Private Journeys

Trailblazer Argentina: Road to the Andes

15 days from £3,449pp

Argentina

Salta

Essentials

Transport

6 transfers; car hire for 8 days; 3 internal flights

Accommodation

Hotels are of a comfortable mid-range standard, all with on-site restaurant facilities.
Your estancia near Buenos Aires is family-owned property and meals are included. Please see the itinerary for more details.

Meals

Breakfast daily; lunch day 2, dinner days 1 and 2.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners; their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by clients on their return.

Summary Of Nights

15 days; 14 nights. Estancia La Bandada (2), Salta (1), Purmamarca (2), Salta (1), Cafayate (3), Puerto Iguazu (3), Puerto Madero (2)

Currency

The unit of currency is the Argentine Peso (AR$).

Daily Spend

A guideline budget of around £40 per person per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more. Allow around US$100 to cover fuel.

How To Take It

Argentina is cash-orientated, although in Buenos Aires and main tourist centres cards are widely used. In remote areas you may find only cash is accepted. It’s best to take US Dollars cash and change these into Pesos within Argentina. This can be done at a Casa de Cambio (passport needed) and at some hotels. Many (mid-range and up) restaurants will also accept US Dollars for payment and give you change in Pesos. Tips are always paid in cash, even if you pay for a meal using a card.
Although ATMs are available in Argentina some clients have reported difficulties withdrawing cash so it’s best not to rely on them. Local ATM fees can be high and the amount you can withdraw is usually much lower than in the UK.
Check your insurance limit for carrying cash and avoid having lots of Pesos left over: these are accepted at the duty-free shop in Buenos Aires airport but outside of Argentina it’s hard

Recommended Tipping

Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. You should ensure you have travel insurance with coverage for all expenses associated with Covid-19.
Journey Latin America’s recommended insurance company is Campbell Irvine, and their medical and repatriation cover is handled by International Medical Assistance.
Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
Car insurance:
Your trip is based on a medium category 2WD vehicle. Limited collision damage waiver and vehicle theft protection (CDW/TP) cover is included. There may be an excess payable but additional CDW/TP cover with zero excess can usually be purchased at additional cost. Please check the level of your coverage with us when making your booking. We strongly recommend you consider buying your own car hire excess waiver insurance policy before you travel: these are widely available from insurance companies in the UK. All incidents involving collision, robbery and theft must be reported to the police and a report obtained.

An international driving licence is recommended for Argentina. Since 8 June 2015 no paper counterpart of UK driving licences is required but you need to apply to the DVLA for a code. This may be required by the rental company when you collect your car. Please check https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes for further details.

You will need to return the car to the specified office at the end of the rental period. If you are leaving on a morning flight we advise you to do this the day before you depart.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey Grade

The self-drive element of this holiday will suit independent-minded clients seeking the freedom to explore without the support of local guides and drivers but with the security of pre-booked accommodation. You should be confident to navigate along roads outside the UK, driving on the right. Some Spanish as well as mechanical knowledge, for example the ability to change a tyre is highly recommended. We advise you to let us know if you have a strong preference for automatic or manual transmission as vehicles supplied can vary. You will receive basic written directions and we will send you our helpful tips specific to driving in Argentina.

There’s about 1000km of driving – 850km on paved highway, the rest on ripio (gravel) roads. A 2-wheel drive vehicle is sufficient to complete the route but a 4×4 is recommended if you’re planning to take the longer route between Salta and Cafayate via Molinos, especially in the rainier months (Jan-Mar) and gravel stretches of the Calchaquies Valleys can become more challenging. Please speak to us if you wish to upgrade to a 4WD.

Petrol is easy to come by in Salta and Cafayate – elsewhere be sure to keep an eye on your fuel tank and fill up where possible as you won’t find any service stations in the countryside.

If you have a disability or any other requirements, please let us know.

Climate

The regions of Argentina featured on this holiday can be visited year round. In Buenos Aires, October to November and March to April see temperatures between 15 and 25°C and a good deal of sunshine. January to February is hot, with temperatures over 30°C.

In sub-tropical Iguazú December to March are the hottest and most humid months, with temperatures sometimes reaching 40°C, and rain which falls in heavy showers. From June to September, temperatures are more moderate (18-23°C) and there is plenty of sunshine, but cold fronts can usher in periods of up to several days of cloud and drizzle and distinctly chilly temperatures.

Salta has plenty of sun throughout the year but it can be cool in winter, but it is drier with little rain falling Apr-Oct. Jan-Feb is the wettest period. April, May and June is an especially beautiful time to visit this region.

Altitude

This itinerary does not include any time sleeping at high altitude (over 2,500m). Salta is 1,152m, Purmamarca 2,324m and Cafayate 1,683m. In the Salta region you may pass through areas of high altitude on day trips, such as Humahuaca at 3,012m.

Clothing And Special Equipement

In the southern hemisphere summer (Dec-Mar) it will be hot in both the cities – Buenos Aires and Salta – and the countryside, so take loose-fitting light clothing for maximum comfort. An umbrella offers good protection from tropical showers. You will need sunglasses and head protection. In the shoulder seasons (Apr-May and Oct-Nov) the weather should be similar to a good British summer, while the winter (Jun-Sept) is more like British autumn or spring, so you need clothes appropriate to those climatic conditions.
At the Iguazú Falls you can get very wet from the spray. Some visitors like to take dry clothes in a dry bag.
If you plan to go to good restaurants or out on evening entertainment trips, you might bring something a bit smarter as well (although formal attire will not be required).
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.

Vaccination

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Country info

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?

Spanish.

What is Argentina's official currency?

Argentine Peso (updated Oct 2019)

Argentina is cash-orientated, although in Buenos Aires and main tourist centres cards are widely used. In remote areas you may find only cash is accepted. It’s best to take US Dollars cash and change these into Pesos within Argentina. This can be done at a Casa de Cambio (passport needed) and at some hotels. Many (mid-range and up) restaurants will also accept US Dollars for payment and give you change in Pesos. Tips are always paid in cash, even if you pay for a meal using a card.
Although ATMs are available in Argentina some clients have reported difficulties withdrawing cash so it’s best not to rely on them. Local ATM fees can be high and the amount you can withdraw is usually much lower than in the UK. When using an ATM with a debit card you may be offered a choice of account type from which to make your withdrawal. Select ‘credit card’ (not ‘checking account’ or ‘savings account’ options).
Check your insurance limit for carrying cash and avoid having lots of Pesos left over: these are accepted at the duty-free shop in Buenos Aires airport but outside of Argentina it’s hard to exchange unwanted Pesos.

What's the time difference between Argentina and UK?

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

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office base
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • Land transfers as described
  • Car hire days 3-10.
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Tour of the Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions*
  • *Where a local company organises an optional excursion it does so as a principal and not as an agent of Journey Latin America.
  • NB Occasionally local governments may impose additional levies to taxes already paid on tickets, if this should happen, the payment is made locally.

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office base
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • Land transfers as described
  • Car hire days 3-10.
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Tour of the Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions*
  • *Where a local company organises an optional excursion it does so as a principal and not as an agent of Journey Latin America.
  • NB Occasionally local governments may impose additional levies to taxes already paid on tickets, if this should happen, the payment is made locally.

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

Papagaio

Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant

    It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    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 Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

Meet the team