What can I say, Argentina is surely the country with it all!
From desert to mountains, vibrant cities to remote outposts, this huge South American nation bottles almost everything that’s best about this continent and rolls it all altogether into one delicious mate-infused fiesta!
And if you think this sounds like too much hyperbole, then I’m guessing you haven’t been to Argentina yet, because once you’ve spent even a fraction of a second in this country you’ll know what I mean.
Whether it’s the dazzling charm of Buenos Aires, the eye-watering drama of Iguazu Falls, the incredible hiking of Patagonia or just the wine and food that gets you, I’m yet to meet a single person who doesn’t rave about this country once they’ve visited.
And that’s not to mention the friendliness of the people here, nor their zest for life despite its challenges.
In fact, in many ways, Argentinians remind me of the people from Lebanon (another country I fell in love with) but that’s a whole different story!
Right now, in this article, I want to show you how to get ready for your amazing trip to Argentina with this ultimate packing guide.
Because, along with the amazing travel adventures this country’s diversity presents, also comes the headache of packing and making sure you’re ready for every occasion.
But no problem, I’ve got you covered with this item-by-item checklist of what to take to Argentina so you don’t miss out on a single opportunity this country presents you with…
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Keeping Luggage Weight Down
Before I get onto the actual checklist of what you should pack for your trip to Argentina, I wanted to write a quick few tips to cover some specific questions you might have.
First up, this packing list is designed to be lightweight i.e. it’s ideal for backpackers, but also for anyone else heading to this country who doesn’t want to haul massive suitcases around.
If you’re moving about Argentina, which you definitely should, then lugging massive bags on and off buses or flights is simply no fun, so this packing list is designed to make sure you have everything you need, for every inch of this country, without being too weighed down!
And if you manage to condense your stuff down well, then this whole Argentina packing list below should fit into a 40-50l backpack.
I never take anything bigger, even when I’m travelling for 6 months at a time, so you got no excuse!
This one 50l Atmos backpack from Osprey makes a great option and would be brilliantly accompanied by some good packing cubes!
Yes these guys are the answer to all your packing problems my friends, and if you want to compress your gear to take up less space, as well as have it nicely organised, I highly suggest you get some!
I absolutely love these packing cubes and personally would never consider heading off to South America, or indeed anywhere, without them.
Packing for Hiking
So while we’re on the subject of keeping the luggage weight down, it’s worth pointing out that the main checklist below does detail everything you need if you plan to hike a lot in Argentina, as I suggest you should.
The main overall advice here is to bring layers, that you can easily strip on and off as you walk – because that’s just what you’ll do.
A thin, light waterproof / windproof jacket will be very handy when hiking in Argentina and, as always, I recommend garments with lots of pockets so you have easy access to things like tissues, camera, sanitiser, snacks etc.
A sleeping bag will also be useful, especially if you enjoying multi-day treks in areas such as Patagonia, and no matter whether you’re tackling a big one like this or just day hikes, an active camera like the Go Pro Hero 8 will be ideal with its waterproof, compact and durable attributes.
Packing For Your Flight to Argentina
It’s also worth taking some time to think about what to wear on a flight over to Argentina.
Making sure these items tie in as much as possible with the checklist below, will help you keep your packing light as you won’t be doubling up or carrying unnecessary things you won’t wear again until the flight home.
Quite simply, layers are key.
You never know how hot or cold a plane might be and if you want to get some sleep, comfy clothing is king.
This is especially true given flights to Argentina from North America, Europe or Australia / New Zealand are long haul, so I’d certainly advise wearing things you feel at ease in.
Ladies, I always wear leggings on long-haul flights and love these natural bamboo fibre ones from Boody, which I now never travel without
I pair them with either a thin cotton top or dress (depending how much coverage you want) and then also take a sweater and a scarf on the plane for extra cosy layers.
