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Argentina - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Argentina. Exercise normal security precautions.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Crimes of opportunity, such as distraction thefts, commonly occur in popular tourist areas and in other public areas such as bus and train stations, cruise ship ports, the subway system, airports, restaurants, hotel lobbies and Wi-Fi hotspots. Pickpockets and bag snatchers often work in pairs or groups and employ a variety of ruses to divert their victim’s attention. A common scam involves spraying a substance on victims and then robbing them while pretending to help clean the stain, or distracting the victim by asking questions while another person perpetrates the theft. In some cases, thieves on foot work with thieves on motorcycles, “motochorros”, to snatch purses and backpacks.
Watch out for pickpockets when using public transportation, particularly the subway system. The theft of smartphones is increasing.
Armed robberies and muggings are on the rise in urban centres. While most victims are not physically injured, criminals usually do not hesitate to use force if they are opposed. When you are being robbed, hand over your cash and valuables without resistance. Avoid walking alone after dark, especially in the downtown areas of major cities.
Avoid wearing expensive watches or jewellery or showing signs of affluence. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Do not hang bags and purses on chairs in public places. Carry a photocopy of your passport for identification purposes and leave the originals in your hotel safe. Do not carry large amounts of money. Remain aware of your surroundings when using automated banking machines (ABMs) and avoid using them at night.
In Buenos Aires, be cautious in all tourist areas, particularly in La Boca, San Telmo, Florida St., Congreso and Retiro. In La Boca, always remain on Caminito St. as violent thefts often occur in neighbouring streets. Avoid the area after dark.
In Mendoza, crime has increased considerably, with some incidents involving violence. Be cautious and alert at all times, particularly in the bus terminal and Parque General San Martín, and avoid walking in unpopulated areas at night.
Theft from unattended vehicles, especially rental cars is common throughout the country, particularly in Bariloche and Mendoza. Keep your valuables out of plain sight at all times.
Though not common, home break-ins may occur.
Avoid packing valuables in checked luggage as organized groups are known to operate at airports searching for electronics and valuables.
Though not common, express kidnappings involving tourists have occurred in Argentina. Victims are usually abducted for a few hours and forced to withdraw money from automated banking machines in order to be released. Be suspicious of strangers approaching you on the street.
Virtual kidnappings are on the rise. Criminals use stolen cellphones to contact family members claiming to have kidnapped the owner of the phone and then ask for ransom money. Never leave your cellphone unattended.
If you are planning to attend a soccer game, ensure that the stadium is located in a safe area and monitor news reports to determine if violence is expected to occur during or following the game.
When travelling to Iguazú Falls, exercise caution when crossing the tri-border area between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay where criminal activities are known to occur. Avoid crossing these borders in local taxis or buses after dark.
Demonstrations, roadblocks and strikes may occur throughout the country at any time, and will likely intensify in the lead up to the first round of presidential elections scheduled for October 25, 2015. Public transportation may be disrupted. Monitor local news reports for information on the area you are planning to visit. Avoid demonstrations as they may become violent with no warning, and never attempt to cross blockades, even if they appear unattended.
Use a "remise" (private car with driver) for travel to and from Buenos Aires' Ezeiza International Airport. On arrival at Ezeiza, go to an established remise stand in the arrivals area.
Call radio-taxis instead of hailing taxis on the street, particularly in Buenos Aires. If hailing a taxi, ensure that it is marked "radio-taxi" and that the company's name and telephone number are clearly visible. Do not share taxis with strangers. Carry small bills to pay for taxi fares. Unscrupulous taxi drivers sometimes trade counterfeit bills for good ones.
In the past few years, inter-urban trains connecting with Buenos Aires suffered several accidents resulting in deaths and injuries.
Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers should exercise extreme caution in Argentina, as it has one of the highest traffic accident rates in the world. Many drivers ignore traffic lights and speed limits.
Be particularly vigilant when stopped at traffic lights. Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times due to the risk of theft.
Domestic flights are frequently delayed or rescheduled as a result of work stoppages and technical problems at the airports.
Do not expect safety standards to be the same as in Canada.
Trekking and adventure sports
If you intend to trek:
a) never trek alone;
b) always hire an experienced guide and ensure that the trekking company is reputable;
c) buy travel health insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation (be aware that helicopter rescue may not be readily available in certain locations);
d) ensure that you are in top physical condition;
e) advise a family member or friend of your itinerary;
f) know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal;
g) register with the Embassy of Canada in Argentina; and
h) obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out.
