This will be my first post in relation to our recent trip around Argentina. The aim is to answer any questions that you might have prior to your departure to Argentina.
There are two airports in Buenos Aires: the international and domestic. When flying in if you are heading straight on to Cordoba then you must ensure you have at least four hours to transfer between the two airports. This is plenty of time under normal circumstances but on occasion the traffic in the center of Buenos Aires is a nightmare. When travelling from the international airport you want to ensure you arrive in plenty of time. The staff on the check-in desks can be painfully slow. On this trip I witnessed one couple spend 25 minutes trying to do a bag drop having already checked in online. If you are travelling from the UK, we recommend British Airways rather than Iberia, whose planes are very tired and lacking the long haul basics like inflight entertainment!
Visa Requirements & Medical:
There are currently no visa requirements for visitors from the UK and US. If you are travelling from another country please check your own situation.
Important: If you hold a US, Canadian or Australian Passport you will have to pay a reciprocity fee prior to your arrival in Argentina. The fee is currently $160 US. If this is not paid in advance you can be declined entry on arrival.
Currently the medical advice is: Routine vaccinations, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Please check the most up to date advice before your trip.
A question I am often asked is “Should I take my own gun?”
In short, “No, you should not”. Argentina has a habit of moving the goal posts annually. Previously it was relatively easy to bring your guns but over the last few years it has become increasingly difficult.
If travelling from the UK, the following paragraph is vital in your decision making process: When travelling to Argentina you are required to have a temporary export permit for your guns. This comes under The Export Control Order 2008 which governs the import and export of guns and military hardware. Article 16 normally grants exception to those travelling for sporting purposes. Unfortunately Argentina is one of twenty-three countries that have a transit control on specific goods. In the past people have travelled to Argentina without the required paperwork and most of the time it has not been a problem. If you were caught without the required paperwork you would find yourself up a creek without the proverbial paddle. For more information please see: https://www.gov.uk/firearms-and-export-control-forms Note: Article 16, Schedule 4 Parts 1, 2 and 3.
If your shotgun is a semi-auto or a pump action then the Argentine government classify this as a military weapon. You will be required to visit the consulate in your country and acquire permission to travel with your gun prior to departure.
With over and unders and side by sides (god forbid you take one) you will be required to provide the details of your guns prior to departure. On arrival your guns will have to be inspected by Renar and Customs. The customs inspection is new and this is where the problem lies. Most of the customs officers don’t know anything about guns and they are required to put a value on your shotgun. As this system is so new you should expect a delay on arrival of between 1 to 5 hours as the paperwork is sorted. This might improve with time but we strongly advise you to leave your guns at home. If you are determined to travel with your guns then we are here to assist in any way we can.
On your trip there should be a very limited requirement to carry Peso. All tips and extra costs can be paid in US Dollars or GBPs. The only time you might need Pesos is while travelling, or if you over night in Buenos Aires.
The Argentine Peso is one of the only currencies to have two exchange rates. There is the government approved exchange rate which is currently 9 peso to 1 dollar. There is also a thriving black market in ‘blue peso’. This is highly attractive to tourists. This exchange is currently sitting around 12/13 peso per dollar. If you are looking to exchange your dollars on this market you need to be very careful, not only is it illegal but it is also very easy to get ripped off.
While you are in BA, if you want to pay for a restaurant in dollars then be sure to ask what the exchange rate is. If they say 9 you should be able to negotiate that to 12 or even 13.
What to pack:
Trousers: Two pairs of cotton chinos. These should be green, tan or khaki or another subtle colour for shooting in. Two pairs of trousers that are suitable for relaxed eveningwear and maybe a night out in Buenos Aires.
Shirts: Two cotton shirts, subtle colours for shooting in. Two casual shirts for the evenings. If you are planning on wearing a shoulder pad it is also worth packing a couple of t-shirts to go under the pad.
Jumpers: Depending on the time of year you visit Argentina, you might want to take a jumper or two as it can be quite cold in the mornings and evenings.
Cap: A baseball cap works best out here. At certain times of the year the sun can be very strong and the peak of a baseball cap provides the best protection.
A shoulder pad: This is a mandatory bit of kit, don’t try to tough it out without one. Ideally they should be worn between a shirt and a t-shirt. This will stop it slipping around as well as stopping the stock catching on the pad when you raise the gun to your shoulder.
Gloves: There are mixed opinions on gloves. Some people claim they give you blisters, some don’t. My personal experience is: Left hand glove is essential, right hand glove will depend on the type of gun you are shooting. For a semi-auto you are better off with some sport’s tape over the end of your thumb for reloading the gun.
Footwear: There is very little walking involved in shooting in Argentina unless you are doing walked-up Perdiz. Your shoes should be comfortable and well fitting as you will be on your feet for most of the day. There are some quite nasty thorns so a shoe with a good sole is recommended.
Shooting Jacket: If you are shooting during the winter months you might want a shooting waistcoat or jacket. It will provide your shoulder with extra comfort.
Headphones: If you are travelling with a group of friends electronic ear protection is a must. You don’t want to miss out on the banter and camaraderie because you can’t hear what is going on.
Day pack: A day bag is a very good idea for carrying any extra clothing, cameras etc. Cordoba is a semi-arid area and as a result it can be very dusty. A day pack will provide a level of protection from the dust for any sensitive electrical equipment.
Clicker: The bird boys on the whole do a very good job with the clickers but sometimes they can be a bit enthusiastic. The slightest sign of a feather counts as a hit. If you want a really accurate count take your own clicker.
Pickpockets in Buenos Aires:
Like any major city in the world there are parts of Buenos Aires you don’t want to visit but on the whole it is a pretty safe city. That said they do have a bit of a problem with pickpockets in the more touristy areas. On this trip one of my colleagues told me a story about his encounter with them. He and his wife were visiting La Recoleta Cemetery when a bird defecated on his shoulder. A local Argentine appeared at his side and kindly wiped the bird mess off and relieved him of his wallet at the same time. As it turns out it was not a bird at all but a craftily disguised street urchin dropping ice-cream out of the tree they had just walked under. When heading out for supper or moving around the city it is best to leave your valuables including watches and jewellery behind in the hotel where possible. Warnings aside, Buenos Aires is a vibrant city, full of great restaurants and good nightlife.
Next post will cover the shooting at the first three lodges we visited.
For further information on dove shooting in Argentina please contact Richard Scrope on 0845 299 6212 Ext 3 or Send a Mail