Your comprehensive travel guide to Argentina - All in one place!
In terms of geography, Argentina is an extremely diverse country, encompassing everything from harsh deserts to humid jungles. Stretching from the subtropical north to the Subantarctic regions of beautiful Patagonia in the south, Argentina also boasts a rich cultural, artistic, and architectural heritage that has drawn upon many influences from around the world. With its wonderful "barrios," including colorful arts neighborhoods such as La Boca and trendy districts like Palermo, Buenos Aires boasts a distinctly European feel and is the best place to begin exploring. In addition to its many cultural attractions, the other big draws are the country's natural wonders, including the huge glaciers of the snow-capped Andes and the breathtaking Iguassu Falls, the world's largest group of waterfalls.
History and Government
The Europeans arrived in Argentina in the 16th century. In around 1516, Juan de Solis came in River Plate, but the natives killed him. First people to enter Argentina faced hostile natives who forced them out. For example, the Spaniards encountered hostile natives who forced them out. The British captured Buenos Aires in 1806, but they were forced to withdraw by the natives. General Juan de Rosa was a dictator of Argentina in 1835. He was a federalist who introduced a strong central government. He alienated many people in the state and later in 1852 he faced rebellion which forced him out of power. The native Argentineans lived in their traditional way.
By 1920s, Argentina was the 7th richest country in the world. The country was affected by the Wall Street crash just like any other country in the world. General Jose F. Uriburu became the president of Argentina after the army staged a coup in 1930. Uriburu called for an election in 1931, and the Radical Party was banned from participation although it was a major party. Roberto Ortiz became the president, and Ramon Castillo was the vice president. Due to ill health, Ortiz handed over power to Castillo in 1940.
In October 2007, Christina Kirchner became the first elected woman president in Argentina. In 2015, Mauricio Marci was elected president.
Geography and Environment
Because of Argentina's long length; it is divided into four main regions: the northern subtropical woodlands and swamps; the heavily wooded slopes of the Andes Mountains in the west; the far south, semiarid and cold Patagonian Plateau; and the temperate region surrounding Buenos Aires. The most heavily populated region in Argentina is the fourth as it has a mild climate, fertile soils and was close to where Argentina's cattle industry began.
In addition to these regions, Argentina has many large lakes in the Andes and the second largest river in South America that drains from the northern Chaco region to the Rio de la Plata near Buenos Aires.
Like its terrain, Argentina's climate varies as well although most of the country is considered temperate with a small arid portion in the southeast. However, Argentina's southwestern portion is very cold and dry and is a Sub-Antarctic climate.
Argentina has an estimated population of 44.78 million this year. As a very sizable country of 2,780,400 square kilometers of area, it has a fairly low population density of just 14 people per square kilometer which ranks 212th in the world. Argentina is a very diverse country of immigrants. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, Argentina received more than 6.6 million immigrants, second only to the United States, which helped the country's population double every 20 years.
Most Argentines are descended from several European ethnic groups, with more than 55% having Italian origins. The second-most common ethnic origin is Spanish. About 17% have French origins, and about 8% are descended from German immigrants. Argentina today has a large Arab population, most of whom are from Syria and Lebanon. There are also about 180,000 Asian people, mostly of Chinese and Korean origins. Additionally, the Argentine government estimates there are 750,000 residents without official documents, many of whom immigrated from Paraguay, Peru, and Bolivia.
The culture of Argentina is as varied as the country's geography and is composed of a mix of ethnic groups. Modern Argentine culture has been largely influenced by Italian, Spanish and other European immigration, although there are lesser elements of Amerindian and African influences, particularly in the fields of music and art. Buenos Aires, its cultural capital, is largely characterized by both the prevalence of people of European descent, and of conscious imitation of European styles in architecture. Museums, cinemas, and galleries are abundant in all the large urban centers, as well as traditional establishments such as literary bars, or bars offering live music of a variety of genres.
Food and Drink
Beef is the national dish of Argentina. Many dishes contain meat but prepared in different ways. A favorite main course is parrillada, a mixed grill of steak and other cuts of beef. Carbonada is a stew that contains meat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and chunks of corn on the cob. Argentines eat more fruit than almost any other group of people in the world. Empanadas, little pies usually stuffed with beef, vegetables, and cheese, are a favorite dish. These are eaten by hand and they are often enjoyed as a snack or maybe carried to school for lunch.
Argentina is a party place and attending one of its many festivals is a perfect way of gaining a better understanding of the culture. There are a wide range of festivals throughout the year from antiquated religious traditions to contemporary art exhibitions to fiestas which just seem to be an excuse for a bit of fun and socializing. Try to schedule your trip around one of the local festivals where you may get to sample some typical food and drink, dance to traditional music and party with the natives!
Best Time to Visit
While considering the best time to travel to Argentina, it is crucial to remember that seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are in reverse when compared to the Northern Hemisphere. The climate in Argentina is characterized by fluctuating temperatures and seasons are completely opposite to ours. Argentineans are often heard saying “dress like an onion”. When you travel to Ushuaia or Patagonia, prepare for ever-changing weather conditions and strong winds. In the north, it is very hot and dry during the day while nights can get especially cold.
The best time for a trip to Argentina is from late spring to early fall (October through April).
The official language is Spanish, which is only slightly different from the Spanish spoken in Spain. English is not too much spoken in the country, thus we really recommend you to take at least a basic Spanish course before you travel to Argentina. It will save you from a lot of headaches.
The currency in Argentina is the Argentinean peso. The current exchange rate is 1 euro equals 17 pesos more or less.
Argentinean people (apart from the North) are usually descendants of Spanish and Italian immigrants, hence you will find Argentinean people very similar to people you meet in Mediterranean countries in Europe. You will see that Argentina is a great country to make a lot of new friends.