Jorge Abila

Travelled to 7 countries / regions

Written 39 briefs
I'm a local living in Buenos Aires



Americas > Argentina > Useful Info
Submitted on Jul 05, 2020 Useful Info

How much money to budget for a trip to Argentina

  • Traveling in Argentina can be very cheap if watch your budget. There are also many upscale things here as well so you can go as fancy as you want!
  • (By the way, you should always budget in USD instead of Argentina pesos, and disregard any thing you find on the internet that gives you costs in pesos due to a huge problem we have with inflation. In 2019 for example our inflation was over 50%, meaning whatever price in pesos was written about in 2019, they're likely 50% higher. But their converted price to USD should be about the same. The inflation is not slowing down so the peso prices will continue to increase rapidly into the near future.)
  • Assuming you're visiting the country for about a week (and excluding any shopping expenses and your flights to and from Argentina):
  • If you travel very frugally, you can budget about USD$45-$65 per day
  • However, to travel comfortably, my suggestion is to budget USD$110-$140 per day
  • If you want to travel posh and do everything the most convenient way possible, you will need to budget $250-$350 per day. Of course there's no ceiling on how much you can spend. If you stay in hotels like Park Hyatt you can easily spend more than this amount just on accommodation alone
  • The longer you stay put in one city, the lower the per-day budget is going to be, because domestic transportation is pretty pricey. More details on this below
  • Here are the price ranges for the major categories of travel expenses:
  • Hostels: USD$5-$20 per night. In Buenos Aires the well-rated hostels usually go for $12 or more per night, but in other cities like Mendoza you can get decent ones for as little as $6 per night
  • Hotels: obviously there is a HUGE range in prices depending on location and stars. In Buenos Aires, 3 stars go for USD$50-$100, 4 stars go for USD$90-$200, 5 stars go for USD$200-$400. I would not recommend anything less than 2 stars. The hotel prices outside of Buenos Aires in other major tourist hubs like Mendoza and Ushuaia are not significantly lower
  • Airbnb: very affordable and highly recommended. Most rentals go for USD$20-$70 per night in Buenos Aires, and the high end penthouse ones are around $100-$130 per night. Outside of BA it's about the same range, although you'll find more rentals in the lower part of this range than in the higher ones.
  • Food: fast food cost about USD$3-$6 per meal per person. Cheap sit down restaurants cost about $5-$8 per meal per person. Nicer restaurants go for $10-$17 per meal per person. Fancy restaurants are usually more than $20 per meal per person. Tipping for sit-down restaurants is pretty common, and you should tip 10-15% depending on how good the service was. A good way to cut down on food cost is to use the supermarkets, which are very cheap. You can see how much typical grocery items cost on this website
  • Taxis: this is very cheap. In Buenos Aires for example, you can cab across the entire city for about USD$3.5-$5. Uber is available in BA and costs about the same as regular taxi. If you use public transportation, it's usually less than USD$1 for pretty much any trips within the city, so it's the cheapest way to get around, but unless you speak good Spanish it could be confusing to navigate through
  • Domestic flights: this is the best way to get around Argentina since we are a very big country geographically and our train networks are very underdeveloped (more on this below). Flying is not cheap though, with short haul flights to Mendoza costing USD$40 each way (and I've seen a lot of options for USD$70 one way). Longer flights to places like El Calafate and Ushuaia cost USD$140 per person each way
  • Long distance buses: while I recommend flying as the best way to get around the country, long-distance buses can be significantly cheaper, but they take much longer. From Buenos Aires to Mendoza, for example, takes 2 hours by flight but 15 hours by bus, but buses will cost less than half of what flights cost. If you're on a very tight budget, this is probably the best way to around the country, not only because of how cheap it is, but most of these buses are also overnight which means you also get to save on accommodation expenses for hotels
  • Domestic trains: the main train route only serve Buenos Aires, Rosario and Cordoba, and this route is very affordable costing less than USD$15 for the entire route. There are also a couple of scenic trains that are more like attractions than transportation options. These are more expensive, like the Train to the Clouds, which cost about USD$150
  • Car rental: outside of Buenos Aires, and especially in Patagonia, traveling by car is actually a very good, and not an uncommon way to get around. I've written in more details about how to rent a car here, but basically pretty much anyone with a driver's license can do it without needing to do anything special. Car rentals cost about USD$35-$45 per day for manual transmission, and $50-$70 per day for automatic cars
  • Tourist attractions: you won't be needing to spend much money for the urban attractions in Buenos Aires, like the various museums and Recoleta Cemetery, whose admissions are usually free or extremely cheap, no more than a few USDs. However, outside of Buenos Aires, to places like Mendoza, Patagonia, and Iguazu falls, the cost of attractions do add up especially if you want to go on guided tours. In Patagonia, for example, the cheapest way to travel is to do everything yourself and just pay the admission fees to the various national parks that cost no more than USD$20, but unless you've trekked before and know what to prepare for, it's better to go with a tour that can cost USD$150-$300 per person plus tips. In Mendoza too you can go on winery tours can cost more than USD$100. Iguazu Falls tours can cost USD$30-$60 per person
  • Alcohol: getting beers and wines from supermarkets is the very cheap, about USD$1 for 0.5 liters of domestic beer and USD$2 for imported beer. Wine is about USD$3-$5 per bottle of domestic wine, which are very good. Drinks at bars are obviously much more expensive, average about $4-$8 depending on the type of drink and the poshness of the establishment