Travel Planning: Trips & Tours
After 15 and-a-half years in Argentina and almost a decade of Wander Argentina, we’ve made contacts across the country and found the best providers for the many types of excursions from Iguazu in Missiones to El Calafate. Whether you’re looking for tours of the city, far-off adventure, a wine tasting extravaganza or a mind-blowing trip to the end of the world, we can help you.
• Why Use Wander Argentina to design your vacation?
Having a local company plan your vacation can save travelers time and major headaches. Overseas companies can be great, but you usually end up paying a premium if you are dealing with an overseas travel agent who doesn’t speak Spanish and have local contacts.
We also help you with the nitty gritty details of traveling in Argentina, and sometimes there are quirks that an overseas agent can’t anticipate. Recently a traveler complained because they had to spend a whole day processing their Brazil visa to visit the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls– if they had used a better travel planner they would have known to apply for the visa before traveling.
Similarly, an independent traveler wrote us recently to ask why they couldn’t find a cheap flight from Argentina to Rio. Turns out they were searching for flights out of the wrong airport and were delighted to find out another airport a few miles away offered the flight they needed.
When we help plan your travels you are provided with all the necessary information such as airport check-in times, I.D. requirements, luggage allocations on airplanes, national park fees and required currency, and even how to save lots of money by avoiding the 21% sales tax on accommodation. On top of that, we cherish our customers and offer personalized North American-style customer service.
Booking locally also allows travelers to avoid international fees and exchange rates, as well as help the local economy. Let us provide you with local knowledge, guidance on particular destinations or activities, and take care of logistics such as airport transfers and hotel and tour bookings.
Check out some sample templates of the dream vacations we have arranged for travelers to Argentina.
• Designing a Travel Itinerary
General travel itineraries are sent out upon customer request. For specialized, personal travel plans, we charge a small US$10 fee to draw up the itinerary, which is put toward the cost of your trip, should you decide to book. The internet being what it is, this fee is to cut down on random people around the world asking us for itineraries when they have no intention of booking anything.
Our traveling guests are provided with a selection of our recommended accommodations and activities (or can request their own) for their trip. In the unlikely event you aren’t interested in booking the customized vacation, the $10 fee goes toward administrative costs and is non-refundable.
Who are our Wander Argentina’s customers?
Our customers are well-informed, responsible, globally-minded travelers. We take pride in offering environmentally and socially-conscious travel opportunities —that’s why you don’t see helicopter rides over Iguazu Falls or ecologically irresponsible luxury vacation retreats sold on this website. When booking with us you can be assured that we don’t work with companies who exploit natural resources or the local people providing services.
We want our guests to be completely comfortable during their stay of course, but comfort doesn’t have to come at the cost of local communities or local natural resources. Companies such as Casa Calma Eco-Hotel and the newly revamped Melia Hotel in Iguazu demonstrate that travelers can both be comfortable and mindful of their eco-footprint while traveling.
Wander Argentina Web Trust score
You can look up the trustworthiness of this website on Scam Advisor, where we have a 100% trust score, or any other web trust checker.
Wander Argentina is https secure, which means your private information cannot be captured transit. You can check the cyber security of this website here.
Tours to Soccer/Football Rugby & Polo Games
We offer tours to soccer (football), polo and rugby games when in season. Getting tickets to professional sports games can be a serious scavenger hunt and sometimes the atmosphere around the stadium can be hectic, so a tour allows visitors to take in a game safely with a local guide and football expert, who will give further insight into the sport and local rivalries, football chants and the politics around professional sports in Argentina.
The exact game times for soccer games are usually set by the Argentine Football Association one week before the game. If you are looking to book a game far in advance please note, while we know the date of the game, we have no way to know the exact game time or at what time it will end. A little flexibility in your itinerary will make a vacation in Argentina much more relaxed.
Please be aware that Boca Juniors games, while the most popular, are the most difficult and expensive to get tickets to acquire. We will be happy to take your request to see a Boca game and try to help, but no guarantee. We do however have spectacular VIP box seats to River Plate games and offer tours of La Bombonera, Boca’s stadium, which is open to visitors all week.
Aside from River Plate games, all of other match tickets are in the ‘Platea’ section, the seated upper-deck section, which is generally considered safe for visitors and families.
