Buenos Aires is Argentina’s international gateway and easily accessible from North America, Europe, and Australasia, as well as other capital cities in South America.
The main airport used for international flights to travel to and from Buenos Aires is Ezeiza International Airport, about 35 km south of Buenos Aires. Most domestic flights use Aeroparque Jorge Newbery airport, a short distance from downtown Buenos Aires. Flight information for both Ezeiza International Airport and Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, is available in English and Spanish at 5480-6111 or http://www.aa2000.com.ar/ . Buenos Aires also has a lot of small airports dedicated to chartered flights and private aircrafts.
Flights from Buenos Aires and the rest of Argentina are usually more expensive for foreigners. This can pose a problem for short-term travelers who do not have time to take a bus to places like Iguazu Falls, Bariloche, Ushuaia, etc. These travelers are often advised to find smaller travel companies/agents that can help them find lower prices on lower flights, deals that larger online travel sites would not have access to.
People from other nationalities must pay a reciprocity fee on arrival at the EZE international airport, the amount depends on how much the country of origin charged for Argentinians to enter that country.
Ezeiza is a modern airport with good services such as ATMs (not all working, though), restaurants, free (but slow) Wi-Fi and duty-free shops.
International and some domestic flights use the Ezeiza International Airport (referred to as Aeropuerto Internacional Ministro Pistarini / Minister Pistarini International Airport), located in the suburban area named Gran Buenos Aires, about 30–45 minutes from downtown by highway. Planes fly from and to most countries in South America, Europe, and North America.
From the airport, there are taxis, private cars (remises), buses, and minibuses.
There is also a railway station near Ezeiza International Airport named Ezeiza Station. Unfortunately due the location of Ezeiza International Airport's main entrance and exit, getting to and from the station itself would at least take around a third of the trip between Ezeiza International Airport and Buenos Aires itself. It is not advisable to go there if your final destination is Buenos Aires.
A transfer to Aeroparque Jorge Newbery can be done by remis; for example, Taxi Ezeiza costs $270, for less than an hour (except if huge traffic jams), and can be booked in advance.
If you are returning to Ezeiza International Airport from downtown, be sure to ride the 8 bus that says AEROPUERTO (AIRPORT) as there are several 8 buses that go to other places. The bus stops all along Mayo Avenue and then Rivadavia Avenue. It can take more than two hours to get to the airport from downtown (longer than the trip in from the airport), and the bus can get extremely crowded. If you are pressed for time or short on patience, it is highly recommended that you skip this bus and take a taxi or remise.
Located in the Ave. Rafael Obligado. +54 4576-5300 extension 107/122 (Information: 4576-1111). Most domestic flights use the smaller Jorge Newbery Airport (referred to as Aeroparque, the Spanish for Airpark/Airfield), 20 min away from the downtown area by car. You can take a taxi (25 pesos) or bus from there.
LAN launched in 2010 three daily flights to Santiago (Chile) from this airport.
In Aeroparque, there are 2 ATMs, one of which (HSBC) is not working (as of 2013). There is also a tiny change office, with a huge queue. Free (but very slow) Wi-Fi in the departure zone.
To Ezeiza, count about an hour by remis (more if huge traffic jams).
There are national railways, but they are very few in numbers. There are some long distance domestic services. Buses are usually faster and more comfortable, but also three times as expensive. There are several main stations in the Buenos Aires area (see below).
Retiro - Córdoba (overnight): departs Mon. & Fri. 20:10, arrives 10:25
Córdoba - Retiro (overnight): departs Thu. & Sun. 16:30, 07:33 (25 pesos - tourist class)
Retiro - Tucumán (overnight): departs Mon. 10:05, arrives 10:40
Tucumán - Retiro (overnight): departs Wed. 18:00, arrives 19:20 (35 pesos - tourist class)
Federico Lacrosse - Posadas : departs Tue 10.50 and Fri at 20:00, with 54 stops and taking at least 30 hours.
There are four main highways entering the city which connect to suburban areas and other national routes. As with the trains, the bigger and more frequented routes are centered in Buenos Aires, so you will have no problem driving to and from the rest of the country.
Heading to Rosario city, you can travel by highway all the way (north access highway, then route 9). From here you can keep heading north on a good route (Panamericana), or turn right about 150 km from Buenos Aires and go to the Mesopotamia region.
To the west, you can drive to the Cuyo region using the north access highway, then route 8. Traveling out of the city on the west access highway, you can follow routes 7 and 5, which will lead you to the west and southwest, respectively. If you want to visit western Patagonia, route 5 is a good choice.
As a tourist is possible to rent a car while in Buenos Aires, in the zones of Centro, Retiro, Versalles,Nunez, and Ezeiza.
