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Nearly every lodge in Argentina is quite suitable for wives that do not hunt, as the service, meals, food and wines that are offered appeal to most women. Additionally all of the lodges that our company represents are in very safe areas. So from a lodge standpoint we have no problems in recommending that hunters bring their spouses.

For those that are considering bringing their wives with them it’s important to keep in mind that most lodges are located in areas that are conducive to excellent hunting which by default means that activities outside of hunting are very limited. Simply put you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of hectares of agricultural lands, and likely 90 more minutes from the closest city of any size.

In general lodges will offer nature trails, horseback riding, cooking classes, wine tasting and massages. Some lodges will charge for these activities, while others may include them in their daily rates.

A popular activity for most wives is shopping, and many of our non-shooters find pleasure in shopping in the center of the small towns. These towns tend not to be touristy and often there are arts and crafts that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Keep in mind though these shops support the local population which can be as few as 500, so having a very broad selection of items that appeal to the shopper isn’t likely, however finding that very special and unique souvenir is quite possible.

Depending on the area you may want to take on a site seeing tour and include shopping as part of the excursion. If hunting dove in Cordoba, the city of Cordoba is generally less than 2 hours from the lodge so it’s pretty easy to put together a day trip that includes shopping, lunch and site seeing. In Salta the same applies as the city of Salta is 2 hours from the lodge. If hunting ducks in the east there are many lodges that range between 2 and 5 hours from the city of Buenos Aires. Because of the size of the city, the things to do there and the travel time required we do not recommend day trips to Buenos Aires, however we do recommend spending at least a day in the city learning about the Argentine culture and simply experiencing one of the largest cities in the world. (see our blog titled “things to do in Buenos Aires”)

So to summarize things to do for non-shooting spouses, see below. Make sure to check with your outfitter to determine which are available at the specific lodge you will be visiting.

Nature walks, horseback riding, polo lesson, golf, Spanish lessons, cooking class, bird watching, site seeing, shopping, relaxing by the pool, wine tasting, and joining your spouse in the field and sharing his wing shooting experience!

There has always been a fee to visit the country of Argentina, historically this fee was paid when you exit the country and it has ranged from $8.00 to $16.00 over the last 15 years or so. The fee was called an airport departure fee, and upon departure once you received your boarding pass at the ticket gate at the front of the airport you went to a booth to the left of the ticket counter and paid your departure fee. The immigrations officer would stamp your boarding pass and this stamp allowed you to pass through immigrations and customs to ultimately board your flight to come back home.

Going on behind the scenes in the United States we have been handling Argentine citizens the same way by charging them an exit fee. In 2009 the US increased their departure fee to Argentine citizens to $120 but made it so this fee lasted 10 years. Around the beginning of 2011 the US increased this fee to $140, but again the fee lasts 10 years. Without getting into the political aspects of this situation the country of Argentina “reciprocated” and began charging US citizens to enter their country the exact fee that the United States was charging their citizens, hence the name Reciprocity fee.

In October of 2012 the process of obtaining your form and paying your fee was formalized. The fee increased to $160 and a site was launched in which you pay your fee. The site is www.provinciapagos.com.ar For a short period of time when entering Argentina there was a computer kiosk set up before the immigrations office that allowed you to pay your fee and print your form upon arrival into Argentina. Today these kiosks have been removed and you must pay the reciprocity fee and print your form before you leave the United States. If you do not have your reciprocity form you will be denied entry into the Argentina and will be sent home on next flight back to the US at your expense.

So as it stands today before you leave the US, visit www.provinciapagos.com.ar , pay your fee and print your form. Keep this form with your passport at all times while in Argentina. The form lasts 10 years and allows unlimited entry into Argentina.

With the increase of the fee to $160 over 10 years, this theoretically does not work out to be an increase over 2009, but in practice that holds true only if you visit Argentina 10 times or more over 10 years. The $160 fee is frustrating to most travelers; however keep in mind Argentina is reciprocating by charging US citizens exactly what the US is charging citizens of Argentina.

