When is the best time to visit Argentina?
Argentina is so large it’s always a good time to go somewhere. The southern hemisphere summer is the reverse of our own, with Dec-Feb being high summer in Patagonia. Spring (Oct-Nov) and Autumn (Mar-Apr) can still be very pleasant and are quieter. While summers in the lake district are reliably warm and sunny, the further south in Patagonia you go the more unpredictable the weather. In Winter (June-Sept) some hotels in Patagonia close, while others stay open for skiers. Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Córdoba enjoy a Mediterranean-type climate, with cool winters and very warm summers. North-west Argentina (Salta and Jujuy) enjoy sunshine and warm temperatures year-round but are influenced by altitude and the high Andes, with occasional cold snaps (June-Sept) and a rainy season (Jan-Feb). Iguazú Falls and Misiones has a subtropical climate, although it can be chilly July-Sept.
For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.
What is the official language of Argentina?
The official language of Argentina is Spanish.
What is Argentina's official currency?
The official currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso.
Cash is king in Argentina, much more so than in the UK and other Latin American countries and you will usually get the best value locally by using cash. In Buenos Aires and some tourist hubs cards are widely accepted but even there you'll find having cash very handy. In more remote areas often only cash is accepted. Taking your funds in a mix of formats (a supply of US$ cash to convert into Pesos locally, and your cards) is usually a good plan.
Money matters in Argentina are a bit complicated due to the unpredictable economic situation and very high inflation. In addition to the official rate of exchange, parallel (unofficial) rates exist within Argentina to convert US dollars into Pesos. It’s a good idea to know the official rate before you go and, when changing money within Argentina, check the rate being offered: there can be a huge difference in your favour if you do your homework.
Changing small amounts at a time is wise both for security and to avoid having lots of Pesos left over (outside of Argentina it’s hard to offload unwanted Pesos). Unlike in other countries, larger dollar bills (US$100, US$50) are favoured. Lower denominations will get lower rates. US dollars cash may be accepted if you are out of Pesos, but again check the rate being used. (Some lower US$ denomination notes are useful for situations where you are out of Pesos and can pay using dollars). It’s harder to change money at weekends, so plan ahead. We always advise against changing money on the street. It's a good idea to check your insurance limits for carrying cash.
Until recently, purchases with credit and debit cards were always processed at the official rate. As of late 2022 regulations have been relaxed for foreigners using cards and you may find some transactions are processed at a better rate called the ‘MEP’. However, this will vary depending on your card provider.
Although ATMs are available some clients have difficulties withdrawing cash so it’s best not to rely on them. Local ATM fees can be high and the amount you can take out is usually much lower than in the UK. At the time of writing, it is not clear what conversion rates are used for ATM transactions.
Tips are always given in cash (even if you pay for a meal using a card).
What's the time difference between Argentina and UK?
The time difference between Argentina and UK is GMT -3 hrs. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep/Oct to early Mar, but not every year.
Which other countries combine well with Argentina?
Chile, accessing the country by crossing the Andes over one of several scenic passes: from Salta in the northwest to the Atacama Desert, from Mendoza to Santiago, via the lakes crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Varas in the lake district and from El Calafate to Torres del Paine in Patagonia; Brazil, via the land crossing at Iguazú.
What are the festivals and other cultural or sporting events in Argentina?
• Tango Festival: Buenos Aires, August.
• Polo Open: Buenos Aires province, weekends in November.
• Gaucho Festivals: The pampas, early November.
How do I adapt to the altitude in Argentina?
Whilst a typical holiday in Patagonia presents no challenges with altitude, Argentina’s north-western provinces offer a taste of the high Andes with some spectacular road trips on offer. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking. We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude. If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude. If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.
Further advice on travel to altitude is available on www.travelhealthpro.org.uk
If you still have questions, please contact us and one of our Travel Experts will be happy to help.
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Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert
Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.