This article has information on border crossings, driving rules, roads and gas prices, camping and hotels.
- Population: 40,482,000
- Capital: Buenos Aires
- Fun Fact: The name Argentina (from Latin argentum: silver) was first used extensively in the 1612 book Historia del descubrimiento, población, y conquista del Río de la Plata (History of the discovery, population, and conquest of the Río de la Plata) by Ruy Díaz de Guzmán, naming the territory Tierra Argentina (Land of Silver).Spanish Whats Our Name
Border Crossing Information
- Vehicle Title
- Proof of insurance (insurance CANNOT be purchased at some borders between Bolivia and Argentina)
Currently there are no costs if you are driving. If you are flying into the country, the fees are as follows:
The Argentine Government is charging a reciprocity fee to all citizens of the United States, Canada and Australia who enter Argentina. Starting September 1st, 2012, American, Canadian and Australian passport holders visiting Argentina will be required to pay the reciprocity fee online at the following site: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/
The fees are:
- Australia: USD $100 (single entry only)
- Canada: USD $75 (single entry only)
- United States: USD $160
Rates subject to modification based upon reciprocity. Payment can be made in Argentine Pesos, United States Dollars, credit/debit cards, or traveler's checks.
First go to migracion to have your passport stamped. They will check to make sure you have appropriate exit stamps from the country you just left. With passport stamped, head to the Aduana to get the car import papers. They will need your passport and vehicle title to process this paperwork. No photocopies needed. Once the paperwork is complete they will thoroughly inspect your car (not sure what they are looking for) and then you're on your way.
- Temporary Vehicle Import Permit
There should be no costs
First go through migraciones to have your passport stamped with an exit stamp, then to the aduana to surrender your vehicle import permit. If you plan on re-entering Argentina at a later date, you cannot keep your vehicle import permit to reuse later.
Driving to Ushuaia
Reaching Ushuaia, Argentina and the end of the road is a big milestone for many roadtrippers. To do this it is necessary to drive through a small section of Chile. If you leave 10-11 hours, it is possible to leave Rio Gallegos, Argentina, and reach Ushuaia, Argentina, even with the 2 border crossings in the same day. Driving south from Rio Gallegos you will soon reach the first Argentina-Chile border. It is an efficient and speedy process, but you do have to go through the exit procedure above, and the entry procedure for [ Chile]. Once in Chile, you will cross the Straights of Magellan to arrive in Tierra del Fuego. The car ferry costs 13,000 Chilean pesos (but you can also pay in Argentinian pesos or US dollars). Keep your receipt as you can get a discount on some of the boat trips from Ushuaia. After the ferry the road soon turns to gravel and it is about 100 km to the next Chilean-Argentinian border. There are no gas stations along this route in Chile, so be sure to fill up in Rio Gallegos (or Rio Grande if you are driving north from Ushuaia). The second border crossing is efficient and quick as well. The road turns back to pavement in Argentina, and it is about a 3 hour drive to Ushuaia from the border.
Roads and Driving
In general the roads in Argentina are excellent - paved, multiple lanes, good signs, fast speed limits. If you head in to the mountains or less traveled paths though, the roads can quickly turn gravel. Ruta 3 is paved almost the entire way from Ushuia to Buenos Aires, and Ruta 40 is paved intermitently, but in general is in good condition between Mendoza and Esquel.
Unlike most other countries, Argentina requires you to carry the following in your car:
- 2 Hazard Triangles (1 for the front, 1 for the rear)
- Rigid tow bar
- Fire extinguisher (with the pressure needle pointing to the green)
- First Aid kit
- Tow rope
- A White Sheet (so if you're in an accident they can cover you up) I kid you not! Although we have never been asked for ours we have met people that have.
(This information is based on 2 guide books and 1 mechanics opinion. Another person tells me that he never carries a rigid towbar but I am still in Bs As so yet to experience the full anality of Argentine police.)
(19-05-2010 addition): I am a native Argentinean and have done USA-Argentina twice, going for my third one next year. I had never heard about the rigid tow bar and the white sheet requirements. I have never seen a local carrying either one of them either...As far as I know, only the fire extinguisher, triangle hazards, and first aid kit are required by law. There has been rumors about an addition to these requirements lately, in regards to a fluorescent vest that you are supposed to wear in case of an accident, break down, etc. (like in some parts of Europe), but I have not confirmed if this is indeed required yet.
Unleaded gas is referred to as 'nafta'
- Super (95 octane) 3.539 Arg pesos/liter
- Normal (85 octane) 2.999 Arg pesos/liter
- Diesel 2.749 Arg pesos/liter
Gas is cheaper in Patagonia than the rest of the country:
- Super 2.679 Arg pesos/liter
- Diesel 2.524 Arg pesos/liter
--Updated September 2009
Camping and Hotels
Camping is popular in Argentina. Most towns have a nice municipal campground, as well as many private campgrounds. It's usually a matter of asking around to find good camping sites. Many YPF and Petrobras gas stations also have free camping areas (or will let you sleep in your car if you are so equipped) - the campsites often with grills, many stations have free hot showers and often wifi as well. It's definitely worth asking if you feel like keeping it cheap or you are in the middle of nowhere. Most gas stations also supply hot water for mate/thermos refills - sometimes it's free, usually it's 1 peso per fill (although if you're watching your budget you can keep the button pressed and switch out containers easily) great to have a thermos of hot tea/coffee/chocolate on those long cold drives through Patagonia. Many of the smaller cities in Argentina are very safe and parking your car on the street is not a problem (unlike the rest of Latin America)
San Telmo Loft Located at 1131 Paseo Colón, San Telmo. Fun, hip vacation rentals in Buenos Aires’ most authentic neighborhood. Apartments come with a cell phone, cable TV, speakers, WiFi, AC and heaters, linens and towels, a fully equipped kitchen (with a microwave), guidebooks, adaptors for electrical devices, and owners who love sharing their knowledge of Buenos Aires.
--Posted by Rochelle and Nick
The Cordoba region has tons of camping possibilities, although the capital city itself is quite difficult to find - there is a municipal camping, services are not great, and you are still pretty far from the city center. Camping La Florida in Villa General Belgrano is a good place to leave your vehicle if you are looking for vehicle storage in this region.
Paradise Apart Hotel has heat, AC, pool, parking, a lovely garden terrace, small kitchens and good wifi. The owners are great too. Juan B. Justo 125, about 5 blocks from Plaza Independencia, [email protected], 0261 425196
Trevelin is a great little town and serves a fantastic tea at their many tea houses - bread, cakes, scones, tea, the whole works. Two recommended places are:
- Hostel Casaverde - tel/fax: 54.02945.480091 email: [email protected] visit their website - on a hill above town, dorms and separate rooms, wonderful owners
- Cabanas Nueva Era - Molino Viejo 361, (02845)-480295- cabins with kitchen, separate bathroom and bedroom, very nice.
Hotels are pricey in Ushuaia. It's worth stopping at the tourist office as they have a good lists of hotels and B&Bs (with prices listed as well as amenities- ie laundry, Wifi, parking, etc). They will call around for you as well to check availability. If you are there in the high season (December-February), booking ahead is advisable. In the low season most of the campgrounds are either closed or have no facilities, so camping can be tough. You can camp in the National Park if you don't mind not having a bathroom or access to water.
Visiting Ushuaia? You can get your passport stamped at the tourist information center in town.