Argentina and Buenos Aires
Located in the southern extreme of South America, Argentina has a continental extension of almost 3.8 million km2, out of which 2.8 km2 belong to the continent –with approximately 54% of vast plains like meadows, 23% of plateaus, another 23% of mountains and hills and the rest belongs to the Antartic sector. Its 3.800 kilometers extend from 22º to 55º of South latitude. It is bounded by Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile with a total boundary area of 4.725 kilometers. Its maritime front on the Atlantic Ocean reaches up to 4.725 kilometers
Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina. It is located on the southern hemisphere of the American continent, 34º 36’ latitude and 58º 26’ longitude. The city lies on a plain surface and it has an area of 202 km2. There are approximately 3 million inhabitants in the city, which together with the metropolitan area, make the city one of the ten largest urban centres of the world.
The River Plate and the Riachuelo are its natural borders to the east and south. The General Paz Avenue, a motorway that surrounds the city from north to west, completes the city boundaries. As this motorway links Capital Federal with Greater Buenos Aires, it is a heavily populated area with great economic activity
The climate in Buenos Aires is mild the whole year round. The average annual temperature is 18°C (64°F) and intensely hot or cold days are few and far between, which means visitors can roam around the city at any time of the year.
The coldest month is July. Though there are usually no frosts, customary clothing will include a warm sweater, an anorak or an overcoat and scarf. In winter it is only mildly cold during the day, but at nighttime the temperature falls considerably.
The official language is Spanish. In Buenos Aires this will adopt the form of lunfardo, a jargon used in this porteño setting. All tourist operators will be fluent in English, and many of them will also know Portuguese, French and German.
The official currency is the Argentine Peso ($). All the main credit and charge cards are accepted at most hotels, shops, restaurants and tourist establishments. Smaller eateries, public transport and taxis require cash. There are ATMs all over the city.
There is no need to have any vaccines before entering Buenos Aires, which is a very safe city as regards sanitation. Water distributed on the public network is drinkable. State hospitals, which are at the service of tourists, will attend to emergencies round the clock free of charge. Argentine medical doctors are recognized the world over for their excellent training. Emergency ambulance service (SAME) is also free of charge.
Travel inside the city provides a variety of options: five ‘subte’ lines (which is the name given to the subways or undergrounds), over one hundred lines of colectivos (as buses are called in Buenos Aires) and interurban railway lines (or trains). Taxis and hired cars (called remises) are a very common means of transport, and are safe and relatively cheap compared to other cities.
Passport and Visa Requirements
All foreign visitors to Argentina must check the visa requirements at their local Argentine Embassy or Consulate. Be aware that the visa application process could take up to 6 months depending on the country where the application is made. The Conference Secretariat can provide you with an official invitation letter if this is required.
The prevailing rate of VAT in Argentina is 21% and is included in retail prices.
You can get up to 16% back when you buy nationally manufactured products at retailers identified with the Tax Free logo. You must spend at least AR$70 in the store. Global Refund Checks MUST be stamped by Customs before leaving Argentina.
The electrical supply in Argentina is 220 volts, 50 Hz.
Culture and Sightseeing in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a multifaceted and cosmopolitan city. Its particular beauty is the result of its history, and its enchanting mix of traditions, culture and people. The blend of ancient and modern in an exciting assortment of styles and traditions is part of the city’s distinct appeal. Eclecticism and elegance converge in Buenos Aires making it seductive and particularly unique. Visitors are caught up in the fascination of the city’s atmosphere, the quaint, inimitable personality of each of its 48 neighborhoods, the friendliness of its people and the broad range of cultural and commercial choices available to them.
Many are the things that are characteristic of this city and its inhabitants, but among them there are a few that cannot go unmentioned, such as our typical tango and our folkloric music, football, beef, maté tea and dulce de leche, all of them undisputed symbols of Argentine temperament.
From its very beginnings, Buenos Aires – and, in truth, Argentina in general – was marked by the fact that it became a melting pot of races, by virtue of the many migratory streams that came to the country from all over the world, bringing with them their culture and their traditions. This is reason why each of the city’s barrios presents particular features that respond to its unique history and idiosyncrasy. Take, for instance, La Boca, which even today preserves the charming imprint of its Italian immigrants with their multi-colored houses dating back to last century, its ‘conventillos’ or tenement houses (where entire families crowded into meager rooms) and the bars, canteens and ‘fondas’ serving flavorsome Italian dishes. "Caminito" is the most representative road in this district and tourists wouldn’t want to miss it.
San Telmo is one of the locations where the first inhabitants settled, the place where the arrabal was spawned, a refuge for those popular troubadours known as payadores. Here are early homes where the aristocratic families lived. Another emblematic neighborhood is the Abasto, known for its central fruit and vegetable market that supplied the whole city (a building today made over into a large shopping mall), and for its tenements, canteens and theaters; but it is most widely recognized as the barrio where Carlos Gardel, the very epitome of Argentine tango, once lived.
Buenos Aires has such a broad variety to offer tourists. Both during the day and – perhaps even more so – at night, visitors to this magnificent city will be able to enjoy sights such as the historic and civic buildings of Plaza de Mayo, recognize the European heritage in Recoleta, or discover primeval history in the different faces of Palermo.