Insurance and documents
Travel insurance is essential.
Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance
Argentina (your trip is based on a compact or medium category 2WD vehicle): Limited collision damage waiver and vehicle theft protection (CDW/TP) cover is included. There may be an excess payable but additional CDW/TP cover with zero excess can usually be purchased at additional cost (not available in El Calafate). If you upgrade to a 4WD rental there is always an excess and this cannot be reduced to zero. Please check the level of your coverage with us when making your booking.We strongly recommend you consider buying your own car hire excess waiver insurance policy before you travel: these are widely available from insurance companies in the UK. All incidents involving collision, robbery and theft must be reported to the police and a report obtained.
An international driving licence is required for Argentina. From 8 June 2015 new regulations will apply concerning the paper counterpart of UK driving licences. This may affect what is required by the rental company when you collect your car.Please check https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes for further details.
You will need to return the car to the specified office at the end of the rental period. If you are leaving on a morning flight we advise you to do this the day before you depart.
3 domestic flights (longest 4hrs); self-drive in the lake district and southern Patagonia.
This holiday offers economical mid-range accommodation in Buenos Aires. In the lake district we have selected a mixture of modern and boutique properties in scenic settings. In southern Patagonia we’ve selected accommodation at an unusual variety of rustic estancia-style properties. Whilst not luxurious, what they lack in contemporary comfort is repaid with regional flavour.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.
- Guided walking tour along the Avenida de Mayo.
Summary of nights
16 days, 15 nights: Buenos Aires 2; Bariloche 2; San Martín de los Andes 2; Villa La Angostura 2; Viedma 1; El Chaltén area 2; El Calafate area 2; Buenos Aires 2.
Included in the journey price
- Services of our team of experts in our London office.
- Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
- All land and air transport within Latin America.
- Accommodation as specified.
- Vehicle hire with limited insurance as specified.
- Meals as specified.
- Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
• International flights to Latin America.
• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions.
The unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentine peso.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$50-70 per person per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants in cities and you will pay considerably more. In addition, you should budget a total of US$200 to cover the cost of fuel.
How to take it
Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Tipping guidelines can be found on our Briefing Dossier
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
This predominantly self-driving holiday is for independent-minded clients seeking the freedom to explore without the support of local guides and drivers but with the security of pre-booked accommodation. You should be confident to navigate along roads outside the UK, driving on the right. Some Spanish as well as mechanical knowledge, for example the ability to change a tyre, is highly recommended. We advise you to let us know if you have a strong preference for automatic or manual transmission as vehicles supplied can vary. GPS equipment is not normally available but you will receive basic written directions and we will send you our Rules of the Road document with helpful tips specific to driving in Argentina.
Driving is along a mixture of paved and ripio (gravel) roads, more if you plan to go exploring on your days at leisure. A 2-wheel drive vehicle is sufficient to complete the route but a 4WD will be more comfortable (and is recommended) if you intend to venture off the beaten track or deeper into the national parks. Please speak to us if you wish to upgrade to a 4x4. Finally, petrol is usually easy to come by in the main towns but be sure to keep an eye on your fuel tank as you won’t find any service stations in the countryside.
Owing to the extremities of the weather in Patagonia in winter, this holiday is only available between October and the end of March, the southern summer.
In Buenos Aires, October to November and March to April see temperatures between 15 and 25°C and a good deal of sunshine. January to February is hot, with temperatures over 30°C.
In the summer in the lake district (Dec-Mar) and Buenos Aires in the shoulder seasons the weather should be similar to a good British summer. The shoulder seasons in the lakes are more unpredictable, with possible cool periods and rain in April and October.
Southern Patagonia’s summer (Dec-Feb) has long, usually mild days, although you can be subjected to 4 seasons in one day and occasional snow flurries are not uncommon. Mar/April or Sep/Oct can be sunny and clear, but it can be windy.
Clothing and special equipment
In the southern hemisphere summer it will be hot in Buenos Aires so take loose-fitting light clothing for maximum comfort. An umbrella offers good protection from tropical showers. You will need sunglasses and head protection.
The further south you travel into Patagonia, the more unpredictable the weather, so you will need layered clothing including wind and waterproof outer shells.
If you plan to go to good restaurants or out on evening entertainment trips, you might bring something a bit smarter as well (although formal attire will not be required).
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: polio; tetanus, hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.