Nine things I wish we knew before our trip to Argentina
1) Travelers with passports from the USA who are also going to Brazil: You CAN get a visa for Brazil in Buenos Aires, but it's only a 90 day visa and it's the same price as the 10 year. Get yours back in the states if you can. If not, this article will help you do it in one trip to the consulate, instead of four or five.
2) You don't have to pay the reciprocity fee for Chile if you cross the boarder by land or sea. Coming from Argentina, take the bus from Mendoza during the day. Apparently it's incredible. The flight over the Andes was also pretty great. Worthy of a window seat - and I'm an aisle seat girl all the way.
3) Bring USD to Argentina. Don't take money out of the ATMs. Many stores will give you a much better exchange rate if you pay in USD. You might also find someone to buy your USD for Pesos at a MUCH better rate (we found a gent offering nearly double the official exchange rate).
4) Prepaid mobile internet and phone service is cheap. Bring your smartphone and get a Argentinian sim card ("chip"). You need an unlocked GSM phone (AT&T or T-Mobile).
5) Ski season doesn't start until mid-June. Penguin season ends in March. May is a good time to visit Glacier Perito Moreno because it's almost the end of the season and you can get good discounts on lodging. However if we were to do it again we'd come in mid-September for skiing and then stay until mid-October for whale watching and penguins.
6) As mentioned in the post on Glacier Perito Moreno, don't bother bringing your hiking boots and other trekking gear if you are only trekking on the glacier - you can rent boots, gloves, ski pants and a jacket for about 130 pesos total.
7) Neighborhoods in Buenos Aires: For those of you who know NYC, Palermo is like Soho or the West Village, Recoleta is like the Upper East Side, San Telmo is like St Mark's Place, Centro, near Casa Rosada and 9 de Julio, is like Midtown. Personally, I liked staying in Palermo the best.
8) The Subte and buses are a great way to get around - no need to rent a car. You can pay for both with a Sube card. You can buy a Sube card for 15 pesos at any kiosk with a 'Sube' sign. It does NOT come with any credit on it, you need to add money to it. We did this in the Subte station. When you get on the bus, you need to tell the driver where you are planning to get off so s/he can charge you the appropriate fare.
9) Taxis are pretty cheap but traffic can be bad near Centro, day or night, as there always seems to be some kind of demonstration happening.