Argentina

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Overview

As the second largest country by land mass in South America, Argentina has a lot to offer the traveler, especially the over-lander. From the isolation and dramatic scenery of Southern Patagonia, or the bluest blue lakes of the NeuquĂ©n, to the stunning red earthy landscapes of the Andean North-West. There is many vast lands to discover. Mix that with different cultures and you’ll never be short of a smile whilst you motorcycle up and down Argentina.

Interactive Map

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Argentina

Epic Rides for Bikers

Must See Sites

Summary Table

Argentina (as of 2017) Rating Why
Money The Argentinan peso is in crisis (2017). Inflation is high and obtaining Pesos from ATMs is difficult. Cards are only accepted in Major cities. Bring USD from outside Argentina and exchange to Pesos at high end hotels and Casinos (at a better rate than xe.com). Most banks charge 98 pesos as a fee to get any amount of cash out and the ATM will most likely be out of cash anyway. Cards (mostly VISA) are excepted at fuel stations. If heading to remote places of Argentina, try and have some spare reserves of Pesos. Some towns around Patagonia for example have limited ATMs.
Accommodation Accommodation options are plenty in Argentina. Hotels, Hostels, Couch-surfing and wild camping (outside main cities of course). However, hostels and hostels are more expensive than neighboring countries in South America.
Food The Argentinean famous 'Asado' (Grilled meat) was ok. the quality of the meat was not great as it is custom here to eat all parts, so expect alot of fat in the meat. The rest is very greasy pizza with waaay too much cheese and fried food.
Drinks The Malbec wine brings up this score from a thumbs down to average. Though it won;t be as cheap as you think. Another classic is Fernet and cola. (Actually Italian). Not for me.. The highlight for the beers is the Patagonia brand. Though again it's pricey
Nightlife (Is it Party time?) Buenos Aires and Cordoba were the highlights. be sure to get you pesos out from the ATMs well before Friday afternoon or you'll be waiting inline for hours. See money section
Motorbike Parts (Availability, cost of Adv Bikes Parts) Parts / Oil are horrendously expensive. Expect to pay 4 times the price compared to USA / Europe. If you need tyres or parts, your best bet is to buy parts etc in neighboring Chile.
Petrol (Accessibility, Cost and Quality) The quality of gasoline is good, unfortunately it is expensive for south american standards. Also in Patagonia, the distances between stations might require you to carry a small can. (depending on your tank size) plan ahead
Fun Factor on the Road (Did the roads put a smile on my face) Compared to say Chilean Patagonia the roads in Argentina and very straight and boring. be prepared for long rides with nothing around. In the north of Salta, the roads are much more exciting
Internet (Wifi Access / Local SIM Usage) Local SIM cards are cheap but prepaid bundles are stuck in 1992. 50mb bundles. Wifi is available in most places but it also very slow. Claro Network was the best for coverage

Language

Spanish. However the accent is very different from the more neutral Spanish speaking of say Bolivia, Mexico and Colombia. As someone that is studying Spanish, the accent is more difficult to understand in Argentina. Pronunciation differs between regions in Argentina. Though the good news is that if you can understand the Spanish here you will be fine everywhere else in South America 🙂

English speakers are common in the bigger cities and tourist places like El Chalten and El Calafate.

Safety

Argentina is relatively ‘safe’, see my post on safety in the Americas. Big cities have areas that should be avoided. Any seasoned traveler will have a sense of these areas and should avoid flashing expensive items around. Theft/Pick Pocketing is common in Buenos Aires.

Remote towns are very safe. As for Motobike security, I always try and park the Moto off the street. All places are very accommodating, some will even park the moto in the house 🙂

‘Best Of’ Photo Gallery

My GPS Tracking

This was my path across Argentina. File Download (GPX / KML)