Argentina at a Glance
Driving in ArgentinaiStockphoto
In remote regions like Patagonia, driving is the only way of getting around.
The Pros and Cons of Driving in Argentina
Argentina, the land of silver, has so much beauty to offer to its residents that it should be mandatory for expats to own a car for exploring the country. Argentine terrain is as multifaceted as it gets: beaches, forests, mountains, sierras – you name it, they’ve got it!
Driving is therefore worthwhile for the international visitor. You can admire everything you want to see at your own pace.
However, if you live in a big city and do not have the opportunity to travel much, public transportation is probably your best bet. Lots of expats and local residents alike prefer public transport to driving in Argentina’s cities.
Traffic congestion in urban centers, especially the Buenos Aires area, is quite a nuisance. You will also have difficulty finding parking space, and the threat of auto theft lurks around the corner.
Quite a few Argentines do not even possess a car because it is rather expensive to maintain. It can therefore be assumed that those who insist on driving in Argentina are among the relatively wealthy.
You should take great care to avoid damaging anyone’s car, their prized possession. Also, do pay special attention on the road because many Argentine drivers tend to have a somewhat cavalier attitude towards traffic laws.
Road Infrastructure in Argentina
Almost 232,000 kilometers of roadways crisscross Argentina. Most of them are fairly well maintained. A lot of tourists enjoy driving in Argentina to view the beautiful and breathtaking countryside. This popularity has motivated the Argentine government to improve the conditions of its main roads.
The scenic “Ruta Nacional 40” is the longest and most spectacular road in the country. It stretches over 5,000 kilometers straight down the length of Argentina, from the Bolivian border to the southernmost tip of South America.
For drivers in the Argentine countryside, it is highly recommended to have a 4x4 vehicle, especially during the rainy season, as roads sometimes tend to turn into miniature rivers. In fact, most cars that you will see on Argentine roads are SUVs.
Contrary to the solitary picturesque roads in the Argentine landscape, the city traffic is a mess! In 2000, there were an estimated 40,000 taxis in Buenos Aires alone. Try to imagine how much traffic must be coursing through the city and what kind of congestion would await you if you decided on driving in Argentina for your daily commute to and from work.