America,  Argentina,  Country Guides,  TDM,  Tips

1 week in Argentina (Iguazú & Buenos Aires): Itinerary, assessment, budget, guide, advice (2/2)

To read the first part of the guide about Patagonia, click here

Ahhh Argentina! This country so vast and whose must-see are so far away from each other that we had to visit it in 3 times. After 15 days in Patagonia, we visited Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, before spending a few days in Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, and crossing the land border to Puerto Iguazú in Argentina


  • Puerto Iguazú (3 days): after visiting the Brazilian Falls, we cross the border by local bus to Puerto Iguazú (Argentina) for 20$AR/person. See our guide on Iguazú Falls here. The visit of the Argentinian falls takes us a full day

    • Fast passage in Uruguay: from Puerto Iguazú, we take a night bus to Concordia (Argentina) for 1060$AR. Then, we cross the border by bus to spend 12 days in Uruguay

  • Buenos Aires (4 days) : We took the one hour boat from Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay) to Buenos Aires (950$UR). Taking the boat from Colonia is cheaper than leaving from Montevideo (and then the city of Colonia is charming). We only spent 4 days visiting Buenos Aires (the other 3 days we were out of it). Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro are the only two big cities I like in South America

    • Departure to Rio de Janeiro

Uruguay is, for us, the best possible stopover between Iguazú and Buenos Aires. Between these two cities, there isn’t much must-see in Argentina. And going through Uruguay saves us a bit of money on transportation because buses in Uruguay are much cheaper than in Argentina


Exchange rate in March 2017: 10$AR = 0.59€. 10$AR = 0.65USD

  • Iguazú

    • Bus Foz do Iguaçu – Puerto Iguazú: 20$AR/person, 40$AR if you lose patience like us
    • Hotel : 2 nights

      • 500$AR/night double room at Hotel Lilian
      • otherwise it’s 180$AR/bed in dormitory at Hostel Park Iguazu, breakfast included

    • Bus : 130$AR round trip per person
    • Entrance to the park: 330$AR/person
    • Lunch (bought in town and brought to the park): 145$AR for two
    • Restaurants: from 130$AR/person. For a good piece of argentine meat (and I recommend you), count 300$AR/person +10% gratuity

  • Buenos Aires: this city is more expensive than Patagonia, it’s crazy! You can’t eat well without spending a fortune..

    • Accommodation: 27USD/night double room at Babel Plaza (after VAT reduction). I find that it is much cheaper to be in a hotel that agrees to take away the 19% VAT and accepts credit cards than in a hostel that charges us VAT and only accepts cash. I therefore highly recommend this hotel.
    • Food: +10% tip (almost mandatory)

      • Economical restaurant: 170$AR/menu
      • Fast food: 60$AR/flat
      • Restaurant too good (but too expensive)

        • 250$AR a salad
        • 350$AR to 500$AR a good steak (without accompaniment). Accompaniment between 100$AR and 150$AR (to be shared, it’s better)

      • Bottle of water: 30$AR in small stores

    • SIM card: 50$AR at Moviestar. I think that JB had to buy 100$AR of reload in total to have Internet for 7 days
    • SUBE card: 25$AR/card (one card can be used for two). We had to load our card several times during our stay. 200$AR in total for two.
    • Visit & show

      • Museo Evita : 90$AR/person
      • Tango show at the Tango Porteño (one of the most economical shows). Show only at 450$AR/person

    • Discount (cab booked in advance) to the airport: 500$AR all inclusive
    • Cab boat terminal -> city center: 200$AR. Uber wouldn’t have cost less.

Practical advice

I advise you to first read the “Practical Tips” section that I wrote for Patagonia. Many of these tips also apply to Buenos Aires. For Iguazú, I have written a complete guide here that I invite you to consult

Here are the specific tips for Buenos Aires

  • Accommodation: as I said above, it is much cheaper to be in a hotel that accepts to exempt us from VAT & accepts credit cards than in a hostel that charges us VAT and only accepts cash. Indeed, withdrawing cash here costs me 4.8% (we can’t withdraw much (2000$AR max) and in addition we have to pay 96$AR in fees for each withdrawal). Babel Plaza is a very well located hotel, in a safe place, that I recommend you with my eyes closed (no VAT, payment by card).
  • Credit cards are more often accepted in Buenos Aires than in Patagonia. All medium and high-end restaurants accept them without additional commission. Some restaurants even accept that you pay the tip (10% of the bill) by card.
  • Cabs and Uber are expensive here, it is better to use public transport. Buy the SUBE card (25$AR) and reload it in a kiosk. When you get on the bus, announce your destination to the driver (so that he adjusts the fare accordingly). Then badge your SUBE.
  • The metro is convenient but not as dense as the bus network.
  • Google Maps lists all public transport fairly reliably, but with a few errors. Don’t hesitate to ask the locals, they will be able to direct you to another bus.
  • Buenos Aires is a big city so take care of your business. Keep your bags on your lap and not on the floor in the bus because some thieves go under the seats with a knife to open the bag.
  • People hate thieves so if you are dealing with thieves, shout loudly “LADRON”, someone may help you get your stuff back.
  • Before going out in the evening, ask the receptionists if your destination is in a safe area. Within a few blocks, it could be day or night. If the place isn’t safe enough, it would be better to take a cab.
  • Most tourists flee LA BOCA after 6pm. It’s a poor neighborhood, it’s probably not the best place to book a hotel.
  • If you want to go to a soccer match like JB, don’t expect great soccer quality, what is interesting isn’t the match but the atmosphere.
  • If you have some time, visit also Tigre (for its delta) and La Plata (for its cathedral and perfect city map) near Buenos Aires (one day trip possible)

What we liked

  1. Iguazú Falls on the Argentinean side – much more impressive than the Brazilian side
  2. Buenos Aires and its false air of Paris
  3. Gastronomy in Buenos Aires

What we liked less

  1. The Argentines we met in Uruguay – arrogant, haughty and disrespectful, they don’t behave the same way as when they are in Argentina
  2. The high cost of living in Argentina
  3. La Boca, too touristy

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