Cultural Etiquette

Cultural Etiquette for your vacation in Argentina

Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor to Argentina, these insights will help you navigate the social landscape of Argentina with ease and appreciation.

Meeting and Greeting

  • A handshake and nod are signs of respect when greeting someone.
  • An embrace and one kiss on the cheek are common between friends and acquaintances.

Body Language

  • Argentines are touchers and stand close when speaking; don't back away.
  • The "O.K." and "thumbs up" gestures are considered vulgar.
  • Hitting the palm of the left hand with the right fist means "I don't believe what you are saying" or "That's stupid."

Corporate Culture

  • Personal relationships are crucial before business dealings.
  • Argentines often need multiple meetings for decision-making.
  • High-level personnel make decisions; arrange meetings accordingly.
  • Be prepared for small talk before getting down to business.
  • Argentines are tough negotiators; good relationships can ease negotiations.
  • Contracts are detailed, and nothing is final until all elements are signed.

Dining and Entertainment

  • Meals are for socializing; refrain from talking business unless initiated.
  • Business dinners are held in restaurants; arrange payment ahead if hosting.
  • Don't use toothpicks, blow your nose, or clear your throat at the table.
  • To summon a waiter, raise your hand with the index finger extended.
  • Avoid ordering imported liquor unless your host does.
  • Don't pour wine; it's a complex ritual.
  • Arrive 30-60 minutes late for social events; be on time for business appointments.


  • Argentines are fashion-conscious; dress well to make a good impression.
  • Conservative, modest clothing is recommended.


  • Avoid giving personal items, especially clothing.
  • Open gifts immediately and be appreciative.
  • Bring flowers, candy, pastries, chocolates, or imported liquor when invited.
  • Business gifts are not expected until a close relationship is formed.

Helpful Hints

  • Don't be offended by Argentine humor.
  • Greet officials before asking questions.
  • Avoid comparing Argentina with other countries or discussing sensitive topics.
  • Be cautious when discussing politics and religion.

Especially for Women

  • Machismo persists but is being challenged.
  • A kiss or hug is considered a compliment.
  • Flirtatious comments may occur; respond politely.
  • Emphasize status and responsibility to navigate any defensive behavior.