Travel Argentina: How Much does it Cost?


Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

Argentina is one of those countries that accommodates all types of travellers.  Whether you are a backpacker travelling on a very low budget or a luxury traveller looking to indulge in the “finer things in life” there is a hotel, restaurant and mode of transportation to suit your desires.  It should be of note, however, that the prices in Argentina are changing quite drastically at the moment as the country is again struggling with issues of inflation.  You’ll notice too that in Argentina the prices rise the farther south you travel.  You’ll find that the prices are inflated in Southern Patagonia.  This isn’t as much of a tourist grab as many people believe, rather it simply costs more to live in more isolated, colder locations.  This list of prices does not contain hard figures, instead it is meant as a guide.

Accommodation

The type of accommodation available in Argentina is diverse.  There are plenty of options available for the budget travellers including hostels and a small number of guesthouses.  For the higher end travellers there are 4 and 5 star hotels in nearly every destination worth visiting.  Travellers looking to have a more traditional experience will enjoy the opportunity to stay out of town in one of the campos.

Hotels

I’ve learned that no matter where you go in the world hotel prices are almost always the same.  In Buenos Aires a 5 star hotel like PuroBaires will cost about 300US$ a night whereas for a nice 3 star hotel like the Duque Hotel you’re looking at about 130US$ a night.  There are cheaper hotel options as well, Hotel Mundial is a decent hotel that offers rooms for around 60US$ a night.  The prices vary in other parts of the country.  For a room in the nice 3 star Babilonia Hostel in Cordoba you’re likely to spend around 40US$ a night.

Hostels

It seems like there is a hostel on every block in Argentina, and there are a number of hostel chains.  The price of hostels is quite diverse, but you really do pay for what you get.  The average hostel in Buenos Aires will cost between 12 and 20 US$ for a dorm bed, with a number of options for private rooms at about 25-30US$ a night.  In Patagonia you’ll find these prices to be about 15% higher in the high season.  Note though that in the winter, hostels in Southern Patagonia can be dirt cheap.

Ranches

Increasingly, staying at a ranch in Argentina is becoming quite popular.  The range of prices to stay at one of the ranches is quite wild.  There are ranches that provide meals and a range of excursions, with a luxury feel, for as much as 200US$ a day.  However, there are a number of cheap options as well.  One can stay at a ranch for as little as about 30US$ a day.

Food

Argentinean Steak Dinner

Argentinean Steak Dinner

Restaurants

  • All you can eat parrilla (barbeque): Between 10US$ and 2oUS$
  • Fancy meal at a high class restaurant: Between 20US$ and 40US$
  • Typical meal at a budget restaurant: Between 5US$ and 15US$
  • A bottle of beer: 2.50US$
  • A bottle of wine: Between 15US$ and 40US$

Grocery Stores

  •  Bife de Chorizo: 4-8 US$
  • 6 pack of Quilmes: 5US$
  • Bottle of Wine: Low end = 5-8US$.  High end = 20 – 30US$
  • Loaf of Bread: 0.50US$

Transportation

  • Bus: About 6US$ and hour.  The price, for example from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu (19hrs) is between 413 and 471 pesos (about 100-120US$).  The bus from Buenos Aires to Bariloche (21hrs) is between 500 and 600 pesos (130 and 150US$) depending on class.
  • Plane: If you book flights well in advance you can often find them to be cheaper than the buses, especially in Patagonia.  The bus journey from Bariloche to El Calafate, for example is about 200US$ whereas flights can be purchased for about 100-150US$ if bought well in advance.
  • Taxi:  There are actually two types of taxis in Argentina: remises and taxis.  Basically, a remis is much more private an exclusive.  In general, taxis are cheaper, but that isn’t the case across the country.  Some taxis use meters others negotiate the price.  My basic rule in Argentina was that a taxi cost about 2 pesos (50cents) per minute.  Thus, a 10 minute taxi ride would cost about 20 pesos (5US$).  A remis in Buenos Aires will cost almost double that.
  • Metro: The metro in Buenos Aires is the best way to get around.  The cost of a one way ticket is 0.70 cents of a peso (about 0.20 cents us).