The travel wraps from Sholdit, which have hidden security pockets are perfect for travel adventures and I love mine!Compression flight socks are also a must in my book when it comes to long haul flying as they help you avoid the possibility of DVT and I pair these with a lovely eye mask and ear plugs to ensure I get some good zzz.
A travel pillow will also help you here and I love this one from MLVOC, which I just bought and I’m already in love with thanks to its memory foam, high-sided design.
FYI, a travel pillow will also come in handy if you’re taking any long bus journeys in Argentina too… which you definitely will!
Gents, if leggings aren’t your thing, then loose-fitting jeans or comfy cargo pants might be a good option, with a t-shirt and thin sweater on top.
Small Essentials Kit for Long Bus Journeys
I always travel with a small bag of essentials when I take long-distance flights.
Normally this is a small, plastic ziplock bag (so it passes airport security liquid checks) including toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, small facewash, small moisturiser, lip balm, tissues, wet wipes, spare underwear and compression flight socks.
But it’s not just on the flight to Argentina I would use this.
Nope, given the long-distance bus rides which are a fundamental part of South America travel, and which often take place at night, I found it very handy to keep this small essential kit packed and ready to go with me throughout the trip.
Instead of packing it away, as I normally do when I arrive in a destination, keeping this small pack of essentials constantly topped up and included as part of my hand luggage in Argentina was so handy for when I had to catch long-distance / night buses… which was a lot!
Knowing I could always brush my teeth, or have toilet paper handy, was a game-changer and I strongly recommend you having a similar, essentials kit with you in Argentina too.
If you want to learn more of my top tips for your Argentina travels, then check out this post.
Ultimate Argentina Packing List
And so finally, here it is, my item by item checklist for exactly what to pack and wear in Argentina…
1x Insulated Puffer Jacket
Crucial for staying warm up when in the mountains or snowy areas, especially at night.
When considering what to wear in Argentina, this is a must.
Choose a packable, travel version like this one.
1x Thin Waterproof / Windproof Jacket
Two jackets might seems excessive, but if you want to do any hiking in this country, then also taking a thinner jacket you can layer on or off when being active makes a lot of sense.
I love the North Face Venture 2.
2x Thick Hoodies / Sweaters / Fleeces
Again key to keeping warmer in the high altitude areas, some thick, cosy sweaters to add layers.
A good thermal one, like this Columbia thermal fleece is well suited to the job as it designed for active travel and is perfect for hiking and camping.
3x Thin Long-Sleeved Tops
Good for cooler days or when hiking / travelling, thin long-sleeved tops are also good when you need to layer as they can be worn under thicker jumpers.
Choosing an insulating natural fibre like merino wool is a good choice for budget vs warmth and comfort.
This fabric also makes for an excellent hiking base layer.
7x Singlets / T-Shirts
Choose tops that match the trousers / leggings / shorts you choose to pack and consider quick-dry options.
T-shirts are good for covering shoulders and offering more sun protection.
3x Pairs Long Pants / Trousers
Great for going out in the evening or wandering around cities when it’s a bit cooler or rainy, a couple of pair of versatile trousers are a must when it comes to what to pack for Argentina.
I think 3 is a good number to cover a wide range of activities from city strolling to bar hopping to nature time.
2x Pairs Leggings / Hiking Pants
One of my travel essentials, leggings are so helpful for putting under trousers if cold, for hiking or exercising, for being comfortable, for extra nightwear or for under a casual dress in the evening.
If you have room, my advice is to take 2 pairs and make them bamboo fibre ones if poss, as these guys are soft, light, comfortable, breathable, quick-dry and hypoallergenic… what’s not to love!
If you don’t like leggings, hiking trousers or loose-fitting pants will do instead as they are also good for travel days and if you plan to undertake any volunteer work.
1x Pair Shorts
You’re going to need something to wear during those hots days in Argentina, especially if you’re in Buenos Aires during the summer!
1x Light Dress / Tunic
Again a good item for city days.
