Argentina; a Brief Overview

Argentina; a Brief Overview

Argentina; a Brief Overview

The Argentine Republic is one of the larger countries in South America. Neighbours include Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay. In fact, Argentina is one of the largest countries in the world and has the highest number of Spanish speakers in the world.

The country is divided into provinces and has the beautiful city of Buenos Aires as its capital. Spain colonised the country during the 16th century, but Argentina won back independence in a war during the early part of the 19th century. However, the country was then plunged into a protracted civil war. Argentina’s path through the 20th century was marked by periods of political and economic instability.

Argentina has many different climates. Naturally, the further south you travel, the colder it gets, but there are also arid, warm and moderate areas of the country. The larger towns and cities of Argentina are mainly located in areas where the climate is temperate.

Visitors to Argentina will find that getting around the country is easy. It boasts Latin America’s most extensive railway system. All 23 provinces and the capital city are linked by the railways, and there are rail links with all of the neighbouring countries. The country is very popular with hikers and climbers, and many come here to explore the countryside on horseback.

Traditional Argentine cuisine should definitely be tried during any visit. Local dishes include ‘empanadas’, a pastry dish, and ‘locro’, which is a mixture of beans, corn, bacon, other meats and onion. Those who get the opportunity to attend an ‘asado’ should definitely go. This is the Argentine barbecue, and the food includes chitterlings, chorizo and sweetbread. Features of Argentine desserts include pastries, shortbreads and ‘tortas fritas’, which translates as fried cakes. All of this goes very nicely with the local wines, which have gained a reputation as some of the finest in the world. Argentine Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are among the most popular.

The country is packed with great tourist attractions; most of which have been provided by nature. One of these is the Iguazu Falls. These can be found on Argentina’s Brazilian border. The falls link a national park in each of the countries, and they have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The walkways and viewing areas allow the visitor to get reasonably close to the falls themselves.

The Perito Moreno Glacier can be found in the Los Glaciares National Park. Head to El Calafate where there are plenty of facilities for visitors. Excursions to the glacier take place regularly. The Patagonia region of the country is home to very dramatic landscapes, as well as the planet’s most southerly city; Ushuaia. Visitors who want to head on to Cape Horn or Antarctica come here, but there are plenty of attractions in the city itself, including the End of the World Museum and the San Juan de Salvamento Lighthouse.