Argentina, officially Argentine Republic, is bordered by Chile
on the west, Bolivia and Paraguay on the north, Brazil and Uruguay on the
northeast, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. Buenos Aires is the country's
capital and largest city.
Following independence from Spain in 1816, Argentina experienced periods of
internal political conflict between conservatives and liberals and between
civilian and military factions. After World War II, a long period of Peronist
dictatorship was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy
returned in 1983, and four free elections since then have underscored
Argentina's progress in democratic consolidation.
Argentina is the second largest country in South America and its capital
Buenos Aires is indisputably the continent's most cosmopolitan city, reflecting
the waves of immigrants who have arrived in the city from across the globe. This
is one Latin American country where Europeans and North Americans can feel at
ease and travel relatively inconspicuously. An interest in soccer and some
nimble foot skills may be all you need to feel like a local. The variety of
European influences is well illustrated by the standing joke about porteρos -
the name given to the inhabitants of Buenos Aires: "They are Spaniards who
talk like Italians, dress like Frenchmen and think they are British". Over
many generations, settlers have come to Argentina in search of wealth and new
lives – Italians and Spanish, Scots and Slavs, Germans and Welsh.
Home of the tango, fine wines, Maradona and the gaucho, Argentina
possesses a rich cultural heritage. Its capital, Buenos Aires has one of Latin
America’s most cosmopolitan populations. In recent years, travellers have been
seduced by the country’s incredible geographical diversity, abundant wildlife
and good value for money, especially since the country’s economic collapse of
2001 and the subsequent devaluation of the peso.
Visitors can take advantage of a good tourist infrastructure to experience
what the country has to offer from the sub-tropical north down to Tierra del
Fuego, where Patagonia meets the icy waters of Antarctica - a distance of around
From the comforts of elegant first-class hotels in the cosmopolitan
sophistication of Buenos Aires to the simple refuges in the towering mountains
of the Fitzroy range, there are places to stay to suit all tastes and interests.
Despite Argentina's recent economic woes, its pleasures - stunning natural
wonders, an elegant capital with a European-flavoured sophistication, and a
passionate culture - are still as tempting as ever. The silver lining to the
country's financial cloud is that it's now one of the best travel bargains going