Why Aussies don't fly for free into Argentina

My husband and I flew into Buenos Aires three times as part of a recent trip to South America. It resulted in a bill of $US600 ($660), of which we had not been made aware. Americans and Canadians were also charged the entry fee but that fee lasts citizens of those countries 10 years. We didn't mind paying the fee the first time, however, I would like to know why Australians are the only group charged this fee every time they fly into Buenos Aires.

- P. Burling, Darlinghurst

Sad but true. If you have an Australian passport, every time you arrive on an international flight at Buenos Aires' Ezeiza Airport, you will be hit with a $US100 fee.

Note that for the time being this won't happen if you enter at Cordoba or any other international airport in Argentina. This is what is known as a reciprocity fee. The Australian government charges $105 to issue a tourist visa (subclass 676) to an Argentinean visitor and Argentina repays the gesture.

When you travel to places that are considered even slightly exotic, it pays to have a travel agent who specialises in the region.