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Argentina

Last updated: December 2023

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Key Facts Cycling

  • ​​18 days in the country, from 24/02/2023 to 26/02/203 ; 11/03/2023 & 06/05/2023 to 22/05/2023

  • 308 km / 191 mi cycled

  • Three cycling days

  • Overnight stays: 

    • Wildcamping: 1

    • Other free camping (villages, etc.): 1

    • Paid campsites: 1

    • Hosts: 0

    • Paid accommodation: 16 (13 nights in Ushuaia)

    • Other (bus, ferries, etc.): 0

  • The Route: San Sebastián - Río Grande - Tolhuin - Ushuaia

  • In February / March 2023 we had a bike free two-week-vacation in Buenos Aires & Uruguay with Louisa's parents (Return flight Santiago - Buenos Aires)

  • Our Cycling Highlights: Tierra del Fuego (the only part in Argentina that we cycled)

Note: On this page you will mostly find general information about Argentina. If you want to learn more about cycling Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego click here.

Louisa & Tobi's Bike Route through Argentina

Key Facts Country

  • Official name: Argentine Republic

  • Population (2023): 46,621,847

  • Capital: Buenos Aires

  • Official language: Spanish

  • Currency: Argentine Peso (ARS)

  • Dialing code: +54

  • Covers 2,780,400 km² / 1073518 mi², making it the second largest country in South America & eighth largest in the world

  • Bordering countries: Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil & Uruguay

  • One of the most biodiverse countries in the world, hosting one of the greatest ecosystem varieties in the world: 15 continental zones, two marine zones and the Antarctic region

  • Right-hand traffic

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Camping & Accommodation

  • In the Argentine part of Tierra del Fuego there are no refugios (shelters) provided, apart from the one at the border crossing San Sebastián 

  • Wild camping in Tierra del Fuego is difficult due to the vast open landscapes that don't provide any kind of shelter from the strong winds

  • Once you get into the more mountainous region in the south of TdF, wild camping becomes a bit easier

  • You can check iOverlander for spots to camp

  • Many villages/towns offer some type of accommodation

  • In Ushuaia we stayed almost two weeks in an affordable apartment (~16 EUR/night) a few kilometers from the center

Infrastructure

  • Argentina generally has good infrastructure

  • The roads we cycled in Tierra del Fuego were nicely paved

  • The tap water in most of the country is potable; we always carry chlorine tablets to disinfect water if necessary though

  • Options for leaving (or arriving in) Ushuaia:

    • Fly out (or in) via Ushuaia International Airport Malvinas Argentinas / Tierra del Fuego - Argentina (USH)

    • Take a bus to Rio Gallegos (AR) or Punta Arenas (CL):

      • Tecni Austral - we went with this company from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas and everything went well

      • Bus Sur

    • Take a ferry from Puerto Williams to Punta Arenas 

      • Company: Transbordadora Austral Broom

      • Puerto Williams is a Chilean village on the southern shore of the Beagle Channel

      • To take the ferry, you first have to take another boat from Ushuaia to Puerto Navarino and then a van ride Puerto Williams (usually combined in one offer)

      • In May 2023, we’ve been told that these connections still weren’t offered due to Covid-19

      • It seems like there are some options again now, but the price starts at 120 USD per person

      • We met some other travelers (two of them cyclists) who organized themselves a crossing with a private boat, which also cost them over 120 USD per person

Spare Part Availability

  • Outside of bigger towns you probably won’t encounter any bike shops

  • El Calafate, Río Gallegos & Río Grande have a few good looking shops (judging from photos, we didn't visit any of these towns)

  • In Ushuaia you'll find some bike shops as well

    • At Home Bike we bought several spare parts and had some parts of our drive trains changed

    • We also got two bike boxes from DTT for the bus ride to Punta Arenas and the flight to Australia

Sim Card & Internet

  • Network providers: Claro, Movistar & Personal

  • We didn’t buy a sim card in Argentina, so we can’t speak from experience

  • Claro seems to be a good option especially for Patagonia; apparently there is even good connection in rather remote parts of the region

Climate & Weather

  • Due to it’s massive size, Argentina boasts lots of different climate zones & habitats

  •  Four general climate zones: 

    • Warm & humid

    • Moderate

    • Arid 

    • Cold

  • Four seasons, becoming more distinctive the further south you go:

    • Spring (September - November)

    • Summer (December - February)

    • Autumn (March - May)

    • Winter (June - August)

  • We visited Buenos Aires in February/March and it was incredibly hot and humid there

  • We stayed in Ushuaia for three weeks in May and it was cold, often around 0°C / 32°F, but we didn’t have snow (unfortunately, that would have been nice)

Border Crossings

  • Chile to Argentina: San Sebastián - fast & easy (this border has a warm waiting room where cyclists can spend the night!)

  • Airport Buenos Aires: Ezeiza International Airport

  • Argentina to Uruguay (round trip): 

    • Ferry Buenos Aires - Colonia del Sacramento with Buquebus

    • Ferry Montevideo - Buenos Aires with Buquebus 

  • These are only the border crossings we took, there are of course many more

  • With our German passports we got 90 days without having to apply for a visa

  • No costs

  • Always check regulations before entering the country as they might change on short notice

Safety

  • Generally we felt safe, but we always try to stay hidden when camping 

  • Big cities are potentially more dangerous, just be cautious and inform yourself about areas you better avoid; we didn't have any dangerous situations

  • In Buenos Aires we were warned about pickpockets, especially in the touristy areas

  • We didn’t have any dog problems, but we only cycled a few days in Argentina, so we can’t speak for most of the country

  • Only on the last part between Río Grande and Ushuaia we were often overtaken carelessly with too little distance and too much speed

  • Emergency numbers: 

    • Central Emergency number (Central de Emergencias Nacional): 911

    • Ambulance (SAME): 107

    • Firefighters (Bomberos): 100

Cash & Expenses

  • Argentina had an inflation of over 100% when we were there (May 2023)

  • Two rates: 

    • Official rate, applies when you pay with card

      • Exchange rate Oct. 2023: 1 EUR = 369 ARS / 1 USD = 350 ARS

    • Unofficial blue rate:

      • This rate applies when you exchange USD (or EUR) for the ARS

      • In May 2023 we got twice the amount of ARS compared to the official rate, so you can save a lot of money

      • You even get this rate when sending money for cash pickup via WesternUnion (which we can definitely recommend)

      • Blue exchange rate Oct. 2023: 1 EUR = 1,030 ARS / 1 USD = 975 ARS

      • Means you have to carry huge packs of cash around with you though

  • ATMs are called Cajero Automático in Spanish​

Tourism

  • Nationalpark Los Glaciares, Argentina:

    • One of Argentina’s biggest tourist attractions

    • Features several glaciers that originate in the great Patagonian Ice Field, the second largest ice sheet in the world (after Antarctica), which occupies almost half of the Park

    • Highlights: 

      • Glacier Perito Moreno, accessible from El Calafate

      • Mount Fitzroy, accessible from El Chaltén

    • Entry fee (Oct. 2023): 12,000 ARS

    • Opening times:

      • Summer (01. Sept. - 30. Apr.): 8 am to 6 pm

      • Winter (01. May - 31. Aug.): 9 am to 4 pm 

  • Ushuaia: 

    • 'El Fin del Mundo' / 'The End of the World' 

    • A touristy, but nice town

    • Depending on the season, you can do different (boat) tours in the area

    • May 2023: We did a boat tour in the Beagle Channel and were lucky to see several humpback whales (even though it wasn't a designated whale watching tour)

    • We stayed two weeks in a really affordable Airbnb, 3 km from the center

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