Packing for Argentina & Chile

Excited about your upcoming trip to Argentina and Chile? Need to pack your bags? We’re here to help! Firstly, when packing for Argentina, you’ve got to consider which season you’ll be arriving in. The seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are reversed from those in the Northern Hemisphere. The hottest months are January and February, and the coldest ones are June and July.

View Bariloche from Cerro Campanario while hiking the Circuito Chico trail

View Bariloche from Cerro Campanario while hiking the Circuito Chico trail

Next, figure out exactly which regions you’ll be traveling to when packing for your trip.  Argentina is a huge country and it stretches over 5000KM. The country reaches from the most-southern place in the world, Ushuaia, to Jujuy, which shares its latitude with Sao Paulo. It is highly recommended you check the weather forecast for the region(s) you’ll be visiting. No matter what, bringing a variety of clothes is a good idea: different regions of Argentina have extremely distinct temperatures.  For example, if you are traveling in Argentina and your trip takes you from Buenos Aires to Patagonia, back to Buenos Aires and all the way up to Iguazu Falls, you’ll have to pack both warm and cold! A 20°C (70°F) temperature difference between the different parts of the country is not an uncommon thing. As the country is so diverse, Packing for Patagonia is completely different from Packing for Salta or Mendoza.

Also, make sure the majority of the clothes you bring are comfortable. Be sure that your shoes are “worn in” and not new, in order to avoid some uncomfortable blisters. Remember, you will be traveling, sightseeing, and walking a lot. In different parts of the country you’ll be walking on different kinds of soil. In the capital you will be confronted with uneven streets, in the south of the country you’ll need hiking shoes. For a tango show you might want to dress up, in which case you could go with heels, or formal shoes for men. However, it is not necessary to do all this to seem classy in Buenos Aires. The residents generally dress casual and you won’t need a suit or blazer even at more upscale restaurants.

A traditional Dinner Tango Show is a must-see activity while in Buenos Aires

A traditional Dinner Tango Show is a must-see activity while in Buenos Aires

Sunglasses are a must: the sun is very strong down here, and if you don’t have eye protection you will spend a lot of time squinting. Don’t only protect your eyes from the sun, don’t forget your sunscreen, and maybe even after sun, to cover all bases.

Be sure to remember to bring an “international plug adapter” to charge your electronics when packing for Argentina and Chile. In Chile the ungrounded two-wire type “C” plug with round prongs is used (popularly known as the europlug). It is the single most widely used plug worldwide, used in almost every country in Europe. In Argentina the three-wire type “I” plug with rectangular prongs is used. In some places you’ll find a combination of a C and I plug in Argentina, but it’s best to bring an adapter to be sure. We recommend finding one at home and bringing it with you so you don’t have to worry about searching once you get here — though if you decide to wait, you will be able to buy one in Argentina or Chile. Buying one at an airport can be very expensive, so it’s best to buy one at home or at the destination.

Packing For Argentina

The different types of plugs used in the world in a handy overview

If you do not speak Spanish, bring a pocket Spanish-English dictionary. In fact, even if you do speak Spanish, it’d be a good idea to bring one anyway, or download an App for your telephone to help you practice. Locals appreciate the effort, even if your accent is not perfect, and it is a great ice breaker when meeting new people.

While packing for Argentina, think about the safest possible way to carry your valuables when you’re sightseeing and walking around. Women, bring a smaller purse with a longer strap so you can wear it in front of you. Pickpocketing is common. Tip: If you’re walking around an unfamiliar area—or in the subway— wear your backpack in front of you.

Check and double-check your packing list before taking off, and have an amazing trip!

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