Argentina is a diverse country with natural wonders that range from jungle to desert to mountains. Figuring out what to pack for Argentina can be tricky.
This post will help you pack efficiently so you have everything you need to explore Argentina!
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What to Pack for Argentina
Argentina makes up the bulk of South America’s southern half. It is the 8th largest country in the world.
If you’re planning on spending time in urban Buenos Aires, the jungles of Iguazu, and hiking in the mountains of Patagonia, you’re going to need to plan your suitcase well.
What you’ll get in this Argentina packing list guide: I start out with my must-have items that will make your Argentina packing list the most comprehensive and also efficient.
Then I break up Argentina by region, giving you packing tips by destination: Buenos Aires, Iguazu, Mendoza, and Patagonia.
Quick Argentina packing list tips:
- This is the southern hemisphere. If you’re coming from North America or Europe, don’t forget that seasons switch once you cross the equator! Pack for summer in January and winter in July!
- Bring everything you need. While, of course, you can pick up a cheap t-shirt or pair of shorts if the weather turns hotter than expected, most clothing is significantly more expensive than Europe or the US. Bring all of your hiking gear, outerwear, and clothing that you will need with you. Do not plan on buying it here to save suitcase space.
- It’s casual here. Leave the high heels at home. Bring practical, comfortable clothing.
Argentina Packing List Must Haves
To reduce the fluff and avoid over packing, it’s important to plan ahead and be efficient when packing for your Argentina trip.
Here are the must haves for your Argentina packing list.
1. Documents & Money
Bring your passport and a photocopy. Print out your itinerary beforehand with all of your hotel reservations and addresses. Immigration will ask for your hotel address in Buenos Aires upon arrival.
You may have read about a reciprocity fee if you’re from the US, Canada, or Australia. This is no longer a requirement for citizens of any of the 3 countries.
Check to see if your home country requires a visa. US Citizens do not require a visa to travel into Argentina.
Dollars. Dollars are king in Argentina. If you plan on bringing dollars to exchange for pesos here, bring crisp, new, hundred dollar bills.
Some exchange houses will reject small denominations (twenties, tens, or fives) and damaged bills (torn or marked, even in the slightest). Go in person to the bank teller before leaving and check that every bill you get is basically new.
2. Versatile Clothes
Argentina is so diverse that you need to pack clothes that can easily be repurposed. Buenos Aires is stylish and European, but in Patagonia you’ll be hiking in the Andes.
- Jeans. This is a no-brainer, but pack at least one nice pair of jeans. You can dress them up for a tango show in Buenos Aires and wine tasting in Mendoza, then toss them on horseback riding in the Andes.
- One nice outfit. Whether it’s a dress or just a nice shirt to dress up your jeans, plan for one nice outfit for a nice dinner in Mendoza or a tango show in Buenos Aires.
- Outdoor Voices RecTrek Pants. This is my favorite activewear brand because it’s stylish enough for the city and practical for the outdoors. I have 3 pairs of the RecTrek pant because it can be worn over and over without losing its shape, is made for hiking but stylish enough for Buenos Aires, I LOVE them. Check out the RecTrek Pant here.
- Walking shoes. You’ll be walking A LOT, even in Buenos Aires. Wear shoes that are comfortable. I recommend these soft footbed Birkenstocks. A sneaker-like Converse or these Allbirds are great options year-round.
- Hiking boots. If you’re going on any long hikes in Patagonia, invest in proper hiking boots. I avoided this for too long and am now SO glad I finally have the right boots. It really makes the difference.
2. Download the Apps
In the age of the smart phone, it’s a good idea to download the apps you’ll need before you leave. Here is a list of the best apps to use in Argentina.
If you do only one thing to prep your tech for your trip, I recommend it being download a map.
Download the Google Map for Buenos Aires and any other towns/regions you’ll be visiting.
This is particularly important if you’ll be renting a car and going on a road trip.
You want a downloaded map to avoid getting stranded with no cell service.
3. Camera & Memory Cards
Argentina is gorgeous and you’re going to want to document your trip!
If you’re passionate about photography, i recommend investing in a proper DSLR. No smart phone camera will ever compete with the quality of a real camera.
Here’s a post listing all of the camera gear I use for my trips (and the photos you see on this blog).
For a professional quality compact camera option: Of course, there are times I’d rather not carry my heavy DSLR.
For those trips, I bring this Canon G7X PowerShot. It takes professional quality photos but fits in my pocket.