Drinking and Entertainment

Quilmes

Quilmes

  • Entry to a club: Between 15 and 40 pesos (4US$ to 10US$)
  • 700ml Beer at a street side drinking spot: Between 10-15 pesos (2-3US$)
  • A hi-ball cocktail at a club: Between 15-30 pesos (4-7US$)
  • A tango show with a meal: Between 60-150US$

Tourist Activities

  • Rafting in Bariloche: 30-50US$
  • Winery tour in Mendoza: 20-30US$
  • City Tour of Buenos Aires: 10-15US$
  • Tour to Perito Moreno Glacier: Bus transfer only = 17-20US$.  Guided tour = about 40US$. Tour including glacier hike and boat cruise = about 125US$    (note there is also a 20US$ fee to the National Park).
  • Day boat tour of the Beagle Channel: Between 25-40US$


42 Comments

  1. Hi Brenden

    Can you use US$ for taxi rides and restuarants or do you need Argentine pesos?

    I notice that when booking a tango show that US$ were preferred by about 5% as compared with paying in pesos at the normal exchange rate.

    Post a Reply
    • Roger – The short answer is yes, but in reality it’s no. Haha. When booking online or anything the prices are almost always in $US. However, if you pay in USD at hotels/taxis/restaurants they’ll often accept them but give you a TERRIBLE rate. The Peso is constantly slipping you when booking online they give you a bit of a deal if you book in US, however in the flesh they’ll charge you a massive commission. That being said, there are ATMs everywhere, and the money exchanges (casa de cambios) give great rates. You don’t need to be packing a tonne of USD. Just use the ATMs.

      Post a Reply
  2. Are these prices for 2012/2013?

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Chris, the prices were done in late 2011. However, I’ve consulted some people who live in Argentina and they haven’t changed all too much at all. Maybe add a small percentage for inflation.

      Post a Reply
  3. Hey Brendan,
    My Girlfriend and I are looking for our next Backpacking destination,
    were really interrested in south america but dont know exactly where at the moment.
    A friend of ours told us that Argentina is one of the greatest place and one of the cheapest as well, but we dont know how much should we save up for that trip is around 2000$ for a months or two or more around 4000$, thank you for replying and have a nice day.

    Alex and Potsie.

    Post a Reply
    • Sounds about right for Argentina mate. I spent about $50 a day there. You could definitely do it for less if you move slowly. If you have a whole month, you could likely also toss in Uruguay or Chile onto your trip as well. Yeah, budget for about $45-50 a day and as long as you stay in hostels (you can get private double rooms at the hostels for about $10-15 each), then you’ll be fine.

      Post a Reply
      • Hey Brendan,

        Great article. Would budgeting ~$50/day include travel between cities and activities? For a rough guess would $100/day be reasonable for a couple (excluding airfare into Argentina)?

        Thanks,

        Martin

        Post a Reply
        • yup, you could probably do better than that since you get to split things like cabs and hotel rooms. I did $45 a day on my own. $50 a day for a couple would be nice and comfortable in Argentina I think.

          Post a Reply
  4. Hello Brendan,

    We are thinking of spending our honeymoon in argentina. and I am looking for some tours, however prices are quite on the high side: Eur4,000 per person for 13 days to visit:

    Buenos Aires,
    Bariloche
    El Calafate
    Ushuaia
    Escondido Lake

    Price includes 4 star hotels, and all transfers and excursions?

    Do you think that the price is expensive? and do you think that we can make this tour on our own?

    Thanks in advance
    Maria

    Post a Reply
    • Sounds high to me Maria,
      You can easily travel Argentina for cheaper than that. If you don’t mind lower than 4 star hotels, give Gecko’s Adventures a try. They are solid, and are much cheaper than what you’re looking at.

      Post a Reply
  5. Hi, you mentioned you can stay in ranches for about $30 a day. I have been looking online and can’t find any for less than about $150. Any tips? Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Just go. The cheaper ranches aren’t even going to be listed online. Truth is, the prices for this have probably gone up. But the truth is you kind of just have to rock up in towns and ask around if you want the best prices. Best of luck!

      Post a Reply
  6. Hey Brendan!

    I’m a New Zealander who will be in Cordoba for 6 weeks to do a volunteering project . I’ll be living with a host family and my lunch will be provided for. I just want to know how much do you reckon shall I budget for the day-to-day stuff? Also considering I will be a little bit of a tourist who will most likely buy souvenirs.

    Also can you recommend a cheap but good hostels in Buenos Aires?

    I also plan to do a bit of travelling in the Iguassu Falls. Can you recommend a train or bus that goes from Cordoba to Iguassu? And around how much would that cost? Do you also know good but cheap accommodation in this area?

    Sorry for asking heaps of questions but just want to be prepared!

