Electrical current in Argentina is 220 volts, 50Hz.
Most hotels and offices use the three-pin flat type plug, however
most older buildings use the two-pin round type plug.
Spanish is the official language of Argentina but English
is understood in the tourist areas.
A 10% tip is expected at restaurants in Argentina. Porters
expect some small change per bag.
Although the political and economic crisis is over, there are
still periodic outbreaks of social unrest and demonstrations.
Visitors are advised to avoid such public gatherings and keep
abreast with news to know whether any political disturbances are
expected. However, there is no specific threat to foreigners and
travellers should not be discouraged from travelling throughout the
country. Be alert for bag-snatchers, pickpockets and con-men,
particularly in crowded areas in Buenos Aires, on public transport
and in popular tourist haunts, such as San Telmo.
Argentineans are warm and unreserved people.
Business people dress well in Argentina and visitors are
expected to wear a smart suit. Handshaking is normal. Argentineans
are great conversationalists and are interested and knowledgeable
about world events, politics and sporting. Meetings usually begin
with small talk. Use titles when addressing people: Señor (Mr),
Señora (Mrs) and Señorita (Miss) followed by their surname.
Business culture in Argentina can be bureaucratic and as with most
South American countries negotiation and decision making can take a
long time and is best done face to face. Make sure you see the
right people, as only those in high positions are likely to be able
to make a final decision. Business hours are 9am to 5pm in Buenos
Aires, with an hour for lunch. Outside the capital it is normal to
take a siesta between 1pm and 4pm. Many business people are away on
holiday during January and February.
The international access code for Argentina is +54. The outgoing
code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the
United Kingdom). The area code for Buenos Aires is (0)11. Calls are
usually made from public call centres, but there are also public
telephones that take coins or phone cards, although one usually
pays more than the unit value of the card. Mobile phones are
increasingly popular; the area code must always be used when
phoning a mobile in Argentina. Internet cafes are widely available
in Buenos Aires and other popular tourist destinations. Many hotels
also offer Internet access.
Travellers to Argentina over the age of 18 years can bring in
the following items to the value of US$300 without incurring
customs duty: 2 litres of alcohol, 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars, and
5kg of food items. Restrictions apply to fresh foodstuffs such as
meat and dairy products. Prohibited items include explosives,
inflammable items, narcotics and pornographic material. Firearms
and ammunition for sporting purposes are allowed if accompanied by