Travel to Buenos Aires

Flying to Buenos Aires

British Airways offer direct flights to Buenos Aires from the UK, as do the Argentine carrier Condor. Indirect flights include Iberia (via Madrid), TAP (via Lisbon) and KLM (via Amsterdam). The most expensive time to visit is during the summer months of January and February, but cheap flights to Buenos Aires can generally be found the rest of the year.

Flight times

From London - 13 hours; New York - 11 hours; Los Angeles - 16 hours; Toronto - 13 hours; Sydney - 16 hours.

Travel by road

Summary:

Driving in Argentina usually involves long distances and, apart from the main highways, roads are generally in poor condition. Traffic drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18 years. Speed limits are 130kph (80mph) on motorways, 80kph (50mph) on one-lane roads and 40 to 60kph (25 to 37mph) in built-up areas.

Regulations, signs and conduct are similar to those in the USA or Europe, although drivers can be impatient and have little regard for lanes or the wearing of seat belts. Checkpoints exist to prevent meat, vegetables and other food products entering into Mendoza, San Juan, Patagonia, Catamarca, Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán.

Insurance that covers third-party liability is required by law. An international driving licence is rarely requested by car hire companies or police; your licence from home will suffice, although it is a good idea to get it officially translated.

Emergency breakdown service:

ACA (tel: (011) 4803 3333 or 0800 777 2894, in Argentina only).

Routes:

From Buenos Aires, Route 3 goes southwest to Bahia Blanca and then along the east coast of Argentina all the way to Rio Gallegos. It then travels to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, via Chile and a ferry ride across the Magellan Straits. Route 7 goes west to Mendoza and onwards to Santiago in Chile. Route 9 goes northwest to Rosario and Córdoba and connects with roads northwards to Salta or Puerto Iguazú. All roads coming into Buenos Aires connect with the A001 or Avenida General Paz, a semi-circular autopista that acts as the city's ring-road. Several main roads run all the way into the heart of Buenos Aires, such as Autopistas Leopoldo Lugones and 25 Mayo, which both connect with Avenida 9 de Julio in the city centre.

Driving times:

From Córdoba - 9 hours; Mendoza - 17 hours; Puerto Iguazú - 20 hours; Ushuaia - 30 hours.

Coaches:

Numerous bus companies operate long-distance services from Retiro Terminal de Omnibus, Avenida Antártida Argentina, next to the Retiro train station. Travellers should keep a good grip on their belongings, as bag snatching and pickpocketing are quite common. International bus services operate between Buenos Aires and Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Travel by rail

Services:

While trains are no longer a viable option for getting to or around Argentina, as the mainstay of passenger rail services have ceased, there are a number of urban rail services within and around Buenos Aires.

Operators:

Out-of-town services are run by various companies including Trenes de Buenos Aires (tel: 0800 333 3822) and Ferrovias (tel: 0800 777 3377; www.ferrovias.com.ar). There are three main train stations in Buenos Aires. In the south of the city, Estación Constitucion, Calle General Hornos 11, receives trains from Mar del Plata, Sierra de la Ventana and Tandil. To the west of the city, Estación Once, next to Plaza Miserere on Avenida Pueyrredon and Calle Bartolomé Mitre, handles both long-distance and suburban trains. Estación Retiro, Avenida Ramos Mejia, serves trains from north of the city, including the suburbs of San Isidro (journey time - 20 minutes) and Tigre (journey time - 50 minutes).

Journey times:

From Mar del Plata – 6 hours; Sierra de la Ventana - 9 hours 30 minutes; Tandil - 7 hours 30 minutes.

Edited by Tina Banerjee
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