Overland Argentina Travel
Pan American Highway > Argentina
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- 1 Visiting Argentina
- 2 Entering Argentina with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Argentina
- 4 Gas and Diesel price in Argentina
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Argentina
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Argentina
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Argentina is an exceptionally beautiful country with very friendly locals and lots to see and do. The border crossings are simple, although in the big cities, crime is a concern. Argentina is not only famous for its Asado (something similar to bbq) but has some amazing natural things to see. From whales crossing 10 meters from the beachfront to the famous Perito Moreno glacier. And don't forget the Andes mountains between Chile and Argentina, which stretch for hundreds of km and has amazing border crossings you won't believe. Also Argentina is the world's fourth wine producer in the world with Mendoza as it main productor city, it is common to tour the wineries once in Mendoza.
Entering Argentina with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: November 2013
(To check if you need a travel Visa for Argentina, application instructions and fees see: Argentina Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)
- Passport of registered owner.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Original vehicle registration.
- Proof of vehicle insurance.
(no copies are required)
Process at border
- The owner of the vehicle gains entry at immigration (migración), including a stamp in their Passport.
Note, as of 2013 people from Australia must pay a ~$160.00 USD fee per person to enter Argentina, even at land borders. This fee was suspended for US citizens as of March 24, 2016. This fee was also suspended for Canadians as of January 2018. You must buy this online and print the receipt before you arrive at the border. This is a one time reciprocity fee that is good for 10 years. Buy it online here https://reciprocidad.provincianet.com.ar/
- The owner must show the new passport stamp, drivers license the original vehicle registration to customs (aduana)
- The owner is issued a temporary import permit for the vehicle.
Note: Customs may ask for proof of vehicle insurance before entry is granted.
WARNING!!!! If you are not named on the customs form as the driver of the vehicle who entered the country the Argentine customs agents will seize the vehicle when you try and leave. They will put a fine which is so high you will never pay it and it takes months or years to resolve. DO NOT risk having vehicles change hands in Argentina. Checks in patagonia are lax, but not in the rest of the country. See how to properly sell a vehicle in the Buy and Sell section
Cost of entry
Free for most foreign visitors, see note above for cost of reciprocity visas concerning visitors from the US, Canada, and Australia.
Permitted length of stay
Typically valid for 30 or 90 days, however the amount of time is at the discretion of the customs officer. The maximum length of stay for the vehicle, is up to 8 months, however a vehicle import permit of this length may require some persuasion.
(2016-2018: we got the 8 months already at 4 different entry points, without asking - we stored our van 3 times for more than 6 months)
Some customs officials at small borders don't even know that they can allow your vehicle for 8 months. So you better tell them before filling in the form. If that person doesn't believe it, you can eventually show a copy of a previous entry form or a printout of the AFIP regulations. You can find these here : www.afip.gov.arg -> usuarios aduanas -> ABC -> Consultas aduaneras -> Vehiculos -> Ingreso temporal. or http://www.afip.gob.ar/aduana/circulacionVehiculos.asp
:Ingreso a la Argentina de vehículos de viajeros residentes en los demás países
- Documentación a Presentar a la entrada:
- Título de Propiedad a su nombre emitido por autoridad competente del exterior o, en caso de no ser el propietario, poder suficiente para conducir el vehículo otorgado por el propietario mediante instrumento público.
- Licencia para conducir, con validez en la República Argentina
- Comprobante de Seguro a través del certificado de la póliza de seguro de responsabilidad civil por daños causados a personas y de Seguro a través del certificado de la póliza de seguro de responsabilidad civil por daños causados a personas y objetos no transportados en el vehículo a favor del propietario o conductor del vehículo con cobertura en la república Argentina.
- Plazo de Permanencia:
- El plazo a otorgar será de hasta OCHO (8) MESES, prorrogables en la medida en que la Dirección Nacional de Migraciones, prorrogue la permanencia temporal del viajero en el país.
