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We were in Argentina a total amount of 31 days and the first thing I have to say is… Was not enough. Argentina is a MASSIVE country, with tons of places to discover, a hole spectrum of colours and diversity, from the most intense cold winter to the arid desert. It’s people changes as the landscape does but as everywhere in Latin America they are always warm and welcoming.
Based on our own experience, we will leave here some data and we hope it’s helpful and solve some of your questions.
First of all it’s important to mention two realities the country crosses right now: Argentina is an expensive country if you don’t bring dollars or you change them on the wrong way (give a look to the dollar blue)… But, Argentina is a cheap country if you do the opposite.
How to arrive, bureaucracy and health:
Easiest way is to find a cheap flight, I know some people that crossed the ocean on a cargo boat with their car but I have no knowledge of the procedure. As always I recommend search engines such as Govolo or Skyscanner where you can find the best combinations to create your trip. For example we found ours from London to Buenos Aires and return from Bogotá to Madrid for only 590 euros.
If you are concern about visas, give a look to VISAHQ depending on your nationality you will have more or less days open.
If you come from Europe doctors will try to wash your brain and try to push you on tu Malaria pills. Keep in mind Argentina is not a high risk country and Malaria pills are well known for their side effects. It means getting a pill once per day with horrible consequences such as vomits and diarreas… probably not a pleasant trip.
Budget it’s always something really personal but if you want to give a look to ours just go right here: Budget to travel South America keep in mind we changed our dollars on the wrong way and this increased our prices.
We needed a total of 20 dollars per person per day and we barely stepped on a bus! But, we had the luxury to rent a car for a week to travel the north of Argentina.
We base our accommodation in Argentina in Couchsurfing and Camping, sometimes we even did wild camping (of course, for free) with no trouble at all. Our last nights we slept on the car we rented.
Buenos Aires took a big part of out budget even keeping in ming we were guests on a couchsurfers house (lovely ones).
Regarding to campings most of them will charge you between 25 to 40 Argentinian Pesos per person. You can find cheaper and also more expensive, but this is the average. We have NO experience with hostels in the country.
Since we mostly Hitchhiked, most of our food came from supermarkets and we cooked ourselves, we barely tasted the Streetfood besides a couple of burgers and some other small snacks in the cities. Usually for a couple of days we spent around 100 pesos (breakfast, launch and dinner), and even then food and drinks were the most expensive thing on our trip. A total of 77 Argentinian pesos per day (for both).
Bus rides in Argentina are pretty expensive but they count with all “luxury” we are not talking about falling pieces or uncomfortable seats. Usually they cover really long distances so, prices are high.
We moved hitchhiking but used a couple of bus rides to cover part of the country, if you are interested in Hitchhiking please give a look to this post (Spanish).
Talking about prices, a bus from Buenos Aires to Rosario (about 300 km) will cost about 180 pesos. In any case here some links you will find useful for bus travel in Argentina: http://viajeenbusporargentina.blogspot.co.uk/ , http://www.omnilineas.com.ar/ , http://www.plataforma10.com/
We rented a car for our last days in the country (Salta, Jujuy) and covered a total amount of 1600 km on it. The rental cost was 1280 pesos for 4 days and a full gas deposit was about 210 pesos (January 2013).
When to travel?
This depends on your intentions, people that lives on the north hemisphere should keep in ming that seasons here work the opposite so, if you travel on June – July you will find yourself in the middle of the winter. If you travel in December will be summer. Each seasons has its advantages, travelling south Hitchhiking will be pretty rough during the winter even in January we had to sleep on our tent with all our cloths on top once we arrives to the southern point of the country.
Keep also in mind high seasons, and, as a personal recommendation, don even step on Bariloche. (personal opinion) over priced, over known.
Hope this can be helpful and don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any related question 🙂