Argentina Risk Report
Security travel advice for Argentina
Threat level: Low
Visitors of Argentina are advised to remain cautious throughout their visit, particularly in popular tourist spots and busy cities such as Buenos Aires, Rosario and Mendoza. These areas are key destinations for thieves looking to target affluent tourists so you should ensure your personal belongings are safe at all times.
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Recent Security Risk Events
There is no general terrorist threat in Argentina and it is a reasonably stable country with a good economic outlook, however there may be an underlying threat from anti-capitalist groups who have used small explosive devices in the past at finance targets. There have been terrorist groups which have been known to operate in the Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay border areas but this does not pose a severe risk. Most stays in Argentina are without trouble.
With 35% of the country living below the poverty line, civil unrest can happen and demonstrations which have been known to turn violent. Areas of possible outbreak of demonstrations are:
- The Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires
- Congreso, Buenos Aires
There is a risk of crime against persons, including “express kidnappings” where a person is held to ransom whilst their bank account is accessed. Scams and conmen are common in certain parts of Argentina and it is strongly advised you keep your passport in a safe location; Buenos Aires and Mendoza have experienced an increasing rate of passport thefts in recent years.
General petty crime and distraction theft are common however some of these crimes can be as bad as armed robbery so it is advised you are cautious when in isolated or in the evening hours. Care should be taken in busy public places and to not leave valuables inside of hire cars, as these are of particular target to opportunistic thieves.
In 1982 Argentina invaded the British Falkland Island and since the recapture of the Islands by Britain, successive Argentinian governments have constantly laid claim to them. It is a trait of the government to use the issues of the Falklands Islands to rally the country at times of national crisis in order to take the heat off domestic troubles faced by the country. There are sometimes public demonstrations near or outside the British Embassy in Buenos Aires. The Falklands still remain British.
There have been some reports of kidnapping in Argentina. Travellers should take care not to show that they might have wealth live wearing expensive jewellery or discussing money in public. These attacks are rare but do happen.
Argentina has a history of political uprisings and during the period of the “Dirty War” - an internal political struggle - saw hundreds of thousands of people taken off the street and from their homes by government forces.
There are unresolved sovereign claims to land in the Antarctic region, Argentina disputes these areas with Chile and the British overseas territories.
The driving standards in Argentina can be erratic with drivers rarely being considerate of others on the road - pedestrians and cyclists should take particular care. Keep your vehicle's windows and doors locked at all times, especially if you are waiting at traffic lights or in slow moving traffic.
If you travel by taxi, it is recommended to only use radio taxis that are identifiable by the company logo on the rear passenger doors.
Most European citizens will require an International Driving Permit if you are looking to hire a car, although many companies may allow you to drive on your national licence. Check with a tour operator if you are unsure.
Religion: Christianity (Roman Catholic)
Time now in Buenos Aires:
Most visitors including British, Canadian and American citizens are allowed to enter and stay in Argentina as tourists for up to 90 days visa free. Further advice can be found here: Visa advice Argentina
It is advised that visitors to Argentina are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers get Tetanus and Hepatitis A vaccinations. You may also want to consider getting vaccination against Yellow Fever.
Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for travellers older than 9 months who are likely to visit the Corrientes and Misiones Provinces including the Iguaçu Falls. You should check with your local health professional prior to your departure as the yellow fever vaccine is not suitable for all travellers or all areas of Argentina.
Other health risks
The Zika virus has been noted to be present in the provinces of Chaco, Formosa, Salta and Tucumán. The disease is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes and whilst there is no vaccine at present, prevention is through avoidance of bites. For more information on the Zika virus, see: Zika virus facts
There is also a risk of Dengue fever, so take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Medical facilities in Argentina are generally good quality but public hospitals can be crowded and strained. Treatment can prove costly so you should ensure that you have adequate insurance that will cover you for all situations.
Extreme weather and natural disasters
There is an active volcano on the border with Chile and activity from this can lead to evacuations, it is advised to monitor local news and geological updates when travelling to Argentina.
Argentina can be subject to heavy rains and flooding, this can disrupt transport links and present a high risk of danger. Take care when travelling, plan journeys before you embark on them and ensure you have necessary supplies in your vehicle including enough fuel for your journey.
U.S. Embassy Buenos Aires
Av. Colombia 4300,
(C1425GMN) Buenos Aires,
Telephone: +54 11 5777 4533
British Embassy Buenos Aires
Dr Luis Agote 2412 (1425),
Telephone: +54 11 4808 2200
Other useful info
General emergency: 911 (Buenos Aires City & Province)
Police English Hotline: 101
Tourist Police: 800 999 5000 or 0800 999 2838
Traffic Police: 1954 (Traffic Centre)
Marine Emergencies: 1767
Fire emergency: 100
Medical emergency: 107
Environmental emergency: 105
Marine emergency: 106 (Sea Search and Rescue)