Please note that there have been recent changes to policies regarding the Argentina reciprocity fee, the Argentine Peso, and the Argentina Blue Dollar. Please refer to this post for up to date information on the reciprocity fee and this post for current information on the Argentina exchange rate.
Whether it’s a 3-day flashpack or a two-week stay, whether you’ll be in hostels or five-star luxury hotels, whether you’re traveling all around the country or just staying in Buenos Aires, there are tips that everyone needs to know before their trip to Argentina.
- The Reciprocity Fee
Before you even arrive, there is an extremely important step that you’ll need to accomplish before boarding the plane. The reciprocity fee is a fee of $160 dollars with a $20 service fee on top of that which all Americans, Canadians and Australians will need to pay online before the trip to Argentina. It’s a fee that these countries charge to Argentines upon entry, and it needs to be printed out before you board the plane. A copy on your smart phone does not suffice!
· Exchanging money
The currency is the Peso Argentino. Before exchanging money, you need to take into account that we have two dollar rates: the official and the “blue.” You’ll want to exchange your money with the blue (aka, “black market style”—not as serious as it sounds) to get the best rate possible. Bring physical dollars/euros with you and exchange your money as you go at the blue rate. Learn more about how that’s done here!
- Manners are huge
Granted, you definitely get a foreigner pass and aren’t expected to keep up with all of the social norms, but there are some that do matter. Saying please and thank you (por favor and gracias) is necessary even if you don’t speak Spanish. People in Argentina are super polite, especially in customer service, and are expecting the same courtesy back. For some Spanish phrases that will help you on your trip to Argentina, check this out.
- The food is different, but usually in a good way
No, pizza will not have the same flavor as Domino’s, and the smoothies (licuados) won’t taste like they’re from Jamba Juice, but they have their own distinct Argentine flavor. You can’t leave Argentina without trying a bit from all over the menu: empanadas, steak, wine from Mendoza, flan, alfajores, pasta, soup…get adventurous! Accept interesting flavor combinations, as it’s rare that the food leaves you disappointed. We’ve got for you the most popular Argentine drinks and traditional meals.
- It’s worth it to try your hand at public transportation
The public transit is so cheap and is accessible from anywhere, at least in Buenos Aires. An average bus ride costs 3.25 pesos (around US $.21) with a SUBE card. Download one of the most popular apps that takes you everywhere, showing you which form of transportation is best (bus vs. subway), the route it takes, where you need to get off, and where you walk to. Try Moovit or ComoLlego!
Written by Abby LeCleir