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Argentina Prices for Travelers Are a Terrific Bargain Now

Keeping this post updated is difficult since Argentina’s financial crisis is a dramatic one that’s still continuing, but I’m taking a stab at it in January of 2024, supplementing some old info with updates on the currency exchange story. I first posted when I had just returned from a trip to the bottom of South America and it made my bargain-seeking heart flutter. Argentina prices for travelers were the lowest I had ever seen. I said, “This just might be the best travel value in the world right now after you land in Buenos Aires.”

Thankfully, that’s still true.  

Argentina prices for travelers are a bargain

A $20 seafood meal for two in Buenos Aires

When I wrote this in late April of 2022, I was getting close to 200 pesos to the dollar at the blue rate. Since then, Argentina has gotten a new president and the two-for-one ratio of “blue rate” cash to the official bank rate has narrowed to around a 25% difference. Scroll down to see a new screenshot. Bring lots of crisp euros or U.S. dollars and enjoy the prices I’ve listed below, which have been converted into dollars to keep this timeless. 

When I went to Argentina in 2017, back when an economist was running the country instead of a populist, I lamented that the country had become too pricey for me to recommend to budget travelers anymore. It was still a wonderful place worth visiting for a long list of reasons, but I and the other travelers I talked to were surprised at how much they were spending for meals, hotels, transportation, and attractions.

This is a country that regularly lurches from crisis to calm to disaster again, so it’s often just a matter of waiting around long enough for an opportunity. That time began not much later and my timing was exquisite on the 2022 trip: Argentina travel prices were at a record low. For most visiting foreigners, they still are, though how long this will last is anyone’s guess. 

Argentina’s Odd Financial System and a Yo-yo Economy

If you study the history of Argentina, it’s a fascinating study of a people who seem pre-determined to not let a good thing last. Just when they start to head down the right economic path and are prospering, they somehow self-sabotage themselves and go into a financial nosedive that lasts for years. If you look at a long-term chart of their currency, their economic output, their interest rates, or inflation, they all bounce around like a yo-yo, seldom sustaining any long-term upward trend.

The downward trends tend to last quite a while though and this most recent one is a doozie. Here’s what has happened to the value of 100 Argentine pesos against the dollar since early 2018.

Argentina currency vs the US dollar

What makes it even worse is, that’s the chart for the official currency exchange rate that the government and banks use. It’s really a fiction in the real world though, where a dollar actually fetched twice as much until late 2023. This creates an interesting dynamic for travelers, expats in Argentina, and some residents. “If you tip us in pesos we will spend it, if you tip us in dollars we will save it,” one hiking guide in Patagonia told me. If you live there, you know the value of your pesos will go down over time, so you need to buy something with them. 

As I mentioned in this post I recently updated, you need to bring lots of cash to Argentina when you’re heading that way. Preferably crisp and recent notes of $100 or €100. That’s because you can exchange that on the street or at the right exchange booth for a lot more pesos. Not double like it used to be, as you can see below, but enough of a difference to be worth the effort. This “blue rate” reflects the real value instead of a government’s artificial value and the latter is what you’ll get from the bank. 

In other words, if you take money from an ATM instead of exchanging cash, everything will cost you 25% more. Here’s the difference you can find on the web for today so you can see, but all prices in this post are converted to dollars because that way this post won’t get out of date in a month and it makes the math easier.

argentina blue dollar rate


Is Argentina Travel a Deal Now?

Argentina travel prices are some of the lowest in the world now if you follow the right strategies. Bring cash, choose your lodging carefully, and avoid situations where you have to pay the official exchange rate instead of the blue rate. 

There are two factors that can trip you up if you are traveling on a budget: flight prices and hotel prices. Both these services are priced in dollars more often than not, so it’s hard to find cheap one-way flights to there, even if you’re flexible. There’s just not as much competition as there is to many other South American countries further north. You’re also not going to book the Four Seasons for a hundred bucks. You can check flight prices on the booking sites and see, but they often cost more than $1,000 from the USA or Canada to get there.

Search flight prices for Argentina

Then we paid $230 for round-trip domestic flights from Buenos Aires to Calafate in Patagonia. Not terrible, especially since the fare included checked luggage, but there’s not much competition on most routes.

Thankfully we flew down on mileage thanks to points racked up with the right credit card, so we avoided the high airfares. 

Everything else is a bargain though and lodging can be too if you do it right. 

Lodging Prices in Buenos Aires and Elsewhere

If you search hotel prices on HotelsCombined, you find decent deals, but not blowout ones. Being priced in dollars, they’re artificially high really. Most in Buenos Aires are in the $20 to $200 range, with a few luxury outliers above that. It is a good deal to find a high-end hotel for $200 a night, but I’m guessing if you’re reading this post you’re probably looking to spend less.

