Stretching more than 2,000 miles from north to south, Argentina is a land of incredible diversity. Dramatic polychrome mountains and dense cloud forest provide a stunning backdrop for the Spanish Colonial cities of the northwest; farther south, Mendoza’s neat patchwork of vineyards is set against the majestic scenery of the snow-covered Andes. Directly west of Buenos Aires, you will encounter breathtaking vistas in the lake country around Bariloche. And at the continent’s tip, awesome glaciers grind their way through the jagged peaks of Patagonia.
For much of its history, Argentina has lurched from one crisis to another, the most recent debacle having occurred in 2001 with the abrupt abandonment of a fixed dollar/peso exchange rate. Since then, however, there has been a period of sustained growth and stability. We therefore decided it was time to take another look at a country that has long promised much, but in the past has fallen short of our expectations. We are delighted to report that on a recent incognito trip, we discovered a succession of stylish inns and estancias, all with real individual charm, ideally located to take full advantage of the astonishing natural splendor. At last, Argentina has joined the world of luxury travel.
CLIMATE : Argentina is south of the equator, so its seasons are reversed, with December-March being summer and June-September winter. Buenos Aires enjoys a Mediterranean-style climate, with January being sufficiently hot and humid to prompt a mass exodus to the beach. The immense expanse of Patagonia is drier, cooler and notoriously windy at its southernmost tip.
TIME : Two hours ahead of New York (EST).
CURRENCY : Argentine peso (ARS). Fluctuating rate valued at ARS4 = US$1.00 as of March 2012. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.
U.S. EMBASSY : Buenos Aires, Tel. 11-5777-4533.
DIRECT DIAL CODES : To phone hotels and restaurants in Argentina, dial 011 (international access) + 54 (Argentina code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS : Passport. Visit travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, cdc.gov.
GENERAL INFORMATION : Visit turismo.gov.at before your trip.