- Importante: Cuando se trate de ciudadanos argentinos radicados en el exterior con una antigüedad no inferior a UN (1) AÑO, además de la documentación exigida anteriormente, deberán presentar un certificado emitido por el Consulado Argentino correspondiente a la jurisdicción del domicilio en el exterior y cambio de domicilio en su documento de identidad, que acredite dicho plazo de permanencia. En tal caso, el plazo a otorgar a la permanencia del vehículo en admisión temporal será de hasta NOVENTA (90) DÍAS, en viajes ocasionales, imporrogables, y por año calendario.
- Con anterioridad al vencimiento del plazo otorgado a la permanencia, el interesado deberá producir el retorno, de no ser así el interesado será pasible de ser sancionado por infracción al régimen de admisión temporaria de mercaderías, de acuerdo a lo establecido por al Art. 970 del Código Aduanero.
Extension of stay
Two ways to achieve this: 1 leave Argentina with the vehicle and return. This can be done at any bordering country, all in one day, without problems. 2. go to immigration in the port area of Buenos Aires and ask for a extension, if you have overstayed there will be a small fine.
You can overstay your 90-day tourist visa without a problem. If you don't want to leave the country after 90 days just to renew the visa, you don't have to. Once you are ready to leave, you just go to one of the listed Migracion offices and pay a flat fee of $600.00 ARS (regardless of the length of overstay) with no other penalty re right of return etc. The tramite is called 'Habilitacion de Salida'. You are then given 10 days to exit the country. The info and map of offices is in English here - http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/accesibleingles/?habilitacion_salida
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Yes you can temporarily store your vehicle, just have to be sure your car is out of Argentina before your car permit expires. It is possible to obtain an 8 month vehicle import permit, but you must ask for a permit that grants you this much time. There are campsites that specialize in storing vehicles, such as:
- Near Buenos Aires - (http://www.andeanroads.com/)
- In Ushuaia the campground Rio Pipo, just in front of the Parque Nacional used to be a great place to leave a vehicle, but it was permanently closed in March 2016.
Exiting with a vehicle
- The registered owner presents the temporary import paper to customs.
- The registered owner is stamped out of Argentina at immigration.
Driving in Argentina
Recommended books for Overlanding in Argentina
Travel insurance for Argentina
World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.
The legendary german overlander couple living in El Bolson also offer since many years an insurance possibility in Argentina here
Vehicle insurance requirements
Insurance is mandatory, and must specifically cover Argentina.
It's common for customs officers to ask for proof of insurance before entry is granted.
Cost of insurance
Something around $2,000.00 ARS per month for a 4x4.
Where to purchase insurance
Larger cities have insurance offices where it can be purchased.
When buying from a large, international insurance company it's possible to also get coverage for Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay on one policy which makes it cheaper.
Technically an International Driving Permit is required.
In reality, showing a license from anywhere in the world seems to be good enough.
Driving side of road
Right hand drive vehicles are permitted without problem.
Mandatory items in vehicle
In cars: fire extinguisher, warning triangles, first aid kit; headlights must be on at all times, seat belt use is mandatory Motorcyclists: helmets are obligatory
General Road quality
Roads in Argentina are typically of very good quality. Almost all highways are sealed and two lanes. Streets in the southern parts of the country are often gravel roads
Line markings and hazard signs are almost always present.
One way streets are extremely common in towns and cities, and almost always well signed.
Highway road signs with distances and directions are typically very clear and consistent.
Within towns and cities, almost all streets are clearly signed.
Toll roads are not common, though the larger highways and freeways around the countries' biggest cities are tolled.
Prices are typically in the $5.00 ARS range, and toll booths come up ever 50 - 100km.
Bribery in Argentina
Bribery is not common in Argentina, though it does happen. Do not assume a Police officer is trying to bribe you, as he may take offense, making the situation worse.