    Thank you very much!

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Steph,

      Have a look the my Argentina Travel Guides there’s likely some answers in there for you.
      Since it’s been a while now since I’ve been, I can’t give you exact numbers, but you can google most things. Here are my answers off hand, but again, go through the guides.
      Day-to-Day costs? Dinner probably 5-10$ a day (Could be more). If you’re doing touristy things honestly it just depends how much. Drinking isn’t very expensive though, so maybe $20 for a good night out on the town in Argentina.
      In BA, I like the Tango Hostel. It’s cheap, simple, and there’s a good bar downstairs which is great for meeting people.
      There are plenty of buses between Cordoba and Iguazu and they are amazing. Again, prices are different now, but you should be able to google the current prices for buses.
      There are loads of hostels in Iguazu too. Check hostelworld.com for good accommodation listings in Argentina.
      But yeah, like I said, go through the guides and I hope they help!
      Cheers,

      Brendan

      Post a Reply
  7. “Plane: If you book flights well in advance you can often find them to be cheaper than the buses, especially in Patagonia.”

    That’s good news! :)
    We’ll save time and money in our planned journey.

    Post a Reply
  8. Hi Brendan,
    Do you recommend booking a van & guide & if so are they easy to find from cruise port or should we pre-book?
    We are a group of 9 taking a cruise to B.A. we have an evening & a day. We grew up in Argentina & wish to visit Vicente Lopez & other parts just outside the city.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi,
      I honestly have NO idea since I have never tried. However, I think you should do google a taxi service in BsAs and ask them if they can recommend you a van service for the day. It shouldn’t be too hard to do, I don’t think.
      Otherwise, I think if you just turned up at the port and got some taxi guys to make some calls for you you’d find someone. I used to have a contact for a tour van driver, but his cell isn’t working anymore, so I can’t really help. Another idea, maybe email one of the hostels in Buenos Aires, I’ll bet a place like Tango Hostel would be able to point you in the right direction.
      Best of luck!

      Post a Reply
  9. Hi Brendan!

    I am Argentinean living in the US, I can say these prices are very accurate, but many of them have gone up (at least last time I went to a disco, the entry fee was 60 pesos! Can you believe that?). However, this is the best version of travelling to Argentina information, since officially they won’t say anything.

    That said, what would you say would be a daily budget for Patagonia? (Lodging included or not). Thank you and I love the blog!

    Post a Reply
      • Hola Brendan!

        I think you may have misread my comment jajaja, I am visiting Patagonia, not Paraguay ;)

        Best

        Angie

        Post a Reply
        • Ayyy Dios. I swear I’m not drunk. For Patagonia it’s a bit more expensive since you’ll have park fees, tourist trap hostels, and big distances to cover. You’ll probably want about 50USD a day, maybe a bit more depending on the type of accommodation you go with.

          Post a Reply
  10. Brendan, my wife and are off next week (3 weeks Argentina) and i’ve booked most of our accommodation already eg Mendoza, El Calafate, an Estancia and Iguassu. However, we have not booked BA. We have 3 days there, then over to Montevideo for a weekend (staying at the Casino)and back for 5 days. Your input/advice would be most appreciated, as heads up we won’t be back packing so hostels are a no go. We love a beer, well travelled and although 45ish get out and about.

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Nobby, I haven’t spent much time outside the hostels in BA. My recommendation is to try a place called Moreno Buenos Aires. It’s nice, and they almost always have massive deals going on booking.com. I got a room for a night once for $45 when the regular is about $150

      Post a Reply
  11. Hey Brendan! Great article!
    I’m planning to travel through Argentina for 15 days, in July. The places that I will visit are Buenos Aires – Bariloche – El Calafate – Ushuaia, staying 2 to 3 days in each place. I was wondering if 200€ (euros), which is about AR$ 2.100, is enough to travel through these places (besides travel costs!), visiting Natural parks, museums, tourist city tours and eating.
    Thank you in advance! :)

    Post a Reply
    • It’s going to be tight. Your accommodation alone will be about 10Euros a day. That would only leave 50 Euros for food and you’d have to spend about 5-10 minimum a day, I think on that route. If you’ve got your accommodation covered already, or you’re couchsurfing, it would be ok, but more wiggle room would be ideal, of course.

