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Argentina is a colourful country, rich in culture and heritage. The epic Iguazu waterfall tumbles spectacularly along the Brazilian border, the Iberá wetlands shelter capybaras and giant otters, the mountains are blanketed with snow each winter – the favourite haunts of skiers and snowboarders – while the wonders of Patagonia call out to hikers from all walks of life.
If you are planning a visit to Argentina, then here are some helpful tips you should know before you travel.
Argentine life runs to a different schedule than you may be used to… Typically, Argentinians do not start their day until around 10am, as they usually don’t tumble into bed until 1am or later. If you want to consume the best breakfasts, and wish to truly experience their nightlife, then prepare for late nights and late mornings.
The true sensual tango – known as one of the most famous aspects to Argentine culture – used to be far from glamorous. In fact, while being able to dance the tango is considered a classy and sophisticated skill today, it originated in the brothels of Argentina and symbolised the relationship between prostitutes and their pimps. It only truly gained a new reputation when tango musician Carlos Gardel was at the height of his fame.
Argentina is incredibly diverse. As a result, each region offers a different highlight to wonder at. If you’re a history lover then make sure you stop off in Salta, a little town with its colonial roots are still very much present today. Nature lovers should head to the Iberá wetlands – Argentina’s answer to the Pantanal or Okavango Delta. Buenos Aires provides all that those seeking a buzzing nightlife could find, Mendoza gives you a taste of the winelands and Patagonia delivers vast open spaces and ample skiing opportunities… the list goes on and just as varied.
Argentina is Spanish-speaking, and it will help you a lot to learn a few key phrases before you arrive. Most Argentinians are bilingual in the key tourist destinations, however some basic phrases like buenos días, buenas tardes and buenas noches will go a long way in helping you fit in with the locals.
Before you make your way to Argentina, you should also try to brush up on some of its history. The country and its people have survived colonialism, dictatorship, wars, economic crises and more. Every corner of Argentina offers a sliver of this tumultuous history and to really understand the culture and feel it come alive, a few moments spent reading up on past events will really enrich your visit.
Greeting people in Argentina may be a little different to what you are used to. Most Argentinians say hello and goodbye with a kiss on the cheek. All you need to do is touch your cheek to those of your friends’ and you are good to go.
Argentina is one of the best wine producing regions in the world. If you love wine, prepare to indulge yourself in some of the best the world has to offer. Make sure you visit Mendoza for the best wineries, especially when it comes to Malbec!
It’s most likely that while visiting in Argentina you will find yourself dining out. It’s important to keep in mind that in Argentina, you have to ask for the bill or cuenta when you are ready to leave, and it is customary to leave a cash tip of around 10% on the table.
Argentina is home to one of the biggest and widest avenues in the world called 9 de Julio. Make sure to visit this massive street and see how many lights it takes you to cross from one side to the other…
If you have a passion for culture, art, history, nature, football and food then Argentina is calling your name.
Make it happen
If you would like to plan a trip to Argentina, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our local experts. They can plan your perfect tailor-made holiday, taking in any element of Argentina that you would like to see. If you would like to speak to someone in the TravelLocal office, then please call +44 (0) 117 325 7898.