Our country is one of the few in the world that has the great privilege of having a variety of natural treasures for those who are fond of travelling to enjoy…
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.
Located in South America, and thus, in the southern hemisphere, Argentina has an area of almost 3.8 million square kilometers, 2.8 on the continent -approximately 54% are plains (grasslands and savannahs), 23%, plateaus, and the other 23%, mountains- and the remainder in the Antarctic. It is 3,800 Km. long.
Argentina’s main characteristic is the enormous contrast between the immense eastern plains and the impressive Andes mountain range to the west.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. Some destinies like Buenos Aires, Northeast, Cuyo are recommended all year around showing different faces.
We can identify five touristical regions: The Pampas, Northeast, Northwest, Cuyo and Patagonia (Austral and Andine).
Our government and political division
Argentina consists of 23 provinces plus a federal autonomous 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.
Spanish is the official language of the Argentine Republic.
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.
Dollars, euros and traveller checks are accepted in the majority of hotels and touristic suppliers. International credit cards are accepted also, in all types of commerces, many times appliying a surcharge between 5 and 10% over the cash price.
Argentina’s current population is more than 38 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.
Our means of 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, but and extense network of buses links the most important cities all over the country.
The main door is the Internacional Ezeiza Airport (Ministro Pistarini) located 35 km from Buenos Aires downtown, when the majority of the international airlines have their terminals. Domestic flights in Buenos Aires, arrives and departs from Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, located into the city.
Our commercial 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.
Our customs regarding 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
There are a lot of them in the touristically cities. In the case of Buenos Aires, they have taximeter and prices are relativelly cheap. There are official stops or can be phoned through ‘radio taxi service’ that is more sure to take them in the streets.