Most commonly province policemen as the most prone to bribery. Gendarmería and other federal forces are not usually into bribery. Many times bribery will involve a policeman requesting to inspect your car for missing mandatory items, burned out mandatory lights, missing seatbelts, headlights not turned on. The policeman will search one item after the other until he finds one missing or in bad condition. He might offer to "fix the situation in some way", "cómo lo quiere arreglar". In these cases the policeman actually doesn't want to make a fine, so the best course of action is (in the case of an actual missing item) requesting for the fine and not offer a bribe. In most situations the police will push it a bit and after some attempts will not make the fine and let you go. It's important to know fines are not payable on the spot, so no policeman can collect money for fines on the road. See the bribery tips page for advice.
Two kinds of checkpoints are common in Argentina.
- Police / Military checkpoints.
Police may ask for your drivers license, Passport, original vehicle registration and the temporary import permit issued by customs when you entered Argentina. The Police are often friendly and polite.
How to Deal with Traffic Police in Argentina – Landcruising Adventure
Tips on Traffic Rules and Traffic Conduct on Argentinean Roads – Landcruising Adventure
- Agricultural checkpoints.
Argentina is serious about stopping the spread of fruit fly and other agricultural problems, so checkpints are common (especially in the North-West). Many types of fruit are banned and you will have to surrender them.
Traveling with pets
In most national and state parks pets are not allowed. You can still try to drive through without being caught depending what park it is, but officially it's not allowed. But most parks in north Argentina were much less strict than in the south. Especially the Mendoza parks seemed to be more strict than usual like for example Laguna Diamante where they sometimes do inspect inside the car. Other parks like Fitz Roy will only allow to walk the pet along the road or in the town.
Otherwise traveling in Argentina with pets is easy. There are good veterinarians and you get cheap meat and high quality food like Royal Canin is made in Argentina for example at a pretty good price.
As in Chile the border procedure when entering from a foreign country is more problematic. You will need a health certificate and a SENASA certificate to enter Argentina. For Argentina it's officially only valid 30days after issue.
People attitude towards dogs and their owners are more relaxed than in Chile and rather more like in the rest of south america.
More information can be found here
Gas and Diesel price in Argentina
Last updated: July 2016
Currency and unit to display:
Note: In Argentina, gasoline is referred to as "Nafta" and Diesel is commonly called "Gas-oil"
|Gasoline aka "Nafta" Grade||Price|
|Normal aka "Comun" (very rare)||$19.50 ARS per Liter|
|Super/95RON||$19.50 ARS per Liter|
|Infinia/Premium/98RON||$22.69 ARS per Liter|
|Ultra Diesel aka "Gas-Oil"||$17.88 ARS per Liter|
|Diesel Euro (low sulfur)||$12.64 ARS per Liter|
Southern Argentina (Patagonia)
Last updated: July 2015 in Ushuaia. Normal Gasoline 2013.
Due to heavy government subsidies, gasoline is cheaper in the South.
|Normal aka "Comun" (very rare)||$10.50 ARS per Liter|
|Super/95RON||$9.06 ARS per Liter|
|Infinia/Premium/98RON||$11.01 ARS per Liter|
|Ultra Diesel||$8.97 ARS per Liter|
|Diesel Euro (low sulfur)||$12.42 ARS per Liter|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
During summer vacation (Jan->Feb), gas shortages are not uncommon, especially in the rural areas of the South. Purchase gas whenever you can. Typically gas stations are not more than 200 - 300km apart, though on Route 40 the distance can be more. Shortages will also increase this distance. Also note that close to the Chilean border foreigners may have to pay extra for fuel. This is to prevent 'illegal' export of fuel across the border. But if you show up with a jerrycan you pay local price, might be worth a few trips on foot with two jerrycans....
Gas and Diesel Quality
Gasoline is considered to be clean, and ultra-low sulfur diesel can be purchased at most stations. Ultra Diesel at the YPF gas station contains 500ppm of sulfur where as the Euro Diesel contains only 10ppm of sulfur but costs more.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Argentina is considered a safe country by South American standards, and there is no reason to specifically avoid driving at night.