So here’s what I would advise: go straight to the rental apartment sites and don’t move around so much that you have to change hotels every few days. We rented a place in Buenos Aires and normally we would look for a bargain in the $20 to $40 range. There were at least 30 to choose from in a nice area. By bumping it up to the $60 range though, we could get something fabulous, so we splurged a bit and spent $68 per night with all fees. Our large apartment had an outdoor terrace with a Jacuzzi and work space, a well-equipped kitchen, lots of natural light, and a great Palermo location. We loved it.  

Prices go down from there in other cities. In Salta you can find some full apartments under $30. There are hundreds of them available in that city alone. When I searched Mendoza with random dates for next month, more than 250 apartments were available for $50 or less per night, a good number less than $30.

You could probably get an even better deal if you messaged the owners and asked about paying long-term in cash after the initial period on Airbnb. We didn’t try that but I’ve heard reports since from others that this is a strategy that will pay off. The owner is happy to get the cash instead of getting paid at the official rate (minus fees). 

The Best Deals Are Domestic Items Prices for Locals

Where you’re really going to find the bargains right now in Argentina is in goods and services that are priced for locals, especially the ones that don’t require any imported materials. Argentina grows a lot of food, thankfully, plus it’s a leading producer of beef, wine, and the ingredients to make beer. 

Services that locals use more than tourists are going to be priced accordingly. This would include taxi rides, bus rides, haircuts, attraction admissions, or shoeshines. Sure, prices will go up over time thanks to inflation, but since wages aren’t going up accordingly, there’s a limit to how much anyone can raise prices and still do business. 

For now, Argentina is definitely on the list of the cheapest places to live in the world. So I’ll update my post on living costs later. But right now, this would be a terrific base for a digital nomad, either in buzzing Buenos Aires, more laid-back Mendoza, or chilling out by a lake in Patagonia. If you’re a traveler breezing through for a while like I was, here’s what you can expect to pay. 

grocery prices in Argentina

Taken when the rate was 200 pesos to the US dollar.

Again, these are at the “blue rate” not the official rate, figured at 200 to the dollar. These prices are based on what I found in the two places where I spent the most time: Patagonia and Buenos Aires. You may find even cheaper deals in smaller towns and cities in other regions. 

Argentina Prices for Food and Drink 

I gained a bit of weight on my trip to Argentina because the food and drink prices were just too good to pass up. No, I didn’t need that piece of cake for dessert, but it was $1.50! No, I probably didn’t need to drink so much craft beer, but it was 1/3 or less what I’d spend in the USA so I couldn’t resist. 

We were not at all careful when we were going out to eat. We “splurged” on a $20 seafood meal pictured at the top and “splurged” again for what ended up being a ridiculous amount of food at a parilla restaurant. At that one I got a big steak I couldn’t finish, a big plate of fries, an empanada, bread, and two glasses of wine for $9.50. 

craft beer prices in Argentina

$2 craft beers at a brewpub

It’s a glorious feeling to know that you can walk into almost any restaurant and it’s not going to cost you more than $30 for two–and that’s if you’re going all-out. We never even hit that mark, actually, even though we went to some nice places. 

At the everyday places, prices were too low to believe. We went to a pizza place right by where we were staying one night and here were some of the deals they had on a flyer: 1) large cheese pizza with two draft beers $4.50. 2) 8 empanadas and two draft beers $4.75. 3) 3 large pizzas with different toppings $8.75. 

We didn’t eat out 100% of the time though because we had a kitchen in our apartment. Here’s what we got for $16 when we went out grocery shopping one day: 

grocery prices in Buenos Aires

That is three apples, four plums, two lemons, a pint of olives, gourmet yogurt, three kinds of good cheese, a smoked sausage, three craft beers, and some plastic wrap. 

Here are some sample Argentina travel prices we paid and saw while traveling in the country. 

500 grams of pasta – 36 cents
3 sandwiches or bake-at-home pizza – $2
Take-out empanadas – 50 cents to $1.20 each
Sandwiches to go from a deli – $1.10 to $1.90
Pint of craft beer in a store – 80 cents to $1.50
Pint of craft beer in a pub – $1.50 to $2.40
Pint of craft beer in the airport – $2
Decent bottle of wine in a store – $1.80 to $3
Premium bottle of wine in a store – $2.50 to $10
Glass of house wine in a restaurant – $1 to $2.50 (cheaper than bottled water or soda)

wine prices in Argentina

Premium wine prices – 200 equals $1

Espresso or good coffee – 50 cents to $2
Good aged cheese – $2 to $3.50 for 250 grams (half pound)
Set lunch with glass of wine – $4 to $8
Large pizza w/toppings – $3 to $6
2-scoop cup of premium gelato – $1.75 to $2.50
Seasonal fruit & vegetables – 50 cents to $1.50 per kilo
Spices – 35 to 70 cents for 50 grams

