Argentina Etiquette and Tips

Your trip to Argentina will be most pleasant. The countryside, the people and the general attitudes are very accommodating. Business is done in a friendly manner although they can and will argue a point if they feel it necessary. Since Argentina is in the southern hemisphere the climates are reversed of those in North America – winter in America is summer in Argentina.

If you’re a tourist of Argentina you’ll enjoy beautiful mountains, refreshing lakes, warm breezes along with glaciers and waterfalls. The basic language of the region is Spanish but in large cities many of the people speak English along with other languages. Out of the more than 35 million residents of Argentina, more than half live in and around Buenos Aires. If you are interested in tourism in Argentina I recommend you read this article: atractivos turisticos en la costa argentina You will find information about this fantastic country

The streets of Argentina are safe, for the most part, but petty crime exists in any country. Buenos Aires offers various means of travel like subways, radio taxis and limos. Credit cards are accepted in most major cities. ATM’s are conveniently placed and give you a choice of currency type. Ten percent is the normal tipping amount for restaurants, hotel staff and clerks.

Local holidays take place in January and February so business people may want to avoid these months. Yearly holidays are January 1, May 1, May 25, July 9, and December 25. Holidays which fall on different days of the year include Sovereignty Day, Flag Day, San Martin’s Death, and Columbus Day.

Most government offices are open from eight a.m. to five p.m. Malls and other stores are usually open from ten a.m. to ten p.m. and often, 7 days a week. Banks are usually open from Monday through Friday from around ten a.m. to three p.m.

In Argentina it’s almost impossible to do business unless you’ve been formally introduced by a third party. Office hours vary since some business people work from very early until late, but with breaks that last an hour or more. Appointments can be postponed if decision-makers are extremely busy and you’re not on the priority list. And if the appointment isn’t postponed don’t be alarmed if the person you’re meeting are 15 minutes late, but you should plan to be on time.

Dress conservatively whether doing business or just visiting. Avoid wearing lots of expensive jewelry, low-cut necklines and tight outfits. Shorts are not usually worn by adults but in the summer slacks and short sleeves are acceptable in most cases. Business people should still dress more-than-casual but can select cooler colors and styles in the summer months.

Argentine business people will go out of their way not to offend anyone and sometimes this comes off as being vague or allusive. The Argentines tend to get very close when speaking and frequently touch others while conversing. It’s not uncommon to see two men kiss in greeting but handshakes are given when initially meeting.

Have your business cards printed in Spanish on the reverse side and simply state your business attributes. Business cards are usually passed out after initial handshakes. A good relationship with the counterparts or associates takes place if you seem to fit in with the others present. This will actually be the initial stage of the business agreement. If you seem uncomfortable or you make others at the meeting uncomfortable it’s not likely that the business deals will go forward.

Initial meetings are sometimes stiff and formal but future meetings will be more and more relaxed. Although the Argentines do appreciate humor it isn’t really appropriate for a meeting unless the others are in a jovial mood as well. Although most joking is not done in business meetings your priority should be with the building of the relationships rather than just the actual business at hand. Those who have strictly business on their minds will find it difficult to be accepted by the associates.

Showing thoughtfulness and respect for others will usually impress the locals since great importance is placed on family, people and position in business. Greet men with the term “Senor”, married women with “Senora” and unmarried women or girls with “Senorita”. Use earned titles, such as “Dr.”, when known. You will usually know if a woman is married since she adds her husbands last name to her original name but precedes the husbands last name with “de”.

Acceptable conversations can during luncheons or social affairs can run the gamut from the countryside and wines to family and sports. If you don’t know much about the topic at hand ask questions and your counterparts will usually be happy to elaborate. The Argentines do not consider it bad manners to interrupt someone while they’re speaking, particularly if they have a question.

In a social situation it’s acceptable to bring a bottle of wine or roses (red or white) to the home. If you are toasted it’s customary to return the toast. Hold your glass upwards and towards the person you are toasting and say “Salud” or “Cheers”. Manners and proper usage of utensils is important during dinner. The knife is always held in the right hand, fork always in the left. There’s really not much offered in the way of finger foods so use utensils every time. Making noises during dinner is completely unacceptable. This includes scraping the plate with utensils, clanging utensils together or lip-smacking.

The way of the land is to be conservative in dress and mannerism. When in doubt wait to see what your counterpart or associate does first. Whether visiting or conducting business you’ll generally enjoy your stay in Argentina since the people get warmer the longer you know them and business people are very proficient. Take along a English to Spanish dictionary to practice general words you may be using day-to-day during your visit.