A Van Life Budget for Traveling Argentina
How much does it cost to travel Argentina by van? Before setting off to travel it’s important to find out how much things will cost. So just how much do things cost in Argentina. Well, that depends. Everyone’s travel style is different.
While one person might enjoy going to the local market and gathering fresh vegetables and produce to make a nice meal at an Airbnb another would rather go out to eat before returning to their luxury suite. One person might prefer to spend their time hiking in National parks another might prefer exploring nightlife in new cities. The costs will vary based on your preferences, but hopefully, this guide will break down as much as possible how much it costs to travel in Argentina.
Argentina is cheap to travel on a budget, especially if you have your own vehicle. So, how much does it cost to travel Argentina by van? Here is our breakdown of our cost to travel Argentina by van. Hopefully, this can help you establish how much it will cost you to travel Argentina.
n.b. We traveled Argentina in early 2019. At that time 1 USD was buying 37 Argentine pesos. Currency in the region can fluctuate wildly so we have used Argentine pesos (ARS) in this article.
How Much Does Eating Out Cost in Argentina?
Who doesn’t love to eat out in a new country? But how expensive is it to eat out in Argentina? Luckily, food in Argentina is cheap. From empanadas baking on every street corner to fine steak restaurants at extremely economical prices. Here is a breakdown of how much it will cost you to eat out in Argentina.
Cost of Street Food / Cheap Eats
- Empanadas – ~ $30 pesos
- Lomito (steak sandwich) – ~ $150 pesos
- Tortilla rellenas (grilled flat bread filled with cheese and meat)- ~ $30 pesos
Cost of Mid-range Meals
- Picada for two – ~ $1,250 pesos
- Steak dinner for two – ~$1,600 pesos
Cost of Fine Dining
- Five course lunch with wine pairing for two – ~$2,500 pesos
How Much Do Groceries Cost in Argentina?
Groceries in Argentina are more expensive than other countries in South America. But when you compare what you actually get in Argentina for the cost, you cannot complain. Premium Argentinian steaks to feed two cost us less than $5, locally produced cheese was only a few dollars, and basics like eggs, milk and bread cost only a fraction of what they would at home in the USA or Australia.
- 1 L of milk – ~$50 pesos
- Eggs – ~$5 pesos each
- 1 kg tomatoes – ~$60 pesos
- 1 kg potatoes – ~$30 pesos
- 500g local cheese – ~$150 pesos
- 500g premium steak – ~$200 pesos
- 1 loaf of bread – $30 pesos
To put it into perspective, groceries for two weeks in Argentina cost us $75 USD. We ate out 12 times but that $75 still covered 30 breakfasts, lunches or dinners. That’s $1.25 USD per person per meal. Needless to say, grocery shopping is cost efficient. If you are on a tight budget in Argentina, cooking your own meals can make it easily affordable so you can save your money for the good stuff (read: wine tastings).
How Much Do Bars and Alcohol Cost in Argentina?
If you are headed to any of the wine regions of Argentina then you are likely planning to sample some of the wine. We have separated money spent out at a bar from money spent on takeaway alcohol at a grocery store or corner market.
Cost of Bars in Argentina
Having a drink at a bar or with dinner is cheap. Not quite as cheap as some other countries in South America (looking at you Bolivia), but cheap. When it comes to buying a beer out a domestic beer will set you back between $50 – $60 pesos and a domestic craft beer between $80 – $100 pesos. But, my guess is you are not here to drink the beer.
Argentinian wines are world renowned and often come at a higher price tag when ordered back home. Here? It’s like they can’t get rid of the stuff and prices are competitive. A (very) decent bottle of wine at a bar or restaurant should come in around 300 pesos. At the time of writing that’s about $8 USD, incredible right?
Cost of Takeaway Alcohol in Argentina
Buying alcohol is dirt cheap especially for the quality that you get in return. You can purchase a domestic liter of beer for approximately $50 pesos. And YES I said a LITER of beer!? But again, you are probably not in Argentina for the beer. A solid bottle of table wine can set you back as little as $120 pesos from the local grocer or tienda.
Wines taste even better if you can pick up your wine from the cellar door. Better quality wine is available at cheaper prices, plus you can try before you buy. Make sure to visit some of the smaller wineries to get the best value as well as cheap or even free tastings. And if you need some recommendations, check out our articles on Mendoza and Cafayate.
How Much Does Accommodation Cost in Argentina?
Accommodation varies based on where you are, your budget, and your “comfort level”. Here is a breakdown of the various types of accommodation and the expected cost for each.
