Summary: Argentina is along the southeastern coast of South America, between Chile and Uruguay, and is the second largest country in the continent. It features the Pampas plains in the northern half, the long Patagonia plateaus in the south, and the Andes Mountains running along the western border of the country. Argentina's progress as a democratic society together with its rich natural resources has helped it build a strong diversified economy with strong agricultural and industrial sectors.
Capital: Buenos Aires
Time Zone: UTC-4
Languages: Spanish, English, Italian, German, French
Power: 220 V, 50 Hz
Currency: Argentine Peso
- Currently 1 ARS = 0.1910 USD $
Climate: Argentina spans several climates. Although it is mostly temperate, it ranges to arid in southeast, and is almost subantarctic in southwest.
- Currently 57º, var t
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| Buenos Aires: A bustling capital city of 12 million, Buenos Aires boasts European style, cobblestone streets and outdoor cafes. Wander during the noon hours reflecting on the colors of the La Boca district, spend an afternoon in the Plaza de Mayo to see the colonial buildings, churches and museums, like the Casa Rosada that Evita made famous and the Metropolitan Cathedral with the tomb of San Martin who liberated Argentina from Spain, and spend the evening wandering down past cafes along Avenida de Mayo. Although the beaches of Mar del Plata are more than 200 miles away, many locals take a trip there to soak up the sun.|
| Córdoba: Cordoba is certainly not second fiddle to Buenos Aires, as this second largest city has a treasure trove of sights, with a grouping of colonial style buildings in the city center. Among the ones to see are the Museo Histórico Provincial Marqués de Sobremonte, the country's most important museum, churches like the Iglesia Catedral and the Jesuit Iglesia de la Compania, and the old market, where local handicrafts and foodstuffs can be bought from the locals.|
| Cuyo: Grapes and wine have brought attention to the Argentinean region along the Andes, and not far from Chile's capital of Santiago. Mendoza and San Juan are two towns in the region that welcome visitors to the verdant region where hiking, camping, and trips to wineries can keep tourists happy.|
| Iguazú Falls: Hiding in the middle of the Parque Nacional Iguazú near Puerto Iguazú is Iguazú Falls, a 230 foot high waterfall surrounded by subtropical rainforest. Ecotourists will love the environment which has been barely touched, and history buffs will love the vista, and continue on to see the ruins of Jesuit missions that are nearby.|
Shorts: Despite the heat and geography, Argentineans consider themselves to be aligned with Europeans on many aspects of culture and opinion. Avoid wearing shorts in the city to fit in better with the locals.
Safety: Most areas of the country are perfectly safe, however, you may want to avoid La Boca or the waterfront area of Buenos Aires late at night if you're alone. In frequently, backpackers in border towns are exploited for illegitimate "fines", politeness may help avoid the hurdle, but aggressiveness will dig you in further.
Cash On Hand: Larger towns and cities should offer no problem when using credit cards and traveller's checks, smaller towns and villages may pose a problem. Changing money is most easily done in the larger towns and hard at the borders.
Tango: The origins of the tango lie in the poor, lower class brothels of Buenos Aires and spread throughout the entire country and then the international community during the early 20th century. There is no dance whose passion captures the soul of a country better, so take a dance lesson or two before you go if you can.
Dinner Time: North Americans used to a 6pm dinner call will have to wait a while in Argentina. Locals normally dine late, and starting a meal after 8pm is normal.
When To Visit: December to February are deep summer in Argentina, and June to September are their winter, so plan on enjoying the opposite weather to the northern hemisphere.
Food: Argentina has a variety of influences on its cuisine, from Italian dishes like gnocchi to local meat plates like parrillada, grilled beef and other animal cuts, right down to helado, Argentine ice cream. Similar to Japanese customs, mate is a Paraguayan tea ceremony of deep acceptance.
Phrases: Yes = si, no = no, hello = hola, please = por favor, thank you = gracias, do you speak English = usted habla inglés?
Tipping: A service charge is often included in the bill. If it hasn't, though, standard tipping rules for 10% to 15% apply for good service, with 5% to 10% for taxi fares.
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