Argentina is the second largest country of South America (after Brasil) and has a very diverse landscape. In Argentina you can find tropical forest, dessert, savanna, mountain ranges and the typical Argentinian Pampas. The country has 30 national parks, most of which are located on the west side of the Andes. In the Andes you can hike, climb mountains and even ski.
On the pampas and in the Andes you will see a lot of Guanacos and Vicuñas. Both are part of the Lama family. Argentina has more to offer than nature alone. The cosmopolitan capital city Buenos Aires. The tango and the tough gauchos on the pampas. The legendary Carlos Gardel, and of course Eva Peron, revived in the movie Evita played by Madonna..
Waterfalls of Iguazú
Located at the tri-border area of Argentina, Brasil and Paraguay, the waterfalls of Iguazu are an absolute attraction in Argentina. You can view these imposing water falls or 70 meters high and 2 km wide from the so called ‘catwalks’. You won´t stay dry! From Pueto Iguazú in Argentina it’s a 30 minute bus ride to the border of Brasil where you can see the waterfalls from the other side. If the sun shines you can see you everywhere in the water hunting for food. With a bit of luck you will see toucans and you can also take jungle hikes.
In one weekend you can experience the life style of the guachos in San Antonio de Areco. From Buenos Aires the bus ride takes a little over an hour. An other place worth visiting outside of Buenos Aires is the pilgrimage site Luján. Here you will find a portrait of the patron saint of Argentina in the gothic basilica. Every year 4 million Argentinian visit this place. By boat you can get to Montevideo in Uruguay in 3 hours. Here they still collect the garbage with horse and cart. Most cars you see are over 50 years old.
The population of Argentina
About 85% of the Argentine population is white. Most Argentinian decent from European immigrants, mostly from Spain and Italy. In the 16 th century the Spanish settlers came to the ´new´ world and bought infectious diseases with them. The native population living their isolated life were not resistant to the measles, smallpox and typhus. A lot of indigenous population died of flu and pneumonia. In 1850 only a half million native Indians were left in Argentina. The small group of indigenous Indians that are left mainly live in Tiera del Fuego.
Activities in Argentina
- Learn to dance the tango
- Visit the waterfalls of Iguazú.
- Visit the center of the lake in the Andes: San Carlos de Bariloche. Here you can ski, take boat trips, fish, hike and climb mountains.
- The ski area Gran Cathedral has an elevation of 1000 meters; best time to go: mid June until end of September. Cheap ski passes and equipment rental compared to Europe.
- Visit the nature reserve on the archipelago Valdez (Patagonia) with colonies or penguin, sea lions and walruses.
- Visit the beach of Mar del Plata from November through April.
- Go to Cordoba where you can take beautiful hikes in the surrounding mountains and visit picturesque villages. Posada las perdices is an example of an estancia, and old farm, magically turned into an hotel.>
- Go on our winter to the world’s southernmost city: Ushuaia on Tiera del Fuego
Information about Buenos Aires
Forty percent of all Argentinians live in the capital. Because of the strong hold of the city over the rest of the country the city got the nick name ´El Pulpo´ the octopus. Because of the great influx of European immigrants it became a very cosmopolitan city. When you want to escape the crowds on the weekend you can take a bus to the city Tigre on the Río de la Plata. From here you can catch a boat to the island of Martín García where you can spend a peaceful weekend.
Different neighborhoods in Buenos Aires
In the fancy district Belgrano you will find foreign embassies and universities. The stately houses are build in French colonial style and you can find many interesting museums (entrance $1 often with guide). Every district has its own charm. Like ´La Boca´ where houses are painted in bright, funny colors and artists paint in the street and have their work on display. In the neighborhood of ´San Telmo´ they still dance the tango on the street. There are nice little antique stores and many artists live there. On Sundays there is a market. In the expensive neighborhood La Recoleta you will find the grave site of Eva Peron in the crazy Cementerio de Recoleta. A lot of famous people are buried here in miniature churches.
The Subte, which is the subway of the capital, will quickly take you to all parts of the city. A ticket for the subway will cost you 0,50 USD regardless of the distance you travel.
Activities in Buenos Aires
- In the micro center of town you will find buildings from the 19th century, just like in European capitals.
- In the center of town you will also find interesting museums, (Museo de Arte Hispano-Americano, Museo Histórico, Museo de la Dirección Nacional del Antartico).
- The theater district in Buenos Aires is centered around Corrientes. There are many bookstores and the famous obelisk.
- Escape the city crowds by visiting many of the great parks and practice your Spanish. You will easily strike up a conversation with the young people of Buenos Aires.
- Visit the traditional, classic Cafe Tortoni on Avenue de Mayo 829, also for jazz music and tango.
- Musicians play tango music on the streets of San Telmo and you will also find tango dancers on the street.
- Go visit `Confiteria Ideal` on Suipacha on a Friday or Saturday night to watch tango in stylish authentic surroundings.
- Because of a weekend getaway?
- Visit the colonial villages of San Antonio de Areco to go horseback riding, hiking, cycling or enjoy a nice meal in the country.
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