Argentina

Our first entry into Argentina was a bit earlier than planned: a ferry service on the Carretera Austral only sailed once a day which meant that we would have to wit 8 days. That was when we decided to skip that part (sorry Chile!) and to drive an alternative route through Argentina. On our way south we switched borders with Chile every now and then, until the Carretera Austral ended. From then on we followed travelled south all the way to Ushuaia (55°S). From Ushuaia we could only go north. We roughly followed Ruta 40, a very beautiful and popular route. This main road is over 5000km long, and the most northern part we reached in Argentina was Purmamarca (23°S). We travelled a total span of 32° latitude in just one country. That is also why Argentina has a very diverse landscape and climate.

Because of it’s size (about the size of Europe as you can see on the map) we spent a very long time in Argentina, about 7 months.

Fuel and currency

Close to the borders there can be a fuel shortage every now and then. For us, fuel was always easy to get and can normally be paid with card. Only in the very remote areas it might be needed to pay with cash (Catamarca desert area for example). The fuel quality is also good. We normally choose Diesel “commun” (higher sulphur content) but low sulphur diesel is available. Again, in remote areas there might be only one type of diesel available. Just keep in mind that in this country nafta is actually gasoline. Very confusing. GLPA can only be purchased in the far north of Argentina. Otherwise you should get it in Chile.

During our stay the inflation was very volatile. To get local currency isn’t easy. An ATM is not an option because the (international) exchange rate is very bad. And the maximum amount that can be drawn is very low. Besides the international rate there is a blue dollar rate. The blue dollar rate is much better, but you can only get it if you exchange with Western Union, or on the street. A drawback while exchanging on the street, is that they demand very clean unused 50 or 100-dollar bills which is highly unpractical if you travel a long time. And of course there is a safety concern. So getting cash via Western Union was for us the way to go. Paying directly with a credit card is usually also a good way: then the rate is only slightly lower than the blue dollar rate. But beware that they might charge a local transaction fee. A debet card usually avoids this transaction fee.

Car parts

Argentina was by far the most difficult country to get Mitsubishi car parts. In general Japanese cars (and parts) are less popular here, the only exception being Toyota (for overlanders: Hilux). Fiat, Citroen, Renault and VW on the other hand are popular.

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