Reserving Tango Shows & Activities
We offer a curated list and tickets to Buenos Aires most renowned tango shows, classes and milonga tours, every night of the week. Most dinner shows include pick-up and drop-off, with a choice of a show only or dinner show. For ease of use and since the tango shows aren’t subject to changes in the itinerary, you can book shows and tango activities through the website directly online.
For some of the city’s tango shows such as one of our favorites, Piazzolla Tango, the VIP option is not available to purchase online. In these cases, we are more than happy to arrange for you, just get in touch.
Day Trips & City Tours
After many years in Argentina we know a wide ranch of Buenos Aires tour guides and the tours available range from horse-riding and an asado at a ranch, walking and bike tours, literary and cultural tours, to Argentine cooking classes and even an inexpensive and fun street art tour.
There is something for everyone — so check out our Buenos Aires Day Tours and activities or see what our partners offer online.
Online Hotels & Hostel Bookings
The site uses three hotel booking services to allow you to book hotels and hostels all over Argentina online. Booking accommodation is one of the few services that make sense to purchase with a credit card online because of the 22% VAT tax is not paid by foreign card holders.
Those who book specialized tours around Argentina with us which include accommodation are given instructions on how to avoid the tax.
Booking.com is a popular direct hotel booking site that allows visitors to make a reservation with a credit card but pay in pesos once you arrive in the country.
Hotel Combined is a hotel price comparison platform, which we include on the site just because they have a wide ranch of hotels to choose from in Latin America.
Hostel World is used primarily to book hostels and lower-cost accommodation. Users pay a minimal fee upon booking and must pay the balance when they arrive at the hostel.
This website doesn’t earn much from accommodation bookings but since we use these services as travelers ourselves, we hope that the recommendations are useful for our readers.
We use Paypal to invoice for all tours and activities. Paypal is a third-party processing system that provides a safe way to purchase online with customer’s having the security to dispute charges if needed. If necessary we can also charge customers with Stripe, or even use the digital currency bitcoin. Just let us know your preference.
Money Transfer Services to Argentina
Over the years we have seen a need to help travelers figure out how to transfer money to Argentina from overseas in order to get a better exchange rate and avoid ATM fees.
Originally this need was due to currency restrictions that caused a parallel currency market called the ‘blue dollar‘. Between the years of 2011-2015 dollars and Euros were worth 30-45% more on the black market, similar to what is going on in Venezuela with their currency market today. Today there still exists a parallel currency market in Argentina, but the difference between the official and black market exchange rate is negligible.
Nevertheless, the ATM fees are insane in Argentina with minimum withdrawal fees around the ten dollar mark, and worse – and that is combined with low withdrawal limits.
Travelers who didn’t do their research beforehand often say, ‘I wish I had known before I got here!’
We aim to help travelers avoid losing money and having headaches on their vacation as a result of poor planning. When it comes to managing your money in Argentina — it literally pays to do your research.
For those trying to transfer money from the U.S. we recommend Xoom is one of a few electronic money transfer options. If you’d like to transfer at least $400, let us know and we can provide you with a $20 Amazon gift certificate for using our link.
Please note that for your first transaction with Xoom and other money transfer services there is a considerable amount of documentation including copies of I.D. and bank account information may be required. This is unavoidable and required to comply with international and national regulations to prevent money laundering. You can read the specifics of these laws here.
We have also partnered with Transferwise to offer another alternative to access one’s money from their home bank account.
Transferwise does not have the same requirements as Xoom since technically it is a social sharing platform and money isn’t traveling over borders.
Please note, right now, you can only use Transferwise if you have an Argentina bank account or a local friend who will let you use theirs to receive money from overseas.
Why we aren’t on Trip Advisor & Don’t Want To Be
We have avoided Trip Advisor — probably to our own detriment — over the years for a number of reasons.
One reason we aren’t on Trip Advisor is because it is easy to game the website and become ‘top-rated,’ even if there is little to back it up. On Trip Advisor the reviews are anonymous and thus not verified, unlike on the hotel and hostel websites and tour booking platform (far better than Trip Advisor’s Viator, in our opinion) we work with.
To demonstrate this, read about how a fake restaurant in Italy got the number one listing in its town, resulting in a fine for TripAdvisor by the Italian Antitrust Authority.