      Post a Reply
      • Well, I’m planning on couchsurfing and also buying food (bread, ham, cheese, tomatos, maybe pasta and rice) at supermarkets, so I don’t spend a lot on that. So I’ll try to save a little bit more :) Also, what do you reccomend to visit in 2 days in each place? I’m looking to experience Argentina’s nature! Thanks again :)

        Post a Reply
  12. Hi!
    This is really useful, thanks so much for posting this!
    I’m moving to BA in July for a year studying and was hoping to travel round the south during holidays. What would you reccomend as the must-sees? I’m big into adventure climbing / hiking …but will be travelling it all alone as a 21y/o girl, from your experience is it quite safe?

    Post a Reply
    • Steph, safe as can be. Argentinean guys can be pretty aggressive in their courtship, but really other than that you’ll never have any issues solo men don’t have. It’s an extremely safe part of the world to travel, just be smart.

      Post a Reply
    • Hi Steph,

      I grew up in Patagonia so I can speak first hand that you’ll be OK. Remember to be careful as you would usually be. Patagonia is very well known for its cosmopolitism so you will encounter several international students/hikers.

      As muts-sees: Nahuel Huapi area (you won’t get bored).

      Best

      Post a Reply
  13. Hi , Im going to peru for the whole month of june and im also hoping to spend a week in patagonia. Looking a plane tickets range from 600 to 800USD now. will traveling by bus from peru be the same price? I will be a solo female traveler, do you recommend it as a safe area?

    Post a Reply
  14. Hi Brendan, my first question is how many US$ would i need to spend daily in argentina excluding any accommodation expenses (accommodation will be provided for me for free)? also, i want to know in what situations do i need to spend money in US$ and when do i spend money in AR$? thank you

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Fady,
      It depends on how many activities you want to be doing and where you plan to be eating. You could probably survive on as little as $15 a day. However, as a tourist I would imagine you’d find yourself spending about $30-40 a day. You will be able to pay for everything in AR$. You’ll find money exchanges everywhere though if you have US$.

      Post a Reply
      • Ok,then roughly speaking what would be my daily budget if it includes two meals (not the very expensive type), a little sightseeing and go to clubs at night?

        Post a Reply
        • Again, depends on how much you drink. Maybe $30 would be reasonable, $40 if you go a bit crazy. If you don’t drink much, maybe $20-25.

          Post a Reply
  15. I’ll be travelling to Buenos Aires on Oct 2014 for 10 days. I’m pretty clear on airfare and hotel cost but I would like to know much money I should take with me for sightseeing, two meals a day and public transportation. (maybe some light shopping) I’ll be travelling alone and staying mostly in the center of Buenos Aires.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Juliam,
      Really depends on what types of sights you’ll be planning on seeing. Certain things, like a tango show, can be a bit expensive. Other things are basically free. Also, food in Buenos Aires ranges from $4 at a small local place to $20 at a fancy buffet. I’d say your budget could range between $20-50 depending on how budget you travel.

      Post a Reply
  16. I will be going to Mendoza in November. I am looking at prices of food and they seems so inexpensive. Would you say you can spend about 40 – 60 US dollars per person for a nice meal? Thanks so much in advance.

    Post a Reply
    • 40-60US for a meal in Mendoza would be CRAZY! I usually spent about 5-10 dollars a meal. Even at the fancy steak houses you’ll only pay about 20USD per person. I’m sure you could find somewhere to spend 40-60USD on a meal, but you’d be eating at the top place in the city. Honestly, 20USD is a good, even high, budget for a really nice meal.

      Post a Reply
  17. Hi, I want to vacation for the first time in Argentina with my wife. We’re from the island of Trinidad and Tobago but I am unsure of the relevant expenses, inclusive of airfares etc

    Post a Reply
  18. Argentina could be really cheap if you want. I moved here in 2009 and started with a few dollars. The most expensive it’s getting a place to sleep, but food, transport and everything else could be extremly cheap if you go to the correct places.

    Post a Reply
  19. Hey Brandon,
    thx for this article. This is helpful! Although i am not sure about the inflation in Argentina. I read everywhere that the prices are pretty high and still rising. Maybe i don’t understand much about economics but: does that even effect me as a tourist? since i get more ar. pesos for my euros because of the inflation, the rise of the costs in the country aren’t noticeable for me. Am i right or do i understand it wrong?

    Post a Reply
    • Inflation shouldn’t matter to you at all as long as you have foreign currency. I’ve heard of some issues with bank machines giving terrible rates when withdrawing though. I can’t see it being a major issue for you as a foreigner though.

      Post a Reply

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