Covering nearly 2.7 million square kilometers of South America's territory, Argentina measures out as the eighth largest country in the world. Together with neighbor Brazil, they make up the economic, cultural, and tourist powerhouses of the continent. Some 2.3 million foreign visitors descend there every year, magnetized by its unique culture, cosmopolitan cites, and impressive landscapes. It promises to be even better, after undergoing a major facelift for its 200th year of independence from Spain.
Among its cities, Buenos Aires stands head and shoulders above the pack. The home of nearly 30 percent of Argentina's population, it is the land of the tango, not to mention its buzzing nightlife and vibrant shopping centers. The country has also emerged as an economic power with some 210 billion USD in GDP, rising from the ashes of economic collapses under a military government decades ago.
South American Beauty
Argentina is a long country, stretching more than 3,500 kilometers from tip to toe. Along the way, it encompasses a very much diverse terrain - steppes, mountains, lakes, beaches, glaciers, waterfalls, and so on. This unique landscape is perhaps the country's main draw for tourists, wherein one can indulge in adventurous, hedonistic, or just plain sightseeing activities.
Its centerpiece is probably the famous Aconcagua Mountain which, at a height of nearly 7,000 meters is the tallest in the Americas. Trekking is at its finest at the Patagonian Steppe, home to the Lake District, glacier-carved terrain, and Andean deserts. One can even ride a boat in the Beagle Channel to the ends of South America - Tierra del Fuego.
Land of Silver
While natural beauty is the nation's main selling point, its lively culture is a close second. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers landed on the country's shores and named it as Argentina. The name roughly means the “Land of Silver,” although silver is not particularly abundant there. Nonetheless, by the time it has gained its independence in the 19th century, its traditions and customs have been deeply influenced by Spain.
Argentina is considered as the birthplace of the “tango” dance, which has since spread to the rest of the world. In fact, a popular thing to do in the country is to enroll in a tango dance school and learn a few moves. The cooking is also particularly famous: Many claim that the best steaks and barbecues in the world are served there.
Argentina Traveler Advice
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