Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Argentina. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.
ENTERING ARGENTINA: United States citizens will need a valid passport to enter Argentina. A visa is not required when entering Argentina as a tourist. Citizens of other countries should consult their nearest Argentine consulate for entry requirements. No vaccinations certificates are necessary in order to enter Argentina.
MAP AND COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can view maps of Argentina in the University of Texas series here To adjust the size, click on the map’s lower right corner. You can review the U.S. Department of State information on Argentina here.
PACE OF THE TOUR: Our tour to Argentina’s High Andes visits areas of very high altitude and occasionally involves longish walks, usually downhill or on flat terrain, but sometimes over rough terrain. The pace will always be slow, and in the past no one of average fitness has had any problems. Altitude sickness is unpredictable and is as likely to affect the young and fit as anyone else. Other than suffering a mild headache, most people are unaffected if they take things slowly and drink plenty of water. If affected, the best course is to rest in or near the bus. No one should run uphill at high altitudes - not even for an Andean Condor!
Please be aware that Argentinean eating hours and habits are rather different from British or American ones. Breakfasts tend to be rather skimpy - often just coffee, toast or a croissant, and butter and jam. Lunches won’t be a problem as many will be picnics. Dinners, however, can be a minor problem. Argentineans eat late. Most restaurants don’t open until 8 pm or later, and few Argentineans enter them before 9 pm. Meals are regarded as social occasions where friends and family eat slowly and discuss the day’s events, so service is often slow, as that is what most people want. The leaders will always explain to restaurant staff that our group wants to eat early and quickly and this usually works (often we leave the restaurant just as other diners are starting to appear) but be prepared for the occasional slow meal or late finish. The best approach is to relax, have a drink, and chat with your neighbors. There is, of course, always the option of skipping desert and coffee and going off to bed!
HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control currently recommend inoculations against hepatitis A and typhoid and it is probably a good idea to have current protection against diphtheria/TB, tetanus and polio as well. As some of these inoculations cannot be given concurrently please contact your doctor well in advance of the tour to start your course of treatment. The CDC also recommends having a yellow fever vaccination, although it is not required to enter the country.
There is a very small risk of malaria in the northwest of the country, though according to our ground agent (who lives there) there haven’t been any recent cases. The areas that we will be visiting during the main two weeks of the tour are free of malaria. However, on the pre- and post-tour extensions there is theoretically a small risk of catching malaria. The prophylactic drug of choice is chloroquine, but check with the CDC before you go. You can review the latest CDC advisories here.
CLIMATE: Northern Argentina is sub-tropical and rain can occur throughout the year. Mornings at higher altitudes can be cold, with temperatures warming during the day.
ALTITUDE: Our tour to the High Andes finds us spending two nights at over 12,000 feet on the altiplano, and there is a small risk of altitude sickness. This can normally be avoided by sitting quietly in or near the vehicles, but anyone who has suffered badly from altitude sickness in the past may want to consider the wisdom of participating.
DRESS: Dress will be informal throughout the tour. The Argentine people tend to dress very fashionably, especially when going out to dinner, so shorts are not appropriate in most hotel restaurants in the evenings.
TRANSPORT: Throughout the tour we’ll travel in minibuses or small coaches with local drivers. When we use more than one vehicle there will always be a leader in each vehicle.
SMOKING: We request that you not smoke in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group.
ACCOMMODATION: The High Andes is a remote part of Argentina, and we’ll be staying in several small hotels which are rather basic. The rooms are small, but they each have their own flush toilets and showers and are perfectly adequate, though not luxurious.
GENERAL INFORMATION AND CONDITIONS: Please take a moment to read the WINGS General Information and Conditions. This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A more complete General Information for Tours to Argentina will be sent to each registrant on receipt of their booking. Final information with instructions for meeting the group, hotel addresses, etc., will be mailed about three weeks before trip departure. Other news will be communicated as necessary. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Updated: May 2013