First it’s important to understand the areas and the options. The largest city with the most flights to and from the US is Buenos Aires. Flights into Buenos Aires are the most cost effective, however not all hunting is done within driving distance of the capital city. Areas like Cordoba, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, Salta and many others require a flight into Buenos Aires international airport (Ministro Pistarini or EZE) and then a require a van transfer or taxi to the domestic airport (Jorge Newbery or AEP). The travel times with traffic are about an hour, then of course an additional flight to your final destination.

There are two international airports in Argentina, which are EZE in Buenos Aires and COR in Cordoba. Cordoba has daily flights that come in from Santiago Chile, Panama, Peru and Brazil, while EZE has daily arrivals and departures from nearly every country and major city across the world.

Flights into Buenos Aires from Miami, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles range from $1100-$1600 depending on the time of year, fuel prices, and all the other things that affect airfare costs. If you are hunting in the eastern part of Argentina this is your only airfare cost, however if you are hunting in areas like Salta, Santa Fe, San Luis, Santiago del Estero or Cordoba an additional flight is required. These domestic flights range from $300-$600 again depending on the time of year, fuel costs etc. When booking your flight itinerary its more cost effective if you book the entire itinerary at once as opposed to two separate tickets.

Cordoba Argentina is the most popular dove hunting destination in Argentina, and there are two flight options that are more appealing than going through Buenos Aires. The most popular option is the flight that connects in Santiago Chile. There are 3-4 flights daily into Cordoba with the first morning flight being the most attractive. The layover is 2 hours and your arrival time into Cordoba leaves you plenty of time to hunt on your day of arrival. The second option connects in Lima Peru. This flight arrives into Cordoba early AM and is quickly becoming the more popular path to Cordoba. This flight has you arriving most lodges in Cordoba well before lunchtime.

So to summarize the flight costs, ballpark pricing is below.

US to Buenos Aires                                                                                   $1100-$1600

Buenos Aires to other destination in Argentina                                    $300-600

US to Cordoba via Chile or Lima                                                                        $1300-$1700

Each province within Argentina requires hunters to have a hunting license. Licenses known as “permiso o licencia de caza” and are paid to the Argentina Wildlife Resource Office, known as Argentina Ambiente or Fauna Departmento. Often you will hear the word permit used which is a more popular translation of license in Argentina.

Prior to your trip you outfitter will ask for passport information. This information is used for your hunting license and is supplied to the province in Argentina you will be hunting in.

The cost of the hunting license varies from province to province. For example in Cordoba Argentina the license is $65 per day which is at the high end of the scale. Many hunters that shoot doves in Cordoba hunt the afternoon of arrival and the morning of departure, and even though these 2 half days are considered 1 full day from a lodge perspective, for hunting licenses you will be required to pay the license fee for each day you hunt regardless of the length of your hunt. Entre Rios and Santiago del Estero provinces charges $150 for the entire hunt regardless of the number of days.

We often hear about hunters that are confused about the license fees. Since each province has different regulations and requirements it is the responsibility of your outfitter to keep track of this information, make sure clients are informed of the fees and pay the Departmento Ambiente.

Some hunters have asked to see the license or to even take the license home with them as a memento from their trip. Unlike in the US there is not a small license you put in your wallet, it’s a legal form that contains multiple hunters on one form. For those that have hunting in Argentina before you have probably noticed a large envelope on the dashboard or map pocket in the van you are transported to and from the fields in. In this envelope are the licenses for your group. It’s rare that you will be stopped by an oficial ambiente, but in the event your group is checked your host or driver will have the licenses with them in this envelope.

Finally with regards to licenses, it is the responsibility of the outfitter at the end of your trip to report to Departmento Ambiente the types of birds you shot, the number of each you shot, and the number of shells you shot. All reputable lodges are well aware of the policies and procedures and everything related to the licenses is transparent to the hunter other than the fees paid as part of their hunting excursion.

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