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The Ultimate Budget Travel Guide For Argentina


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Kirbee Morrison



Argentina, located in the southern part of South America, is a vibrant country known for its rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality. From the dynamic capital city of Buenos Aires to the awe-inspiring natural wonders of Patagonia and the stunning wine regions of Mendoza, Argentina offers a diverse range of experiences for every type of traveler.


Whether you’re a budget-conscious backpacker or seeking a luxury getaway on a shoestring budget, Argentina has something to offer. This comprehensive budget travel guide will help you make the most of your trip by providing valuable tips on currency exchange, transportation, accommodation, food, sightseeing, outdoor activities, shopping, and safety.


Before embarking on your Argentine adventure, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the country’s unique culture and customs. Known for its passionate tango, flavorful cuisine, and love for soccer, Argentina is a country that embraces its traditions while welcoming diversity.


When it comes to budget-friendly travel, Argentina offers plenty of opportunities to save money without compromising on the quality of your experience. With a little planning and insider knowledge, you can make the most of your trip while keeping your wallet happy.


From vibrant city streets to remote natural wonders, Argentina has something to offer every traveler. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to explore the many wonders of this beautiful country!



Proper preparation is key to having a smooth and enjoyable trip to Argentina. Here are some essential steps to take before heading off:

  • Travel Documents: Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date. Depending on your nationality, you may also need a visa to enter Argentina. Check the requirements well in advance and obtain any necessary documents.
  • Vaccinations: Check with your healthcare provider or travel clinic to see if any vaccinations are recommended for your trip to Argentina. Common vaccinations include Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever, especially if you plan to visit the northern regions or the jungle areas.
  • Travel Insurance: It’s always a good idea to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings. Research different insurance options and choose a plan that suits your needs.
  • Language: While many Argentinians speak English, it’s helpful to learn some basic Spanish phrases. Not only will this make communication easier, but it will also show respect for the local culture.
  • Weather and Clothing: Argentina experiences different climates throughout the country, so pack accordingly. If you’re visiting the Andes or Patagonia, prepare for cooler temperatures and bring warm layers. In Buenos Aires and northern regions, the climate is more temperate, so pack lighter clothes.
  • Electrical Adapters: Argentina uses the Type C and I electrical outlets, so make sure to bring the appropriate adapters for your electronic devices.
  • Research Attractions: Familiarize yourself with the top attractions and activities in the areas you plan to visit. This will help you create a rough itinerary and prioritize your sightseeing.

By taking these steps, you’ll be well-prepared for your trip to Argentina and can focus on enjoying all the incredible experiences this captivating country has to offer.


Currency and Exchange Rates

The official currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso (ARS). It’s important to be aware of the current exchange rates to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. Here are some tips for dealing with currency and exchange rates in Argentina:

  • Exchange Currency in Authorized Places: It’s recommended to exchange your currency in authorized exchange offices or banks. Avoid exchanging money on the street or through unauthorized individuals, as this can lead to scams or receiving counterfeit bills.
  • Withdraw Cash from ATMs: ATMs are widely available in Argentina, especially in larger cities. They offer convenience and usually provide competitive exchange rates. However, be aware of any withdrawal fees that may apply and inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with your card.
  • Credit Cards: Credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments in Argentina, especially in major cities. Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly accepted cards. However, it’s wise to carry some cash for smaller businesses or in more remote areas where card payments may not be possible.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: Check with your bank to understand any foreign transaction fees that may apply when using your credit or debit card in Argentina. Some banks offer cards with no foreign transaction fees, which can help you save money.
  • Tipping: While not mandatory, tipping is customary in Argentina. In restaurants, it’s common to leave a tip of 10-15% of the total bill. In taxis and for other services, rounding up to the nearest peso is appreciated.
  • Budgeting: Argentina offers a range of options for different budgets. The cost of living can vary depending on the region you’re in. Larger cities, such as Buenos Aires, tend to be more expensive than smaller towns and rural areas. Plan your budget accordingly and research average prices for accommodation, meals, and activities in the areas you’ll be visiting.

