Say what you want about the country, Argentine tourists know how to make an entrance. In this case through the Agua Negra passage — the main point of connection between Chile and the Argentine province of San Juan which saw an unprecedented influx of people trying to cross the border on holiday.
To give an idea of the scale of the surge, just in the last month the Agua Negra passage recorded the entry of 13,326 Argentines which is 83% more than what was seen in the same period in early 2016.
So what exactly is drawing everyone to Chile? The two main reasons for the mass exodus are comparatively cheaper prices during the holiday period and the advantages of exchanging dollars in a neighboring country.
“Chile has a more open, stable economy, which provides competitive and accessible prices for them.” stated the director of the National Tourism Service in the Coquimbo region of Chile.
Unsurprisingly, as a result, Argentine tourists have not fallen in favor with local Chileans after leaving a dearth available hotel rooms in their wake and virtually depleting of local exchange houses. Pile this on top of the lack of cash in ATMs, the shortages of products in supermarkets and huge lines at shopping centers and main food courts in the area.
Unfortunately for our frustrated Chilean neighbors, this trend doesn’t look to be on its way out anytime soon.