Getting around Argentina is safe and easy, but it has challenges. Here are some of the best ways to get around Argentina and some tips for using its transportation system.
Flying to and Around Argentina
The country's Capital, Buenos Aires, is the main gateway for international visitors. Its main international airport is Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini Airport, coded EZE. It's about 20 miles from Buenos Aires.
It takes 45 minutes to an hour to reach most of the Capital from there. You will find Uber and Taxis as the most used options by tourists who need to travel to their hotel.
Domestic and international airlines also use Jorge Newbery Airport, known as "Aeroparque." This airport is 15 minutes north of the Rio de la Plata center.
Some of the international airlines serving the country are Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Canada, American Airlines, Avianca, Lufthansa, LAN, and British Airways.
Even though flying is the easiest way to travel across the country, it can also be more expensive. Especially for popular routes such as Buenos Aires to Mendoza.
You should also buy the " Visit Argentina Pass" from Aerolineas Argentinas. Especially if you want to explore the country by flying.
It will give you discounts for all domestic travel.
The good news is that airplanes are not the only way to explore this wonderful country!
Renting a car in Argentina
If you plan to stay in Buenos Aires, renting a car may not be necessary. In my case, I have been able to move around the city by public transportation without any problem.
But if you want to explore the remote areas of Argentina you can rent a car to make the most of your visit!
For those planning to visit Buenos Aires, I recommend not leaving the Federal Capital. Exploring the Conurbano Bonaerense might also be a bad idea, unless you are with a local.
Because like any other big city in the world, Buenos Aires has great places for tourists AND areas you should avoid at all costs!
So while exploring the less urbanized regions of Argentina by car might be a good idea, venturing into a province as large as Buenos Aires without knowing the area might mean exposing yourself to unnecessary risk.
My favorite Buenos Aires neighborhoods are Puerto Madero, Recoleta, Palermo, and Belgrano.
For those who want to go beyond the Capital, I recommend visiting Vicente Lopez and Martinez.
Let's talk now about what type of car you should choose. A 4x4 vehicle might be the best option since some roads are gravel or unpaved.
But let's suppose you are staying in the Capital. In that case, any car will do, as dirt roads are much more common in the more rural regions which are full of natural areas!
Drivers in Argentina drive on the right side of the road, as in the United States and Canada.
It is pretty easy to rent a car, as long as you are at least 21 years old and have a valid driver's license and a passport.
In general, manual rentals are usually cheaper than automatic rentals.
Some cars run on natural gas, called CNG, which is cheaper than gasoline. And others use engines that combine both. During refueling, all passengers must step out of natural gas vehicles as a precaution.
You can rent a car in one of the car rental companies located along airports and major cities. For example, Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, and Avis are good options.
Traveling by Bus
Let's suppose you want to save money on travel. Argentina has dozens of bus companies offering cheap and inexpensive travel. Especially for long-distance travel. Some companies offer the option to spend the night on the route. These transports includes semi-beds and sleeper seats, which may be reclining.
All major cities and towns have a bus station. In Buenos Aires, the Estación Terminal de Omnibus, called the Retiro Bus Station, receives all long-distance buses. From Retiro, you can travel anywhere in Argentina. For this reason, the terminal can be a bit sprawling and chaotic.
Yet, there is a hidden sense of order thanks to its color-coded system. This system determines which regions of the country you can visit with each bus.
For example, while red indicates the country's center, including Buenos Aires Province, dark blue indicates the south, orange the north, light blue the central Atlantic coast, green the northwest, and gray international destinations.
Major bus companies include Singer, and Chevallier, which serves points throughout the country. Other popular companies include Flechabus and Andesmar.
The prices of these companies tend to be quite similar, so I recommend focusing on the quality of their service, internet reviews, and availability during travel time.
In my case, I have had an outstanding experience with these companies, so I recommend traveling with any of them!
You can get your tickets through your travel agency or buy them and download them online. Plataforma10.com and OmniLineas.com.ar are both good options!
These websites allow you to compare the prices and routes of each company in English or Spanish. Unlike other pages that are only in Spanish.
Traveling by Train
One of the cheapest ways to travel through Argentina is by train. Trains are inexpensive and much faster than any other means of transportation. They allow you to travel long distances in a very short time.
But compared to other major European cities, Argentina's rail system leaves much to be desired. In fact, it’s decimated after decades of neglect and privatization in the 1990s.
Today, the rail system is undergoing renovation and is trying to improve its service. From Buenos Aires, you can travel to Cordoba, Mar del Plata, Bariloche, Mendoza and San Luis. Among other options!
Even if there are long-term plans to reach a high-speed rail service, it will take a few years to reach that level.
When traveling by train, especially inter-city, you will have to watch out for pickpockets, since they are everywhere!
Fortunately, long-distance trains are a much safer option for any tourist wishing to see the beauty of Argentina.
There are a few options for tourists, such as the Tren a las Nubes from Salta. A train that allows you to travel into the surrounding mountains. And the “End of the World Train” from Ushuaia - a railway line that connects the "Tierra del Fuego National Park" with the capital of the province.
This old train used to transport prisoners through the forests. Today it offers spectacular views of the distant mountains. So you definitely don't want to miss it!
If you follow the tips in this video, I guarantee that your stay in Argentina will be as great as possible!
And trust me, you'll want to return to keep exploring the country!
What's your favorite way of getting around Argentina? Let me know by leaving a comment!