It’s important to stay up to date with the current exchange rates during your trip to Argentina. This will help you make informed decisions about your expenses and ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.



Getting around in Argentina is relatively easy and there are several transportation options to choose from:

  • Public Transportation: Public transportation is a cost-effective way to travel within cities in Argentina. Buenos Aires, in particular, has an extensive subway and bus network that can take you to most major attractions. Be sure to obtain a rechargeable SUBE card, which is used to pay for public transportation fares.
  • Taxis and Ride-Sharing Apps: Taxis are widely available in cities throughout Argentina and are a convenient way to get around. Make sure to only use licensed taxis and request an official metered fare. Alternatively, ride-sharing apps like Uber and Cabify are also popular and can provide a reliable and often cheaper transportation option.
  • Long-Distance Buses: If you’re planning to explore different regions of Argentina, long-distance buses are a comfortable and affordable option. Companies like El Rapido, Flecha Bus, and Andesmar operate extensive networks connecting major cities. These buses offer different classes, including semi-cama (semi-reclining seats) and cama (fully reclining seats), providing various levels of comfort.
  • Domestic Flights: For longer distances or if you’re limited on time, domestic flights are a convenient option. Argentina has several domestic airlines, such as Aerolineas Argentinas, Latam, and Flybondi, that offer flights between major cities and popular tourist destinations. Keep an eye out for promotional fares and book in advance to get the best deals.
  • Private Car Rental: If you prefer the freedom and flexibility of having your own vehicle, you can rent a car from major rental companies. However, be aware of the traffic conditions in larger cities and consider hiring a driver if you’re not comfortable navigating the busy streets.
  • Biking and Walking: Exploring on foot or by bike is a great way to experience Argentina, especially in compact cities or scenic areas. Many cities offer bike-sharing programs or bike rental services, allowing you to explore at your own pace while enjoying the local sights.

When traveling within Argentina, it’s essential to plan your transportation options in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient journey. Consider the distance, convenience, cost, and time constraints to choose the best mode of transportation for your needs.



Argentina offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are some popular choices:

  • Hotels: From luxury hotels to budget-friendly options, Argentina has a variety of hotels to choose from. Major cities like Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Mendoza offer a range of accommodation options with different amenities and price points. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • Hostels: Hostels are a popular choice for budget travelers and for those looking to meet fellow backpackers. They offer dormitory-style rooms with shared facilities, and some also provide private rooms. Hostels are widely available in popular tourist destinations and are a great way to save money while having a social and communal experience.
  • Bed and Breakfasts: Bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) provide a more intimate and personalized accommodation experience. They offer comfortable rooms with breakfast included in the price. B&Bs are often found in smaller towns and rural areas, providing a cozy and homely atmosphere.
  • Apartments or Vacation Rentals: For longer stays or if you’re traveling with a group, renting an apartment or vacation home can be a cost-effective option. Platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com offer a wide selection of apartments and vacation rentals in various locations across Argentina. This allows you to have more space, cooking facilities, and a home-like environment during your stay.
  • Estancias: If you want to experience rural Argentina and its traditions, consider staying at an estancia. These are working ranches that offer accommodation to guests and provide opportunities to partake in activities such as horseback riding, gaucho shows, and traditional meals. Estancias can be found in the Pampas region and Patagonia.
  • Eco-lodges and Glamping: For those seeking a more unique and eco-friendly accommodation experience, Argentina offers a range of eco-lodges and glamping sites. These allow you to connect with nature while experiencing comfort and sustainability. They are usually located in remote and scenic areas, such as the Andes or the rainforest.

When choosing accommodation in Argentina, consider factors such as location, amenities, price, and reviews from previous guests. This will help you find the perfect place to relax and recharge after a day of exploring all that Argentina has to offer.


