What to pack for a trip to Buenos Aires

September 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A Packing List to cover you in Buenos Aires

what to pack buenos aires

[Photo credit: Salihan Laugesen’s photostream//CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

After ruminating over all the exciting destinations around the planet, you’ve finally decided to travel to Buenos Aires. Great, we know you’ll love it here as much as we do. And though you’ve tossed and turned over your decision, figuring out what to pack can be even more stressful. Start your trip the Argentine way: tranquilo, relax, we’ve got you covered.

Pack light and in season

If you’re coming from the Northern Hemisphere, don’t forget that seasons switch when you cross the equator. Argentina’s summer is from December to March, autumn is March to May, winter spans June through August, and spring blossoms from September into November. While summer can be insufferably humid, and winter bitter cold, the weather is overall quite temperate and these extremes usually last only about a week. Your best bet is to bring layers and peel off or pile on as necessary.

Regarding style, people in Buenos Aires are quite fashionable and trends change every season. Europeans will find the styles quite aligned to their own, but US Americans may want to leave some of their most casual t-shirts and flip-flops at home. Your best bet will be to pack light and buy a few things once you’re in town, if necessary. When in doubt, bring classic, flattering basics and lean toward dressy instead of casual.

These boots were made for walking!

Argentine packing list

[Photo credit: David Avalos’s photostream//CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

Buenos Aires is an incredibly walk-able city, and we recommend taking a private walking tour to best get to know the place. Without a doubt, the most important thing you can bring to BA is a comfortable pair of shoes.

Having said that, if you are planning to do some trekking in one of the more rugged regions of Argentina, know that hiking boots will definitely stand out in the fashionable capital. Also, if interested in dancing some Tango, you will want comfortable shoes to learn in before whipping out those ravishing heels to show off your moves. Try some simple flats or pick up some alpargatas once you get here.

A quick reference list of what to pack

Of course, what you pack depends completely on your style, gender, travel tastes, length of stay, and itinerary. But here we’ve compiled a list of essentials to get you started.

Clothing Checklist
Item Description
Comfy walking shoes Absolutely essential
Another pair of nice shoes or sandals Comfortable but more dressy
Plenty of socks and under garments
3 pairs of pants or jeans Good for day and night
A few shirts For every-day wear
2-4 nice blouses or dress shirts For fine dining and tango shows
2 sweaters/sweatshirts One lighter; fleece or wool work great
1 light coat
Pajamas and comfortable clothes For hotel and travel
A hat or scarf
A raincoat or shell For sudden torrential showers

If this seems like little to you, remember you can shop in the city. Below we’ve listed items for the female traveler. Ladies keep in mind that while BA is very cosmopolitan, you are still traveling in a Latin American, mostly Catholic country and should avoid low cut tops or short skirts if you don’t want to attract uncomfortable attention. Showing some skin is not a no-no here, especially in summer, just try to do so tastefully. Women who wear sizes larger than a US dress size 8 will have a challenge finding clothes that fit in BA, as clothes run quite small.

Ladies Clothing
Item Description
2 dresses and/or long skirts keep weather in mind
A couple of tanks for layering
A scarf or two depending on your style
Nice boots/sandals/low heels avoid uncomfortably high heels
Pair of leggins Great for the plane and totally in style
A long shirt To wear over your leggings
1 pair of nice shorts avoid short-shorts and jean shorts

Those who rely on hair dryer should note that the voltage is different in Argentina than in the US, and hair dryers may blow-out (it’s happened to me!). Your hotel should provide a dryer, and if not bring a voltage converter. Buenos Aires uses 220 volts. Your computer, however, is likely dual-voltage and will be fine. Here’s some more information on voltage.

Other items
Item Description
Sunsreen  The sun is strong here
Medicines  Bring any perscriptions you need
Toiletries  Ladies bring feminine products as options are limited
An adapter for electronics  See photo below. Can be purchased here.
A camera  Lots of film and memory!
A good book For the plane and long bus rides
Passport Up to date
Printed receipt of paid entry fee Details here
Reusable waterbottle Try one with a built in filter
Credit/debit card and cash US dollars get a great rate here

Plugs and voltage in Argentina

What not to bring to Argentina

A tip when packing: pack everything you’re planning on taking into your bag. Now reduce that by 20%. You want to leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs. You should also leave valuables at home; flashy jewelry will attract attention on the street in Buenos Aires, and while theft is not out of control here, you wouldn’t want your memory of your travels tainted by a lost heirloom.

