Where to Get a PCR in Buenos Aires

One of the new hassles of travel is getting your PCR prior to travel and getting it promptly.

Luckily, most countries no longer require a negative PCR for travel purposes, but perhaps your destination still does or, worse, you’re feeling ill and want to know if it’s COVID.

There are a lot of labs in the city offering PCR and antigen tests, in lab or in your home/hotel.

This article is a list of the best labs and clinics that offer easy, quick, and affordable PCR tests in Buenos Aires.

Is anyone this happy for a PCR? Maybe if it means travel!

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PCR Tests in Buenos Aires

Most labs charge from $6,500-$8,000 pesos per test.

Always confirm the turn-around time before you commit to a lab and confirm the time frame you need the test taken for your destination (typically 72 hours of your flight home).

Plan in advance as some of these labs require appointments at least 24 hours in advance.

Bring your passport, just in case. When I did mine it wasn’t required but one lab on this list requests it. It’s always better to have too much documentation than not enough.

Argentina Entry Requirements & Insurance

Currently, there are really no special requirements to enter Argentina re:COVID.

The sworn affidavit (declacarion jurada) is no longer required and you do not need to be vaccinated or provide a negative test.

As of August 26, 2022 it is not longer a requirement to have travel insurance that includes COVID coverage to enter the country. HOWEVER, it still is and always has been a good idea to travel insured.

It protects you in so many cases, like lost luggage and trip cancellations, medical emergencies and evacuations. It’s very affordable with the potential to save you thousands in the case of an emergency. I recommend SafetyWing.

Rapid PCR in Ezeiza/Aeroparque

  • Previously, there was a lab set up just outside of both airports performing rapid antigen and PCR tests for travelers flying out that day. Now that countries are no longer requiring a test for entry, the labs are no longer operating in the airport.

CentraLab

  • Cost: $6,500, Antigen $4,000
  • Results available within 24 hours in English or Spanish
  • If it’s for travel bring your travel document (passport)
  • Multiple convenient locations throughout the city including Belgrano, Palermo, Villa Crespo, Recoleta, and Retiro
  • Appointment required, easy to do online here.
  • I used Centralab for antigen tests for our last trip to the US and my sister-in-law used them for a PCR. We both had good experiences with prompt turnaround time. Results were in English & Spanish.

Hisotest

  • Cost: $7,500 for Test rt-PCR Express (same day results)
  • At home business model, they will come to your home (Airbnb, hotel) to conduct the test
  • Appointments required at least 24 hours in advance
  • Check website to make appoint and compare test options
  • They have a regular rt-PCR test with 24-48 hour turnaround promised, but the Express 12 hour turnaround is only 500 pesos more. You’ll have results typically by 10 pm same day.

Diagnóstico Maipú

  • Cost: $7,800, discounts for families of 4 or more, discounts for Buquebus clients (Uruguay ferry)
  • Appointments required
  • Same day results
  • PCR available at four locations in Vicente López, San Isidro, Cabildo y Pilar.
  • The Cabildo location in Belgrano is the most convenient location if you’re in the city, the others are in the northern suburbs.
  • Visit this website for complete and most up-to-date information and the time table for when to expect your results

IMAT

  • Location downtown at Viamonte 1742
  • Results in 24 hours
  • Appointment required, check website here, make it online filling out the form or contacting their Turnos number on WhatsApp (+5491169041035)

Centro Rossi

  • Cost: $7,800 pesos
  • Rossi has many locations but conduct rt-PCR tests at their Abasto (Sánchez de Loria 117 – CABA) and San Isidro (Dardo Rocha 3032 – San Isidro) locations
  • Appointment required, fill out form online here
  • Results in 24 hours

