Is my budget for Argentina big enough?

Hi All,

This is my first post with the RG community. Look forward to meeting you all.

My husband and I are dreaming of going to Argentina next March. We would like to stay for about 2 months. The very rough idea is to stay in BA for a couple of days then head to Mendoza where we have friends. From Mendoza to Patagonia, along the mountains, travelling slowly. After Mendoza we would camp most of the time and I mean wild camping as much as possible. I did some research and Argentina seems like a great place for campers. We have all necessary 4 season camping gear so don’t really need to spend money on gear.
However, I’ve been reading on the internet that, because of the high inflation the country gets more expensive from one month to another. Outside BA and maybe a nice dinner or two in Mendoza, we would like to do it on the cheap but not to the point that we eat bread and cheese everyday:) I know inflation is a problem more for the locals who earn and spend there but it also effects tourists.

Would anyone be able to give a rough budget idea? Are the prices in Argentina really close to Western Europe? Would £1700 for two after flights be enough for this kind of trip or is it too optimistic?
Thanks for reading.

bamboo 05/09/13    Budget travelArgentina Link Report

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Hi @bamboo! The Rough Guide to South America on a Budget is hitting the shelves now, so your question is a timely one…

A rough daily budget for a trip to Argentina on the cheap is around £30, or £50 with the occasional treat thrown in. £1,700 is about right for a two month trip, but this is based on just one person. Saying that, if you plan to camp and stay with friends, I bet you can make it stretch. To give you a better idea, camping might be around £6 each a night, a beer is around £4.50 in a bar and a bus fare from Buenos Aires to Córdoba around £45 each (the bus isn’t as cheap as it once was and travel is likely to be your biggest budget drain).

You probably know already that there’s a black market (“blue”) exchange rate, which you’ll be offered (illegally) in the street. If you offer to pay cash dollars for services such as hotels, tours, etc they will often give you a rate just short of the blue rate, which means a big saving (perhaps as much as fifty percent).

I haven’t heard much from people about wild camping in Argentina… has anyone in the RG community done it?? There are plenty of campsites – most towns and villages have their own municipal site – but standards vary wildly. Some sites can be rather desolate and it’s a good idea to check with locals if you’re concerned about security.

Hope this has helped a bit. I’ve heard that Mendoza is amazing in the Autumn :-) Have a fantastic trip and let us know how it goes!!

Rachel Mills 05/09/13    Link Report

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  • Hi @bamboo

    Thanks for your post and welcome to the RG community! I am the moderator here and have changed the title of your question so it’s more obvious to others, that way you should get a better response quicker.

    I hope that’s okay with you, good luck with your trip and I’m sure you’ll get answers to your queries very soon.

    All the best,


    Lottie Gross 05/09/13    Link Report

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  • Hi @bamboo,

    I updated the Patagonia chapter of the Rough Guide to Argentina a few years ago and did a fair bit of a camping during my trip. We stayed at paid sites mostly, plus a couple of free campsites, which were pretty basic but nothing you could really call wild camping.

    With such amazing scenery, it’s a great place to camp, though I must confess to feeling pretty cold overnight, and that was in the summer (Nov/Dec) – in southern Patagonia, you’re far, far closer to Antarctica then you are to Buenos Aires. It sounds like you’re well geared up, but if the tail end of your trip runs into May, it’s worth bearing in mind that the region can get snow around this time of year (the start of winter) and some off-the-beaten-track places can start becoming impassable. If that is the case, then maybe you could camp on the way down south and then treat yourself to a night or two in an estancia at the end? It’s a quintessential Patagonian experience, unmissable (if you can afford it!), and often a great place to try home-roasted lamb asado – check out for some inspiration.

    Keith Drew 05/09/13    Link Report

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  • Hi All,

    Thank you all for your time and answers. We’ve finally made a decision against going to Argentina next year. Apart from the money issues we’ve learnt that our friends in Mendoza are expecting a baby. By the time we arrive there she’ll be 7 months pregnant. We’re very happy for them, however, we think that it’s not the best time to visit them.
    We’re still planning a long trip in winter but haven’t decided the destination yet, probably somewhere in Asia. I’ll be back with more Qs:)

    bamboo 04/10/13    Link Report

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  • Hi Bamboo, welcome to the community!!

    As a straight answer to your question, it is tight but yes it is just enough, if you plan really well. Especially if you are camping a lot (i assume you know the practicalities of that?) or staying with friends? You have basically got rid of one of your biggest expenses. Food is expensive in Argentina, a basic meal will set you back around 5 – 10 gbp, if you want a nice sit down restaurant meal you are looking at at least 20 gbp upwards on average. Basically speaking close to western prices, so you will not be able to live it up if you want to stretch your trip to two months. The transport is the next big expense, have you considered that? Transport in Argentina is actually pretty good now after extensive overhauls, but it can be pretty pricey, especially on the trains.

    Hope this helps a little?

    Michael Huxley 05/09/13    Link Report

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  • Hi again,

    @Lottie thanks for changing the title, it obviously helped:)
    @Michael Huxley I think it’s fair to say that we know the practicalities of camping, especially my other half is an outdoor geek I would say:) I had a look at the bus prices to have an idea and it’s expensive, a night bus would cost almost as much as a hotel room:(
    @Rachael Mills I didn’t know about the blue rate, very good tip, thanks!
    @Keith Drew you’re right, it’s probably best to go to the South first then make our way up to Mendoza.

    With our current budget it seems like we either have to stay less than 2 months (though it still has to be at least 5 weeks) or choose another destination for the time being. We haven’t been to anywhere in Asia apart from China, so going to SEA is always an option and a cheaper one but probably no camping in that sort of climate. We love mountains, camping, good food and Latino culture, so Argentina ticks all the boxes.
    Thank you all for your answers, very helpful.

    bamboo 05/09/13    Link Report

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    I assumed you did Bamboo! ;D

    You CAN still manage Argentina, only just, on that budget, but you will not have any spare cash for luxuries or niceties. Shortening your trip to 5 weeks would make a lot more sense if you have your heart set on Argentina, and would make the trip a but more comfortable for you.

    Michael Huxley 05/09/13    Link Report

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    thanks Michael Huxley, this is encouraging! Going to talk to our friends in Mendoza who I believe can give us some insider tips. I’ve found flights for £1100 rtn for 2 with BA which is really good for Argentina I think!

    bamboo 06/09/13    Link Report

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    If thats for both your flights then yes it isnt bad at all! You are unlikely to get much cheaper than that in this climate so go for it!

    Michael Huxley 06/09/13    Link Report

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  • I would say, at a push £1,800 could be enough for 60 days if you really keep the costs down.

    However, I would budget £2,300-3,600 per person for 60 days in Argentina if you do various tours including Pategonia would be more realistic.

    Here is a breakdown of basic daily budget & total spend for a number of travellers

    RTWme 20/11/13    Link Report

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