Escorted tours to Argentina
Language: The official language spoken in Argentina is Spanish, although many other languages are spoken throughout the country.
Time Zone: Argentina Standard Time = GMT-3, Argentina Summer Time = GMT-4
Tipping: In restaurants tipping is optional, but common practice is around 10%. In hotels, a peso per bag is the minimum you should tip for taking luggage to your room. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip however almost everybody will leave the coins change.
Argentina - an introduction
From mesmerising tango displays and world-class wine to the plains of Patagonia and the thundering majesty of Iguazu Falls, Argentina is a pleasure to the senses, a sensory hit to the eyes, ears and nose that is just as alluring to its visitors as its juiciest steak.
An Argentina escorted tour will capture the very best that the country has to offer. Start with capital Buenos Aires where you can dance the night away in a sultry tango hall, take in European architecture on a sightseeing tour or admire the colourful houses of shabby neighbourhood La Boca. The district of San Telmo will afford a slice of the best street-side tango and Argentinian steak you'll find, while the architecturally awing and elegant Recoleta Cemetery is a sight in itself, home to the final resting place of Eva Peron and a number of Argentina's dignitaries.
The 275-strong waterfall Iguazu Falls over a distance of two miles is another big-hitter and well justified as one of the great natural wonders of the world. An exhilarating boat ride to the mouths of some of the falls allow you to get up close and personal (and drenched – don't forget your waterproofs!).
Mendoza is another top stop on an escorted Argentina tour with its high-altitude, world-renowned vineyards picturesquely nestled in the foothills of the Andes. The area produces 70% of the country's wine and wine-tasting here is a must. Further south lies El Calafate, a stone's throw from the magnificent, ever-shifting Perito Moreno Glacier. This spectacular 18-mile long river of ice is the centrepiece of Los Glaciares National Park and a series of walkways allows visitors to be positively dwarfed by the remarkable sight.
At Argentina's tip is Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city and base for the Tierra del Fuego national park, a 60km park home to amazing species and dramatic scenery boasting waterfalls, glaciers, forests and several species including the native Andean condor. From here, you can cruise the beautiful Beagle Channel.
Tours to Argentina capture the very best highlights of all this country has to offer both on and off the beaten track and include a full touring itinerary and admission where stated, state and local taxes, hotel porterage, scheduled and internal flights and accommodation on a B&B basis, as well as some included lunches. Most tours also take in nearby Brazil and Chile. A tour manager and local guides mean you'll be in good hands throughout your trip, allowing you to explore freely whilst still in the safety of a group.
Things to do
Argentina is an amazing country, bordering Chile, packed with many places to visit and lots of things to do. Here is a snippet of some must-see areas:
Argentina's elegant capital sitting on the estuary of the River Plate has so much to offer. Visit Plaza de Mayo, home to the Casa Rosada and stunning Cathedral of Buenos Aires or take in the rows of brightly coloured houses in La Boca. Watch street tango in Sel Telmo, sail though the maze of channels on a riverboat from Tigre and dont miss Recoleta, one of the most architecturally amazing cemetaries you'll ever visit.
At the foot of the Andes you'll find Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina. Embark on a tour of the wine region and have a tasting or two while you're there. There are also several museums where you can learn a bit about the history of winemaking in Mendoza or view fascinating artwork.
On the border of Argentina and Brazil you'll find the spectacular Iguazu Falls, taller than Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls. You can compare each side of the falls and decide for yourself as to which you prefer. On the Argentinian side you are surrounded by beautiful rainforest and you'll be able to take an unforgettable and exhilarating boat ride up close and personal to the falls.
Shared by Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is home to El Calafate, the capital of glaciers. The Glaciar Perito Moreno is a must-see, standing around 200ft tall. You can also take a cruise on Lake Argentino to Onelli and the Upsala Glacier and jump on board a catamaran to the north of the lake.
Thinking of travelling to Argentina? Check out the average temperatures for when you plan to visit courtesy of BBC Weather
Tips & Advice
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Argentina, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Before you travel to Argentina it is wise to contact your local GP to check whether you need any additional vaccinations or treatment whilst you are away. Argentinian medical facilities are good but also expensive and the public hospitals tend to be crowded.
Always make sure you have arranged adequate medical travel insurance before you leave which can cover the cost of treatment and repatriation.
Dengue fever can occur throughout the year in Argentina.
If you need to contact the emergency services dial either 911 or 107 to ask for an ambulance.
Theft, bag snatching and armed robberies are the most common crimes in Argentina and it is advised to be careful in restaurants and internet cafes, on public transport and in tourist areas in particular. Steer clear of carrying large sums of cash or jewellery and keep in well-lit areas in the evenings. Tourists are a popular target for thieves; often they attempt to distract you whilst another person robs you. Additionally, posing as hotel guests to snatch bags and cutting open handbags in crowded places can occur.
In Buenos Aires and Mendoza in particular, passports are a common item for thieves to steal, so it is best to leave them in a hotel safe and always have a copy of your details with you. You should also keep alert whilst using ATMs, as "express kidnappings" have been known, where criminals hold victims whilst they empty their bank account and then the victim is released.
If you're venturing off out away from the group, only use pre-booked taxis and "radio taxis" which have the company logo on the back passenger door. Also verify the identity of your courier if being met at the airport or use a "remise" service from the official stand at the airport.
All crimes should be reported. Buenos Aires has a 24-hour helpline in on telephone number 101, and multilingual free tourist assistance is available on 0800 999 5000. In Mendoza, phone (0261) 413 2135 for the tourist police.
Local Laws and Customs
The main law to be aware of is not to engage in any use of drugs, as possession of any quantity can result in a prison sentence.
No visa is required to travel to Argentina as a tourist unless travelling on and Emergency Travel Document. A British passport will allow you 90 days in the country, and your passport should be valid for the time you are in Argentina.
Evidence of an onward travel, i.e. a return ticket, is often required. All flights should be booked prior to travelling to Argentina as you may be refused to board without evidence of onward travel.
Any other nationality looking to visit Argentina must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about visiting Argentina, please see the official tourism website at argentina.travel