I use it for long hikes and in city’s where I’d prefer to be discreet.
Bring Multiple Memory Cards. You NEVER want to run out of space, I use these SanDisk Extreme cards (they’re fast and high quality).
Also, you can use a new card for each destination.
This way, you don’t have all of your Patagonia photos on you if you (knock on wood) get robbed in Buenos Aires.
Those photos can be on a separate card, safe in your hotel.
This has not happened to me yet but it is always better to be safe than sorry!
4. A Universal Adaptor
There are two kinds of outlets here in Argentina. One is the same as in Europe (two round prongs) and the other is the same as in Australia (2 angled flat prongs, sometimes with and sometimes without a third prong below, like in the US).
Since you don’t know which of these two will be in your hotel or Airbnb, play it safe and bring this universal adaptor that can be used anywhere (and on all your future travels!).
It also has space to plug in 4 USB cables, which is priceless these days.
What to Pack for a Trip to Argentina by Destination
I know I sound like a broken record but I’ll say it again, Argentina is huge.
What you decide to pack for a trip to Argentina depends on where you’re going.
So I’m going to break these Argentina packing list tips down by region.
Buenos Aires Packing List Tips
Buenos Aires is the most important city in Argentina. And as the gateway into the country it is highly likely you’ll be spending some time here.
While casual, Buenos Aires is a stylish city.
You don’t need to suffer in high heels, but do try to pack something other than your hiking boots to wear in the city.
BUENOS AIRES BY SEASON:
- In summer, Buenos Aires is HOT and humid, extremely hot. Pack light, comfortable clothing in natural fibers.
- In winter, it can be wet and dreary but not extremely cold (very rarely dipping below freezing). Pack a waterproof windbreaker, coat, scarf, and comfortable boots.
- Spring and fall are gorgeous! Pack layers for cool evenings and mornings and warmer afternoons.
WHAT TO PACK FOR BUENOS AIRES:
Pack comfortable walking shoes. In warmer months in Buenos Aires, I live in these soft footbed Birkenstocks (they’re like walking in stylish pillows).
In winter, comfortable boots or a more stylish sneaker-like Converse or these Allbirds are great options.
Pack one nice outfit. If you go out for a nice dinner or a tango show you’ll want to dress nice.
Men can get away with a clean pair of jeans and a nice shirt (no coat or tie needed) and women will be fine in a nice blouse or dress.
Note: Here are the top 10 tango shows in BA.
Use a purse/bag with a zipper. Buenos Aires is as safe as any big city in the world, but every big city in the world has pick pockets. Use a bag that zips shut.
Thank goodness 80’s fanny packs are back in style (and all the rage in Buenos Aires).
These nylon fanny packs are ideal for travel because they zip shut and also fold into nothing. Easily pack it away when you don’t need it.
READ MORE ABOUT BUENOS AIRES:
- My Favorite 3 Days in Buenos Aires Itinerary
- The Best Buenos Aires Day Trips – Estancias, gauchos, polo & the Tigre Delta
- Is Buenos Aires safe for tourists?
- Where to stay in Buenos Aires – neighborhoods, hotels, and Airbnbs
Iguazu Packing List Tips
Iguazu is one of the most popular destinations in Argentina. It is located in the northeastern corner of the country in Argentina’s rainforest.
IGUAZU CLIMATE & SEASONS
The weather is warm in Iguazu year-round. Hot and muggier in the summer.
In the winter you may need a light jacket, especially at night.
WHAT TO PACK FOR IGUAZU
- Clothes that can get wet & dry quickly. If there has been a lot of rain lately and the falls are full, you WILL get wet. If you take the boat ride, you WILL get soaked. Wear clothes that dry quickly. Avoid cotton and jeans, especially.
- Grippy shoes. The walkways around the falls are made of metal grating and get very slippery when wet, which is always. Wear shoes with good grip like these Teva sandals.
- Sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
- Strong insect repellent like this serious Deep Woods Off. Dengue is present here so you want to avoid mosquito bites.
READ MORE ABOUT IGUAZU:
- A Complete Guide to Visiting Iguazu: Argentina Side
- A Misiones Road Trip Itinerary – More about Iguazu’s province, including the Jesuit ruins
- Things to Know About Visiting Misiones & Iguazu
Mendoza Packing List Tips
Argentina’s wine country in Mendoza is wildly popular and my personal happy place.
Don’t stress too much on what to pack for Mendoza. It’s a relaxed, easy going destination.
