Help-I’m relocating my family to Argentina in 6 weeks!

Greetings, my name is Jon, a US Citizen and I am writing to request assistance in learning the process of relocating my family to Argentina in Jan 2018.

I am married and we are blessed with two young boys.  My wife and I have known each other since the 6th grade.  She is from Houston but her mother as born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  My wife lived in Esquel in 1998 and worked as a teacher.

We considering living in San Carlos de Bariloche, Esquel or San Martin De Los Andes.  We have tickets to move to the Argentina in Jan of 2018, so that our children can learn about their heritage.

I have never been to Bariloche nor San Martin De Los Andes, but my wife has in the past. In fact, in July 2014, we traveled to Buenos Aires to visit my wife's family (aunt, uncle, cousins) and also to Esquel where she taught for a year. Personally, I fell in love with the mountains and the feeling of the town of Esquel and with the prospect of learning Spanish in Argentina.

Our plan is move from USA to Argentina in Jan 18 to live/laugh/love/work there for about  1-2 calendar years and see what's next. So, in the interim, can you educate us on the long lead items that we need to think about in terms of timeline, documentation and fees as we begin our planning for Argentina 2018?

We have a 2004 Saturn SUV to bring/ship...any advice? Also, we have AT&T, anyone transfer cellular service from home to Argentina? Lastly, banking, we recently opened a BBVA Compass account on word they work well with LATAM banks, true/false?

We have been so focused on packing/selling/giving things away, we forgot to do ‘this’ research.




Don't go it is cold in Bariloche. The entire country is expensive due to 30 to 40% inflation year after year. If you must go, go to Tucuman. Warm weather and cheaper than B.A.
I like B.A. but plan to wait before moving there from the US, and see what happens after the inflation causes collapse of the economy.

It is SERIOUSLY expensive.  If you eat cheese you will go bankrupt.  Bring as many household goods, linen, cooking equipment, shoes, boots, tee shirts and whatever you can.  Importing a car will bring a massive tax and you will then have to go through the trauma of the tramites, insurance is expensive.  Buying a car is a major hurdle,  Remember you would need a transformer for electrical goods, it is 220 here.

Have a look at Rosario and Mendoza.


I went to Mendoza to see if it was a potential place to live. It is a dry desolate desert. About 3 inches of rain per year. Very seldom rains. The only green grass is what is irrigated. One huge tourist trap. Which helps make it expensive.
The wine industry there makes the price of land high. All real estate is high priced.
San Miguel de Tucuman or Salta may be better choices. I went to Tucuman but not Salta. Prices of everything in Tucuman are lower than B.A. but still not cheap. Salta is a popular place. It is a low income area but again very dry. I definitely don't want to live in an area where water is a problem.

Although this thread went 'dark' for nine months (and the OP family presumably made the January 2018 move), the topic of relocating to Argentina is evergreen.

Just four posts appeared before the thread went dark, yet many cities were suggested... Bariloche, San Martín, San Miguel de Tucumán, Salta, Mendoza, Rosario and Esquel.

The fact that posters offered up so many possible locations leads to this conclusion....

New arrivals should not buy or build on property in Year 1.  They should consider picking a city or a pueblo to start, visit other places after the overseas move .. and rent, rent, rent until they are clear about what is the optimal place for the Expat or the family.


ralph9 :

Don't go it is cold in Bariloche.

All but lost in the listing of possible cities was the issue of climate and weather.

Ralph didn't miss it though -- it was the number-one item he mentioned.

Argentina is a four-seasons country, unlike some other locations in South America that hug the Equator.

If you go to, say, Bariloche, in July, you might be scared off by snow and cold.  Visit in January and you might find the weather is mild and delightful.

So live for a year or most of a year in your first city/pueblo of choice .. and learn more first-hand about the number-one issue for Expats worldwide -- what's the weather like year-round?

Many Expats are snowbirds -- seeking mild or warm weather year-round by living in each of two countries for about half the year each year.


ralph9 :

The entire country is expensive due to 30 to 40% inflation year after year....

I like B.A. but plan to wait before moving there from the US, and see what happens after the inflation causes collapse of the economy.

Inflation is a bear in Argentina, this year (2018) being particularly problematic.

But is that necessarily a problem for dollarized North Americans?

My question is not rhetorical.  Opinions are welcome.

If a USA citizen has an abundance of the dollar, against which the Argentine currency keeps falling, isn't that USA visitor or Expat going to receive a premium for practically any purchase or payment in Argentina?


TeamPell :

We have a 2004 Saturn SUV to bring/ship...any advice?

Hopefully, the OP figured out what to do about his used car before his move early this year.

For others making a car decision, the best choice is probably to sell to CarMax or another reputable buyer in the home country .. and start fresh in Argentina.

This strategy avoids thousands of dollars in transportation costs, the recently-increased tariffs on car importing, inspections, possible damage or theft during shipment, copious amounts of logistical planning, something unexpected going wrong, unanticipated extra costs of storage, insurance during transit and upon arrival .. and g*d knows what else.

Expats not married to an Argentinian may need to acquire residency status before importation of their used car is permitted, according to a consensus of online sites that deal with such imports.


Good afternoon and greetings from La Patagonia!

Well, it has worked out better than we imagined. We settled on Bariloche with its vibrant yet small town feel; coming from Texas the Patagonia is a dream—especially considering virtually no traffic! Mountains, lakes, high tourist population and an airport to boot, it’s a pretty good area to relax.

So, as an update...we landed in BA to visit with family a couple of weeks then travel to our final destination in the Patagonia.

We rented a nice house from a former student of my spouse while we House hunted for a month...totally work in our favor.

We found our place in late February and have been living the life in Argentina ever since.

Our 2 boys have adapted pretty well in school after only 4 months of bilingual private school, they are speaking well in Castillano.  We have them finishing up ski school, rock climbing and now the next big search is finding an opening on a fútbol squad; if there is space.

Thanks all for your advice and input, it has made a big difference. So far, we are very pleased with our choice and really enjoying the adventure, except for the trámites!



For those who weren't paying attention in late 2017, Team Pell is the Original Poster or OP of this thread.

Dear Team Pell .. thanks for the follow-up on your thread. 

I find it surprising you didn't mention the weather aside from a passing reference to the boys attending ski school.  As some members know, Bariloche is the center of a major ski area during the colder months .. although it is at slightly lower elevation than the surrounding ski slopes.

Y'all just experienced your first full winter in Bariloche and Patagonia.

Please tell us about the weather and how the family coped with the change of season around June or July through September.


BUYing a finca in Mendoza . Does anyone know great lawyers or escribana to help expats buy rural land?

Hi TeamPell,

I was wondering the name of the school your kids go to? I am currently trying to find international schools in Patagonia to apply as a teacher.

Thanks for your help!


Our children attend a small school in the town of Esquel called La Fundación.

There is also a bilingual school in Trevelin, not sure of the name.

Best of luck!

Thanks so much for the help!

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