More Buenos Aires Logistical Tips

Argentina Travel Resources

  • TRAVEL INSURANCE | As of August 26, 2022 it is not longer a requirement to have travel insurance that includes COVID coverage to enter the country. HOWEVER, it still is and always has been a good idea to travel insured. It protects you in so many cases, like lost luggage and trip cancellations, medical emergencies and evacuations. It’s very affordable with the potential to save you thousands in the case of an emergency. I recommend SafetyWing.
  • PHONE PLAN | These days, traveling with data is essential. Especially in Argentina where everything is managed on Instagram and WhatsApp. Purchasing a local SIM card can be tricky without a local ID, I recommend this E-SIM card, which has unlimited data. It’s hassle-free and affordable. If you have an older phone that doesn’t support E-SIM, check out DrimSim for a physical sim card alternative.
  • ACCOMMODATION IN ARGENTINA | booking.com is the most common hotel site used in Argentina and it’s where you’ll find the most options.
  • RENTAL CARS | I love to travel Argentina via road trip, check out RentalCars.com for the best rates for rental cars here.
  • VPN | If you’ll be using a public WiFi connection and want to secure your data, I highly recommend using a VPN, I personally use and have had a good experience with ExpressVPN. I also use it to access Hulu and American Netflix from Argentina.
  • FLIGHTS | Always check Google Flights and Skyscanner for flights to and within Argentina. Aerolineas Argentina is the local airline with the most routes. FlyBondi and Jetsmart are two budget airlines with dirt-cheap prices (but expect to pay for every add-on like luggage)z
  • NEED HELP PLANNING? | I offer one-on-one travel consultations to help you plan your trip to Argentina. Pick my brain to get a local’s insight. Click here for more information.

17 thoughts on “Where to Get a PCR in Buenos Aires”

  1. Hello,
    Thank you for the addresses of testing sites in BA.

    I will also need to test (PCR) in Ushuaia. Are there testing facilities in Ushuaia and if so where?

    Thank you

  2. I asked a couple friends in Ushuaia and got these recommendations for you:

    1. Clinica San Jorge – Private hospital, not free but I think would be best option for travel
    2. Escuela nro. 15 – PCRs for those with symptoms or contact with positive cases (contactos estrechos)
    3. Hospital Movil – In front of the the YPF downtown there’s a mobile clinic for this

    Hope this helps!

  3. I will be in Iguazu Falls 2 days before I board a cruise. I am flying from Iguazu to EZE the day before boarding the cruise. I need a PCR test within 48 hours of boarding. Where can I get PCR test that ensures I will have results in time to board the ship? It must be PCR not antigen. Thanks

  4. Hi Janet, I was going to recommend the airports because they offer 4 hour turnaround but looking at the site in more detail it says it’s for travelers only (with priority to those flying THAT day). Unfortunately, I contacted their Whatsapp customer service number and they confirmed that it’s only for passengers flying out.

    Second option is HISOTEST, you’ll want to reserve the Hisopado PCR Express, that test offers same day results but you have to do the test in the morning (I think before either noon or 2 pm but I’d do it as soon as allowed). You’ll have results in 12 hours max. They claim to have appointments available for the next day but Omicron is hitting Argentina hard and demand for tests is HIGH, I’d go ahead and reserve your test now. They do at-home testing so they’ll go to your hotel/airbnb and swab you

  5. Many testing facilities seem to require a DNI or other form of Argentinian ID. How can I book my tests in BA without local ID?

  6. Hi! Can you give more insight to the PCR requirements to enter Argentina? Is it 3 calendar days before your flight, or is it a strict 72 hours? Also, do you know if it’s from your first flight, or the flight that actually gets you to Buenos Aires?

    Sorry, it’s a little hazy from the policy, and it sounds like both you and your sister did the round trip.

    Thanks!

  7. 72 hours from departure (first leg of the itinerary). From the US Embassy:

    A negative COVID-19 PCR test administered no more than 72 hours prior to departure is required for all arriving international travelers. (Note: Airlines may require that the documentation contain other information in addition to the traveler’s name, identity information, and test results. For example, airlines may require that the documentation provide the testing clinic name, address, and contact information.)
    https://ar.usembassy.gov/covid-19/

  8. Hi! I arrived in Buenos Aires on Thursday and I am looking to do the test that is after your 3rd- 5th arrival day- I don’t have a time requirement to get my results and I was wondering if you you know and would recommend any lab that would be cheaper then those for that test? Thank you very much!

  9. I know you can get a free PCR at La Rural in Palermo at the city’s testing site. I don’t recommend it here for travel because at the moment turn around time isn’t what it was with this new wave. But in your case you could try it!

  10. Thanks for your web site, good info.
    Couple of questions
    Are antigen rapid tests available in BA on a Sunday My flight leaves on Monday and I don’t want to worry about the airport testing site?
    My insurance covers me anywhere in the world. Do I just need my insurance card or/and letter from my carrier?

  11. – Yes, labs are open on Sundays, I know Centralab is so I’d go ahead and book the appointment now. Compare the other links shared in this article for prices and availability.
    – I don’t know about the insurance, sorry. That’s something I’d ask them directly about but I’d assume you’d need to pay and file to be reimbursed.

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