Country Information Argentina

Location
   Argentina is the second largest country of South America (around 2,78 mio. skm). It borders in the North on Bolivia and  Paraguay, in the East on Brazil, Uruguay and the Atlantic Ocean, in the West on Chile and in the South on the Antarctic Ocean.
Population
  Approx. 40 million; as many Spanish, Italians, Germans and French immigrated, the Argentinean nation is the most European influenced nation of the subcontinent.
Capital
  Buenos Aires, greater Buenos Aires population 13 mio.
Politics & Economy
  Argentina is a democratic republic. Around 33 % of the working population works in the processing industries, 17 % in the agriculture and forestry (especially important is the life stock breeding, where sheep, and not cows or bulls, are dominating). The tourist sector is developing fast and getting more and more important for the country's economy.
Currency
  Argentinean Peso
Language
  Spanish, so-called Castellano
Time Difference
  - 2 hours GMT
Voltage
  220V alternating current, it is recommendable to bring a multi-adapter
Public Holidays
  1. January, Good Friday, 1. and 25. May, 9. July, 8. and 25. December, the following are depending on weekday and placed on the previous or following monday:
approx. 10. and 20. June, 17. August. 12. October
Opening hours
  The opening hours are not regulated by law. Banks are open from Monday till Friday, 10 to 14/15 o'clock, shops between 9 and approximately 19.30/on Saturdays from 9 to 13/14 o'clock. During the siesta, from around 13 – to 17 o'clock many shops are closed. Big supermarkets and shopping malls are often as well open on Saturdays and Sundays, during the whole day.
Climate
  In the mainland December, January and February are the hottest months (Buenos Aires between 17 and 40°C) and July and August the coldest ones. The North including Salta and Iguazu is subtropical, the central region, called Pampa, continental temperate and the southern Patagonia has a cold winter climate.
Best Travel Time
  October till March, in the subtropical Northern region from May till September.
Clothing
  The perfect outfit depends on the destination: visitors of Patagonia or Tierra del Fuego should use regular outdoor wear, protecting against the wind and rain; visitors at the coast and of the tropical regions should use summer clothes, in the Northwest one should be prepared for the changes of temperature from day to night. In the bigger cities it is recommendable to wear more formal clothes, especially when visiting fine restaurants or events .
Tourist Destinations
 
Buenos Aires
capital, one of the cultural centres of South America, very European style
Iguazú
giant waterfalls with 275 falls along 2,7km, in the midst of the tropical rainforest, located in the border triangle of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay. Today one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Mendoza
Main area of wine growing, ski area in the Andes
Salta/Jujuy
colonial cities, vivid Indian cultures anc ancient sites, warm and dry region with spectacular landscapes, thousands of cactus
Puerto Madryn/
Peninsula Valdés
Peninsula Valdés nature reserve with sea lions, elephant seals, fur seals, southern right whales, guanacos, nandus, Penguin colony Punta Tombo.
Bariloche
most popular resort in the Lake District, ski area of Patagonia, national park Nahuel Huapi
Calafate 
national park Los Glaciares, spectacular Perito Moreno Glaciar
Ushuaia
 the southernmost city in the world on Fireland
Flora & Fauna
  The wildlife in Argentina is as varied as its climatic regions. In the Iguazú national park you will see parrots, colibri, toucan, jaguar, cayman and monkeys, whereas on the Penísula Valdés in Patagonia you are going to meet with sea lions, elephant seals, whales, nandus and guanacos and the largest colony of Magellan penguins in the world in Punta Tombo.
Argentina has a lot of different types of flora: from subtropical, evergreen rainforest in the Northeast, forests, thorny bushes and desert character with huge cactus in the North till forests, steppe and marshland in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
Food & Drink
  The specialty as such is for sure the Argentinean beef, which is being prepared on an open fire, the "asado", made up by several different sausages and pieces of meat. Further specialties are the famous Empanadas, stuffed pastry, and diverse regional specialties like Tamales, Locro, Humitas in the North. All over the country you will be served excellent Italian food, inclusive of the Italian ice cream. Lovers of candies will like the typical Argentinean "alfajores", biscuits stuffed with dulce de leche, a caramel cream, and the flan, a thick custard-based dessert flavored with caramel. As is known, Argentinean wine is excellent and the mate tea is the national drink as such – Argentineans drink their mate everywhere and always, it is made of yerba herbs and drunk with the bombilla, a pipette, out of the mate receptacle.
Souvenirs
  Leather goods and craft industry (pottery, masks and cloth, wall hangings and bags) are the most liked souvenirs, mostly bought in the North. Moreover the mate receptacle with the bombilla is a typical souvenir of Argentina.