Lastly, don’t bring too many gadgets. LandingPadBA has written quite a lot about checking electronics before you travel here, but we think that apart from your computer and camera, you really won’t need anything else. Besides, you’re on vacation — take a break from the screen and engage with the amazing city all around you.

For more information on what to pack, read LandingPadBA’s article What Not to Wear, and check out what people are wearing on the streets of Buenos Aires on On The Corner. Enjoy your trip!

Argentina Reciprocity Entry Fee

June 5, 2013 by · 40 Comments 

No more entry charges for visitors to Argentina from Canada, the US or Australia!

Argentina flag at the border crossing

[Photo credit: http://flic.kr/p/BSihU/ /CC BY 2.0]

*FINAL UPDATE: As of January 1st 2018, the reciprocity fee for Canadian citizens will be rescinded*

*NEW UPDATE: As of July 1st 2017, the reciprocity fee for Australian citizens has been rescinded*

*PAST UPDATE: As of March 24th 2016, the reciprocity fee for US citizens has been rescinded*

While tourists from Canada do not need a visa to enter Argentina, they are charged a so called ‘reciprocity fee’ to enter the country (see update above: this is now only required if entering Argentina before the end of 2017). This is a bit like an entrance fee and is based on the amount Argentinians are charged in visa fees to enter Canada. For this reason, for example, European Union passport holders do not have to pay a reciprocity fee, as there is no charge for Argentinians to visit European Union countries.

The amount charged and the length and conditions of validity is subject to change, so be sure to check for the latest information on reciprocity fee requirements with your embassy before leaving for Argentina. As our last update to this page in July 2017, the reciprocity fee has to be paid online by credit card prior to arrival in Argentina and the printed receipt presented at immigration control. Failure to do so may result in you being returned to the country from which you departed.

The fee is paid via the Argentinian Immigration website. Click on ‘Reciprocity Fee / Tasa Reciprocidad’. A page with explanations in Spanish and English will appear. Read the explanations and click ‘continue’. You will be taken to a Provincia Pagos Migraciones webpage (Banco Provincia is the bank that processes the payment). Next you need to select ‘sign-up’ (in the bottom-left of the page) and enter your details.

Once the payment is complete, remember to print the receipt & keep it with your travel documents/passport when coming to Argentina. If you have any questions, there is further information on the Provincia Pagos Migraciones website, plus they have a phone number on that page in case you need help, or you could even download their badly translated PDF of instructions here. For the fees and length of validity at the time of writing, see below.


*Note: As of January 1st 2018, the reciprocity fee for Canadian citizens will be rescinded*

Amount charged to Canadian citizens (at time of writing): US$ 78 for all points of entry to Argentina (now including cruise ship passengers).

It is a multiple entry fee valid for 10 years (or up to one month before passport expiration date, whatever occurs first) beginning on the date the payment is made. The fee must be paid online prior to arrival in Argentina, and the receipt printed for presentation at immigration control.

The fee must be paid for all points of entry to Argentina (now including cruise ship passengers) – if you are arriving into Argentina before the end of 2017 (see update notes). It must be paid online prior to arrival in Argentina, and the receipt printed for presentation at immigration control.

*Note: As of January 1st 2018, the reciprocity fee for Canadian citizens will be rescinded*


*July 2017 update – the reciprocity fee for Australian citizens has been suspended!*

United States of America

*March 2016 update – the reciprocity fee for US citizens has been suspended!*

PS – Bear in mind…

We have heard reports from tourists coming to Argentina that the Provincia Pagos Migraciones website has been experiencing short periods of down-time and temporary errors, so if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! Also giving it a go in different internet browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer may help if things don’t work the first time round.

Finally, all the above advice is intended as useful information to help visitors to Argentina, however the situation described at the time of going to press may well change and is out of our hands, so although we will do our best to post updates, please do check the official Argentine immigration website for the latest information, and your local embassy/consulate. It is also a good idea to check with your travel agent and/or airline before traveling is you have any doubts.

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