Or if you want to dress up a bit during the evening, you can pair this over a pair of leggings!
You see, so versatile!
I always recommend a couple of scarves whenever I travel because they are so versatile.
Great for hiking or trying to keep your neck warm or sweat out of your eyes, the list goes on and on!
Travel wraps like this one from Sholdit are also ideal for keeping valuables safe on long bus journeys (care of their secret security pocket) when you might want to dose off too!
Beanie / Warm Hat
Great for when you’re at altitude or in the snow, camping or hiking, as it will keep you amazingly warm.
Ditto the above.
Check out this lightweight, thermal pair.
Cap / Sun Hat
Something to shield your face, neck and ears from the strong UV rays that are very prevalent in Argentina.
Small and compact, 7-8 pairs will save you a lot of handwashing!
2x Bras + 2x Sports Bra
Small and great for hiking.
I really love this black, padded one from Nike.
Make sure you take ones of various lengths / thickness, including ankle socks for city days and good, non-blister socks over the ankle socks for hiking activities.
Make sure they offer UV protection.
You can always double up on your daywear here to save room!
Depending on your plans (i.e. are you making a ton of multi-day tough treks or just enjoying day hikes?) either hiking boots, hiking shoes or trail runners might do.
Check out this post I wrote to get the right pair for you.
Flip Flops / Sandals
Personally I’d never travel anywhere without my Arizona Birkenstocks.
Trainers / Runner / Day Shoes
Either converse, pumps or sneakers for exploring cities and towns on foot.
These New Balance black trainers are great all-rounders.
Thin Toiletries Bag with Hook
A light and thin wash bag is also essential for keeping the weight in your backpack down.
Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
I also go for shampoo and conditioner bars when I travel to save the plastic and keep the space down!
Although they are a bit pricey, they last for ages.
Say goodbye to mid-travel spillages and bulky bottles people, this is the eco-friendly future!
Keep in a ziplock bag to prevent from getting soap slime on everything you own!
I suggest an anti-bacterial bar as they are great for keeping you clean in tropical climates where you’re likely to be sweating a bit!
I always pack a natural crystal deodorant as they last forever (great if you’re travelling for a few months) and are free from many nasty chemicals.
They are also the only thing that stops me sweaty in the tropical heat!
Face Cleanser, Toner Serum & Moisturiser
Great for bringing your skin back to life after strong sun and dry desert days!
Choose a 30 SPF or higher for those hell-strong rays in Argentina and go natural if you can to keep the chemicals out of your skin.
Natural Bug Repellent
This doubles as a great moisturiser, soother and aftersun.
Buy some here.
SPF Lip Salve
Very important for those strong UV conditions and keeping your lips healthy and happy.Burt Bees are always my go-to as they never dry out my lips.
Tea-Tree Essential Oil
A powerful antiseptic, anti-mould, anti-fungal treatment.
Also great to throw in a few drops with your washing and ideal for freshening up smelly bags / laundry etc.
Get an organic tea-tree oil if you can.
An ideal remedy for headaches, sore muscles and insect bites, tiger balm is super versatile and a must on my Argentina packing list, especially if the mosquitoes love you as much as me!
Paracetamol, Anti-Septic Cream & Band-Aids
The only medicine you need to take!
Most other things you might need can easily be bought in Argentina
The best way to deal with your time of the month when travelling ladies.
Check out the best prices for them here.
Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss
Razor & Spare Blades
Nail Scissors & Nail File
Tweezers & Safety Pins
Cotton Buds / Pads
Hair Bands & Hai Brush
Glasses / Contact Lenses if you wear them
Eye Mask & Earplugs
Key for sleeping in hostels and on those long South American bus rides.
This eye mask from Alaska Bear is super comfy… go on treat yourself!
I recommend Latrek when it comes to the best travel towel, because they are cheap, compact, soft and don’t smell.