During the day it's usually OK to leave vehicles on the street and in store parking lots, although special care must be taken in Salta and Bariloche that are known for car break-in
At night, it's preferable to pay for a fenced parking lot, which might cost $5.00 ARS to $10.00 ARS
Special driving considerations
Headlights must be on all time! Bigger vehicles do need a speed limit sticker on the back of the car. Speed depends on car size/type.
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Argentina - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Argentina
Camping is a national past-time in Argentina, and so organized camp grounds are extremely common. Even the smallest towns are likely have a campground, and they can fill up with loud and friendly Argentinians during the summer months. Common facilities include hot showers, flush toilets, wash basins and a table and chairs and fire pit in each camp site.
They typically cost $15.00 ARS to $30.00 ARS per person, per night.
Roadside camping is common, especially in the South where the population density is low.
Most Overlanders consider it OK, use you own discretion.
Bloggers often publish camping lists - see section below.
Camping guide books
The Firestone Atlas de Rutas (Road Atlas) clearly shows campgrounds and lists addresses and phone numbers.
In virtually all of Argentina the tap water is safe to drink. Ask a local to be sure.
Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Argentina
- Firestone produce the Atlas de Rutas (Road Atlas) which is equal in content and quality to maps anywhere in the world. It contains detailed color maps of every province and zoom-ins of all cites and larger towns. It also indicates campgrounds, hotels, gas stations, and parks and contains basic maps of all bordering countries (Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia). It can be purchased from bookstores throughout the country for around $45.00 ARS. A new edition is printed each year.
- The Automobile Association of Argentina (AAA) also sells good quality "highway" maps at many gas stations, and their offices located in bigger cities.
GPS Maps of Argentina
- Open Street Map: Appears to have good coverage.
- Garmin: Lists coverage as "Most urban areas with intertown roads".
- TomTom: List coverage as "46% of Argentina".
- Proyecto Mapear: Has the best coverage in Argentina and most bordering countries. 
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Argentina
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
- Places in Argentina - Camping Places, Food & Sights in Argentina from Pawsontour. In German only
- Accommodations & Camping in Argentina - Great article from August 2013 with an explanation of camping in Argentina, and GPS coordinates and descriptions for over 80 campsites – Landcruising Adventure
- Camping Sites: Argentina North, Camping Sites: Argentina South - Detailed list of campsites and propane filling with description, directions and GPS co-ordinates. Some at hotels (lists facilities and price), some roadside and free.
- Campsite Listing - South America | PanAm Notes - List of campsites, with directions and GPS co-ordinates. Some at hotels (lists facilities and price), some roadside and free.
- Andes Expedition camping Locations - List of campsites, with basic directions and GPS co-ordinates. Mostly free sites.
- Camping Log 2: South America - List of campsites, shopping, fuel, propane and border crossings with excellent descriptions and GPS co-ordinates.
- Hackney Travel SA Waypoints - Raw GPS data (in gdb or gpx format) for waypoints (including campsites, fuel, repairs, propane and more)
- The Silk Road Motocaravan Network - Raw GPS data for waypoints (camping, gas, propane, points of interest and more)
- Seventeen By Six - coordinates, directions and reviews of their camping sites.
Special Overland Travel interests
- Many Overlanders make the long drive South to Ushuaia in Tierra Del Fuego, the Southern-most city in the world, and the end of the Pan American Highway. Getting there requires crossing through Chile and catching a ferry, but the process is not difficult.
- Argentina has an excellent system of National Parks. Entry can be as high as $80.00 ARS per person. There is no "country-wide" card that can be purchased.
- Many people are drawn to the famous National Route 40
- If you want to visit Antarctica, you can leave your vehicle at Campground Rio Pipo, just in front of the Parque Nacional.
