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Argentina

If you’re travelling to Argentina, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security status

We advise you to take normal precautions.

Latest Travel Alert

There is currently an outbreak of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Irish Citizens are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/Zika/.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, start by talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Argentina before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Argentina, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

To report emergencies, contact the police, an ambulance, or the fire department by dialling 911 from any phone except in Cordoba, Mendoza, Iguazu, Tucuman, and Tierra del Fuego provinces, in which you need to dial 101 for emergency services.

Contact the Embassy

If there is an emergency, or if you need help and advice, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires.

If you phone outside of working hours, leave us a message giving:

  • Your name
  • The nature of your problem
  • Where you are now
  • Your contact details (mobile phone number or phone number of where you’re staying)

We regularly monitor these messages and one of our staff members will be in contact with you.

You can call our Embassy in Buenos Aires on +54 11 4808 5700, or our emergency consular line in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000

Our tips for Safe Travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

 

Safety and security

Social unrest

The political situation in Argentina is reasonably stable but there can be occasional outbreaks of social unrest. You may encounter groups of demonstrators (piqueteros) blocking major roads into and out of the capital, causing delays and possibly a change in route.

Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.

Terrorism

Although the threat from terrorism in Argentina is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.

Crime

Crime remains relatively low in Argentina but you should take sensible precautions.

Petty theft

You should be particularly careful in Retiro bus station in Buenos Aires, on the Buenos Aires underground transport system and in the city of Mendoza, where there has been a lot of pick-pocketing and bag-snatching.

A common scam in Buenos Aires is for one thief to spray a sauce on you, which prompts another thief, posing as an innocent passer-by, to come to your aid and clean your clothes, while also stealing your possessions.

More violent crime has been reported in the area around San Telmo and La Boca in Buenos Aires and you should avoid carrying valuables in these areas.

Counterfeit banknotes

There are quantities of counterfeit banknotes in circulation in Argentina. You can visit the Argentine Central Bank website to see what to look out for in a counterfeit note.

Taxi drivers, particularly those working from the airport, have been known to accuse customers of handing over fake money and handing them back a fake note that they already have in their possession. When paying drivers, be extremely careful and consider taking note of the serial number of the bill before you pay the driver.

If you’re hailing a taxi on the street, make sure you only hail a radio taxi; they have a logo on the rear passenger door and often a light or sign on the roof of the car.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Argentina, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Argentina, you should be extremely careful. Road safety standards vary throughout the country; respect for speed limits and traffic signals is patchy and manoeuvres by fellow road users can be unexpected.

Crime against car users, particularly when stopped at traffic lights, is a growing danger and we advise you to keep your windows closed and doors locked at all times, particularly when you’re driving in the city.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your international driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local laws and customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Natural disasters and climate

Earthquake

Argentina is in an active earthquake zone and there have been sporadic earthquakes in western sections of the country along the border with Chile. If you’re travelling to or living in Argentina, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.

 

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

If you are unsure of what the entry requirements for Argentina are, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Argentina.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling (8 weeks) to see if you need any vaccinations for Argentina.