PRO-TIP: You can fly with a case of wine (6 bottles) as your carry-on luggage on domestic flights within Argentina.
If you want to pick up a few bottles in Mendoza to drink at your next destination then load up! There’s no need to check it.
MENDOZA CLIMATE & SEASONS
Mendoza is a year-round destination. The weather is nearly always sunny, crisp, and clear.
Summers are hot (but dry) and winter will be cold (likely with snow but sun).
You’ll have the best weather in spring or fall but you really can’t go wrong in Mendoza.
WHAT TO PACK FOR MENDOZA
- Nice but comfortable clothes. You don’t have to dress up to visit the wineries in Mendoza. Dress nicer than you would hiking in Patagonia, but don’t bother with high heels and dresses (unless you want to!). Whatever you wore to dinner in Buenos Aires will do just fine here.
- Activewear or jeans. Trips into the mountains are a common day trip in Mendoza, as is horseback riding and white water rafting. If you’re planning on that, pack a pair of jeans and shoes that will be comfortable.
- Wine Tasting Journal. If you love journaling, bring this beautiful wine tasting journal to record all of your favorite wines that you taste in Mendoza.
- Sunscreen. The sun here is strong and you lose track of time after a few Malbecs. Wear sunscreen or you will end your wine tasting day as red as a lobster.
READ MORE ABOUT MENDOZA:
- The Best Mendoza Wineries – A guide to wine tasting in Mendoza, everything you need to know!
- Bodega la Azul – My favorite winery in Mendoza (the best winery lunch!)
- Potrerillos & Adventure Tourism – Horseback riding & white water rafting
Patagonia Packing List Tips
Patagonia is the reason most people visit Argentina.
If you love the outdoors, the mountains, hiking, or even just fresh air and beautiful views, you will love Argentina’s south.
And if your itinerary includes Patagonia you need to be strategic with your packing.
PATAGONIA CLIMATE & SEASONS
Summer is the best time to visit Patagonia. Days will be warm and sunny, but nights and early mornings will still be chilly.
Always pack layers, even in the summer.
The further south you go, the colder it will get.
You can get away with shorts in the summer in Bariloche but in Ushuaia you will need jeans and a coat even in January.
The shoulder seasons (think March & April or October through early December) are the best times to visit to avoid crowds and still have warmer weather.
Temperatures drop at night so bring a warm coat, scarf, and boots. And light layers for the afternoon.
Winter will be cold and snowing. If you’re going to Patagonia in winter I imagine you’re skiing so pack the warmest clothes you have!
Also, WIND! Patagonia is very windy so pack a nice windbreaker and scarf to keep warm.
In some cities you can rent the gear you’ll need. This is an option to consider if you forgot something or don’t want to pack something you’ll only need for a couple of days.
For example, if you want to go skiing in Bariloche you can rent all of your gear there for a very reasonable price.
PRO-TIP: Ushuaia is tax-free. If you forgot something and need to buy some outdoor gear, this will be the most affordable place for that.
WHAT TO PACK FOR PATAGONIA
- A high-quality backpack. Invest in a high-quality day pack for Patagonia. I always use this Northface Recon backpack. I’ve literally worn mine down to the bones. It easily carries my DSLR, water bottle, snacks, and anything I need. It distributes the weight well, which is key. And I use it everywhere, even in big cities.
- Versatile layers. Pack a couple of light fleeces, long sleeve quick-dry tops, and for the ladies, a couple of long line sports bras. Easily peel layers off as the afternoon warms up and pile them back on as the sunsets.
- Hiking boots.
- Lightweight rain jacket.
- Binoculars. Always bring binoculars to any hiking, camping, or wildlife-focused trip. Read this post to compare the best options, or TLDR: this pair is my favorite (affordable, lightweight, waterproof & compact).
- Lightweight gear. If you’ll be going on multi-day treks, invest in quality, lightweight, and compact gear. 2-3 pounds may not sound like much but it will after 4 days of lugging it on your back. Get a lightweight tent, sleeping bag, etc.
READ MORE ABOUT PATAGONIA:
- A Guide to Visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier
- Things to do in El Calafate
- Things to do in San Martin de los Andes
- The Ruta de los 7 Lagos – Argentina’s Lake District
- The Best Wineries in Patagonia
Argentina Packing List
I hope this post helped you organize your trip to Argentina.
If you have any questions at all about what to bring or leave behind, let me know in the comments! Also let me know if there’s something you packed that made your trip better!