Located in South America, Argentina is a beautiful and passionate place. Following is an overview of Argentina for travelers.
Overview of Argentina for Travelers
Argentina covers roughly 1.1 million square miles and is the second largest country in South America. Due to its unique location, practically every climate imaginable can be found in some part of the country.
The people of Argentina are known as “Argentines.” The total estimated population is 38.6 million and grows at half a percent each year. The ethnicity of Argentines is 97 percent European and 3 percent non-white. Argentines are overwhelmingly Roman Catholics, with 92 percent members of the faith. The primary language spoken is Spanish and the literacy rate is 97 percent. The life expectancy rate is 75.8 years.
Europeans arrived in Argentina in 1502 with the arrival of Amerigo Vespucci, the individual after whom the Americas are named. Spanish navigator Juan Diaz de Solias visited what is now Argentina in 1516. Spain pursued colonization 80 years later, establishing the city of Buenos Aires. In 1816, the Buenos Aires colony obtained independence. The country we now know as Argentina wasn’t established until 1861.
In the late 19th century, Argentina became a favorite of European investment and relocation. The country flourished. From 1880 to 1930, Argentina was one the top 10 wealthiest countries in the world. With this ranking came a developed infrastructure and fairly high standard of living. Unfortunately, things became a bit less prosperous after 1930.
In 1943, the military overthrew the civil leadership. Juan Peron was one of the military leaders and became the dominant figure in the new government. In 1946, questionable elections resulted in his ascendance to the presidency. Despite his role in the coup, Peron aggressively pursued policies to empower the working class and raise living standards. His legendary wife, Eva Peron, was masterful at generating popular support for her husband.
Juan Peron subsequently exiled by the military, but then brought back as president as the country destabilized because of corruption and fraud. Peron died during this second term and controlled chaos more or less existed in Argentina for the next twenty years as extremist groups fought with the military for power. This period is generally known as the “Dirty War” when thousands were killed in the power struggle or just disappeared.
The late 1990s were a horrific economic period for Argentina. A four-year depression led to massive unemployment. The government defaulted on $88 billion in debt, the largest every default in history. The good news, however, is things have stabilized in the last four years with the country returning to better times both economically and politically. Indeed, now is an excellent time to visit.
Travel to Argentina and you will find a beautiful country with a little of everything. From the elegance of Buenos Aires to a day trip to Patagonia, Argentina is a top travel destination.
THE BEST OF ARGENTINA
From glaciers to beaches, from elegant cities to friendly little towns, Argentina is a top travel location. With the economy stabilizing, now is the time to go, Argentina is on the way back from the economic crisis of the passed. If you are looking for a travel location, Argentina is amazing and cheap.
While Argentina has unlimited beauty, it also has unlimited corruption. The massive corruption finally lead to an economic crisis at the turn of the century. With the funds devalued and jobs hard to find, Argentina was a decidedly dangerous place for travelers. At four point, the country was going through Presidents faster than I go through coffee. At four point, the country went through five of them in a month! Wait, that might not be such a bad idea. Regardless, things appear to have stabilized and the country is back on the travel map. So, what is to see?
Mar del Plata
Prior to landing in Buenos Aires, you are strongly encouraged to glue your jaw shut. Buenos Aires is a city of jaw-dropping beauty. In lots of ways, you will feel as though you have magically been transported to Vienna. The European impression is overwhelming. The city is elegance itself. If you are a meat eater, make sure you experience four of the steak houses. You won’t be disappointed.
you have been doing sit ups, right? The Mar de Plata is the hot beach area. Literally. Damn hot, sometimes. If you wish to pursue a little melanoma research, this is the place. If you prefer to pass on the cancer research, you can hit the Mar de Plata Aquarium, play golf on five different courses. The area is also rife with discos. Try the ones on the “Noisy Avenue”, but don’t mention my name. There were.problems last time I was there.
Tierra del Fuego
If you like waterfalls, this is the place for you. The Iquaza Falls are seven times as wide and taller than Niagara Falls. The Falls actually consist of over 250 cascades that came into existence due to a volcanic eruption. If you can, try to visit the falls in the spring or fall as it’s ungodly hot and humid in the summer.
Welcome to the end of the world. At least, that is the hook for Tierra del Fuego. Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, is the southernmost city in the world. From the city, you can take the “end of the world” train to see incredible snow covered mountain ranges in the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Words fail me, but the area is definitely worth visiting. Come on, you rode the elephants in Thailand, didn’t you? Patagonia
No, they are not talking about the clothing line. Patagonia is located in a vast area below Buenos Aires and is famous for uncompromised beauty. Greater Patagonia is actually split between Chile and Argentina. The section in Argentina is filled with glaciers, national parks and so on. I cannot possibly describe it, so i am not even going to try. know that you won’t be disappointed.
More about Argentina
Argentina is in all ways the definition of fabulous, as most Argentineans would be more than happy to tell you. South America’s darling and second largest nation (after Brazil) is teeming with fantastic culture and biodiversity, ultra hip cities like Buenos Aires and an unabated passion for fine wine, scrumptious steak and an uncompromised quality of life. Following a recent economic crisis, the country is just as splendid a destination while leaving a far smaller hole in your wallet.
Raise Your Glass, Your Consciousness and Your Elevation
Argentina’s central fertile plain of the Pampas is the main agriculture hub and South America’s world renowned wine producing region. Córdoba, Argentina’s second city, is the heart of this region and full of universities, historic museums and an extremely posh and youthful nightlife. Just southwest of Córdoba is the wine capital of Mendoza. Come for the harvest festivals at the end of February and stay to enjoy the warm hospitality during a vineyard tour of the many bodegas in March and April. Explore the surrounding rocky desert by hopping on a horseback riding expedition or paddling down some whitewater with a local guide.
Nestled against the Andes Mountain Range, the Mendoza region is also home to South America’s tallest peak, Cerro Aconcagua, at 22,834 ft. Guided trekking expeditions to the top can be arranged for those with appropriate expertise. Others may find the trip to base camp exhilarating enough. The area is an extremely popular Andes ski destination as well, including the winter resorts of Las Leñas and San Carlos de Bariloche.
Global Heritage, National Treasure
The diversity of wildlife and terrain in Argentina is arguably unmatched in South America. Península Valdés is a World Heritage Site on the east coast of the Patagonian region with more visible biodiversity than any other region in Argentina. Sea lions, penguins, whales, armadillos, guanacos and gray foxes all grace the shores with their regular presence at certain times of the year. Enjoy the pristine quality of surrounding Patagonia, quite possibly the cleanest place on earth. Farther south, Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Glacier National Park) is literally an incredibly moving experience. Strategically placed cat-walks and guided tours allow visitors to see the remarkable sliding ice blocks from stable distances, including the gargantuan Perito Moreno Glacier. This also might be the closest you have ever found yourself to the South Pole!
Argentina’s unique north-south axis makes for a most dynamic single-county travel opportunity. Jungles in the far north, glaciers in the deep south, the Incan Andes to the West and just about everything imaginable in between make up just a few reasons why anyone must explore Argentina – not to mention the wildly alive and electrifying epicenter that is the capital city of Buenos Aires. Don’t forget that in the southern hemisphere the seasons are reversed. January is extremely hot in the north, with temperatures exceeding 110F in places. The south is cold, still with the coldest months from May to September.