Travel Consideration: Argentina

Contributed By RealAdventures

Argentina is a medium income nation with a developing economy. Although the capital of Buenos Aires has many four and five-star hotels, the quality of tourist facilities outside the capital varies according to price and area.

A passport is required. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for visits up to 90 days for tourism and business. Dependent children traveling alone, with one parent, or in someone else’s custody are required to present at entry or departure a notarized document certifying that both parents agree to their travel. A parent with sole custody should carry a copy of the custody decree. Either document should be notarized before an Argentine consular officer or, if in Argentina, a local notary (escribano). For current information concerning entry and customs requirements for Argentina, travelers can contact the Argentine Embassy at 1600 New Hampshire Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20009, tel. (202) 939-6400. Travelers may also contact the nearest Argentine consulate in Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, or Houston.

There is little threat to U.S. citizens (including official visitors, business persons, and tourists) from indigenous terrorist organizations in Argentina. There are no known violent domestic groups currently active in Argentina that are specifically targeting U.S. interests. However, given the presence of members of and support for foreign extremist terrorist groups in the tri-border region of Argentina (Misiones Province), visitors to Argentina cannot discount the possibility of terrorist activity to include random acts of anti-American violence.

Demonstrations and protests are not uncommon throughout Argentina, though they are usually nonviolent. Nevertheless, U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Argentina are advised to take common-sense precautions and avoid any large gatherings or any other event where crowds have congregated to demonstrate or protest. If such an event occurs, additional advice may be obtained from the U.S. Embassy at the telephone numbers listed below.

Petty crime in the greater Buenos Aires area continues to be a problem for residents and visitors alike. Visitors to the city of Buenos Aires and popular tourist destinations should be especially alert to problems with pickpockets or purse snatching on the streets and public transportation (buses and trains). Pickpockets often work in pairs and employ a variety of ruses to victimize the unsuspecting visitor. In recent years, most crime affecting U.S. visitors has been non-violent. Nevertheless, aggravated robberies, shootings, etc., have become more frequent, especially in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and in Buenos Aires Province. Additionally, there have been frequent instances of false taxi cabs in which passengers have been robbed. Incidents of armed invasions of restaurants, shops, and residences in the more fashionable suburbs are also occurring with greater frequency. As a result, it is recommended that due caution be exercised when traveling about the city.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State’s pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. This publication and others, such Tips for Travelers to Central and South America, are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402; via the Internet at; or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at

Medical care is generally good, but it varies in quality outside major cities. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties. Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor, or whether you will be reimbursed later for the expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Argentina is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good

Driving throughout Argentina is more dangerous than driving in the United States. Drivers in Argentina are very aggressive, especially in the capital city of Buenos Aires. Road conditions are favorable throughout Argentina, which is well connected by main highways. U.S. driver’s licenses are valid in the capital and the province of Buenos Aires, but Argentine or international licenses are required to drive in the rest of the country. For further information, please contact the Argentine Automobile Club, Av. Libertador 1850, 1112 Capital Federal, telephone (011)(54) 11-4802-6061 or contact the Embassy of Argentina as listed above.

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Argentina’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Argentina are strict, and convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and fines.

For information on international adoption of children, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet site at's_issues.html, or telephone (202) 736-7000.

Americans living in or visiting Argentina are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires and obtain updated information on travel and security within Argentina. The U.S. Embassy is located at 4300 Avenida Colombia, 1425 Buenos Aires, Argentina; tel. (011)(54)(11) 477-4533/34; after hours number is the same or fax (011)(54)(11) 4511-4997. The Consular Section fax is (011)(54)(11) 4514-1810. Additional information is available through the Embassy’s web site at, which has a link to the Consular Section’s e-mail inquiry address:

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