This article has information on border crossings, driving rules, roads and gas prices, camping and hotels. 

Basic Facts

  • Population: 40,482,000
  • Capital: Buenos Aires
  • Fun Fact: The name Argentina (from Latin argentum: silver) was first used extensively in the 1612 book Historia del descubrimiento, población, y conquista del Río de la Plata (History of the discovery, population, and conquest of the Río de la Plata) by Ruy Díaz de Guzmán, naming the territory Tierra Argentina (Land of Silver).Spanish Whats Our Name

Border Crossing Information

Entry Requirements

Necessary documents

  • Passport
  • Vehicle Title
  • Proof of insurance (insurance CANNOT be purchased at some borders between Bolivia and Argentina)


Currently there are no costs if you are driving.  If you are flying into the country, the fees are as follows:

The Argentine Government is charging a reciprocity fee to all citizens of the United States, Canada and Australia who enter Argentina. Starting September 1st, 2012, American, Canadian and Australian passport holders visiting Argentina will be required to pay the reciprocity fee online at the following site:

The fees are:

  • Australia: USD $100 (single entry only)
  • Canada: USD $75 (single entry only)
  • United States: USD $160

Rates subject to modification based upon reciprocity. Payment can be made in Argentine Pesos, United States Dollars, credit/debit cards, or traveler's checks.


First go to migracion to have your passport stamped. They will check to make sure you have appropriate exit stamps from the country you just left. With passport stamped, head to the Aduana to get the car import papers. They will need your passport and vehicle title to process this paperwork. No photocopies needed. Once the paperwork is complete they will thoroughly inspect your car (not sure what they are looking for) and then you're on your way.

Exit Requirements

Necessary documents

  • Passport
  • Temporary Vehicle Import Permit


There should be no costs


First go through migraciones to have your passport stamped with an exit stamp, then to the aduana to surrender your vehicle import permit. If you plan on re-entering Argentina at a later date, you cannot keep your vehicle import permit to reuse later.

Driving to Ushuaia

Reaching Ushuaia, Argentina and the end of the road is a big milestone for many roadtrippers. To do this it is necessary to drive through a small section of Chile. If you leave 10-11 hours, it is possible to leave Rio Gallegos, Argentina, and reach Ushuaia, Argentina, even with the 2 border crossings in the same day. Driving south from Rio Gallegos you will soon reach the first Argentina-Chile border. It is an efficient and speedy process, but you do have to go through the exit procedure above, and the entry procedure for [ Chile]. Once in Chile, you will cross the Straights of Magellan to arrive in Tierra del Fuego. The car ferry costs 13,000 Chilean pesos (but you can also pay in Argentinian pesos or US dollars). Keep your receipt as you can get a discount on some of the boat trips from Ushuaia. After the ferry the road soon turns to gravel and it is about 100 km to the next Chilean-Argentinian border. There are no gas stations along this route in Chile, so be sure to fill up in Rio Gallegos (or Rio Grande if you are driving north from Ushuaia). The second border crossing is efficient and quick as well. The road turns back to pavement in Argentina, and it is about a 3 hour drive to Ushuaia from the border.

Roads and Driving

In general the roads in Argentina are excellent - paved, multiple lanes, good signs, fast speed limits. If you head in to the mountains or less traveled paths though, the roads can quickly turn gravel. Ruta 3 is paved almost the entire way from Ushuia to Buenos Aires, and Ruta 40 is paved intermitently, but in general is in good condition between Mendoza and Esquel.

Required Equipment

Unlike most other countries, Argentina requires you to carry the following in your car:

  • 2 Hazard Triangles (1 for the front, 1 for the rear)
  • Rigid tow bar
  • Fire extinguisher (with the pressure needle pointing to the green)
  • First Aid kit
  • Tow rope
  • A White Sheet (so if you're in an accident they can cover you up) I kid you not! Although we have never been asked for ours we have met people that have.

(This information is based on 2 guide books and 1 mechanics opinion. Another person tells me that he never carries a rigid towbar but I am still in Bs As so yet to experience the full anality of Argentine police.)

(19-05-2010 addition): I am a native Argentinean and have done USA-Argentina twice, going for my third one next year. I had never heard about the rigid tow bar and the white sheet requirements. I have never seen a local carrying either one of them either...As far as I know, only the fire extinguisher, triangle hazards, and first aid kit are required by law. There has been rumors about an addition to these requirements lately, in regards to a fluorescent vest that you are supposed to wear in case of an accident, break down, etc. (like in some parts of Europe), but I have not confirmed if this is indeed required yet.

