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+ Argentina

The name Argentina.

It comes from the Latin term “argentum”, which means silver. The origin of this name goes back to the first voyages made by the Spanish conquerors to the Río de la Plata. The survivors of the shipwrecked expedition mounted by Juan Díaz de Solís found indigenous people in the region who gave them silver objects as presents. The news about the legendary Sierra del Plata - a mountain rich in silver - reached Spain around 1524. As from this date, the Portuguese named the river of Solís, Río de la Plata (River of Silver). Two years later the Spanish used the same name. The National Constitution adopted in 1853 included the name “República Argentina” (Argentine Republic) among the official names to designate the government and the country’s territory.

Geography

Argentina’s main characteristic is the enormous contrast between the immense eastern plains and the impressive Andes mountain range to the west. This is the frontier with Chile and boasts the highest peak in the Western hemisphere: the 6,959 m high Aconcagua. From Jujuy to Tierra del Fuego, the Andes present marvelous contrasts: the Northwest plateaus, the lake region, the forests and glaciers in the Patagonia.

To the north, Chaco is a forested area linked to rivers Bermejo, Salado and Pilcomayo.

Between the Paraná and Uruguay rivers, the Argentine Mesopotamia (provinces of Entre Ríos, Corrientes and Misiones) is formed by low hills, where pools and marshlands evidence the ancient courses of these great rivers. In some places within the subtropical rain forest, there are fissures which provide such spectacular phenomena as the Iguazú Falls.

The Pampas, in the center of Argentina, is the largest and best-known area of plains. Agricultural and livestock activities are performed in this area, which includes the province of Buenos Aires, the northeast of La Pampa, the south of Córdoba and south of Santa Fe. To the south, the plains give way to small hills in Tandil and de la Ventana, and to the west, to the Córdoba hills.

Towards the south, from the Andes to the sea, there appear the sterile and stony plateaus of Patagonia, swept by the wind during most of the year. The Atlantic coast, lined with high cliffs, forms massive indentations like the Peninsula Valdés, with its spectacular and unique colonies of sea animals.

Constitution and Government.

Argentina consists of 23 provinces plus a federal district, the City Buenos Aires. The Argentine Constitution establishes a Republic under a representative and federal system, and three separate branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial.

The executive branch is exercised by the President and Vice-president of the Nation, elected for a 4-year term, and who may be reelected for a single additional term. The legislative branch is bicameral: the Senate (composed of three senators from each province and from the City of Buenos Aires) and the House of Representatives (composed of representatives elected directly and in proportion to each district’s population). The judicial branch “is vested in the Supreme Court and lower courts of justice”.

Each province has adopted its own Constitution in accordance with the National Constitution, to rule its administration.

The current National Constitution dates from 1853. Nevertheless, it was amended in 1860, 1898, 1957 and 1994. The last amendment made in August 1994, allows the President’s reelection for an additional term.

Climate and ¿When to travel?

The country’s territory offers a wide variety of climates: subtropical in the North, sub-Antarctic in the southern Patagonia, and mild and humid in the Pampas plains. Media temperature from November to March is 23° C, and 12° C from June to September.

Remember that in the southern hemisphere seasons are the opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. In general, the summer is the best time to visit Patagonia and the Southern Andes because of the mild temperatures and long days. Wintertime is recommended for travelling to the North and Northwest as rains are less frequent and tropical temperatures drop a few degrees. Autumn and spring are marvelous in Buenos Aires, Cuyo and the pre-mountain range areas of La Rioja and Catamarca. But destinations as Buenos Aires, Iguazú, Ushuaia and Bariloche are really nice all year around.

Lenguage

Spanish is the official language of the Argentine Republic. In Buenos Aires, some “lunfardo” expressions -city slang - are used.

Currency:

The official Argentine currency is the Peso. There are bills of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pesos, and coins of 1 peso and 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents.

Capital City: Buenos Aires

Religion:

There is complete religious freedom in Argentina, although Roman Catholicism prevails. Other religions practiced in the country are Protestant, Jewish, Moslem, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and others.

Electricity: 220 volts. Wall socket/plugs` system: it is possible to need 2-round pin plugs or 3-flat pin plugs.

