Entry requriements and customs: A US passport and a VISA are required. To obtain a visa, deliver or send your passport, with a self addressed stamped envelope to a Consulate Office, to be left for 5 working days. No photos and no charge. Tourists may enter with cigarettes, liquor, and personal effects other than clothing of a total value of $500.
Language: Spanish, English widely spoken in Buenos Aires.
Temperature: A dry, temperate climate throughout most of the country. The area around Iguassu Falls is tropical. The Andes are considerably cooler. Buenos Aires... Dec-Feb: 83, Mar-May: 82, Jun-Aug: 57, Sep-Nov: 66 °F. Seasons are reversed compared to Northern Hemisphere.
Shopping hours: 10-6 Mon-Fri, 9-1 Sat Bank hours: 9-6 Mon-Fri
Things to buy: Leather, suede, local wines, woodcarvings, sweaters. One of South America's best bargain countries, but leather is getting expensive now.
Food: Beef is among the best in the world. The famous national dish is "Parrillada", and is a mixed-grill of prime steak bits, chicken sections, small sausages, animal organs, lamb and pork slices... barbecued on a small stove at your table. Expect the food to be among the best in the world. Note: There may be four meals a day - a light breakfast, a large lunch, a late afternoon tea and pastry, and a huge late dinner at 10 PM.
Drink: Argentine wines rival those of Chile and are quite inexpensive.
Tipping: If the service charge is included, add 10% more. If it is not included, tip 15%. Taxis get 10%. Porters get 50¢ per bag. Attendants 20¢. Restaurant waiters tend to be cold and snobbish.
Electricity: 220 Volts AC
Departure tax: International and Domestic.
Health: It is recommended that visitors to S. America have a gamma globulin shot. Check with your physician.
Miscellaneous: In Argentina, there are two currency exchange rates. One is the official rate, and the other is unofficial but legal. Do not use credit cards here or you'll be charget the official rate, which will cost 100% more. Buenos Aires residents are stylish and dress for dinner.