The country owes its name (from the Latin word "argentum"), to the colonizers who hoped to find silver deposits here. These hopes did not work out, but Argentina always manages to capture the imagination of tourists who come here for exotics. It is a country of movement: temperamental tango, high-speed football, competitions of the local cowboys-gaucho. It has given gourmets all over the world the healing mate and delicious meat. In this country, original traditions, sights, and modernity were blended so carefully that they turned out to be a fascinating cocktail for a tourist. But its main treasure is the magnificent nature, surprising with its diversity.
|Buenos Aires||43 417 000||Spanish||Peso||2 780 400 km²|
Administratively, Argentina is divided into 23 provinces and one federal district, Buenos Aires. Remarkably, each of them has its own constitution, under which local self-government is established. There is another system of division based on natural and cultural-historical features, which includes six large regions — Patagonia, Pampas, Cuyo, Gran Chaco, Greater North Argentina, and Mesopotamia.
What to see and where?
Salta is like a beautiful lady. Perhaps, that's what the Argentines call Salta. The city, located in a cozy valley between two mountain ranges, and is extremely popular among tourists. It was Salta that managed to preserve the extraordinary colonial charm of beautiful mansions and temples, cozy houses with toy balconies, and winding streets buried in orange trees. Traveling on one of the world's highest mountain railways is especially popular with tourists. It is called the "Road to the clouds" because most of the way the train really does travel in the clouds, finishing its route in the mountains at an altitude of more than four thousand meters. The route passes through 29 bridges, 12 viaducts, 21 tunnels, and many spirals and zigzags, so the experience of such a journey remains unforgettable. In the city itself, the central square is the best place to start sightseeing. There you shall find the Cathedral, built back in the XVI century with the miraculous statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Locals believe that they can save their city from earthquakes and cure any disease. The Monastery of St. Francis, built in the style of neoclassicism by Italian Luigi Giorgi, is another attraction of the city. It is also worth visiting the local Town Hall, where the History Museum is now located. And if you want to buy souvenirs, you should go to the colorful city market.
Rosario is the third-largest city in the country and home to the legendary Latin American revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara. It still has the house where he was born with the memorial plaque and a four-meter-long monument to a famous countryman. This city also gave the country many prominent football players: Lionel Messi, Maxi Rodriguez, Angel Fabian di Maria, Mauro Icardi, and many others. Football is like a cult here. Rosario even held matches of the 1978 World Cup. A journey through the city should begin with the center, where the Parque de la Independencia (Independence Park) spreads for over a thousand square meters. In addition to the beautiful gardens, fountains, and sculptures, there are several museums, a children's garden, a racetrack, and a municipal stadium. The city is also famous for being home to the national flag of the country. In honor of this event, a Memorial of the same name was opened in the city. The highest part of the monument is the 70-meter tall tower, where you can admire the magnificent panoramic view of the town. We advise you to plan time for a walk through the historic city center and admire the architecture of the Cathedral Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary, the famous Palace of the Lions, and other attractions. Rosario will not be boring at all. There are many shopping centers, night clubs, restaurants, and casinos.
El Calafate is a town located on the banks of Lago Argentino, the country's largest freshwater lake. El Calafate owes its name to a plant common for Patagonia, box-leaved barberry knows as "el calafate" in the local language. This bush with yellow flowers and black berries grows everywhere, and the locals make extraordinarily tasty jams from its fruits. The city was founded in the late 1920s but became popular only after the creation of the Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Glaciers, mountain peaks, clear waters of lakes Lago Argentino and Viedma, as well as graceful cougars — all this attracts tourists from all over the world in El Calafate.
Puerto Iguazú is another city whose treasury is filled mainly by tourists visiting numerous restaurants and hotels. It is from here they go on excursions to the famous waterfalls of the Iguazu River, which are on the border with Brazil. The river flows for almost 3 kilometers from here, forming a cascade of 270 individual waterfalls. This spectacle deserves your admiration.
Ushuaia is the port city in Argentina and the capital of the province of Tierra del Fuego. Ushuaia is considered to be the southernmost city on Earth, although, to be fair, there are several other small villages to the south. Tierra del Fuego National Park and the Martial Glacier are the main tourist attraction here. The local prison is not quite ordinary, but a fascinating object to visit. It houses a museum nowadays. You can even take a ride on the "Prisoner Train", an exact copy of the ones that once transported prisoners.
Things to consider while going to Argentina
- Argentina is a very comfortable country, but the economic crisis it has been going through in recent years has slightly worsened the crime situation. It is especially noticeable in large cities. Therefore, tourists here should not forget about the most basic rules: not to carry a lot of cash, leave the jewelry in hotel safes, lay the route in advance, avoiding dangerous regions. It is better to use taxi services at night. By the way, due to economic instability in Buenos Aires, street protests have become an everyday event here, but they are mostly peaceful.
- Smoking in public places is strictly forbidden in Argentina. And the province of Cordoba has also banned smoking while driving since 2012. The penalty for this is the same as for driving drunk.
- It's not worth renting a car either. Traffic rules are poorly enforced here, and Argentina is the leader in South America in terms of mortality rate due to drivers' fault.
- Fortunately, a tourist can be calm in case of illness or injury: public medicine is free of charge, and its level is very high.
- It should be remembered that vegetables, fruits, plants, and products with a short shelf life, such as cheese or meat, should not be brought into the country. Although, it certainly makes no sense to bring the latter here. It is not for nothing that Argentina is called a paradise for meat-eaters; the taste of the local product is beyond all praise.
- If you are looking for souvenirs to bring from the country, you can consider jewelry made of semi-precious stones and silver. Leather products, accessories, and shoes are also famous for their quality. And don't forget about an exotic mate accompanied by calabashes and bombillas.
- You should undoubtedly take the opportunity to enjoy a couple of tango lessons and learn the art of riding from South American gaucho cowboys in Argentina.
Cities in Argentina
The natural wonders of Tierra del Fuego, Iguaçu, Los Glaciares, and their exotic flora and fauna can amaze the most sophisticated tourists who have seen many extraordinary things. As well as human-made masterpieces of colonial architecture — the Cathedral, Recoleta Cemetery, St. Francis Cathedral, and many others.