Whether you visit Argentina on a business trip, a sportfishing trip, or by backpacking through the country as cheaply as possible, there is accommodation for all types of travelers. Between luxurious hotels and cheap hostels is a range of options for an overnight stay in the form of hospedajes, pensións, posadas, estancias and apartments.
From Mom & Pop Hotels to Swanky High-rise Hotels
All Argentinean cities and towns offer a selection of hotels, from a cozy family-owned hotel that costs around 50 pesos (US$15) up to a five-star international establishment in an exclusive location. Among regular hotels the level of luxury varies from a simple room with nothing but a private bathroom to a room equipped with amenities like T.V. and telephone.
Buenos Aires is Argentina’s capital and together with the favorite travel destinations of Argentina’s affluent, Mar del Plata, Bariloche and Mendoza, these sum up the most expensive cities for an overnight stay. Here you’ll find internationally known hotel chains such as Hilton, Sheraton, or Golden Tulip. Top hotels offer laundry service and you may expect WIFI. They may be equipped with a swimming pool, a bar and sometimes even a shopping arcade.
For the Low Budget Traveler: Hostels
Hostels are common in many of Argentina’s cities and towns. They generally cater to the younger traveler although anybody is free to book an overnight stay at a hostel. Services range from a room with private bathroom to a dormitory. Rates vary greatly, a basic hostel may cost about US$10, others cost as much as US$40 per night. Hostelling International has discounts for members.
Hostels are often equipped with communal kitchens. Cooking your own meal is an easy way to save money on your budget. The hostel’s lounges are good locations to meet other travelers.
Money-saver: Apartments at Argentina’s Expensive Travel Destinations
A popular option for a multiple-day stay in Argentina’s major travel destinations like Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata and Bariloche is to rent an apartment. Most of them are rented by the week or longer. Renting an apartment may help you cut down on your budget as it gives you the possibility of sharing the place with more people and cooking your own meals. Others it will argue it will help you blend in with your destination (or at least one particular neighborhood or city) as you’ll be buying groceries at the stores and markets where the locals go as well.
Luxury Outdoor Stay: Estancias
An overnight stay at estancias is especially popular in Patagonia and in the Lake District. These are excellent places to learn something about life on a ranch, or to check out whether you like sports fishing (especially trout). A hotel-estancia varies from the look and feel of a luxurious hotel with all kinds of amenities to a basic farm with more of a Bed & Breakfast ambience.
And Somewhere in Between: Hospedajes, Pensíons and Posadas
In the countryside and villages you’ll often find signs with hospedajes, pensión, or posadas, which can all roughly translated as ‘guesthouse’. In general they are cheaper than a hotel and often come with a shared bathroom. Especially in the smaller guesthouses you may have the opportunity to meet, and sometimes share a meal with, the owners, who are often interested in their guests’ travel tales. Staying here may help you learn the language and offer an opportunity to learn something about the Argentinean way of life.
Tips for Finding and Staying at an Accommodation in Argentina
- Bring a language book or dictionary. Whereas in the most luxurious hotel staff may speak English, don’t expect this service elsewhere. Especially the countryside is void of English-speaking Argentineans.
- Some hotels may offer a discount during low season or for a long-term stay. Negotiate the price before the room is booked. Some hotels have a two-tier price system, especially in tourist destinations for foreigners, which means that a foreigner pays more than a local.
- Argentina’s high season is January/February (school summer holidays), Semana Santa (Easter) and July (school winter holidays) and in these periods it’s wise to make reservations for an overnight stay at the popular tourist destinations.
- Most cities and towns have a tourist information office, most of which are a good source of information on available accommodation.