably longer, in case of any unforeseen delays at departure). Holders of any non-British passport should check with the Foreign Travel Office before departing. British citizens do not need a visa to enter Argentina as a tourist.
You can find out more information about Argentina entry requirements at the Government Services and Information website.
Prohibited travel items
No sharp objects, including pen knives or nail clippers, scissors or files, must be taken into the plane cabin. All liquids may also be refused in cabin baggage, unless you can prove, with appropriate certification, that they are for essential use (please check your airline’s documentation for its specific policy on this). Such items will be confiscated unless they are in hold baggage.
Shopping in Argentina
The capital Buenos Aires has plenty to offer in the way of shopping, there are lots of stores downtown and modern shopping malls. Whether you are looking for leather goods, clothing, native arts and craft, antiques, ceramics or simply souvenirs, you’ll find everything you want there, you will also see plenty of other items to take your fancy when you are on the road.
Taxes and customs in Argentina
Certain animal products, fresh fruit, plant materials or animal pests may not be allowed into the country. Do not attempt to bring meat, animal or any dairy products in to Argentina without declaring them to the customs authorities. Banned food products will be confiscated and you could be fined. For more information visit Argentina Customs.
You can bring in to the UK either, but not both, of the following:
- 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22 per cent volume
- 2 litres of fortified wine (such as port or sherry), sparkling wine or any other alcoholic drink that's less than 22 per cent volume
- Or you can combine these allowances. For example, if you bring in one litre of fortified wine (half your full allowance) you can also bring in half a litre of spirits (half your full allowance). This would make up your full allowance. You can't go over your total alcohol allowance.
- In addition you may also bring back both of the following:
- 16 litres of beer
- 4 litres of still wine
You can bring in one from the following list:
- 200 cigarettes
- 100 cigarillos
- 50 cigars
- 250g of tobacco
Or you can combine these allowances.
For example, if you bring in 100 cigarettes (half your full allowance) you can also bring in 25 cigars (half your full allowance). This would make up your full tobacco allowance. You can't go over your total tobacco allowance. You cannot combine alcohol and tobacco allowances.
Other goods including perfume and souvenirs -
You can bring in other goods worth up to £390 without having to pay tax and/or duty.
If you bring in any single item worth more than your allowance, you must pay duty and/or tax on the full item value, not just the value above the allowance. You also cannot group individual allowances together to bring in an item worth more than the limit.
If you want to bring back more, you will need to declare this to customs on your way back and pay Customs duty and VAT. For more information, visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs.
Tipping in Argentina
Tipping in Argentina is never mandatory and is up to the discretion of the individual; however, it is commonly done in most situations. Tipping the staff at hotels is generally common - tip the doorman or porter at least one peso per bag and the maid a few pesos every day if you want to receive an exceptional service.
It is a very good idea to take some currency in small bills with you to cover tips on arrival. It is also standard practice to tip tour guides, so you might like to have some small bills to hand as you leave excursion buses. If you go on a paid tour, plan on tipping your guide around 10-20% of the cost of the tour if he or she was especially helpful.
Looking to explore the Argentina by motorhome? Find out more about what there is to do and the possible routes you can take.