Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 3 October 2018, 13:25 NZDT
  • Still current at: 24 February 2020

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Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in Argentina due to crime.

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Distraction thefts and violent crime, such as armed robbery, are an issue in Argentina, particularly in larger cities like Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Rosario. Petty crime such as pick-pocketing, bag-snatching and mobile phone theft is common, especially in popular tourist and public areas, and on public transport.

New Zealanders in Argentina should be vigilant about personal security and avoid walking alone at night. New Zealanders in Buenos Aires should be particularly cautious in Florida St, La Boca, Retiro, San Telmo and tourist areas such as Plaza Congreso, where robberies are common. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of a robbery, as this could lead to an escalation in violence.   

It is advisable to leave your passport in your hotel safe and carry a photocopy or an official ID when venturing out. You should ensure that your personal belongings are secure at all times. It is also important to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable such as jewellery and electronic devices. We recommend using clearly-marked ‘radio taxis’, preferably booked in advance.

Crimes against drivers in major cities is a problem, particularly while stopped at traffic lights. When driving, you should keep doors locked and windows up at all times. 

There have been reports of ‘express kidnappings’ in Argentina, where criminals abduct a victim for a short amount of time and force them to withdraw funds from automatic teller machines (ATMs) to secure their release. To reduce the risk of this occurring we recommend that you use ATMs located inside banks during daylight hours.

The Metropolitan police in Buenos Aires operate a multi-lingual phone line for tourists, which can be accessed by dialling (from within Argentina) 15 5050 3293, or email at This office operates from 8am to 8pm. The 24 hour emergency number is 911, but please note that the operators might not be able to take calls in English.

Civil unrest
Protests, demonstrations and organised strikes occur regularly in Buenos Aires and occasionally in other major cities as well. These may sometimes block roads, causing delays and disruption to public transport.

New Zealanders in Argentina are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to result in violence. We recommend monitoring local media for information on upcoming demonstrations and  complying with any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities.

General travel advice
Irrespective of the branding on ATMs (e.g. – carrying a ‘Plus’ system sign) you may need to try several machines before finding one that works. Similarly, some types credit cards may not work in some stores or restaurants. Consider travelling with two different types of credit cards to avoid issues. 

Keep your passport in a safe place and only carry a photocopy for identification purposes.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

A number of volcanoes are located on the Chilean border. Volcanic activity and earthquakes could happen at any time, residents have been evacuated in the past.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Argentina should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place.

New Zealanders in Argentina are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Buenos Aires, Argentina

Street Address Carlos Pellegrini 1427, 5th Floor, Ciudad de Buenos Aires CP1011, ARGENTINA Telephone 0054 11 5070 0700 Fax 0054 11 5070 0720 Email Web Site Hours Mon-Fri 10.00-12.00 For New Zealand Citizens only: Mon - Fri 09.00 - 17.30

See our regional advice for Central/South America

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New Zealand Embassy Argentina

Street Address
Carlos Pellegrini 1427, 5th Floor, Ciudad de Buenos Aires CP1011, ARGENTINA

Telephone: 0054 11 5070 0700

Fax: 0054 11 5070 0720



Hours: Mon-Fri 10.00-12.00 For New Zealand Citizens only: Mon - Fri 09.00 - 17.30

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