Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world and the second largest in South America.
The highest and the lowest points of South America are also located in Argentina: At 6,960m, Cerro Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in the Americas and the highest mountain outside the Himalayas, while Laguna del Carbón, at 105m below sea level, is the lowest point in the Americas.
At the southern-most tip of Argentina there are several routes between the South Atlantic and the South Pacific Oceans including the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel, and the Drake Passage—as alternatives to sailing around Cape Horn in the open ocean between South America and Antarctica.
The name Argentina derives from argentinos, the Ancient Greek for silver, which is what early Spanish explorers sought when they first reached the region in the sixteenth century.
Following independence from Spain in 1816, Argentina experienced long periods of internal political conflict between conservatives and liberals.
In the first decade of the 20th century, Argentina became the richest nation in Latin America, its wealth symbolized by the opulence of its capital city, Buenos Aires. European immigrants flowed into Argentina, particularly from the northern parts of Italy and Spain and by 1914 nearly 6 million people had come to the country.
After World War II, a long period of Peronist rule in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983 after the defeat of Argentina in the Falkland Islands War against the United Kingdom. Economic stability has also returned.
Capital Buenos Aires
Currency Argentine Peso (ARS)
Population 41,660,417 (2013 estimate)
Religion Roman Catholic 78%, 12% Evangelists, 12% agnostics, 4% atheists, Protestant 2%, Jewish 2%, 1.5% Muslims
Electricity 220V, 50Hz (European plug)
Country code +54
Internet TLD .ar
Time Zone UTC -3
Emergencies dial 101 or 911 for police
100 for fire
107 for medical
Buenos Aires was founded on the shores of the Rio de la Plata in 1570 and was named after the patron saint of sailors for the good wind (“buen aire”).
The city was built and developed by French, Italian and Spanish immigrants and so it has also become the most European of South American cities. Parisian-style leafy boulevards and fine colonial architecture, neat squares and parks, world-class museums and art galleries, fashionable shops, gourmet restaurants, and rows of cafes all characterise modern Buenos Aires.
And let’s not forget Tango and the bohemian side of Buenos Aires! The bohemian quarter of San Telmo and the old colourful port area of La Boca, where tango was born, are also well worth the visit.
On the Parana River, the Iguassu Falls acts as a natural border to the countries of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
The setting of the Falls between Brazil and Argentina is in a large expanse of national park, much of it rainforest teeming with unique flora and fauna, and the power and noise of hundreds of waterfalls along 3km of the river is simply awe-inspiring.
No wonder Iguazu Falls is sometimes described as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
|Currency used||Argentine peso|
|Area (km2)||2,780,400 km²|