Gas Prices

Unleaded gas is referred to as 'nafta'

  • Super (95 octane) 3.539 Arg pesos/liter
  • Normal (85 octane) 2.999 Arg pesos/liter
  • Diesel 2.749 Arg pesos/liter

Gas is cheaper in Patagonia than the rest of the country:

  • Super 2.679 Arg pesos/liter
  • Diesel 2.524 Arg pesos/liter

--Updated September 2009

Camping and Hotels


Camping is popular in Argentina. Most towns have a nice municipal campground, as well as many private campgrounds. It's usually a matter of asking around to find good camping sites. Many YPF and Petrobras gas stations also have free camping areas (or will let you sleep in your car if you are so equipped) - the campsites often with grills, many stations have free hot showers and often wifi as well. It's definitely worth asking if you feel like keeping it cheap or you are in the middle of nowhere. Most gas stations also supply hot water for mate/thermos refills - sometimes it's free, usually it's 1 peso per fill (although if you're watching your budget you can keep the button pressed and switch out containers easily) great to have a thermos of hot tea/coffee/chocolate on those long cold drives through Patagonia. Many of the smaller cities in Argentina are very safe and parking your car on the street is not a problem (unlike the rest of Latin America)

Buenos Aires

San Telmo Loft Located at 1131 Paseo Colón, San Telmo. Fun, hip vacation rentals in Buenos Aires’ most authentic neighborhood. Apartments come with a cell phone, cable TV, speakers, WiFi, AC and heaters, linens and towels, a fully equipped kitchen (with a microwave), guidebooks, adaptors for electrical devices, and owners who love sharing their knowledge of Buenos Aires.
--Posted by Rochelle and Nick


The Cordoba region has tons of camping possibilities, although the capital city itself is quite difficult to find - there is a municipal camping, services are not great, and you are still pretty far from the city center. Camping La Florida in Villa General Belgrano is a good place to leave your vehicle if you are looking for vehicle storage in this region.


Paradise Apart Hotel has heat, AC, pool, parking, a lovely garden terrace, small kitchens and good wifi. The owners are great too. Juan B. Justo 125, about 5 blocks from Plaza Independencia, [email protected], 0261 425196


Trevelin is a great little town and serves a fantastic tea at their many tea houses - bread, cakes, scones, tea, the whole works. Two recommended places are:

  • Hostel Casaverde - tel/fax: 54.02945.480091 email: [email protected] visit their website - on a hill above town, dorms and separate rooms, wonderful owners
  • Cabanas Nueva Era - Molino Viejo 361, (02845)-480295- cabins with kitchen, separate bathroom and bedroom, very nice.


Hotels are pricey in Ushuaia. It's worth stopping at the tourist office as they have a good lists of hotels and B&Bs (with prices listed as well as amenities- ie laundry, Wifi, parking, etc). They will call around for you as well to check availability. If you are there in the high season (December-February), booking ahead is advisable. In the low season most of the campgrounds are either closed or have no facilities, so camping can be tough. You can camp in the National Park if you don't mind not having a bathroom or access to water.

Visiting Ushuaia? You can get your passport stamped at the tourist information center in town.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:31

Additional Required Documents For Border Crossing

We were denied entry into Argentina from Bolivia without proof of car insurance.  It was unavailible, both at the border and in the neighboring towns on both sides, for vehicles from countries other than Bolivia or Argentina.  So you have to purchase it in a larger city prior to aproaching the border.  We managed to convince the border officials that we purchased insurance online showing them a marginally official looking printout that we eventually made in the border town, but they barely accepted it.  A day later we purchased the real thing in Salta (a large city in Argentina far from the border) covering us in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.  It was our slowest border crossing second to the Darian Gap.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 09:21

Travelling home to Argentina

I have just joined this site and am very incouraged by what I have read so far regarding driving down to Argentina. I now live in Canada, but also have close conections to my birth country. Many years ago we encountered a couple travelling along a long stretch of road in Argentina. They were travelling in a VW Westfalia and had set off from Canada. We were able to convince them to stop and meet on the side of the road. My wife and I introduced ourselves and after a few minutes of chatting we invited them to stay with us on a large farm I was managing at the time.

Ever since that time I have wanted to do the same, but my job etc. did not allow me the time to do this. I am now retired and would very much like to have that experience.  I just happen to own a 1985 VW Westfalia and would like to make it worthy of the trip down south. I would appreciate any tips and further information regarding the best time of year for road and weather conditions and how best to get across from Panama to Columbia etc.

If there is anyone out there that I could speak to or comunicate through email etc. I would certainly appreciate the chance to do that..



