ABOUT Argentina, the second-largest country in Latin America, occupies most of the southern part of the South American continent. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and south, its neighbours are Brazil and Uruguay to the North-east and east, Bolivia and Paraguay to the north and Chile to the West. The terrain is made up mostly of Low or Flatlands, although it also features some major mountain ranges and tablelands situated at a high altitude above sea level. The country is divided geographically into six regions: the Pampas, the North-West, Cuyo, the North-East, Mesopotamia, and the Patagonia and South Atlantic Islands, Malvinas being the largest. Each region of the country has its own tourist attractions. Among the most popular are the Andean mountains, the lake district centered in Bariloche (where there is a National Park), Patagonia, the Atlantic beaches, and Mar del Plata, the Iguazú falls, the Pampas, and Tierra del Fuego. If you are visiting Buenos Aires you will fly into Ministro Pistarini International Airport if you're traveling to another location in Argentina you may have to travel from Ezeiza to the Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, the domestic airport in Buenos Aires. The airports are located on opposite sides of the city, so some time has to be allowed when travelling from one airport to the other. There are shuttle buses which take you there in about an hour, dependant on traffic. There are few flights mostly to Río Gallegos and Ushuaia, which leave early in the morning from Ezeiza International Airport. All the other domestic flights and also to Uruguay and Paraguay leave from Aeroparque Jorge Newbery. Make sure you are in the correct airport. If you are travelling by bus then The Retiro bus terminal is large and hidden behind Retiro train and Subte stations. For long distance buses it is advisable to buy a ticket several days in advance of your trip. Be sure to arrive early before your departure and always ask at an information counter if your gate number is the same as the one printed on your ticket. You will be given a range of possible gate numbers so make sure you get the right ones. Keep a close eye on your belongings at Retiro as it is often crowded and there have been reports of thefts and even muggings at night. Travel by train is very limited, and intercity buses offer better service and faster rides. Train fares are very cheap - often only a quarter of the bus fare. Local travel in the Buenos Aires province is both by bus and by local trains, with fast trains being the quickest way to get through the city's traffic. Car rental is readily available throughout Argentina, though it is a bit expensive compared with other forms of transportation. Traveling by car allows you to visit locations that are hard to reach by public transportation. Patagonia, in the South of Argentina, is a popular driving location among tourists due to the breathtaking views across many miles of open land.
CLIMATE The seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are the opposite to those in the Northern. Argentina experiences two high seasons, the summer months of January and February and the July winter ski holidays. The amount of people and the prices usually go up during these times. It’s best to visit Patagonia, Cordoba, San Luis, the Sierras and beaches of the Buenos Aires coast during the summer December to March. The north and northwest of the country are best visited in the winter June to August when there is less rain and the tropical temperature drops slightly. If you’re heading to Argentina for the Iguazu falls, winter and spring are best as the summer can be too hot.
BEWARE Since 2004 there have been a number of much small explosions in Buenos Aires and the surrounding provinces which are believed to have been the work of local anti-globalisation groups. The targets have mostly been banks. The most frequent incidents of crime involve distraction theft, bag snatching and armed robberies in the street, in taxis and in restaurants. Distraction thefts commonly occur in public areas such as internet cafes, train and bus stations. You should keep a close eye on your personal possessions and bags at all times. Con-men have been known to rob tourists while an accomplice pretends to help remove ketchup or mustard that has been 'accidentally' sprayed on them. Another common occurrence is the slitting of handbags in crowded places as well as mobile phones being snatched from the owner when using it in the street. Be particularly attentive in popular tourist areas, such as San Telmo, La Boca and Retiro. You should avoid carrying large amounts of cash or wearing ostentatious jewellery. Passport thefts are common especially in Buenos Aires and Mendoza. When travelling on local buses and trains, remain alert at all times. Pickpockets are rife. If you are robbed, you should inform the local police – a police report will be required by your insurers