For overlanders with their own vehicles and/or camping equipment, Argentina is a great place to travel with a liberal and welcoming approach to campers. It’s easy to find free places to camp. The iOverlander app is a great resource for discovering free wild camping spots.
Alternatively, stay at one of the hundreds of RV parks and camp grounds scattered throughout Argentina. Nightly fees start from around $200 pesos per person.
If you don’t mind sharing a room, hostel dorm beds start from $500 pesos in Argentina.
Rooms in mid-range hotels, ‘bed and breakfasts’, or Airbnbs start around $1,500 pesos in Argentina.
Everyone needs a little luxury sometimes, and in Argentina it won’t break the bank. Five-star accommodation in Buenos Aires starts from around $2,500 pesos.
Of course Argentina is a huge country with a range of accommodation for every type of traveler and budget. Start planning your trip here…
How Much Does Transportation Cost in Argentina?
How Much Does It Cost to Travel Argentina by Van?
Gas / Petrol
In Argentina, we traveled approximately 2,100 kilometers and spent approximately $10,000 pesos on gas which is $4.75 pesos per kilometer.
As in any country, toll roads are inevitable. While you can always try to dodge them sometimes it just really isn’t worth it. This is especially true of Argentina where the average toll cost is $30 pesos. You can expect to see tolls every 50-100 kilometers depending on the route.
Liability insurance in Argentina is compulsory and police often ask for evidence of insurance at checkpoints throughout Argentina. If you plan on visiting other countries in South America, we recommend you purchase MERCOSUR insurance which covers Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, and (sometimes) Peru. We paid (before we arrived in Argentina) $143 USD for insurance for a full year. Alternatively, you can purchase insurance individually in each country, but the price is usually a bit more expensive than when purchased together. In Argentina, it costs about $2,000 pesos per month.
There aren’t any vehicle import fees to get your car into Argentina although Australians are charged are $160 AUD reciprocity fee (good for ten years) to enter the country at land, sea and air borders.
How Much is Public Transport in Argentina?
Taxis and Uber
Taxis are numerous and reliable throughout Argentina and there are even two apps, Easy Taxi and BA Taxi that can be used to book taxis in major cities to make booking easier and safer. The price of a taxi from Ezeiza International Airport to Buenos Aires city center is approximately $1,500 pesos.
Uber is cheaper than taxi’s and they are available in Argentina however it’s legal status is uncertain in the country, and using Uber can pose problems. Many uber drivers do not accept credit cars. Ubers can be subject to police stops, fines, or even be violently targeted by taxi operators. The price of an uber from Ezeiza International Airport to Buenos Ares city center is approximately $700 pesos.
Buses are a cost effective way to travel the contry and cost approximately $100 – $200 pesos per 100 kilometers.
As mentioned above Australians arriving to the country by air (or land or sea) will be subject to a $160 AUD reciprocity fee (good for ten years) to enter the country.
Flights within Argentina are some of the more expensive domestic flight at about $480 pesos for every 100 kilometers of air travel. Buses and private cars remain the cheapest way to get around for now.
How Much Do Activities Cost in Argentina?
Argentina is a large and diverse country with a huge variety of activities to do. We have picked a selection of some of most popular activities to give an insight into activity costs in Argentina.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit Wineries in Argentina?
Our favourite ‘activity’, during our time in Argentina was wine tasting followed by lunch and finally an afternoon wine tasting before dinner. We chose smaller vineyards specializing in boutique wine production. We find smaller wineries to be infinitely more interesting and a lot cheaper. The tastings ranged from $50 pesos to $200 pesos per person. You can read more about our experiences in Mendoza and Cafayate.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit National Parks in Argentina?
Entry to Torres del Pain cost approximately 1000 pesos. Other national parks can cost anywhere from 100pesos – 1000 pesos.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Museums in Argentina?
Museums in Argentina are cheap or free. Tickets cost anywhere from 0 to 100 pesos but even museums that charge will usually have one free entry day per week.
How Much Should You Tip in Argentina?
Do we have to tip here? If yes, how much do you tip? The awkward question at the end of a meal in a new country. In Argentina, it is not customary to tip at the end of a meal. If you do receive good service, locals tend to leave a tip of around 10%.
If you take a tour in Argentina, it is customary to tip between 10% – 20% to the tour guide or $100 pesos. Obviously, as with all tipping, the amount you ultimately choose to leave is discretionary and completely up to you.
These are some of the costs we experienced Argentina while traveling by van for two weeks. Hopefully, it will help you to plan out just how much it will cost to travel Argentina by van or otherwise..
If you need more help planning your spending, be sure to check out our article on creating a travel budget.
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