Fri, 03/25/2011 - 19:11

welcome to DTA

Hi Charles -

If you have specific questions, I would recommend posting them in our forums - they're active and are just the people you want to talk to.  

We also have lots of information on the Darien Gap - how to get you and your car across.  I would recommend reading through that material and then also turn to the forums if you have specific questions. 

Also, feel free to contact us if you want to connect with some road-warriors.  Between the 4 founders of DTA, we've got almost 8 years combined experience of driving the Pan-American highway.  

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 16:15

Argentina Insurance

We crossed into Argentina from Chile at Paso de Jama. Not one person mentioned the insurance requirement OR asked for our "Proof of insurance".

We got insurance very simply and easily in a town called Cerrillos just a few kms south of SALTA. We stopped into NIVEL SEGUROS at S24*54,333 W065*29,232 and got a 6-month coverage. We paid only for 3 months (630Arg Pesos, equivalent for 100usd at current black market rates); and by doing so we have two options: 1)cancel the policy after three months by never paying again... or 2)visit any RAPIPAGO site anywhere in the country and pay for the remaining 3 months.

This insurance covers CHILE, BOLIVIA, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil - ie neighbouring countries.

Hector Omar Molina was a great guy, didn't batt an eye that we were foreigners and set us up in a matter of minutes. cell:(0387) 154 142472

Wed, 01/09/2013 - 10:46

YPF Guide

Maps and Info – turns out that the YPF gas stations have a great “YPF GUIDEBOOK” that includes (it seems) detailed maps of the country at different scales and includes CITY maps too. More importantly the guide shows the LOCATION of YPF stations that have FREE WIFI and SHOWERS.

Wed, 01/09/2013 - 10:56

THERMALES de Fiambala

Travelling south on Ruta40 we were seduced by the possibilities of some hotspring-time. We did the 100km detour (each way) only to arrive at the site to find: 45P per person + 18P for the car. Should we like to sleep overnite the price for the car changed to: 45P per person + 70P for the car. OOPS adios amigo. This 32USD is better spent on gas. S27*44,572 W67*33,111

Thu, 01/10/2013 - 07:23

Argentinian Death Road

Found it...Ruta 65 between Aguilares-Andalgala southwest of San Miguel de Tucuman.

Beautiful ride on moderate dirt road.  Climb over a jungle-forested hill  from ~400m to ~2000m on single track with too much traffic.  Then later decend down a desert rock to the plain.  About 150km dirt.

Later to recapture the Ruta 40 at Belen another 100kms of relatively good dirt road.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 05:01

Controle de Fitosanitaire

Remember to keep your receipts when paying to pass the fumigation and control points for
fresh fruit and veggies between provinces. If you keep your receipt you do NOT have to pay again – this is true on the Salta-Mendosa corridor.

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 05:03

Laguna Potrerillos

Just north of Mendosa on the way to the border at Los Libertadores and Chile; you can see it from the highway. Nice place to boondock – careful of the weekends. The sign says ‘no camping’ but we stayed and never had any issues. From the highway work yourself down to the paved road that follows the lakeshore. If you follow the signs and park at the ‘Accesso Laguna’ you will be inundated by locals. It is PACKED. Should you continue a bit further southeast, you will find an unpaved parking lot...pass through and follow the gravel trail 250m and you will find yourself on an overlook facing the busy beach. Nice and quiet here; mostly fishermen. Enjoy the scenery between the snow capped mountains and the lake. No services, pure wild. S32*57,849 W69*11,006 ~1400m makes sleeping nice

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 17:26

*UPDATE* The resiprocity fee

*UPDATE* The resiprocity fee is now mandatory at land crossings despite info on this site "Currently there are no costs if you are driving.  If you are flying into the country, the fees are as follows:"

You cannot pay this at the border. You must pay online in advance. Luckily I was able to get reception on my cell phone and pay via mobile web.

Sun, 07/10/2016 - 23:47

HELP needed in Buenos Aires!!!

My family and I are planning a trip to South America next year February 2017, starting off in Buenos Aires in Argentina.
We want to buy a van, 4x4 or SUV in Buenos Aires and then drive around the continent.
Does anyone know how much we'd have to spend on a decent/Okay second hand vehicle? And if it's easy to buy one in B.A.?
Also can anyone tell me if there is a specific places you could buy a car/van off other travellers who had just finished their trips and take it on the road yourself. I'm wondering if such places exist in B.A. or any other city in Argentina.
Or, does anyone have any suggestions for a better country to buy the vehicle in? Our plans are in the early stages so plenty of room for flexibility right now.
Any help would be much appreciated
Trish, David and Kids

[email protected]