Argentina is a fascinating destination to take a Spanish course. It’s a large and beautiful country; unique in many ways. If you are about to travel to Argentina for your study abroad trip, we have prepared this checklist for you. We hope it will help you planning en packing for your trip to get the most out of your Spanish studies in Buenos Aires and your Argentina experience!
When to go: the climate in Argentina
Argentina is a big, long country so the weather in the north is completely different from the weather in the south. In Argentina you can find it all: from steamy rainforest climates to arid deserts, to mild climates, to the perfect location for skiing!
The city of Buenos Aires has a friendly climate with the mild fall (April) and spring (October) and relatively hot summer (January and February)). The south of Argentina is way colder then the north. Overall the nicest time to visit the country is between the months of November and March. This is also high season, so the prices for tours and hotels will be a bit higher than during mid and low season; the prices for Spanish courses in Buenos Aires will remain the same during one calendar year.
Visas for Argentina
Most travelers to Argentina don’t need a pre-arranged visa to enter the country. If you are a citizen of one of the countries that do not need a visa, you simply arrive in Argentina with your valid passport. The immigrations officer will stamp your passport to allow you to stay in the country for 90 days (as a tourist). A return ticket may also be required (but not often). If you wish to stay longer than 90 days, you have 3 options to extend your visa.
Anyone with a United States, Canadian and Australian nationality flying into Buenos Aires has to pay the reciprocity fee, equivalent to the entrance fees those countries charge to Argentine visitors. The current amounts vary between 75 – 170 USD and you need to pay this BEFORE arrival to Buenos Aires. One way to avoid this reciprocty fee is by flying into other points of entry where no reciprocity fee is required, yet, such as Bariloche, Mendoza, El Calafate, Ushuaiaor Iguazu.
If you are traveling to Argentina but do not plan on leaving Buenos Aires, you don’t need any special vaccinations. For other parts in the country, such as Iguazu Falls, you may need hepatitis A and B, plus you might consider taking prescription medicine to prevent malaria before, during, and after your trip. Also yellow fever is a risk in certain parts of Argentina, but again, it all depends on where you are going and for how long . If you only come to study Spanish in Buenos Aires, there is no need for any vaccinations at all.
Argentina is a big, long country (in fact it is the 7th biggest country in the world) and has lots of different climates. Traveling across Argentina is like traveling to four different countries and climates so pack, and prepare to use layers! The north of Argentina (the dessert), can be amazingly hot but if you are planning to go to the south as well, you need to be prepared differently; crampons, trekking poles and an ice axes are necessary. Make sure to pack as lightly as you can with adequate layering options available.
Money in Argentina
Back in the days, Argentina was much cheaper than it is now. There is a very high inflation right now, increasing week after week. The official exchange rate is very low: 1 US dollar = 5.7 pesos. However, if you change your dollars on the free market for what’s called the ‘blue’ exchange rate, you get twice as much pesos! At the moment of writing, the ‘blue’ exchange rate is 1 USD$ – 12 pesos! This blue rate is supposed to represent the real value of the Argentine peso in relation to the dollar. Be aware: if you want to take profit of this, you have to bring the dollars from your home country! Within Argentina there is no way to get cash dollars: only Argentina pesos come out of the ATM machines!
Have you booked a Spanish course with AMAUTA and you have specific or personal questions about the preparation of your trip to Argentina? Please never hesitate to Contact us.