Information - Patagonia and Argentina
Argentina forms part of the southern tip of South America. It is the second largest country in South America after Brazil and the eighth largest in the world. It is about 1,425 kilometres (885 miles) at its widest point form east to west and stretches 5,100 kilometres (3,170 miles) from north to south.
||approximately 40 million
||Buenos Aires (population approximately 12 million)
||85% European, 15% mixed indigenous – European, and other minorities.
||10 UNESCO World Heritage Parks, 32 National and Provincial Parks.
||Spanish, a number of indigenous languages and others such as Welsh in parts of Patagonia.
||GMT -3 throughout the year.
||220V, 50Hz. Sockets are either 2 round pins (European) or 3 flat pins two of which are diagonal (US).
Passports and Visas
Visitors from Wales and the rest of the British Isles do not need to obtain a visa. A valid passport is required, which will allow entry to Argentina for a period of 90 days.
Health and Vaccination
Vaccinations are not necessary in order to visit Argentina, except for Yellow Fever if you are visiting the Mesopotamian region in the far North. Health standards are good overall. In Patagonia, there are no poisonous reptiles or insects, or any other dangerous animal. However, there will be a need to defend yourselves from the Sun and the hoards of non-malarial mosquitoes in some areas during the hotter months.
Tap water is normally safe to drink but it would always be wise to drink bottled water.
Clothes and Climate
As Patagonia is in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to those in Wales and the rest of the northern hemisphere. It is possible to visit Buenos Aires and the Welsh colony in Chubut, Patagonia, throughout the year. The best times to visit Patagonia are between September and May (spring to autumn). January and February can be very hot with high daytime temperatures in some places.
Where clothing is concerned, it is best to prepare for all eventualities, as there is a vast difference between hot and humid Buenos Aires, cold and dry evening on the arid steppe, and the temperate climate of the Andes. The best advice is to choose your clothing so that you can wear or take off layers of clothing as is necessary. Adequate footwear for walking in rough and dry terrain and a hat of some kind to protect your head are essential.
The currency in Argentina is the “peso” $ARS that is made up of 100 “centavos”. $ARS can be obtained at banks and other businesses that deal with foreign exchange. American dollars ($USD) are generally accepted in hotels and larger businesses. Good advice is to carry an amount of clean and unmarked USD and also an amount of Thomas Cook or American Express travellers cheques. Whilst these may be difficult or expensive to convert outside of Buenos Aires, they are nevertheless good as a backup. The best advice is to use debit and credit cards with MasterCard and Visa widely accepted. It is possible to use both debit and credit cards to withdraw cash from a bank cash machine which are not too difficult to find.
For the latest information on travelling to Argentina go to the web pages of the UK Foreign Office