Food and Drinks

Argentina is a haven for food lovers, offering a delicious blend of flavors influenced by its European heritage and regional specialties. Here are some must-try dishes and tips for enjoying the culinary delights of Argentina:

  • Asado: Asado is a traditional Argentine barbecue, known for its succulent cuts of meat grilled to perfection. Whether it’s beef, pork, or lamb, trying an asado is a must while in Argentina. Pair it with a glass of Malbec, the country’s famous red wine.
  • Empanadas: Empanadas are savory pastries stuffed with a variety of fillings, such as meat, cheese, vegetables, or a combination of ingredients. They make for a tasty and convenient snack or light meal.
  • Maté: Maté is a traditional South American beverage made from the leaves of the yerba maté plant. It’s often shared among friends or family in a communal cup, sipped through a metal straw called a bombilla. It’s a cultural experience worth trying, and you’ll often see locals carrying their thermos of hot water and maté cup wherever they go.
  • Parrilla: Parrillas are Argentine steakhouses that offer a variety of meat cuts cooked on a grill. They provide a delightful dining experience, with juicy steaks, chorizo sausages, and sweetbreads (mollejas) as some of the standout items on the menu.
  • Pasta and Pizza: Argentina has a strong Italian influence, and you’ll find delicious pasta and pizza options throughout the country. Don’t miss trying traditional Argentine-style pizza, which often includes a thicker crust and unique toppings.
  • Helado: Argentina is famous for its helado, or ice cream. Whether it’s a classic flavor like dulce de leche or something more adventurous, sampling helado from local heladerías is a delightful experience.
  • Wine Tasting: Argentina is renowned for its wine production, particularly Malbec. Visit the wine regions of Mendoza, Salta, or Cafayate for a wine tasting experience, where you can explore vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in the flavors of Argentine wines.

When dining out, keep in mind that dinner is often served late in Argentina, with restaurants getting busy around 9 pm or later. It’s also customary to leave a tip of around 10% of the bill.


Lastly, don’t be afraid to venture into local markets and street food stalls, where you’ll find delicious and authentic Argentine snacks and treats at affordable prices. Explore the local cuisine and let your taste buds savor the flavors of this gastronomic paradise.



Argentina is a country brimming with incredible sights and attractions. From vibrant metropolises to breathtaking natural wonders, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Here are some must-visit places and landmarks in Argentina:

  • Buenos Aires: Argentina’s capital city is a vibrant and dynamic metropolis that blends European elegance with Latin American charm. Explore the historic neighborhood of San Telmo, stroll along the colorful streets of La Boca, and visit the iconic Recoleta Cemetery. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a tango show in one of the city’s renowned tango clubs.
  • Perito Moreno Glacier: Located in Los Glaciares National Park, the Perito Moreno Glacier is an awe-inspiring natural wonder. Witness the sheer size and beauty of the glacier as you walk along the viewing platforms or take a boat tour to experience it up close.
  • Iguazu Falls: Bordering Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls are a majestic collection of waterfalls surrounded by lush rainforest. Take a boat ride or walk along the trails to witness the dramatic beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Patagonia: Explore the stunning landscapes of Argentine Patagonia, known for its jagged mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and unique wildlife. Visit the picturesque town of Bariloche, hike in the famous Torres del Paine National Park, or take a boat tour to see the impressive glaciers of El Calafate.
  • Salta and the Northwest: Experience the beauty of northern Argentina by visiting Salta and the surrounding region. Discover the colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and stunning landscapes of the Calchaquí Valley. Take a scenic drive along the iconic Route 40 to witness breathtaking deserts, colorful rock formations, and ancient ruins.
  • Ushuaia: Known as the “End of the World,” Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world and serves as a gateway to Antarctica. Explore Tierra del Fuego National Park, take a boat tour through the Beagle Channel, or hike the famous Martial Glacier for breathtaking views.

Remember to check the opening hours and any entry requirements for attractions and national parks. Consider hiring local guides for a more in-depth understanding of the history, culture, and natural wonders that Argentina has to offer.


With its diverse landscapes and captivating attractions, Argentina promises an unforgettable journey of exploration and discovery.


