Argentina operates on Eastern Standard Time (EST) +1 hour. For example at 10:00 am in Washington DC, it is 11:00am in Buenos Aires. Daylight Savings Time starts on Midnight between Saturday, October 17, 2009 and Sunday, October 18, 2009 local standard time.
Health and Safety:
- The public water supply is reliable.
- Public hospitals are available for tourists, and offer 24-hour emergency service, without charge.
- Hospital de Clínicas José de San Martín, Av. Córdoba 2351, Recoleta (5950 8000; www.hospitaldeclinicas.uba.ar). S Facultad de Medicina. Open 24hr. The information desk (5950 8558/5950 8617) is on the ground floor. Open daily 7am-8pm.
- Crime has generally risen since late 2008 due to increased tourism and the economic downturn. Please be very discreet with cameras or other electronics or valuables. In the neighborhoods of San Telmo and La Boca pick-pockets are especially prevalent. While violence is not often used, there have been numerous tourist muggings’ and robberies during the day and in crowded places. If possible, only use cameras and other valuables in areas with a high police presence or around tour guides or groups.
- Watch out for counterfeit money
- Public transportation is generally reliable and safe but tourists on buses, trains, and the subway should be alert for pickpockets and should also be aware that these forms of transport are sometimes interrupted by strikes or work stoppages.
- There is a low risk of malaria year-round in rural areas below 1,200 meters elevation in the northern border regions of Argentina.
- There have been reported cases of Dengue Fever, however it has been confined to the Northern province of Chaco. To further reduce the risk of contracting dengue, Argentine officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend wearing clothing that exposes as little skin as possible and applying insect repellent.
Current Exchange Rate: 1 US Dollar = 3.76186 Argentine Peso Argentine Pesos (will fluctuate)
The official Argentine currency is the peso, made up of 100 centavos. Money is denominated in notes of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos and coins of 1, 2, and 5 pesos. It is a good idea to exchange at least some money before your departure-just enough to cover airport incidentals and transportation to your hotel, so you can avoid lines at airport ATMs.
ATMs/Cash Machines: There are plenty of ATMs around the city which are linked to international networks such as a Cirrus, Plus, MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, Citibank and others.
Traveler’s Checks: Traveler’s checks are not recommended.Very few stores accept them. If you do have traveler’s checks, the fastest way to cash them is with a bank or travel agents.
Credit Cards: Most businesses, stores, restaurants and bars accept credit cards, though due to the recent economic issues and inflation there may be be a 15 to 20% surcharge for credit cards payments.
Money Exchange: The best option for exchanging money is a bank (banking hours are 10am to 3pm). There are also many Currency Exchange Bureaus. Most hotels exchange money as well. In certain areas of the city it is common to see people on the streets offering money exchange at better rates, but even if it seems tempting, DO NOT ACCEPT--money may be counterfeit. Some businesses and hotels accept dollar bills. Most places usually don't have problems giving change back in pesos, but the rate is always lower than banks.
Taxes: Argentina’s value added tax (VAT), which is abbreviated locally as IVA, is 21%. You can recover this 21% at the airport if you have purchased local products totaling more than 70 pesos (per invoice) from stores participating in tax free shopping. Forms are available at the airport.
The seasons in Argentina are the reverse of those in the northern Hemisphere, therefore spring begins in October. Buenos Aires has a temperate climate that is characteristic of the Río de la Plata's coastal plain. There is usually a fair amount of rain in October. Its average precipitation is 4.69 inches. The high and low averages are 71° F to 50° F.
It is not uncommon to tip in Argentina, though amounts generally less than those commonly left in the United States. 10% is a very generous tip in Argentina.
Getting around Buenos Aires:
To see travel between hotel and conference center, please click here :
Remises (Car Service)
Remises are similar to taxis but they are private cars, (no specific colors or signs) and you do not flag them on the streets. Request a remise by telephone or in person at the "Remiserias". The price of the trip is pre arranged, so you know exactly how much you will pay when you tell the operator your destination. This transportation is very safe, it is cheaper than taxis and they will always take the fastest route, unlike many taxis that prefer to drive you around in order to charge you more. The "remiserias" or "agencias de remise" are small offices or store fronts located throughout the city. The hotel will arrange a Remise for you or you can hire one yourself. Two reliable services are: Remis del Rosario 4788-8877 and Remis Posadas 4811-1334/4812-5383.
This is probably the easiest way to navigate the city! You can either flag them on the streets or call them for a pick up. You can notice if a taxi is available when a small red flag-light in the inside is on and says LIBRE. The initial meter rate is $$3.80, and it increases 0,38 cents every 200 meters.
Buses or Colectivos
For the more adventurous travelers who want a taste of what it means to be Argentine, Buenos Aires has a large network of buses, locally called "Colectivos." The ticket is paid on the bus with coins ONLY. The minimum fare is $0.80. Once you get on the bus you must tell the driver your destination and he will enter the amount on the ticket machine, after which you insert the money. The machine prints a receipt as proof of payment--do not throw away the receipt until you get off the bus. If you don't have the exact fare, wait until the machine gives you the change. Once you are ready to get off, go towards the back of the bus, ring the bell that is on top of the back door and wait for the bus to stop.
The bus service called "Diferencial" is basically the same as the regular; same route, same color, same number, only with the sign DIFERENCIAL, but it has less stops (like an express bus) and it costs almost double.
There is no direct bus route from the La Rural conference center to theHotel Pan Americano.
Subway (SUBTE): (See picture below)
A great way to travel efficiently and to feel Argentine is to use the SUBTE. The subway system is very reliable and it covers the center and the outskirts of the city with a combined route of 46 kilometers and 80 stations. There are five lines identified with letters (A, B, C, D and E). This subway system was the first in Latin America. The subway system runs Monday to Friday from 6am to 10pm and Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from 6am to 8pm. The price is $ 0.70. You can catch the subte line by the Hotel Pan Americano on the green line at 9 de Julio and take it to Palermo stop on the green line to get to La Rural.
Most US cell phone will not work in Argentina. Check with your service provider to be sure.
In the center of the city there are public phones on almost every block, as well as in restaurants, bars, shopping malls and in kiosks (small corner shops). The minimum charge is 0.20 cents and they accept coins of 0.05, 0.10, 0.25, 0.50 and $1, as well as cards that are sold in kiosks and telephone companies offices located throughout the city. There also are telecommunication offices called "locutorios" with private telephone booths (usually open 24 hours) where all types of calls can be made including local, long distance and international calls.
Otherwise you can buy a calling card and use the hotel phone to make calls as well. To dial you must dial 00+1+area code+phone number.
Medical Emergency: 107
Police and Firefighters: 101
National Operator: 19
International Operator: 000
Faxes can be sent from locutorios and telecommunications offices located throughout the city. Also, most hotels provide fax services.
In Hotel Panamericano the US delegation will have a control room with a fax, photocopier, printer and wireless connectivity.
There are a lot of internet-by-the-hour businesses around the city, mainly on avenues and commercial areas. Most locutorios also provide internet services. Prices are within $1 and $2 per hour.
The official Post Office Service in Argentina is handled by Correo Argentino and provides regular post office duties as well as money transfers. They have offices all over the city and they are open Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm. There are a number of private companies that deliver correspondence and packages both local and international: Federal Express, DHL, UPS, Andreani and Oca.
Spanish words are pronounced much differently in Buenos Aires than in the rest of the world. The double l´s sound like sh´s instead of y´s or j's. Most of "Porteños" (inhabitants of Buenos Aires City) speak a little English but it is very easy to find people who are very fluent, especially if you stay near the tourist areas.