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Bicycle

  • If you dig cycling your way around a country, Argentina has potential. You’ll see the landscape in greater detail, have far more freedom than you would if beholden to public transportation, and likely meet more locals.
  • Road bikes are suitable for many paved roads, but byways are often narrow and surfaces can be rough. A todo terreno (mountain bike) is often safer and more convenient, allowing you to use the unpaved shoulder and the very extensive network of gravel roads throughout the country. Argentine bicycles are improving in quality but are still far from equal to their counterparts in Europe or the USA.
  • There are several drawbacks to long-distance bicycling in Argentina. One is the wind, which in Patagonia can slow your progress to a crawl. Finding water sources in some areas can also be an issue. Finally, Argentine motorists can be a serious hazard to cyclists, particularly on many of the country’s straight, narrow, two-lane highways. Make yourself as visible as possible, and wear a helmet.
  • Bring an adequate repair kit and extra parts and stock up on good maps, which is usually easier to do once you’re in Argentina. Always confirm directions and inquire about conditions locally. In Patagonia, a windbreaker, shelter and warm clothing are essential. Don’t expect much traffic on some back roads.

Rental

  • Bicycle rentals (mostly mountain bikes) are available in many popular tourist destinations, such as along the Atlantic coast, Mendoza, Bariloche and other towns throughout the Lake District, Patagonia and Córdoba’s Central Sierras. Prices are by the hour or day, and are affordable.

Purchase

  • Many towns have bike shops, but high-quality bikes are expensive, and repair parts can be hard to come by. If you do decide to buy while you’re here, you’re best off doing so in Buenos Aires – selection in other major cities can be pretty slim.