Argentina Panorama Photo

Guide to Argentina

Where is Argentina?

Argentina is a large country in the southern hemisphere and the southern part of South America. It is bordered to the north by Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia, Chile to the West and Uruguay to the north east. The long eastern coast of Argentina borders with the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile the southern tip of Argentina is the last landmass before the Continent of Antarctica. Known as Cape Horn this used to be a fearsome crossing point for sailors who were trying to get around to Chile. Argentina also lays claim to the Falkland Islands which was the subject of a contentious war with Britain in the 1980s.

What is Argentina?

Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world. While much of the Pampas territory is flat, Argentina also has the highest mountain in South America, the massive Mount Aconcagua in the Andes Mountain range. The country today is a Federal Presidential Republic which currently has a female president in charge - Cristina Kirchner. Unfortunately Argentina has not been much of an economic power in recent times  due to the weak purchasing power of national currency the peso.

Why go to Argentina?

Argentina is an incredibly varied country. Its capital Buenos Aires is huge with stunning architecture and amazing nightlife. South of Buenos Aires in the beach resort of Mar del Plata where there are fantastic nightclubs and good waves for surfing. The southernmost tip of the country is known as Patagonia which is a popular destination for tourists, particularly those on cruises. There they can see incredible glacial landscapes and take bracing walks through the peaks. Argentina also has desert in the area of Cuyo which can get extremely hot, so travel across this massive country and you can experience all climates. Argentina offers many national parks including the Glaciers National Park and the Nahuel Huapi National Park. Wine tasters will also be lured to the centres of wine making in Mendoza and San Juan while Salta is also a beautiful grape growing landscape.

Who lives in Argentina?

The majority of the Argentina population is Roman Catholic and everyone in the country speaks Spanish, although their version is slightly different to the Spanish spoken in Spain. The population of 40 million people actually feels much smaller as they are spread around this vast country. Argentina has a very mixed cultural heritage because it was colonised by a various peoples coming from Europe including Spanish, German and Italian settlers.

How do you get into Argentina

1)By Air
The main airport in Argentina is the Buenos Aires Eeiza airport. However there is another airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery on the other side of the city about an hour away. Make sure that you have chosen the right airport for your visit or transfer. LAN Argentina and Aerolineas Argentina are the two main airlines to serve the country with both South American and European flights. Although many nations do no need a visa to get into Argentina including Austria, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom, there is a reprocicity fee for some. That means that countries that charge Argentina for visas get charged in return and the cost for Americans is $140 dollars.
There are also lots of regional airports in Argentina which are close to major tourist attractions such as Bariloche and Iguazu. In such a huge country it can save time to fly so  bear this in mind.

2)By land
It is relatively straightforward to drive into Argentina from any of the neighbouring border countries as long as you have the right documentation and some patience. Take your passport, vehicle registration documents, proof of insurance and visa if necessary.  Right now there are no international trains but a service between Argentina and Chile is in the works. There are plenty of excellent bus services though.

3)By sea
There are boats and catamarans to neighbouring Uruguay. Every nine days ferries run across the Atlantic to European cities in Germany, Spain and France.  

What to do in Argentina

Head to the Boca district in Buenos Aires for tango lessons, this sensual dance took route in one of the poorest parts of the city.
See a mind blowing capoeira display in one of the many huge city parks in the centre of Buenos Aires.

Experience the best skiing in South America in the San Carlos de Bariloche mountain district which has luxurious upscale accommodation as well as plenty of hostels catering to backpackers.
Go wine tasting in the famous Mendoza region of Argentina. These rich red wines go well with the Argentine national dish - grilled meat, meat and more meat.

What to do in Argentina

In the north east of the country on the border with Brazil are the magnificent Iguazu Falls where you can see a long line of thunderous water.

Enjoy horse riding in Salta to follow in the footsteps of the gauchos and behave like a real Argentinean ranch hand.

Have a cup of Yerba Mate. This is a great Argentine tradition and much preparation goes into each cup.

If you are feeling brave go to watch a football match in one of the cauldrons of Buenos Aires like the River Plate stadium. Football is the national sport of Argentina and a sense of great pride.

Capoeira display

Capoeira display

Yerba Mate infusion

Yerba Mate infusion

Quick facts
Government  Federal representative presidential republic
Prime Minister  
Population  40,091,359
Date Format
Drives on the  Right
Internet TLD  .ar
Dialling Code  +54
Time Zone  UTC -3
Currency  ARS - $

Argentina Public Holidays

Day of the Child
Independence Day

Death of General Jose de San Martin
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