Argentina: What you should know before going!

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When people visit Argentina, they are attracted to their capital city, Buenos Aires and its romantic gauchos, tangos, rolling pampas, imposing mountains and sparkling lakes. However, most people are not aware that due to the size of Argentina, it offers the best of both worlds, from the glaciers of Antarctica in Patagonia to its tropical jungle in the north. To make the most of your trip to Argentina, here are some planning tips, as well as some recommendations.

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Choose a manageable itinerary that works within your time frame.

It takes 9 hours by plane to get to Argentina. Plan to spend some time traveling around the country due to an internal flight that reflects 1 & frac12; It usually takes 2 hours to get to the best destinations. If you also plan to explore Chile or Brazil, you will have to limit the number of regions you will visit outside Buenos Aires because most of the regions are worth visiting for at least three nights. Your budget, not to mention your time, will be exceeded if you spend a significant amount of time on airplanes and money on domestic air tickets.

Take seasonality into account.

Remember that in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed. You should visit Argentina between the end of October and the beginning of April. During these months, the temperatures are more moderate and the rain is less abundant because they are months of spring and summer. However, you can feel free to visit the northern part of the country, which has Buenos Aires and the Iguazu Falls, throughout the year.

Opportunities for cultural immersion abound.

If you like to dance, you can choose to attend a tango show, take a private lesson or visit a milonga, a dance hall where natives dance tango during their lunch hour from work. You can also watch a football match or a polo match, if you like sports more. The Colón Theater, classified by National Geographic as the third best opera theater in the world, also presents the best performances of opera, ballet and classical music concerts throughout the year. While in Buenos Aires, consider taking a cooking workshop. Not only does it immerse you more in culture, but it also gives you a skill that you can take home with you.

Where do you go and how long do you stay?

• Buenos Aires, the "Paris of the South", is worth at least two nights, three for the lovers of the city. Free time here is not lost, but beware of thieves.

• The Glacier National Park (Calafate) is the best place to see and trek in the glaciers of Argentina. The incomparably beautiful Perito Moreno Glacier may be the most beautiful glacier outside Antarctica. I recommend three nights.

• The Lake District (Bariloche, Villa La Angostura) is justifiably called "Little Switzerland" because of its mountains, lakes, rivers, exuberant vegetation and many adventure options: hiking, rafting, horseback riding and kayaking. Three nights.

• The Iguazu Falls are widely considered one of the two most impressive falls in the world: MUCH more impressive than Niagara or Angel Falls. We recommend spending one or two nights to see the Argentinian and Brazilian sides, which offer completely different views.

• The Valdez Peninsula region is the best place to observe wildlife in Argentina. You can visit a large colony of penguins in Punta Tombo and observe whales, sea lions, elephant seals, guanacos and countless sea birds. Four hours of driving per day are required. The accommodation is not exclusive. I recommend two nights.

• Mt. Fitzroy (El Chalten) is one of the two most impressive sites within the region of Patagonia austral of Argentina (the other one is the Perito Moreno glacier). 3 1/2 hours by car from Calafate, this is a truly exceptional place for landscapes and walks. Ideal for photographers. We recommend spending two nights in Fitzroy.

Ushuaia It is a nice city with a nice nearby national park (Tierra del Fuego) but the landscape in this region is not as exceptional as the places mentioned above. If you go, stay two nights.

one. DO NOT dress casually. Shorts and flip flops will make eyebrows look in a country that is very concerned about fashion and appropriate clothing.

two. DO NOT yawn or eat in public (on the street), it is considered very rude.

3. DO NOT make the "OK" or thumbs up gesture, both are considered vulgar.

Four. DO NOT wait for social occasions to start on time, it is actually considered impolite to arrive at a party in time.

5. DO NOT say you are "American"; instead, say that you are from "the United States", "United States" or "North America". (Spanish speakers can say they are from "The United States."

6 Do not worry about the change when the amount is small. The coins and bills of little value are rare in circulation and nobody cares much for amounts less than 50 cents.

7. DO NOT talk about sensitive issues, such as Argentina's relationship with Brazil, Great Britain or the Falkland Islands, which could provoke strong reactions. Also avoid talking about politics and religion.

DO & # 39; S

one. Make a tip of 10% in restaurants and 1 peso per suitcase to hotel porters.

two. Share something mate (tea) with your traveling companions or with strangers. The national drink is passed in a clockwise direction and is shared as a sign of friendship and acceptance. The tea packs quite a "punch" of caffeine.

3. SHOULD expect to be kissed on the cheek when meeting or getting away from acquaintances.

Four. Sleep at home: Argentina, and especially Buenos Aires, has a thriving tradition of nightlife, and things rarely start until near midnight.

5. Try to learn Tango. Tango is a way of life in Argentina, and being able to dance will make your time there more fun and exciting.

6 YES check a Polo match. Argentines love polo and it's a pretty beautiful sport for observers.

7 Have a coffee at the famous Café Tortoni in Buenos Aires. Coffee has been popular among artists, intellectuals and others since 1858.

The Argentina entry: What you should know before going! It was first published in FMM Education.

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