Comes from the Latin argentum which means silver. The origin of the name goes back to the voyages made by the first Spanish conquistadores (conquerors) to the Rio de la Plata. The shipwrecked survivors of the expedition mounted by Juan Diaz de Solis discovered Indians in the region who presented them with silver objects. The news about the legendary Sierra del Plata, a mountain rich in silver, reached Spain around 1524. From this date the Portuguese named the river of Solis, the Silver River (Rio de la Plata). Two years later the Spanish used the same name. Since 1860 the official name of the country has been the Republica Argentina (Republic of Argentina).
Argentina offers vast rolling wine regions and snowy peaks in the north and expansive lakes, jagged peaks and kilometres of empty space in the south. Buenos Aires, its capital, is chaotic, hypnotic and addictive with its all night fiestas. Argentina is also a popular ski destination and there are plenty of romantic walks in the glistening Lake District. A visit to the Iguazu Falls will impress as will the plentiful wildlife of the national park. San Telmo has antique stalls for browsing and ancient cafés to sip coffee in and listen to an abundance of live music while in Buenos Aires, visitors can wine and dine their way through all night fiestas. Sports fans will be well catered for in football mad Buenos Aires, one of Argentina’s greatest loves, the other two being food and partying.
2,736,690 sq km (1,056,636 sq miles)
Spanish (official), English, Italian, German, French
Buenos Aires (capital), Córdoba, Rosario
Aconcagua (6,960 meters) (22,834 ft), the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere
Normal business hours are Mon-Fri 0900-1900, or even later, and a siesta doesn't usually feature in the country’s business community.
Climate Ranges from subtropical conditions in the north to subarctic in the south. Patagonia is mild most of the year. The central part of the country is generally temperate, with dry, chilly winters and summers that can be brutally hot and humid. The higher elevations of the Andes are much colder with frequent snow.
Breakfast is approximately between 9 and 10 am. Lunch is from 12.30 to 2.30 pm, whilst dinner is from 9 PM til midnight. Famous for their ASADO (BBQ), tender steaks grilled over charcoal BBQ (parilla) served at Parilladas (BBQ Restaurants).
Public telephones work with cards, which are tokens organised in kiosks and at telephone company offices, or with legal tender coins. There are also call boxes where you can pay cash and which are open 24 hours a day. Phone centres called locutorios can be found in most towns. Users are given their own phone booth and calls are added up and paid for at the end. Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies, but phones must be tri-band. Coverage is good in most parts of Argentina, but may be lacking in remote and mountain areas.
It is customary to leave 10% in cafeterias and restaurants. The current in Argentina is 220-240v, 50Hz, AC. You may use either the typical European rounded 2 prong plug or a 3 prong plug used in Australia.
Due to the enormous size of the country, it is best if you combine air and overland transport. By orachasing a Visit Argentina Airpass in your country, allows your to travel cheaply in Argentina. Other passes include The Mercosur Airpass which allows to you travel within Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay. Domestic flights depart from the Jorae Newbery airport north of the city beside the Rio de la Plata. The bus station in Buenos Aires is situated on Avenida Ramos Mejia 1680 near the Retiro Station. Ferrobaires (Constitucion station, tel 4304 0028/38 ) Mitre Railway (Retiro station, tel 4313 8060) All international Car rental companies operate in Argentina. AVIS (Cerrito 1527, Tel 4326 5542) Budget Rent A Car ( Av. Santa Fe 869, Tel 4311 9870) In Buenos Aires the safest option is to telephone a radio taxi; a reputable company is Radio Taxi Pidalo. It is advisable to used recommended remises (taxis) - which can only be booked by telephone and have fixed prices. Buenos Aires also offers a cycle scheme of two free hours use of yellow city bikes. Several rail companies operate in Argentina and Colectivos (local buses) operate on main thoroughfares in all large towns and cities.