Argentina is a vast country with lots to see and do. One can travel around Buenos Aires to enjoy the wonderful culture and nightlife. Or one can venture outside of the capital to visit sites in Patagonia and other interesting regions of the country. And what’s best is that traveling in Argentina is not at all expensive.
The Costs of Travel in Argentina
A moderate-level hotel room will typically cost about $80 per night. A steak dinner for two with a bottle of wine at a good restaurant is $30. A buffet lunch at a steak house with a choice of two hot entrees is $6 before the customary 10% tip. Breakfast at a cafe of a latte, three small croissant rolls, and a glass of orange juice is $3, and can be even less if you go a block or two off Santa Fe Avenue. Starbucks charges 50% more than that for the latte alone.
Patagonia: A Spectacular Concentration of Wildlife That Should Not Be Missed When You Are Traveling in Argentina
Puerto Madryn, with a population of 60,000, is the jumping-off point for Argentina’s most important wildlife reserve, Península Valdés. It is so important that UNESCO is considering it as a site of universal patrimony. The best time to visit Península Valdés is between September and December, when you can observe whales and watch countless species of marine life cavorting in the sea and on land. Full-day excursions to this remarkable Argentine tourist attraction will cost around $30 and involve a lot of driving over desolate, unpaved roads. But you’ll have the opportunity to view ñandú (ostrich-like birds), guanacos (similar to llamas), gray foxes, armadillos, and mara (hares the size of small deer) in the deserts, in addition to spotting penguins, whales, orcas, elephant seals, and sea lions from the shoreline.
Near Puerto Madryn, the Reserva Provincial Punta Tombo (Punta Tombo wildlife reserve) lets you walk through a magnificent colony of a half-million raucous, squawking Magellanic penguins that flock to its shores every year for mating and chick rearing from September to March. It is the largest colony in the world of the dignified-looking little penguins.
The greatest hiking in the world can be found in El Chaltén, a serene village four hours from El Calafate. Nature lovers traveling in Argentina come here for world-class hiking, glacier trekking, and mountain climbing. The Fitzroy range is one of the most majestic areas of the Andes, and the granite chunk of Cerro Fitzroy and slender spires of Cerro Torre attract serious mountain climbers from all over the world.
Traveling to Tierra del Fuego Is a Visit to “the End of the World”
From Magellan’s 1520 voyage of the discovery to Charles Darwin’s 1834 voyage on the Beagle, Tierra del Fuego has captured the imagination of scientists and explorers. The name Tierra del Fuego was derived from the fires that the Yahganes Indians kept burning day and night in order to keep warm. That prompted European explorers to name their discovery Tierra del Fuego, or “Land of Fire.” The region consists of one large island and numerous smaller ones, mostly uninhabited, at the southern tip of South America. It is separated from the mainland by the Strait of Magellan.
Breathtaking Iguazú Falls Is a Majestic Site for Travelers
Excellent Hotels in Argentina for Tourists
In general, most hotels in Argentina have very high international standards. There are a number of boutique hotels you will find throughout Buenos Aires, at which you can comfortably stay while you are traveling in Argentina. Also, there is always the luxury some can afford at the recently refurbished Alvear Palace, the beautiful Four Seasons, and the recently inaugurated Park Hyatt.
Apartment Rentals for Tourism Visits to Argentina
Unlike in the U.S., there is a very well developed and active market in Argentina for the rental of short-term furnished apartments. Most are in Recoleta and Palermo, because those are the safest and best-located areas for tourists traveling through Argentina. Apartment properties can be rented by the night or by the week, starting from about $300.
So if you think about some of these prices–two people at $500 for a week, or four people for $1,000, comes to about $35 per night per person–you can pay that much in a hostel for a lot less comfort. With a rented apartment, you will have a space two to five times the size of a hotel room with the bonus of a fully equipped kitchen (think cold wine in the refrigerator at grocery store rather than hotel prices). You may also have a balcony or a terrace, which is a perfect complement to the California-like weather of Buenos Aires that helps attract tourism in Argentina. Many times you will also have a 24-hour doorman and many apartments also include a broadband connection, so feel free to bring your computer with you as you travel through Argentina.
You will probably be able to meet some friendly Argentine people in and around your building. You will be surprised at how many speak English and are looking for a chance to practice. These conversations may end up being some of the most memorable parts of your trip.
Bus noise is the downside of traveling in Argentina, at least when you are in Buenos Aires. Seek apartments on higher floors (more light is a bonus), those with double-pane windows, or on the backside of the building.
If you do, in fact, decide to rent an apartment to serve as a base during your travel in Argentina, then you will usually find the terms and conditions are straightforward. Typically, the rental specialist will meet you at the apartment and give you the apartment keys once you have paid for your rental period plus a damage deposit. You will receive a lease and sign an inventory for the property in the apartment. At the end of your stay, your damage deposit will be returned after the inventory is checked.