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Buenos Aires Argentina Return with Air New Zealand ex Gold Coast $747, Melbourne $750, Brisbane $773, Sydney $794 @ IWTF


Wowzers! How cheap are these return flights to South America! Normally anything sub $1000 is great, but sub $800 is madness. Plenty of availability by the looks of it and sample dates are shown on the main link. I believe all flights have a stopover in Auckland. Safe travels, and enjoy :)

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  • Woo, cheap flights!

  • Is Argentina cheap to travel in compared to SE Asia?

    • Not really, BA is like the 'Paris' of South America.

      Argentinian Patagonia is a must do!

    • More expensive than SE Asia (Thailand, Vietnam etc), but much cheaper than western countries.

      The biggest expense is internal flights within Argentina and within South America. Vast distances and very little competition make this very expensive.

      For example, a flight from BA to the popular tourist area of El Calafate in southern Argentina (Patagonia) will sting you another AUD$800 return!

      • Could you elaborate on your definition of western Country? I always find it really interesting to see people's view on it.

        In your view, is Spain a Western Country? Portugal, France, Germany?

        Not trolling, I am really interested on people's views on this topic.

      • That's true but another hacker deal is fly domestic in Chile (ie Santiago to Punta Arenas AUD 50-100) then bus to El calafate. For people who have more time and on a budget this route would be more idel. If you happen to go to Brazil use Gol Airlines for the domestic routes. Except for Argentina the rest is not bad.

        • Wow, that is a big saving.

          Punta Arenas is a worthy destination on its own! No need to go to El Calafate, it's only a popular town because of it's airport and its proximity to the Morano glacier and Torres del Paine.

      • I realise this is a flight thread, but the buses in Argentina (was there last year) were actually fine, unlike some other S.Am countries. We went from BA to Mendoza and across to Chile - quite comfortable, pretty cheap. Just be watch your back at the bus and train stations, obviously. I noticed that there were a couple of relatively new budget airlines as well, but didn't look into those.

        • The busses in the Argentine Patagonia region aren't quite up to the standards of the ones in Northern Argentina. Some are, a lot aren't. Anything going out of, or into Buenos Aires is generally good though, like you say.

          I did the 24 hour journey from El Chalten to Bariloche. Across very bumpy roads in the middle of nowhere for much of it. That one (well, actually it was two split journeys) was shocking. Seats didn't recline more than a quarter of the way, no entertainment/food/wi-fi etc…which is pretty standard on those Northern Argentinian ones.

          That said, still much better than those in countries like Bolivia.

    • Yes. You can get insanely good exchange rates in Buenos Aires. Normally about 30% better than anywhere else.

      Just exchange AUD to USD in Australia, then go to Calle Florida (Florida Street) in Buenos Aires to exchange USD to ARS. You’ll get “Blue Dollar” exchange rates… basically Black Market exchange rates but extremely common.

      I posted about this in the forums. It was possible to get free money using this approach: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/181151

      Edit: Just reading newer information about this. It sounds like Argentina floated its currency in 2017, which mostly removed the massive difference between the Blue exchange rate and the official exchange rate. There’s at most a 3% difference now.

      • Or just use an ING direct card and get cash out at the ATM at official exchange rates with a $2 charge.

      • On that street, every meter you walk there'll be someone approaching you whispering some Spanish to your ears, which by my guess means to exchange currency. I never had the nerve to follow them into a back alley to get the deal done. Is that what you are referring to?

        • Florida Street - they're whispering "cambio", as in, change money.

          They won't cause you any grief, but their purpose now is effectively futile given the changes to the currency. As pointed out above, from an ATM with the 'right' card, you're just as better off, without the risk of just one fake note slipping into your hand (alebit this is more rare than you'd think)

          • @alloveranthony: Not true. ATMs charge hefty percentage based fees (I'm not sure ING will refund them).

            • @JohnHowardsEyebrows: I lived there for some years, so speaking from experience at the time - Citibank Plus Transaction account used to work at identical rate to currency. No fees, nada. Citibank has since retreated from the country, but I understand one of its re-branded (partner) ATMs still afford the same access. ING as I understand worked too.

              That's also why I emphasises 'right' card - because yes, the normal ATM fee is high (used to be around $8, but peso devaluation will have changed this)

              • @alloveranthony: ING have always refunded ATM fees - A few months ago I was in Rovinj, Croatia, used an ATM in the city square that charged me $7aud ATM fee. ING refunded no problem.

          • @alloveranthony: I walked down Florida street today. The ‘cambio’ Callers are still there but a much safer and reliable option is to withdraw from ATM using ING card. ING have refunded ally my fees including one that was A$14.83.

            • @SydneySwan: Good to hear, thanks for the confirmation, I'm tempted to return!

