Arrival

First and foremost. As of 1/1/2013, Argentina's reciprocity fee (aka entrance fee of $160/person) must be purchased on line prior to entry by air. (ship/cruise also after 7/1/2013). This fee is only charged to citizens of countries that charge Argentinians fees to enter their respective countries. The United States is one of those. [For Australia, the fee is USD100 1/10/2013]

Buenos Aires is served by two airports: Ezeiza (EZE) for international flights and Jorge Newbery (AEP) (usually referred to as "Aeroparque") for domestic flights. EZE is a sleek, modern  airport facility located about 35 kilometers of 45 minutes from downtown In the middle of the night). After deplaning at EZE, you will need to make several stops before heading to town.

 

Ministro Pistarini Airport (EZE):
 Ministro Pistarini International Airport (airport code EZE) is located in Ezeiza just 22 kilometers from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is the 11th busiest airport in South America. The airport has three terminals, A, B and the recently opened Terminal C, that host over 8 million travelers each year. Taxis, buses and rental cars are available. Although an overnight flight from most US destinations (up to 11 hours), the 1- to 3-hour overall time difference means less jet lag involved for US passengers. Also referred to as Ezeiza Airport, it has over 30 air carriers with many direct flights from Atlanta, Georgia, Auckland, New Zealand, Barcelona, Spain, and Capetown, South Africa.

 *Location:
Buenos Aires BA, AR

*Time Zone: 
-3:00 hours from UTC/GMT 

*Main Phone:
 (54 11) 5480 2500 

*Website:
http://www.aa2000.com.ar/ 

First, proceed to immigration. Lines here are not terrible. According to http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa... the U.S. State Department, no visa is required.   The statement above of no fee is incorrect.  Argentina has added a US$160 per person charge to enter the country It's valid for ten years.  The fee has been on the books for a few years, but apparently with the country's economic problems they have decided to implement it.  The rationale is the same as Brazil, "You charge us to enter your country, we'll charge you to enter ours."  Kind of makes sense, but it's a bit of a jolt if one is only staying for a few days or catching a cruise ship.  The fee is paid as the first step in immigration.  Apparently it can also be paid ahead of tme while outside the country, but many seemed unaware of that process.

Next stop, baggage claim. Pick up your bags. If you pack several big suitcases, there are carts available for free. Avoid changing money at the booths located at baggage claim area. They are a rip off. As of November 2009 you should get around $3,85 (pesos) for 1 USD. Check the rate before you exchange. During one week in November 2009 the rates fluctuated from around $3,5 pesos to 1 USD up to just under $4 pesos to 1 USD. 

Now, on to customs. Foreigners bags are searched through a scanner. If you get the red light, scanner. If you get the green light, off you go. Apparently the red light/green light process has changed.  In October 2012, all bags were Xrayed.  Customs officers are more concerned about Argentinos trying to avoid hefty import duties on goods purchased abroad. More often than not, you will simply be waived on through customs, but you may be required to place some of your bags on an xray screening conveyor.

Last stop. After you collect your bags and before you exit through the doors into the real world of Argentina...look to your far right. There you will find a branch of the Banco de la Nacion, where you can exchange your dollars for pesos at the right rate. If there is a long line at the window, not to worry. Head through the exit doors where you will enter into an area surrounded by booths offering a variety of transportation and hotel services....Some of these booths offer services at inflated prices, some do not. Money exchange in this area must be avoided once again. However, if you do need to change money, change as little as you can. Taxis and limos take debit and credit cards.
Private Transportation Services in Buenos Aires; Traslada

Once you clear the booths you will see people waiting for arriving passengers...Once you are in this area, make a U turn, on the outside of the area cordoned off with the booths...Another window for the Banco de la Nacion is ahead of you, and an ATM is located at the Bank's entry. The exchange rate you will receive here is as good as you will recieve anywhere, so go ahead and exchange with confidence.  They will give you mostly 100 peso bills, make sure you pass back one (they won't do more) and ask them to break it into 10s or 20s. Just make certain you use the Banco de la Nacion and not Global, which offers a pathetic exchange rate. Another ATM for HBSC is just adjacent to the LAN airlines baggage office as well.

If you have not arranged your transportation yet, go to the blue and white "Taxi Ezeiza" taxi booth standing by itself in the middle of the lobby. Pay the fee for your in-town destination. A worker will escort you out the door to a waiting taxi. Total cost should be about 200 pesos  to the downtown central district (as of 5 May 2012) plus a small tip for the person who helps you with your bags. (Note:  Tipping taxi drivers is not at all expected in Buenos Aires.  If you're paying a fare to the driver, simply round up to the nearest Peso.)

There are other services to town, such as "remis', which is spanish for Limo, or a bus service offered by Manuel Tienda Leon. The bus will cost half of the taxi fare, but the bus fare is per peson and the taxi is per taxi...so if there are two of you the fee is about the same. The bus will drop you off in the downtown area near the Buenos Aires Sheraton Hotel ...from there you can catch a cab on to your final destination.

Departure 

.There is a departure fee at the airport, but is usually included in your ticket pricing.

If you're travelling on a domestic flight from J Newbery Airport (AEP), this airport is very close to downtown and there's no need to prebook a taxi.  Any cab in the street will take you there quickly and cheaply on a metered fare.  Allow 30mins max journey time.

Do not carry any valuables or electronic equipment in your checked-in luggage. There are unscrupulous employees who steal these things from bags after they've been checked in (they know how to open a zipper even if there's a locker). Wrap your bag/s in plastic for extra security. The plastic wrap at the airport costs around 75 pesos (as of May 5 2012), or if you fancy DIY, you can use food wrap from the supermarket (you'll need a 20-meter roll for a medium-large sized bag.). 

 

NOTE ALL TRAVELLERS FROM ARGENTINA TO SOUTH AFRICA NEED YELLOW FEVER INJECTION 10 DAYS BEFORE TRAVEL. HAS TO BE DONE AT FREE CLINIC IN TOWN MON-FRI WORK DAYS ONLY. (MAY 2012)