There are very good services departing from Retiro bus station, covering the whole country. Generally speaking the more expensive the ticket, the more comfortable the bus will be. The most expensive tickets will get you seats that fully recline and you will also be served meals and drinks by an attendant on board.
Almost all the long-distance buses use the huge and well-organised Retiro bus station on the northern edge of the city centre. The buses are mostly relatively new, however the roads they will travel through are relatively old; there are frequent services to most parts of the country and international bus services to neighbouring countries. A second bus terminal is situated in the Liniers neighborhood, but it is much smaller and not connected to the subway.
You may catch taxis from Retiro bus station, and the subte (underground) also stops there. There are many local buses that stop outside the station as well.
There are numerous operators. The basement level is for cargo and package services. The ground level holds waiting areas, cafes, shops and services including a barber. On the upper level you find a large number (close to 200) of ticket offices, or boleterias. The upper level is conveniently divided by color into geographic areas for companies which serve the place you want to go, including an international area. Look for the signs.
Cama Suites or Dormi Camas lie completely flat and some have dividing curtains. With these services, the seating arrangement is one seat one side and two seats on the other side. Semi-Cama services are laid out two and two, and do not recline as far. Companies usually have photographs of bus interiors. Make sure the journey you choose has the service you want. Most of their buses are double decker.
Bus travel times to/from Buenos Aires:
Terminal de Omnibus de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires
You can buy a ticket to practically anywhere in Argentina and departures are fairly frequent to the most popular destinations. Reservations are not necessary except during peak summer and winter holiday seasons (January, February, and July).
To find out which companies are available for a specific destination you can consult the official webpage of the terminal Retiro and an online information system for buses from Buenos Aires to the main national and international destinations.
Three companies operate this service.
Colonia Express is typically the cheapest option. To Colonia, it can be as low as AR$216.60 online and this is frequently available. However, it leaves from the small and dilapidated Darsena Sur terminal which is in La Boca. When arriving from Uruguay late at night, catch a taxi from the terminal area instead of trying to meander around.
Seacat Colonia is the second cheapest options. To Colonia, it can be as low as AR$228.00 online though it is hard to get this rate and most will likely have to pay the Economia rate of AR$328.00, the Flexible rate of AR$356.00 or Full Rate of AR$397.00. If you are already in Buenos Aires already there is an AR$277.00 rate available at Puerto Madero terminal. They leave from the much nicer Darsena Norte Terminal. In low season, you may be on the same ferry as the Buquebus passengers who probably paid significantly more.
Buquebus is the most expensive but most popular option. To Colonia, they have a cheaper slow boat as well as a slightly more expensive hydrofoil. For about 36 pesos ($10) you can upgrade to first class both ways, which includes VIP lounge access and a free glass of champagne. Highly recommended on the nicer boats (you can upgrade on board).
From the official city site:
The City is an important destination for the maritime and fluvial cruisers industry of South America. The Benito Quinquela Martín Passenger Terminal, a few blocks away from downtown, at Ramón Castillo street between Avenida de los Inmigrantes and Mayor Luisioni street, has a surface of 7,100 square meters, a boarding room for 1,000 passengers and baggage facilities with capacity for 2,500 suitcases. Additional features include tourist information, handicrafts shops, snack bars as well as the offices for Migration, Customs, Interpol and Prefectura (Coast Guard).
You may also take a boat from nearby Tigre to Nueva Palmira in Uruguay. Trains leave from Retiro Station to Tigre frequently. Boat services to Nueva Palmira also connect to Colonia del Sacramento by bus. As always, be careful of leaving your belongings at a station
There is also a service from Montevideo-Carmelo-Tigre-Buenos Aires . It costs around 36 pesos($10) one way for the whole thing. Get the tickets and depart from Tres Cruces in Montevideo. The price includes a bus to Carmelo, boat to Tigre, and another bus to the center of Buenos Aires. They often have very good special offers that include some nights in hotels in Buenos Aires.
Grimaldi Lines - Freighter Travel operates a bi-monthly freighter link from Europe to South-America via Africa. Five freighter ships do the rotation and each accepts 12 passengers. The journey lasts about 30 days (60 days for a round trip) and port calls include: Hamburg, Tillbury, Antwerp, Le Havre, Bilbao, Casablanca, Dakar, Banjul, Conakry, Freetown, Salvador de Bahia, Vitoria, Rio de Janeiro, Santos Zarate, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Paranagua, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Dakar, Emden, and back to Hamburg. Only the stops in Europe and at Buenos Aires permit passengers to either embark or disembark. However, passengers are allowed to visit all of the visited ports. All the port calls are subject to change depending on the loading and unloading needs of the ship. Tickets for a cabin on a Europe to Buenos AAires trip start at €1450/pp for a double cabin and €1890 for a single cabin (more expensive luxury cabins are available).
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