What to Pack if You're Backpacking Around Argentina

A backpacker catches up on some emails
A backpacker catches up on some emails | © Luca Sartoni / Flickr
Sorcha O'Higgins

Argentina is a great place to be a backpacker. This vast landmass has a wealth of different landscapes, urban centres and natural wonders. So if you are planning on visiting every corner of this amazing South American country, what should you bring with you? Check out our guide to packing your bag for your backpacking adventure in Argentina.

A backpacker getting organised

Argentina is a country with an area of 2.78 million km² (1.07 million mi²), so there is a lot of ground to cover. From the Patagonian steppe to soaring mountain ranges to sprawling metropolises and arid desert, Argentina has it all. The first thing to consider when packing your backpack before you embark on your trip around Argentina is when you are going. Remember that it is in the southern hemisphere, so winter is from June to August, spring is from September to November, summer is from December to February and autumn is from March to May. If you come in winter, temperatures will differ all over the country. In the capital, Buenos Aires, temperatures are pretty mild, rarely dropping below 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit). However, in the northern regions you will still get hot days and very cold nights due to the elevation, but it is a dry cold. In the south, especially in Tierra del Fuego, it rains a lot and there is snow in the more mountainous areas. So in winter, bring warm, heavy clothes. In summer, you can expect temperatures to be high in most areas above the Patagonian line. January and February are the warmest months, and temperatures can get up into the 40s (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas, so be sure to bring summer clothes and lots of sunscreen! If you head to Misiones where the Iguazu Falls are, you will need lots of strong insect repellent, as this jungle area is swarming with bugs. If you plan on going to Patagonia, be sure to bring good walking shoes, rain gear and a coat, because the weather is very unpredictable and you can get snow as early as April and as late as October.

Backpackers head out on an adventure

Money can often be an issue in Argentina. If you are able to, set up an online money transfer account, such as Azimo or Western Union. You will be charged a lot on the limited amount you can withdraw from the ATMs in Argentina, so you are better off doing large money transfers to save yourself some cash. Argentina is largely a cash-based economy, and your money will go a lot further if you pay for things in cash. Be careful not to stash all your cash in one place, and if you are staying in hostels, make sure to leave your excess money in a safe or locker. Never bring out more money than you need with you, and leave your credit cards and any valuables in your accommodation when you go out.

A happy backpacker

Don’t plan on buying anything technology related while you are in Argentina, so make sure you have all of the necessary cables, chargers and converters with you before you come, as these items cost a lot more to replace and they are often of bad quality. Download the Porteno Spanish app before you come so you have a cursory knowledge of the local lingo, which can confuse even seasoned Spanish speakers because of the pronunciation and different vocabulary. And last but not least, pack all the stamina you can, because Argentina will show you a good time, so bring your A game!

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