              Those cambio guys will always be there, the locals depend on them, but thankfully us foreigners can depend on ING to save the day :D

              p.s. - get out to a couple of the other cities if you get a chance (Mendoza for wine/hiking; just about anywhere in Patagonia region for hiking/scenery/wildlife, but logistics are difficult last minute)

            • @SydneySwan: Might look into ING then - I know Citi didn't work a year ago - the fees were 10 - 20 AUD with the kicker being it would only let you withdraw 150 - 200 AUD at any one time. So the percentage rate was devastatingly high. Citi didn't refund any fees from there. I was talking to a friend last night who had a HSBC card that refunds fees - there was a clause in there exempting Argentina, though. So yeah, be careful about which card you take. I think that you really need some US dollars in Argentina.

      • You should perhaps edit again, to strike-through your entire commentary re the blue rate. As your edit notes, the Argentine currency world completely changed in 2017. It's a shame for tourists - I travelled through Argentina a few years back and lived like a king on pauper money. The blue rate at the time was about 50% more than the official.

        • Even with (high) inflation, still not too bad for tourists given the significant deterioration in the ARS since last year. Take the USD/ARS, which is 160% higher than 2 years ago, and 75% higher than a year ago.

          It's the locals I feel for. Inflation over 40 or 50%, and their savings were always held in USD, which they hold much less of now on conversion of the vastly weaker peso. Minimum wage was awful too.

    • South america is nowhere as cheap as SE Asia and just as disorganised.

      • Yeah, I’d agree with that. I am in Chile now and spend several months a year here. Some things in Chile are a lot cheaper than OZ, like transport, including airfares. I can fly to Santiago from La Serena (about 1 hour flight ) for AUD$20( carry on only). Other than that, food/restaurants/supermarket prices etc are on a par with OZ. But exchange rate with AUD is very stable. Inflation here is very low, maybe 2-3% only.

      • Depends which country. Colombia (and, to a lesser extent, Peru) remain very cheap for most tourist stuff, while Brazil is mostly close to Western prices, except for drinks (2 bucks for a bottle of drinkable cachaca).

  • Looks like it's a 2 hour layover then onto SA. Would be good to overnight in Auckland, but not possible I guess at those prices.

  • Gracias!

  • Meat Holiday

    • red meat bonanza incoming

    • What type of meat?

    • I had some beef steak in Argentina. And it tasted like, well, beef.

      I made out to the first restaurant that I travelled across the world to try their famous beef (I'm way too cynical to do such a thing) and ended up being polite. They claim that the feeding methods have changed the quality of meat since the days of yore but meh, I'm happy to just have access to food.

  • I paid $1100 with LATAM to fly into Buenos Aries and out of Cuzco Peru. As mentioned, internal flights are often expensive. It was still cheaper to pay $1100 for the multi than $800 return as the flight from Cuzco to Buenos Aries is crazy expensive.

    • I haven't booked in years but another issue with South American airlines is/was double pricing. If you went to the websites directly it made a huge difference if you booked with the wrong foreign IP address or wrong language or wrong currency (depending on the website configuration). About half price.

      In 2012 I even had to enter a fake Brazilian ID (just zeroes) to book a flight with a budget airline named WebJet Linhas Aéreas, which ceased operations that year.

      • I've tried that but it's the same price. What I did find was that return flights were much cheaper on LATAM than one way flights. I'm talking about 40% less.

      • Good point actually!

        A couple years ago I don't think this was an issue in my time in Brazil (they possibly changed it to align prices for locals/foreigners), but it was still a huge issue in Argentina at least. Half price for them (or double for us). if you booked the reduced fare, occasionally they would check ID at the check-in counter as well, to ensure you had a CPF (local identity card) - so the trick was to take hand luggage only (if possible) and use a self check-in kiosk.

      • Also a tip that a return flight is cheaper than a one way so you can book the return flight and just not take the second leg. (just make sure you don't have any other tickets on the same booking as they are allowed to cancel them if you don't show up for 1 leg)

        • Price of return being cheaper than one way. Yes this was very true in Chile for many years but had changed now at least for LATAM. Now one way is half return!

      • You made me check this, despite me already booking my flights. I used my VPN to make out I was in Argentina, and I did get a cheaper flight on one leg. I checked the their website not using my VPN and then with the VPN and you get different pricing. Interesting!!

      • Totally correct!! I have been avoiding this issue for years however by using a VPN into Chile and then booking-you then get fares at Chilean prices(much cheaper).

    • I think we flew San Jose (Costa Rica) to Lima, Buenos, Santiago, because it was cheaper than just flying to Buenos, then noshowed for the Santiago flight and got the bus to Mendoza. Be aware of the benefits of bizarre routing. ;-)

    • Really? I paid $1700 once for 10 individual flights around SA, thought that was reasonable

    • I would never rely on flying out of Cuzco on time.
      Well done if you managed it.

