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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Argentina Travel Requirements

Travellers Essentials

Passport valid for 6 months is required by all except nationals of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, Travelers who do not go beyond Argentina and these five countries, may use their national ID cards.

Visa is required by all except the following countries:
(a)Nationals of Andorra, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela and Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) for stays of up to 90 days.

(b)Nationals of Hong Kong (British Nationals Overseas), Jamaica and Malaysia for stays of up to 30 days.

(c)And transit passengers holding confirmed onward or return tickets for travel provided continuing their journey within 6 hours and not leaving the airport.

Social Conventions
The custom of hand- shaking greetings is more common in Argentina than in European countries. Dinner is usually served late, between 2100 and 2200 hour, and properly dressed is expected. The people of Buenos Aires are renowned for being fashion conscious and consequently take great pride in their appearances.

Smoking is not allowed on public transport or in cinemas and theaters. People may be sensitive regarding the Falklands/Malvinas war so avoid casual discussion on this topic. Do not take pictures of any military or police establishments.

Credit cards
Diners Club, American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services that may be available.

Currency Exchange:
While the US Dollar is generally accepted in Argentina, foreign currencies can be exchanged in banks and other authorised cambios (bureaux de change), which are widely available in all the major cities.

Banking hours
Banking hours are open from 1000 to 1500 hour, from Monday to Friday.

Duty Free
The following goods may be imported into Argentina without incurring customs duty:
(a)200 cigarettes and 25 cigars, 1 litter of alcohol, 2kg of foodstuffs, goods value of US$150 (if arriving by land) and US$200 (if arriving by air or sea).

(b)400 cigarettes and 50 cigars, 2 litters of alcohol, 5kg of foodstuffs, and goods to the value of US$300.

Prohibited items
The items are:
(a)Animals and birds from Africa or Asia (except Japan) without prior authorization, parrots and fresh foodstuffs, particularly meat, dairy products and fruit.

(b)Explosives, inflammable items, narcotics and pornographic material.

(c)All gold must be declared. It is advisable to arrange for Customs clearance for expensive consumer items (cameras, typewriters, etc).

Health care:
Medical insurance is recommended as there are no reciprocal health agreements. Medical facilities are generally of a high standard.

Getting There
By Air:
Argentina's national airline is Aerolíneas Argentinas (AR). Other airlines serving Argentina includes Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, South African Airlines and United Airlines.

By Sea:
The main ports are Buenos Aires, Quequen and Bahía Blanca. There are ferry connections down the Parana River from Paraguay and ferries and hydrofoils link Buenos Aires with Montevideo in Uruguay.

By Rail:
The major direct international route is from Buenos Aires to Asuncion in Paraguay. There are also direct rail links with Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. The timetables and journey times are often disrupted and delays can be expected.

By Road:
Argentina has a network of aproximately 217,762km. There are well-maintained road routes from Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile. Coach: Direct daily services between Buenos Aires, Puerto Alegre, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Getting Around
By Air:
Domestic flights from Jorge Newbery and Cordoba to destinations throughout Argentina are run by Aerolíneas Argentinas, Austral and LAPA. Air travel is the most efficient way to get around, but the services are very busy and can be subject to delay. You are advised to book in advance for all flights. Aerolíneas sells a 30-day 'Visit Argentina Pass', with 4-8 coupons for flights within the country.

By Rail:
Due to severe underfunding of State railways and recent privatisation, all longhaul services have been disrupted, although some suburban lines have been greatly improved. The domestic rail network extends over 43,000km, which makes it one of the largest in the world. Children under three travel free and children aged 3-11 pay half fare. There are three classes: air-conditioned, first class and second class. There are restaurant and sleeping facilities for first-class passengers. Low-class rail travel is a good value. Rail travelers are warned that once out of Buenos Aires information is very hard to come by.

By Road:
Major privatisation programs have resulted in many trunk roads being upgraded. Expect tolls on motorways. Rural roads, composed of packed dirt, become impassable after rain. Nonetheless, buses are considered to be a more reliable form of long-distance transport than trains are. Traffic drives on the right.

The metro services in Buenos Aires operate from early morning to late at night on a fixed fare basis, tokens can be purchased at booking offices. Bus services are provided by minibuses operating 24 hours a day on an inexpensive flat fare. However, these are often crowded, particularly at rush hour, but are usually pompt. There are extensive bus services in other towns, including trolleybuses. Taxi's are also available in most cities and large towns, they are usually recognisable by their yellow roofs.

Best Time to Go
If you are going to the far south of Argentina, November to January, is the best time, otherwise anytime from October to May will be a pleasant and warm journey for you, with the very best features of Buenos Aires.

What to Bring
Loose, comfortable clothes, at least a 16 SPF sunscreen and a wide- brimmed hat if you are planning to travel south so thatyou won't get serious sunburn. Argentina is a very photogenic country, so take twice as much films with you.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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