Some random promotional street sign prices I saw on the street just to give you an idea:

3 kilos of duck – $5
2 kilos of ground beef – $4
30 eggs – $2.30
2 medialuna pastries and coffee in a cafe – $1.50
12-pack of mass-market Quilmes beer – $4
1 kilo of good ice cream – $4

Buenos Aires prices for fruit and vegetables

Services Prices and Getting Around in Argentina

We weren’t in Argentina to get a whole lot of things done that required local labor, but I did get a haircut in a fancy barbershop in the nicest area of Recoleta for $8 including a 16-ounce amber beer. I asked a shoeshine guy how much he charged and it was the equivalent of a buck. Here are a few other Argentina travel prices for services and transportation. 

Men’s haircut in a barbershop – $2 to $5
Men’s haircut in a fancy barbershop – $6 to $8 (includes a drink)
In-apartment professional massage – $25
Facial in a neighborhood spa – $10.50

20-minute taxi ride – $1.25 to $2
20-minute Uber ride – $1.50 to $4
Subway ride – 28 cents
Local bus ride – 12 to 28 cents
Shuttle or taxi from the international airport – $12 to $30
Bus from Buenos Aires to Mendoza – $32 to $44

Because foreign currencies are so strong, you can go on a lot of excursions and adventures in this city without spending nearly as much money as you would in other major capital cities. Plus there are more than a few free things to do in Buenos Aires as well. 

This will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect if you travel to Argentina this year. Just do it soon if this country is on your list because one thing that’s a constant in that country is change. I’ve seen four sets of prices in the four times I’ve been there and you have to pounce on great opportunities when they arise. 

Editor’s note: This post was created in 2022 after I spent three weeks traveling in Argentina and updated in January of 2024. The exchange rate keeps dropping, but dollar/euro prices should stay fairly similar if you exchange at the cash blue rate. 


Wednesday 19th of October 2022

I'm in Argentina now & the situation continues as Tim explains.

The rates have changed as you can follow here (, with what the site calls the unofficial rate (blue rate / tasa azul). In Buenos Aires, I changed money via one of the men / women who called out 'Cambio' on Calle Florida. We went just off Florida into an apartment block & up to the 4th floor of an apartment (cueva) where the change took place. Against the rate listed on the above weblink of P286 to $1, his first call was P282 which I accepted. The exchange took about 5 minutes, no paperwork, mainly me counting out the money I had received. It was exactly as it should have been. I later went back & it was exactly the same process.

In addition to what Tim had mentioned re. accommodation ... on once you are inside Argentina you can see prices listed in Pesos & that is the price you pay once you get to the accommodation. From this, you can use accommodation listings on there & work out the official & unofficial dollar rates to decide whether you want to say there. For example, using dollars, a $25 dollar listing comes out about $14 if you change using the blue rate & then pay in pesos on check-in.

Tim Leffel

Wednesday 19th of October 2022

Thanks for all this JB! Yes the rate has already changed quite a bit so I need to go in an make a note of that. I appreciate you sharing your experience and great tip about waiting until you are in the country to book anything on I'm wondering if that works for Airbnb as well or if they're already set in dollars? It would be fun to experiment if you'll be there for a while--or maybe use a VPN and pick Argentina as the location.


Wednesday 1st of June 2022

Hi we're thinking of coming for the UK. When booking apartments I guess you had to pay the blue rate? Also what we're the prices like for lodges/ hikes?

Christian Figueroa

Tuesday 19th of July 2022

@Tim Leffel, Hey Tim, any ideas where you could book an apartment outside of AirBnb? Are you aware of any domestic websites? Also if you run out of the dollars does that mean you are screwed and will have to use the ATM or bank, thus using the official rate to take out more dollars?

Tim Leffel

Thursday 2nd of June 2022

Locally, apartments are priced in pesos, so how you get your pesos determines what the price is in pounds. If you search on Airbnb, those are going to be based on the official rate. They're still a good value, but you may be able to negotiate a bigger discount on a long-term stay if you pay in another currency. Or you extend your stay and pay part 2 in cash to the owner.


Friday 13th of May 2022

Ah the blue and the black rates...fascinating stuff. We travelled there from Ecuador once and went armed with US dollars - a lot considering we were there for 3 months. Just don't be left with any pesos - they don't want them back!


Sunday 1st of May 2022

Wow, I'm in Ecuador right now, where prices aren't bad, but they're nowhere near as cheap as that! Sounds like we need to make a detour south at some point soon.

Gipsy Dean

Wednesday 27th of April 2022

I loved Argentina, went there when it crashed to 40 pesos 3 years ago and things were a steal especially wine and beef at the carnaceria. I must say however I was amazed how bad the pizza in Argentina is ? !!!