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Argentina - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Argentina.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Argentina. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
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. 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.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Learn more about foreign domestic airlines.
Domestic flights are frequently delayed or rescheduled as a result of work stoppages and technical problems at the airports.
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 and that sporting and aquatic equipment is safe and in good condition. Many operators do not conduct regular safety checks.
General security information
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.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Argentine authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
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).
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives 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.
Tourist visa: Not required
Business visa: Not required
Student visa: Required
If you intend to enter Argentina on an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) a visa is required.
Canadians planning to visit Argentina for tourism or business purposes must pay a US$78 reciprocity fee online prior to their arrival. The fee is payable on the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones website. A printed receipt must be shown to your airline/bus company upon check-in or boarding and submitted to immigration authorities upon arrival. Avoid last minute payments as you may miss your flight/bus if the website is experiencing technical difficulties at the time of the payment attempt. Failure to pay the reciprocity fee in advance has resulted in travellers being refused entry into Argentina, and, in some cases, a return to their 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 work, 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
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
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 - Country Entry Requirements
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.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
Vaccination may be recommended depending on your itinerary.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
* 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.
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 for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers 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 , yellow fever and Zika virus.
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.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
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. Certain medications may not be available.
Make sure you have travel insurance that covers medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation, in case of illness or injury. Hospital physicians often expect immediate cash payment for medical care, so ensure you have access to sufficient funds. Contact your insurance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. See Travel Insurance for more information.
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 and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
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.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Argentina.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Argentina, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited in Argentina. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Learn more about travelling as a dual citizen.
The currency is the Argentine peso (ARS). 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 and 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.
Border crossings can close due to earthquakes or severe weather conditions.
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.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 911 / 101
- tourist police: 0800-999-5000 (Buenos Aires) / (0261) 413-2135 (Mendoza)
- medical assistance: 911 / 107
- firefighters: 911 / 100
Buenos Aires - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Buenos Aires and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
You may make a collect call (via the international operator at 000) to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 1-613-996-8885.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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