The way we’ve observed companies game Trip Advisor is very simple: they start a new business or service, invite all their friends to try it for free on the condition that they write a review on Trip Advisor, and voilá.
Check out this article on Vice about how one of their writers got his ramshackle London shed listed as London’s number one restaurant.
It is also common for companies competing on Trip Advisor to hire people on e-lance websites on the other side of the world to write fake reviews for their business.
Trip Advisor Profits from Theft of Copyrighted Material
Trip Advisor not only allows their user to copy and paste content from our website onto the Trip Advisor platform but they are also not responsive to complaints about the intellectual property theft (which is illegal by the way).
Since Trip Advisor is an ‘authority website,’ when our original material ends up on their webpage from users who copy and paste it, they outrank us on Google search. Our article on the Palermo neighborhood has only had 12 shares on social media, but has been seen by thousands of Trip Advisor users, benefiting their company and hurting ours. Why be forced to work with a company that not only facilitates plagiarism but hurts our bottom line?
Trip Advisor Doesn’t Respect Privacy
On top of that, we also don’t want to receive their promotional emails or be required to post ‘content’ to their site in order to rank better. Our own Facebook, Google Business, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube are quite enough without being bullied to play the Trip Advisor game, don’t you think?
As a small, homegrown company run out of a small apartment in Buenos Aires we don’t feel the need to deal with a mammoth corporate middle man, disrespect our customers’ privacy or want to be obligated to pay for placement on Trip Advisor either.
Five-Star Reviews Intended for Wander Argentina on Trip Advisor
Even though Wander Argentina is not on Trip Advisor, there are quite a few 5-star Trip Advisor reviews intended for Wander Argentina that were mistakenly left under the name of younger company that just happens to use a similar name and offer similar services.
The fact that reviews meant for us have been left on the Trip Advisor for another company over the years — and remained there for years — is a good example Trip Advisor’s lack of credibility. Many of the reviews say, “I booked with (competing company) based on all the good reviews” — but quite a few of those reviews were intended for us.
To understand even more about why it might be prudent to be wary of Trip Advisor as a customer, please read the article ‘What You Don’t Know About TripAdvisor: How the World’s Largest Travel Monopoly Ultimately Hurts Travelers & Small Businesses’ by Heather Stimmler-Hall, owner of the website Secrets of Paris.
Why do we capture your IP on our contact form?
If you contact us through our contact form we capture your IP so that is shows up in the email we receive (any one can get this information anyway but this facilitates the process). This is only because of fake inquiries and spam. Sometimes hackers try to infiltrate through contact forms, so this helps us to parse out legitimate potential customers from fake ones. In 2016, in the run up to U.S. elections we had to block Russian IP’s who were sending ‘vote for Trump’ spam.
All of the articles on this website are original unique articles conducted with firsthand research – unlike so many other websites who just ‘rehash,’ or ‘reconstitute,’ articles from other websites (ours is a popular, if rarely cited, source, unfortunately!) — no ‘aggregation’ or ‘content mill’ articles written by someone who has never stepped foot in Argentina here!
Wander Argentina has provided editorial content and consulting for companies such as Lonely Planet and DK guidebooks. You can read more about the journalism and travel writing career of the owner of this website here.
Wander Argentina has an entry in the best major guidebooks and has been cited by Travel and Leisure, NatGeo, USA Today , Time Out Buenos Aires and Matador.
Our article, ‘The Argentine Caudillo: from Rosas to Nestor Kirchner‘ was cited in the article ‘Argentina can learn from Australia’s economic success,’ on the academic website, The Conversation.
The article ‘Gauchito Gil: Argentina’s Cowboy Saint‘ was cited on pages 164-79 in the book, ‘Reimagining the Novela Negra: The Victim’s Perspective in ‘El chico sucio.’ Violence and Victimhood in Hispanic Crime Fiction: Essays On Contemporary Works (2018) by Meneses, Gizella.
Wander-Argentina.org’s article ‘Conquer the Job Interview in Argentina’ was cited on page 13 of the book, World-wide workforce II: An intercultural benchmark of global recruiting.
If you are looking for an experienced Buenos Aires-based journalist, travel writer and photographer to produce a feature for your publication or would like a personalized tour or public speaking presentation, feel free to get in touch.
Thank you for reading and let us know if you have any questions or if we can help you have a great time in Argentina.