Prior to ascending Mount Aconcagua, contact the Mendoza Tourism Board at the following address: San Martín 1143, 5500 Mendoza, Argentina (country and area codes: 54-261/ tel.: 420-2800, 420-2458 or 420-2357/ fax: 420-2243). Stay on marked paths and respect the mandatory itinerary provided by the park.
Ensure that the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance or by a local insurance policy, and that sporting and aquatic equipment is safe and in good condition. Many operators do not conduct regular safety checks.
Emergency numbers vary depending on the province. Dial either 911 or 101 to reach the 24-hour police help line, which in some locations offers service in English.
In Buenos Aires and Mendoza, a multilingual service (tel.: 0800-999-5000, email: firstname.lastname@example.org) provides assistance for tourists and allows them to report security incidents. The Comisaría del Turista (“Tourist police station”) is located on Corrientes 436, Buenos Aires.
In Mendoza, report security incidents to the Policía Turística (“Tourist police”) at San Martín 1143, tel.: (0261) 413-2135, email: email@example.com.
If you are a victim of a crime, you should inform the police and get a police report. It is not possible to file a police report from abroad or for the embassy to do it on your behalf.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the Argentine authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Argentine Republic or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Argentina, which must be valid for the expected duration of their stay in that country. Upon entry into and exit from Argentina, all passengers, regardless of their citizenship, are submitted to biometrics checks, such as digital fingerprints and a digital photograph at the immigration counter. A reciprocity fee must also be paid online prior to arriving in Argentina (see below for further information).
Tourist visa: Not required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
If you intend to enter Argentina on an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) a visa is required.
Canadian tourists must pay a US$92 reciprocity fee online prior to their arrival in Argentina. The fee is payable on the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones website. A printed receipt must be shown to your airline company upon check-in and submitted to immigration authorities upon arrival. Failure to pay this fee in advance may result in refusal of boarding or entry to Argentina and a possible return to your port of origin. The fee is valid for multiple entries until one month prior to the expiry of your passport. Make sure you keep more than one copy of the receipt for your entries.
Those entering Argentina on a Canadian passport with a valid visa, such as a business, student, or residency visa, do not have to pay the reciprocity fee. Dual nationals are exempt, even when entering on a Canadian passport.
Canadian-Argentine dual citizens may leave Argentina on their Canadian passport if they entered on that passport within the last 180 days. Once this period has elapsed, they must leave on a valid Argentine passport.
If travelling to Canada, all dual citizens require a valid Canadian passport.
See Laws & culture for more information.
Argentine-Canadian minors (under 18 years of age), Canadian minors having resident status in Argentina and foreign minors who have been in Argentina over 12 months are subject to local regulations when leaving Argentina.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in South America, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South America. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers at high risk visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunya, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are good in Buenos Aires but limited elsewhere. Facilities will often expect immediate cash payment for services. Certain medications may not be available.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws & culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
The currency is the Argentine peso (ARS). The Government of Argentina has imposed restrictions on the purchase of foreign currency in Argentina. As a result, many businesses catering to tourists now accept U.S. dollars as a way to access foreign currency. Currency exchange restrictions are subject to daily changes. Monitor local news for update on these restrictions.
Foreign credit and debit cards are accepted in main cities. When using credit cards, ensure that your card remains in view. You may be required to produce photo identification, such as a driver’s licence or a photocopy of your passport, when paying with a credit card. Cash withdrawals from foreign bank accounts at ABMs are subject to low limits per withdrawal and per day. Substantial service charges may also apply when using non-Argentine bank cards. Check with your bank before leaving Canada.
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters & climate
Seismic and volcanic activity
The provinces of San Juan and Mendoza are in a seismic zone and are subject to earthquakes. Consult Argentina’s National Institute of Seismic Prevention (in Spanish only) for more information.
A number of volcanoes, located in the Andes region on the border of Argentina and Chile, can erupt at any time and cause the evacuation of local residents. Ash emanating from volcanic eruptions can disrupt air transportation and cause airport closures. Debris from erupting volcanoes may clog rivers and cause them to overflow, which could in turn cause flash floods and landslides. If you live or are travelling in areas near volcanoes, monitor local news for current information and follow the advice of local authorities.
Seasonal flooding may occur in the northern provinces of Argentina and heavy rains may cause flash floods in the province of Buenos Aires. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
Buenos Aires - Embassy of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the Embassy of Canada in Buenos Aires and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call (via the international operator at 000) to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 1-613-996-8885.
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