Love, love, love mine.
Read my full review here.
Definitely needed for hiking, sightseeing and active adventure days, this Kompressor from Marmot is perfect for the job as its super featherweight and packs down to next to nothing.
Very useful for locking up bags and valuables when staying in hostels or on bus rides, these don’t have to be expensive, just reliable!
Best to get a TSA-approved one in case of any hassle at the airport.
Filter Water Bottle
Try not to add to the world’s plastic problem and consider travelling with a filter water bottle like one from LifeStraw.
Not only does this mean you can safely and easily drink the tap water anywhere in the world, but it will also save you the money and hassle of having to buy bottled water.
Much cheaper and more environmentally friendly, the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles has an amazing technology that filters out 99.9% of harmful bacteria and the filter lasts for 4000 litres, which means you’ll likely only have to replace it once a year!
Great for doing emergency washing, such as underwear in a sink, travel handwash is always a must when I backpack anywhere.
It’s a given on this Argentina packing list when it comes to rinsing your sweaty undies after a good day hiking – yum!
So useful in Argentina for the rainy season, these small and compact guys are great for keeping your electricals equipment dry in case of wet altitude conditions or Amazonian showers!
Check out this top-rated one for ideas.
Silk Liner & Sleeping Bag
If you’re doing any hiking, these will come in very handy.
Argentinian Spanish Phrasebook
Having a little bit of Spanish under your belt will go a long way in Argentina, but don’t forget these guys have their own unique version with many original words and a very strong accent.
Even if you speak Spanish it can be hard to understand them, so give yourself the best chance with by investing in, and using, a phrasebook that caters to this country!
Smartphone & Headphones
Taking your smartphone to stay in touch with those at home, checking maps, booking accommodation and uploading some pics while you’re in Argentina is a great idea.
Also download some audiobooks and music onto your phone before you leave home – a great tip for journey days.
I recommend Amazon Audible and Spotify Premium for these purposes and wouldn’t travel without either these days.
Portable power packs are great when travelling, especially if you’re out sightseeing all day and worried about your phone or camera battery lasting.
I recommend the Anker Powercore, it’s light and can charge my iPhone 7 around 5 times!
I love my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera, which I used throughout my travels in South America and beyond.
Light, compact and sturdy, it’s perfect for travelling.
A GoPro Hero 8 is also a great idea to help capture the more active adventures you might have in this country such as hiking or mountaineering.
It’s also great for video!
Lens, Spare Battery, Memory Card & Charger
All essential for the camera and / or the Go Pro,
Argentina uses European style outlets, so get a Skross World Adapter that won’t fail you!
Headlamp & Spare Batteries
I never travel anywhere without a headlamp and recommend you choose a product that uses commonly found batteries and has a red night light function to avoid the bugs.
I love my Black Diamond number, which has served me very well across South America, especially during those occasional power cuts!
Documents & Paperwork
Passport & Photocopies
Definitely take a colour copy of your passport with you to Argentina and keep it with you at all times.
Taking a photo of your passport and storing it safely in your email account is also a good idea.
Depending where you’re from, of course, you may or may not need this.
Always good to have with you wherever you travel.
Travel Insurance Policy
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Credit Cards and Debit Cards
When it comes to paying for things in Argentina, you want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates when using your card abroad, which is why I always take my Wise card away with me wherever I travel.
The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card here… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Grab yours here.
Hidden Cash in Small Thin Purse
Take some USD cash with you that can be exchanged into Argentinian Pesos in case of an emergency.
Sadly, at some point, it’s going to be time to go home *sob sob *
PIN IT TO PINTEREST!
And there it is, my ultimate Argentina packing list and the only one you’ll ever need!
Designed to be practical, while keeping things light, I hope I’ve covered all with this item by item checklist
Have any questions about what to wear in Argentina?
Did I miss anything out on this packing list?
Please drop any comments into the box below and I’ll get back to you…