Packing

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Packing

Argentinean city dwellers are an appearance-conscious bunch who choose fashion over comfort any day. But though locals are stylish, they're usually fairly casual. Your nicer jeans or khakis, capri pants, skirts, and dress shorts are perfect for urban sightseeing. Combine them with stylish walking shoes or leather flats; sneakers are fine if they're out-about-town and hip (no beat-up runners). In summer many local women seem to live in nice flip-flops or sandals. With the exception of truly posh establishments, a dirty look is usually the only punishment restaurants give the underdressed; refusing entry is almost unheard of. A jacket and tie or stylish dress are necessary only if you plan on some seriously fine dining.

In most smaller towns and villages, dress is more practical and sometimes more conservative. Wherever you go in the country, take good-quality sunglasses, sunblock, and a cap or hat: the sun can be strong. A good insect repellent is useful in Buenos Aires in the summer and invaluable in Iguaz├║ year-round.

Temperatures rarely drop below freezing in the northern half of Argentina, including Buenos Aires, but a heavier coat or jacket is still a must in winter. Temperatures drop dramatically at night in the high-altitude towns of the northwest, so bring a jacket even in summer. Proper cold-weather gear is essential for visiting southern Patagonia year-round.

Pharmacies in major cities stock a good range of toiletries, including some international brands, and hygiene products (note that only no-applicator tampons are available, however). Pharmacies, supermarkets, and kiosks sell condoms (preservativos), and oral contraceptive pills are available over the counter.

Toilet paper is rare in public restrooms, but you can buy pocket packs of tissues (known as pa├▒uelos descartables or by their brand name, Carilinas) in kiosks. Antibacterial wipes and alcohol gel, available in pharmacies, can make bathroom trips more pleasant in remote areas.

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