ABOUT ARGENTINA

The original European settlers believed the country was laced with silver, and christened the country “Argentina” from the Latin word for silver “Argentum”.  Whilst this isn’t the case, it’s clear from Argentina’s recent tourism boom there are plenty of other treasures to be discovered. A plethora of natural beauties from snow capped mountains, to vast wet lands, a paradise to some of Argentina’s most amazing plants and animals – complimented by passionate people with a proud history.

The 8th largest country in the world by area, but home to as little as 41 million people, concentrated in Argentina’s large cities in the east; the country can be characterised by its awesome landscapes. The rugged topography of the Andes form a natural border with Chile in the west, the vast southern plateau of Patagonia divides glaciers in the south with mountainous jungle to the north.

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THE WEATHER

As you would expect for a country spanning 34˚ in latitude the climate of Argentina varies drastically. Subtropical Yungas regions in the northeast are very hot and humid, northern mountainous regions are generally dry with great temperature fluctuations, becoming alpine further south, and sub polar at the extreme. However, don’t fret; the most populated areas are generally temperate.

THE CULTURE  

If you asked the average Argentine what four things they couldn’t live without, they might very well say football, coffee, beef and tango, if they were being incredibly stereotypical. The cities have a distinct European flavour evident in the architecture, fashion and relaxed social attitudes. Rural areas embrace the Gaucho “cowboy” culture which emphasises the importance of freedom and self-reliance.

THINGS TO DO

Argentina serves up something for everyone. Nature lovers can catch a glimpse of elephant seals and southern right whales in the Valdes Peninsula nature reserve or gaze in ore at the spectacular Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian boarder. Budding explorers can trek in the foothills of Cerro Aconcagua the highest point in the Americas at just shy of seven thousand metres, or take a cruise to Antarctica from Ushuaia, the world’s most southern city. Culturephiles can investigate the ancient Inca and colonial heritage, or simply kick back at more familiar beach resort.

DID YOU KNOW? 

  • The Malbec wine produced in the province of Mendoza is considered by some to be the world’s finest.
  • The country consumers more beef per capita than any other.
  • Argentina had 5 different presidents over a period of just 10 days in 2001.
  • Political parties have their own brands of beer.
  • It’s no exaggeration to say football is a religion, fans of retired football superstar Diego Maradona founded a religion dedicated to him.