Outdoor Activities

Argentina is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of thrilling activities that take advantage of its diverse landscapes. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply enjoy being immersed in nature, Argentina has something for everyone. Here are some popular outdoor activities to consider:

  • Trekking and Hiking: With its stunning mountain ranges, Argentina offers excellent opportunities for trekking and hiking. Explore the famous trails in Patagonia, such as the W Trek in Torres del Paine or the Fitz Roy Trek in El Chaltén. Alternatively, venture into the lesser-known regions of Nahuel Huapi National Park, Tierra del Fuego, or the Andean Northwest for breathtaking landscapes and secluded trails.
  • Skiing and Snowboarding: During the winter season (June to September), Argentina’s mountain regions become popular destinations for skiing and snowboarding. Head to resorts like Bariloche, Las Leñas, or Chapelco to enjoy world-class slopes and breathtaking snowy landscapes.
  • Whale Watching: The Valdes Peninsula in Patagonia is a prime destination for whale watching. From June to December, Southern Right Whales migrate to the area to mate and give birth. Book a boat tour to witness these majestic creatures up close and personal, along with other marine wildlife like sea lions and penguins.
  • Rock Climbing: Argentina’s diverse rock formations and cliffs make it an excellent destination for rock climbing enthusiasts. El Chaltén, in particular, is considered one of the premier rock climbing destinations in the world, offering various routes suitable for all skill levels.
  • Kayaking and Rafting: Argentina’s rivers and lakes provide thrilling opportunities for kayaking and rafting. Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a beginner, you can choose from peaceful river floats or adrenaline-pumping white water rafting adventures. Popular destinations include Bariloche, Mendoza, and the Futaleufu River in Patagonia.
  • Horseback Riding: Embrace the gaucho (Argentine cowboy) culture by embarking on a horseback riding adventure. Explore the vast pampas, ride through scenic valleys, or join a multi-day trek in the Andean region. This is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the Argentine countryside and experience local traditions.
  • Biking: Discover the picturesque landscapes of Argentina by embarking on a biking adventure. From leisurely rides through vineyards and rolling hills to challenging mountain biking trails in Patagonia, there are options for cyclists of all skill levels.

Remember to prioritize safety and be well-prepared for outdoor activities. It’s advisable to hire experienced guides, especially for activities like mountaineering or backcountry exploration. Additionally, check weather conditions and pack appropriate gear, including sturdy shoes, sun protection, and ample water and food supplies.


Argentina’s vast natural playground offers adventure and excitement for outdoor enthusiasts, ensuring a memorable and thrilling experience amidst its breathtaking landscapes.



Shopping in Argentina offers a diverse and unique experience, with something to cater to every taste and budget. From traditional crafts to high-end fashion, here are some shopping opportunities that you won’t want to miss:

  • Artisanal Crafts: Argentina is known for its artisanal crafts, showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage. Explore local markets and shops to find handmade textiles, leather goods, pottery, and traditional jewelry. The Feria de Mataderos in Buenos Aires is a great place to immerse yourself in traditional Argentine crafts and folklore.
  • Leather Goods: Argentina is renowned for its high-quality leather products. Buenos Aires, in particular, has a wide array of leather shops and boutiques offering everything from jackets and handbags to shoes and accessories. Palermo Soho and San Telmo are popular neighborhoods for leather shopping.
  • Designer Brands: If you’re looking for high-end fashion and international designer brands, head to Buenos Aires’s upscale neighborhoods like Recoleta and Palermo. Here, you’ll find luxury boutiques and renowned international fashion houses offering the latest trends and timeless elegance.
  • Wine and Spirits: Argentina’s wine industry is thriving, and you can find an incredible selection of wines throughout the country. Visit local vineyards and wine shops to explore a wide variety of wines, including the famous Malbec. Don’t forget to check customs regulations and packaging requirements if you plan on bringing wine or spirits back home.
  • Yerba Maté: Yerba Maté, the traditional South American herbal tea, is a popular souvenir from Argentina. You can find a wide selection of yerba maté, along with intricately designed gourds (called mate) and metal straws (bombilla), in specialty shops and markets.
  • Antiques: Buenos Aires is famous for its antique shops and markets, offering a treasure trove of vintage items and collectibles. Visit the San Telmo Sunday Market or explore the antiques district in the neighborhood of Colegiales for unique finds.
  • Handmade Tango Shoes: If you’re a fan of tango or simply want a unique and stylish pair of shoes, Buenos Aires is the place to find handmade tango shoes. These shoes are crafted by skilled artisans and are known for their comfort and elegance.

