Driving in Argentina
Although renting a car offers the
tourist flexibility when traveling, one should take into account
that car rental in Argentina tends to be costly. Most of the
cities and tourist areas have car rentals; depending on the
company you may be able to return the car in another city.
In Argentina you are allowed to use your regular drivers license,
although it is highly recommended to get an international drivers
license. In order to drive in the country a person must be older
than 18 years of age.
The expressways that surround the main cities are wide
and expeditious, although they tend to become more narrow and
the quality worsens the further away you get from the larger
urban areas. The continuing rural roads are not in good condition
nor are they well marked with signs.
It is also worth mentioning that the expressways are privately
owned, therefore you have to pay a toll from one stretch of
road to another .
Although there are plenty of gas stations in every city and
on highways, it is wise to fill your gas tank before setting
out on rural roads since gas stations are harder to find in
isolated areas. In Argentina gas is called nafta.
While driving in Argentina it is
advisable not to exceed the speed limit and to obey all transit
signs. Although bribing is common, if you receive a traffic
ticket from a police officer, it is better not to argue and
just accept the fine.
Wearing a seat belt is a must, although generally people do
not use them. It is prohibited to make left hand turns on main
roads unless there is a left turn arrow at a stoplight indicating
you to do so.
In cities the maximum velocity is 40 k/h (25 mph) and 60 k/h
(almost 40 mph) on main roads. On rapid highways the maximum
speed permitted is 120 k/h (75 mph), while on main roads the
maximum reaches up to 80 k/h (50 mph).
Driving in a city like Buenos Aires can be rather chaotic, due
to the quantity of vehicles and the narrowness of some streets.
Drivers are typically aggressive, the streets are a mess, and
there is little or no respect for pedestrians. You should drive
defensively and with great care.
From Argentina you can travel
by car to neighboring countries. There are highways leading
to Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and the border with Brazil. Each
country has border controls where you will be asked for your
passport and visa (in case you need it to enter the country)
and all valid automobile documents.
Taxi service is very common in
Argentinean cities, but only in Buenos Aires does the number
of vehicles reach 32,000. So it is easy to find them on practically
every street corner in the city. Considering that Argentina
is an expensive country, the use of taxis can be quite convenient,
and even more so if you are traveling in a group. The rate is
charged at the end of the ride according to the time and distance
traveled. For safety reasons find certified radio taxis, and
pay close attention to the license plate number and carefully
observe the driver.
Buses ( Micro omnibus or colectivos)
of the most popular methods of transportation in Argentina are
the colectivos or micro omnibus (bus).
There are different bus lines each with a distinct color. The
fare is paid to the driver or directly in the automated machines
located at the front of the bus. Be prepared with exact change
as you board the bus. There is information posted about the
main stretches of the itinerary at each bus stop.
There is a bus (colectivo) service in Buenos Aires called diferencial (differential)
where the seats are more comfortable and under guarantee. They
follow more direct routes and only stop to let passengers off
or when there are available seats.
Remise are a type
of taxi, which differ from a regular taxi in that the price
of the trip is established in advance. This way the driver
can count on the passenger to have the required amount of
money, and the passenger can also be certain that the driver
will take the most direct route to the destination.
Remises in general are cheaper than taxis, there is a spoken
agreement. One of the most common routes is to the airport.
Buses or Omnibus
a vast interurban bus service that, if traveling from Buenos
Aires, accesses all of the provinces within the country as well
as neighboring countries, including Peru. From Peru you can
even travel all the way to Venezuela, passing through Colombia.
two types of service, common and differential." Common"
is more inexpensive, seat availability is not assured, the buses
are rather uncomfortable, and they do not feature air conditioning
nor heating. On the other hand, "differential" service
is a little more expensive but offers reclining seats (in some
cases beds), heating, minibar, toilet, on-board staff, and an
occasional snack is provided to passengers.
In Buenos Aires, the buses that
travel on national and international routes leave from the city Bus
Terminal (Terminal de Omnibus). Numerous bus companies
operate throughout the whole country, but they are all regulated
in the Buenos Aires Terminal according to their destination.
Bus tickets can be purchased at this location.
You can board urban buses or micros to travel to neighboring
Guidelines for the Traveler
Do not leave the
house without double checking your documents and tickets.
your ticket, make sure it is for the service you are paying
for or that they promise you.
bus you are traveling on makes stops, memorize the bus number
and pay attention to how much time the chauffeur says they
will stay in that area. Do not wander away from the bus.
Never travel or
get off the bus (at the destination) with large quantities
of money on your person.
Do not overload
yourself with unnecessary baggage, think about your comfort
and that of those around you.
Never travel without
some kind of Health Coverage.
Do not get in
any Taxi or Remise without first asking about rates and making
sure the vehicle is authorized to offer the service.
Never go to unknown
or unauthorized places. Ask local people before visiting a
Do not smoke just
anywhere. To avoid fires, look for authorized places to light
up a cigarette.
Useful Advice for
you have decided to travel, ask about rates and the service
classes that are offered.
the ticket window, verify that your ticket states the service
class that you requested.
the vehicle, verify that the class specified on the sign located
near the access door corresponds to what is marked on your
doubts or inconveniences should arise regarding the service
class, note the internal number of the bus or the license
plate and keep your ticket. This way you will be able to carry
out your complaint.
You are allowed
to carry up to 15 kg. (33 lbs.) of baggage, free of charge.
The company will hand you a corresponding password (a ticket
for you and a duplicate attached to your luggage). The ticket
includes insurance for checked baggage.
In the event that
luggage is lost or damaged, make an immediate complaint to
the company offices and demand a written record of your claim.
If you have any
other concerns, call toll free to the Transportation Regulation
Commission in Argentina at 0800-333-0300.
The metro or "subte",
as it is commonly called, covers a good portion of Buenos
Aires, with five metro lines each one specified by a different
Buenos Aires' subway network is the oldest in Latin America;
this explains the antique tramcars that look as if they were
taken straight out of an old western movie.
The subway lines stretch approximately 46 km (29 miles) passing
by 80 stations.
Although this means of transportation may not be very comfortable
and tends to get very hot in the summer, it turns out to be
quite fast and efficient for wandering to and fro among the
city's main attractions.
Argentina's railroad network is
not an especially important means of transportation for traveling
within the country. Aside from being uncomfortable, trains make
infrequent trips to few destinations. The most utilized route
is the one from Buenos Aires to Mar del Plata, and the one to
The rates are generally economical, but it's a good idea to
buy tickets 3 days in advance and two weeks in advance during
the summer. You should arrive at the station at a sensible time
before the train departs.
There is also a unique tour called Tren
de las Nubes (Train of the Clouds) that visits stunning areas within the Andes
The ferry service is greatly developed
between Argentina and Uruguay. One of the largest and most well-known
ferry lines is the Buquebus Company. It offers service to the
cities of Colonia and Montevideo in Uruguay. Although this type
of transportation is fairly expensive it is comfortable and