Opening hours:
  • Banks and Exchange Bureaus: Mondays to Fridays from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.
  • Business Offices: generally from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and from 2.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
  • Stores: in the big cities from 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m., although in the outskirts and the provinces they generally close at midday. Saturdays, from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
  • Cafés, cake shops and pizzerias: open most of the time except between 2.00 and 6.00 a.m.
  • Restaurants: lunch is served as from 12.30 p.m. and dinner as from 8.30 hours. Fast-food menus are served in many restaurants at all times.
Population:

Argentina's current population is more than 40 million inhabitants, almost half of which live in the city and the province of Buenos Aires. Population density calculated on a national basis is 14 inhabitants per square kilometer.

Tips:

10% of the amount of the check is usually left in cafeterias and restaurants. Doormen, porters, and ushers in cinemas and theatres are also generally tipped.

Documents and Formalities:

Valid passport with or without visa depending on your nationality. Inquire at the closest Embassy or Consulate. Visitors coming from countries not bordering Argentina are exempt from all taxes on travelling articles and new articles up to US$ 300 and an additional US$ 300, if purchased at duty free shops within the national territory. No vaccination certificate is required to enter the Country.

Security, Prevention and Tourist Assistance
  • Comisaría del Turista: Av. Corrientes 436, (C1043AAR) Buenos Aires. Tel. 4346-5748, 4328-2135 ó 0800-999-5000, e-mail:turista@policiafederal.gov.ar.
  • Defensoría del Turista: Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1835 (Museo de Bellas Artes de La Boca "Don Benito Quinquela Martín"), (C1169AAC) Buenos Aires. Tel. 4302-7816, Fax: 4302-7816, e-mail turista@defensoria.org.ar.
Transport

Due to the country’s large size, planes are best to travel long distances, and you can then take overland transportation to get to your final destination. Buying Airpass Visit Argentina in your own country, you’ll obtain more economical prices for flights within Argentina. Domestic and Regional flights depart from Jorge Newbery Airport, located to the north of the city beside the Río de la Plata.

An important road network connects Buenos Aires with all the important cities of the country. Buenos Aires bus station is located at Av. Ramos Mejia 1680 close to Retiro Station (Tel. 4310-0700). Long-distance buses are equipped with toilets, air conditioning and bar. All airlines flying to Argentina arrive mainly at Ezeiza (“Ministro Pistarini”) International Airport, which is 37 Km away from the City of Buenos Aires.

Vat refund

You may obtain a VAT reimbursement to any purchases of local products made for an amount over $70 (per invoice) in shops operating with the “Global Refund” system, as follows:

  • Jorge Newbery Airport (in Buenos Aires), at Telecom telephone booths.
  • Ministro Pistarini International Airport - Ezeiza, Terminal A, 1st Floor.
  • Ministro Pistarini International Airport - Ezeiza, Terminal B, Ground Floor.
  • Jorge Newbery Airport (in Buenos Aires), at Telecom telephone booths.
  • Ing. Ambrosio Taravella International Airport (in Córdoba), at Telecom telephone booths.
  • Ing. Francisco J. Gabrielli International Airport (in Mendoza), at Telecom telephone booths.
  • Bariloche International Airport, at Telecom telephone booths.
  • Tancredo Neves International Bridge (in Puerto Iguazú), at Telecom telephone booths.
  • Buenos Aires Port, Northern Dock, Buquebús Terminal, information desk.
  • Buenos Aires Port, New Port, Quinquela Martín Cruising Terminal, from October to April.
Payment methods

Although US Dollars and Euros are generally taken everywhere, foreign currencies can be exchanged in banks and authorized bureaus. American Express, VISA, Diners and Master Card are widely accepted. There may be difficulties in changing traveler's check outside Buenos Aires.

 

+ REGIONS ARGENTINA

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

+ MAP ARGENTINA

Región Noroeste Región Cuyo Región Centro Región Litoral Región Patagonia

 

 

Región Noroeste Región Cuyo Región Centro Región Litoral Región Patagonia
 
Región Noroeste Región Cuyo Región Centro Región Litoral Región Patagonia