Remember to compare prices, negotiate if applicable, and ask for receipts for tax-free purchases (in case you’re eligible for a VAT refund). Additionally, be mindful of customs regulations regarding importing certain goods or materials from Argentina.


Shopping in Argentina is not just about acquiring goods; it’s an experience that allows you to discover the country’s culture, craftsmanship, and style.


Safety Tips

Argentina is generally a safe country to travel to, but like any other destination, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety and peace of mind during your trip. Here are some safety tips for traveling in Argentina:

  • Stay Aware of Your Surroundings: Pay attention to your surroundings, especially in crowded areas or tourist hotspots. Be mindful of your personal belongings, such as wallets, purses, and cameras, and keep them secure to avoid any opportunistic theft.
  • Use Reliable Transportation: When using taxis or ride-sharing services, make sure to choose licensed and reputable providers. Avoid unmarked taxis and rely on trusted apps, such as Uber or Cabify, to ensure a safe and reliable journey.
  • Be Wary of Street Scams: While not extremely common, street scams can occur in tourist areas. Be cautious of individuals approaching you with overly friendly gestures or offering unsolicited assistance. Keep an eye on your belongings and avoid sharing personal information with strangers.
  • Use Secure ATMs: Be cautious when using ATMs and choose those located in secure, well-lit areas. Cover your PIN when entering it, and be sure to take your card and cash immediately after the transaction is complete.
  • Take Precautions in Crowded Places: In crowded areas like markets or public transportation, be aware of pickpocketing attempts. Keep your belongings close to you and consider using a money belt or a secure bag to avoid easy access to your valuables.
  • Research and Follow Local Laws and Customs: Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs before your trip. Respect the local culture, traditions, and customs, including dress codes in religious or conservative areas.
  • Avoid Drinking Tap Water: It’s advisable to drink bottled or filtered water to prevent any stomach-related issues during your trip. Stick to bottled water and avoid ice cubes or drinking from tap sources.
  • Stay Informed About Current Events: Keep yourself updated on any current events or situations that may affect your travel plans. Follow the advice of local authorities and stay informed about any potential safety concerns in the areas you plan to visit.
  • Secure Your Accommodation: Choose accommodations that have good security measures in place, such as secure entrances, safes, and reliable locks. Use caution when sharing personal information or room details with strangers.
  • Travel Insurance: It’s essential to have travel insurance that provides adequate coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings. Make sure to review the policy details and carry a copy of the insurance documents with you.

By following these safety tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Argentina. Remember, exercising common sense, remaining vigilant, and being aware of your surroundings are key to ensuring a worry-free travel experience.



Argentina is a captivating country that offers a wealth of experiences for travelers. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant streets of Buenos Aires, marveling at the natural wonders of Patagonia, or immersing yourself in the rich culture and traditions, Argentina has something to offer everyone.


By following this comprehensive budget travel guide, you can make the most of your trip to Argentina. From preparing for your journey and understanding the currency exchange rates to navigating transportation options and finding suitable accommodations, every aspect of your trip is covered. Delve into Argentina’s delightful cuisine, indulge in outdoor adventures, and explore unique shopping opportunities to truly immerse yourself in the Argentine culture.


Remember to prioritize safety and be mindful of your surroundings while enjoying everything Argentina has to offer. By taking necessary precautions and being aware of local customs and laws, you can enjoy a worry-free travel experience and make lasting memories.


So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to embark on a remarkable journey through the enchanting landscapes, captivating culture, and warm hospitality of Argentina. Your Argentine adventure awaits!