  • Spent quite a bit of time living there in Bs As, fantastic place - its chaos is also what really defines it in many ways, but otherwise lots to see (the museums are a real highlight, as well as markets/fairs…nightlife too, there's really not much that compares to the frenetic action over there, except around major holidays when it's awfully quiet)

    A small tip, double check your travel dates against that of the election (Oct 27) later this year. It's not uncommon over there for regular strikes, protests, road blockades and the like around major political events like this…and in terms of disruption, much different than what we're used to seeing here at home…or for that matter, the football….even when Uber rolled out it was a 'quilombo' as they say

    • What rough region of dates should I avoid then?

      • Even rough dates are hard to gauge, but I'd be going earlier rather than later.

        Arriving at an inconvenient time isn't as likely to be an issue say compared to leaving when you need to catch your flight and there are airport strikes, or autopistas blocked/clogged. There is the possibility the election goes into a run-off, which from memory means a second round of voting 4 weeks later. I'd probably avoid around either date or that period in between for departing, but that's just for caution.

        That said, most of the tourist attractions should still be accessible, disruption on the roads or otherwise.

    • Is October/November good time of year to visit Buenos Aires?
      Also is it worth doing a trip to Montevideo?

      • In a normal year, where there isn't the political shenanigans to consider as far as its effects on day-to-day dramas, October and even quite into November is a fantastic time to visit in my opinion. Weather there is nice, lots of events are still running too.

        By mid-to-late December or so it gets quite hot and it's like being a tin in an oven, especially the underground subway, and most of the city starts to take holidays so it's much quieter around and less going on.

        re: Montevideo, I provided some of my thoughts on it here the other day - https://www.ozbargain.com.au/comment/7448169/redir - it's pleasant, but if going to Uruguay I'd opt for some of the other cities to get a different vibe altogether. In any case, easy to get over there by ferry and the tickets are fairly cheap if booked in advance (at least they were when I went several times). At one stage people used to go over there to pick up USD from the ATMs in Uruguay, bring them back to Buenos Aires and change the cash for the higher 'blue market' rate (for foreigners that also renewed their 3 month stay at the same time).

        • Thanks, I have been looking into going to Buenos Aires for a while now. Those prices are so tempting to book.

  • Their economy has tanked! Dollar goes a lot further now than it used to.

  • Thankfully the US$100 fee is gone

  • $1594 for return premium economy also 😍

  • Adelaide slightly too far away for Air NZ?

  • I booked last week at $900 return.. I have two set of return internal flights.. $220 return to Iguazu (2 hour flight, carry on only) and $420 return to El Calafate (over 3 hour flight, checked baggage 2 x 15kg).

    When you compare the flight to Iquazu is equivalent to a trip from Melbourne to Brisbane, the flight is OK. El Calafate is a fair distance from Buenos Aires, so I still think that is an OK price. Obviously I would love bargain basement, but it is not as high as suggested. All flights are in October..

    • Nice trip planned there amigo! You did really well and I think those internal flights price are solid!

      • I should also add that in BA AirBnb one bedroom apartments are can be found for less than $50 AUD per night in Palermo.

        I went to Vietnam earlier this year and I think the prices for accomm are on par with HCMC.

        Food looks to be quite cheap too!

    • If you're into hiking, I highly recommend a trip to El Chalten if you get the chance. You can pick up bus tickets once you're in El Calafate.

      As for Iguazu, you can get a different perspective of the falls if you cross the border over to the Brazilian side (Iguaçu) - still requires passport control though

      • Cheers.. Won't head to El Chalten, mostly going for Perito Moreno Glacier. Looking forward to it though.

        Not sure if I'll head to Brazil side, all I know is I am differently doing the boat ride!!

    • Great price to el Calafate…. who are you flying with?

  • Traveled through Argentina and Chile extensively twice in the last 6 years.
    Can confirm that the last time I was there (early 2018), the 'Blue Rate' does not exist anymore. Exchange rate everywhere else is pretty much similar to the official exchange rate.

    Internal flights are expensive, but you can also consider using bus to travel around within Argentina if you have the time. It takes longer, but the bus are comfortable and you can enjoy really good scenery along the way, particularly in the Patagonia area. You can use Rome2rio to plot your bus routes.

    Another way to make the internal flights cheaper is to book all of your international flights + all the internal local flights within South America with LATAM in one booking / e-ticket, plus you also get the international luggage allowance (30kg in economy) throughout, instead of 15kg for most local flights. Wait until LATAM has their Australia - Chile sale (usually one around Jan/Feb and one around Sep/Oct)

  • Wow! that is extremely cheap. Bummer! I have booked around those dates last month, thought I paid a cracker price but wow.

  • cheap as chips cabron!

  • Booked!!!

    Love Argentina

  • Always wanted to go, saw this (thanks),be rude not to.