This page will include everything north of Patagonia in Argentina. For the Patagonian region, click here.
Border 1: Cristo Redentor de los Andes
- The border and buildings before the tunnel are for people coming into Chile. Simply drive by the booth where you will be stopped and given a ticket with how many people are in your vehicle written on it.
Just after the view point for Aconconagua take a left into the obvious immigration/customs area. Buses and very tall vehicles will be lined up in the right most lane, go around them. You’ll drive into the building in the left lane. Each kiosk you stop at has two people in it, one person from each country in it. It’s very easy and straight forward.
- Kiosk 1: Stamp out of Chile and into Argentina. You’ll need passport, tourist card from Chile, new tourist card for Argentina (can be filled out in advance if you’re waiting in the line of cars), Chilean vehicle permit, and printed proof of payment for visa/reciprocity fee (purchased in advance if you’re from the US/Canada/Australia), and ticket from Chilean side with number of people in vehicle. They will stamp your ticket and you will need it later in Argentina, don’t lose it. We were not asked to show proof of insurance.
- Kiosk 2: Turn in your Chilean vehicle permit. Argentinian person will issue you a new one. You’ll need driver passport, title/registration. No copies necessary.
- Kiosk 3: Searching/Fumigation. They asked us if we had any fruits/vegies. We told them all we had was one onion; they didn’t take it, search us, or do any kind of fumigation. Exit building and get back on the highway.
- After you pass the Puente de Inca there will be a person at a checkpoint who will check your papers and take your stamped ticket.
- Take advantage of the unofficial exchange rates in Argentina to nearly double you money! Bring dollars with you and change them on the Blue Market. When we were in Argentina we were getting an average of 13 pesos to 1 USD while the official rate was 8.5. A few key things to remember:
- Bring the money with you before entering Argentina. While you can get US dollars in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile for instance, you will not be able to in Argentina.
- Bring unmarked, crispy, new 100 dollar bills for the best rates.
- Try to find a reputable changer. Ask around, everyone knows where the best place to go is.
- The more you change at once the better rate you will get. Don’t change too much though, it’s hard to change back when you leave!
- Look up the current rate before you go to change, it’s constantly fluctuating. Many websites list it. Just google Dollar Blue.
- Read a quick tutorial on how to spot counterfeit bills. We didn’t have any issues and visited numerous changers, but knowing how to check the bills certainly eases the mind.
- Eat as much meat as you can! Grocery stores and carnecerias sell incredibly good cuts of meat for insanely good prices. We lived off fillet mignon practically our entire stay! Look up your cuts online. Bife and lomo, for instance, are good bets!
- Drink lots of wine! It’s great and cheap!
- Everything really closes down for siesta, especially in the not so touristy places and bigger cities. Be prepared to eat a dinner out quite late in the evening. Things get rolling around 10p!