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Argentina - Getting there & away, getting around

Argentina - Getting there & away

Argentina has excellent worldwide air connections, with Aeropuerto Internacional Ezeiza, outside Buenos Aires, the main international airport. A departure tax of US$23.50 (plus 21% IVA) is payable on international flights; the tax is US$5 (plus 21% IVA) on flights to Uruguay. Note that all taxes and costs will be up in the air until the monetary crisis sorts itself out.

If you're arriving at the Ezeiza airport, there are several buses you can take to Buenos Aires. The buses take a while (up to 2 hours if traffic is bad), but they're a cheaper option than taxis, especially considering the recent taxi scams.

A multitude of land and river crossing points connect Argentina with neighboring Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile. Travel from Chile usually involves a hike through the Andes, while overland travel to Bolivia can go through the border towns of La Quiaca, Tarija or Pocitos/Yacuiba. Paraguay can be reached by bus and/or river launch, and the most common crossing to Brazil is via Foz do Iguaçu or Uruguaiana. Uruguay is linked to Argentina by road bridges, and ferries sail between Buenos Aires and Colonia in Uruguay.

Getting around Argentina

Five major Argentine airlines attempt to make this big country appear smaller: privatized Aerolíneas Argentinas handles domestic as well as international routes, while Austral covers domestic routes only. Línea Aéreas Privadas Argentinas (LAPA) competes with Austral and Aerolíneas on many domestic routes. Líneas Aéreas del Estado (LADE), the air force's passenger service, serves mostly Patagonian destinations. Dinar serves smaller domestic destinations. Discount deals and passes are advisable as fares are expensive. In some cases, however, flying can be cheaper than covering the same distance by bus. Domestic flights carry a departure tax of around US$6 (including 21% IVA).

Long-distance buses are fast and comfortable; some even provide on-board meal services. However, fares are expensive and fluctuate wildly. Private operators have assumed control of the formerly state-owned railways, but have shown little interest in providing passenger service except on commuter lines in and around Buenos Aires. The provinces of Río Negro, Chubut, Tucumán and La Pampa continue to provide much-reduced passenger service.

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