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
- Highly recommended, just outside Mendoza - Taller Mecanico, Servicio Land Rover, MARIO PIZZI AV,SAN MARTIN 2526.MAYOR DRUNMOND - LUJAN- TEL. FIJO 0261-4981053 CEL.0261-15-5799818. firstname.lastname@example.org
"Best 12V Refrigerator Repair in Buenos Aires": José Luis, address: Manuel Porcel de Peralta 1037, phone: 46421382, Lat: -34.62569, Lon: -58.52506
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Argentina
Vehicles with Argentine papers can be purchased by a foreigner without difficulty.
A vehicle with Argentine papers can not be driven out of Argentina by a foreigner, even when they are the registered owner. This rule is strictly enforced at the borders.
Here is a write up of how one person bought a us-plated vehicle while in Argentina and got it into their name. Also, that person is not from the USA. http://twohungrytourists.com/post/158571620253/how-i-bought-a-us-plated-vehicle-in-argentina-and
Due to Argentina's very strict importation laws and high taxes, this is a very difficult process, and requires a lot of time.
First, options that are possible, but not appealing:
- It's possible to import the vehicle legally and sell it as a regular Argentinian vehicle. The tax rate is 100% of the listed value of the vehicle (which is almost certainly many times the original purchase price), making this prohibitive. It will take months of paperwork also.
- It's possible to have the vehicle declared "destroyed" or "damaged beyond repair" and leave it on the side of the road or with a mechanic. The original import papers will be legally cancelled and you will be free to leave the country. You will not get much money for the vehicle (if any).
Second, it is possible to transfer the paperwork to another foreigner, given the right conditions.
(Note: many have tried, and none have successfully sold to an Argentinian using the following methods, the buyer must be a non-resident foreigner)
- Go to a Public Notary (Escribano Publico) and have a Power of Attorney (Poder) made authorizing the buyer to drive the vehicle in Argentina and all countries for an unlimited time period.
- Go to a customs office (Google Map for downtown Buenos Aires) (or leave Argentina) to cancel the current temporary import papers and have new ones made in the name of the new owner. (Aduana may refuse to rewrite the TVIP to facilitate the sale of a foreign vehicle from one foreigner to another. If they refuse, just leave the country to cancel the current TVIP.)
- The new owner can now drive the vehicle in Argentina for as long as the temporary import papers allow. They can also leave and re-enter as many times as they like to get new papers, and they can drive to any other country they wish. The original owner can now legally leave Argentina.
NOTE: It's preferable to re-register the vehicle in the name of the new owner in the home country/state of the vehicle, so the original owner is completely free and clear of all responsibility. In some cases, this may not be possible as the new owner may not live in the country the vehicle is actually registered. If the vehicle remains in the name of the original owner, the new owner should have no problems driving and entering/exiting countries as long as they have the power of attorney with them at all times.
Here is a report from Jan 2015 of people doing exactly this method NOTE this account contains many caveats and cautions. It's a difficult process and everyone has to find their own way through the hurdles.
Third, there are reports of selling the vehicle to an Argentinian that owns a farm and doesn't care about legal Registration. Reports say you should be able to leave Argentina without problem, but it is unknown if problems will arise if you ever return. This option is clearly illegal and not recommended. Use this information at your own risk.
http://www.bairesautos.com Claims to buy American and European motorcycles, cars, pick up, campers, RV, 4x4. call or whatsapp 0054 911 5765 5767.
Forth, If the car is registered in the US and the buyer has a US license then you can register the car in South Dakota. http://www.drivetheamericas.com/forums/how-sell-us-vehicle-another-us-person-south-or-central-america
Fifth, here is a guide of how it done with a US registered vehicle that was sold/purchased in Argentina and registered in Washington State remotely by non-US citizens. 
- OpenStreetMap Argentina
- City Navigator® South America NT
- Maps - TomTom
- Projecto Mapear