ARGENTINA

 

Think of polo or the pampas; think Evita or Maradonna or the tango.  Think Argentina, the eighth largest country in the world (a shade smaller than India), and after Brazil, the biggest in South America, running 3,500 kilometres north to south, much the same distance as from Scotland to the Sahara.

Buenos Aires

  

Overlooking the Rio de la Plata (after the Amazon, the world's widest river at its mouth) Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, and with 13 million people, is famous for its huge and ornate botanical and for buildings inspired by Paris; for the Colon Theatre, for one of the world's great 19th century opera houses; and as birthplace of the tango. 

Tango

Overlooking the Rio de la Plata (after the Amazon, the world's widest river at its mouth) Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, and with 13 million people, is famous for its huge and ornate botanical and for buildings inspired by Paris; for the Colon Theatre, for one of the world's great 19th century opera houses; and as birthplace of the tango. 

San Telmo

Of all its suburbs, none boasts a more checkered past than San Telmo. Here the rich and fashionable lived until the late 19th century, when yellow fever forced them to flee to higher ground, their places taken by immigrants from Europe. Today, in its galleries and handicraft shops, its Sunday flea-market and open-air tango dancing, its restaurants and tango shows, it is Buneos Aires principal bohemian quarter. But its finest moments were in 1806 and '07 when, with cauldrons of boiling oil and water, its residents repelled British forces which twice tried to claim the port city from Spain, at the time allied with Napoleon against the British

La Boca

The name means the mouth, but in Buenos Aires it signifies an area connecting the city with a port on the Rio de la Plata, the point of entry for thousands of migrants from Europe. Italians settled in La Boca, a waterway lined with warehouses and meatpacking plants. Their houses were painted all the colours of the rainbow, a legacy of the bright colours used for painting ships. Today La Boca is a fusion of working class and artists' colony with cantinas, curio shops and bars carting for tourists.

La Recoleta

Taking its name from a Franciscan convent founded in 1716, this area is known for the Cementerio de la Recoleta. Its ornate family crypts are the resting-place for generations of Buenos Aires' most eminent families, but its most famous inmates are Eva Peron and her husband, President Juan Peron. Other Recoleta landmarks are Our Sacred of Pilar Church, founded in 1732, the Cultural Centre, and the Fine Arts Museum. Recoleta's public gardens include Plaza Francia which each hosts the largest crafts fair in Buenos Aires.

Puerto Madero

Built in the late 19th century, the dockland of Puerta Madera, named after the architect, consists of four dry-docks with eight multi-storey redbrick warehouses overlooking waterways at the edge of the city. Long ago abandoned as a port, in the 1990s its warehouses were elegantly refurbished as offices, restaurants, fast-food outlets and cinema complexes, with five-star hotels, a commercial art gallery, and a convention centre still in the pipeline.

 

Argentina has a number of beautiful regions to enjoy: Patagonia, Pampas, Cuyo, Northwest and Northest.

Las Pampas

Flanked by the Atlantic Ocean and Rio de la Plata, and reaching almost to Cordoba and the Central Andean foothills, La Pampas is an almost level plain of rich soil, once entirely natural grassland, now a checkerboard of grain farms and sheep and cattle estancias. Accounting for one quarter of the country, it encompasses four provinces, Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, La Pampa and southern Cordoba, Argentina's political and economic heartland. Its Atlantic shoreline boasts such beach resorts as Mara del Plata and Necoche, to which the Portenos (the people of the capital) flock in summer.

Patagonia

In the words of the English writer, the late Bruce Chatwin, "Patagonia, like Mandalay and Timbuctoo, wedged in the Western imagination as a metaphor for the Ultimate, the point beyond which could not go."

Running from Rio Colorado, the southern border of Buenos Aires Province, to the Straits of Magellan, it offers a vast and empty landscape, semi-arid steppes, glaciers and lakes clustered in the foothills of the Andes. Spanning one third of the Argentine landmass, but with only five per cent of its population, it is rich wildlife and natural beauty, from the "tame" whales of Valdes Peninsula to the teeming marine life of the Magellan Straits to the azure-blue Lake Argentina and its Glacier Moreno.

 

Cuyo

 

  

Includes the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan, and San Luis. As the rest of the country, this is a varied region with hundreds of landscapes to see.  

This is the area of the highest mountain of America, the Aconcagua (6959 m.) and the best wine producers, too. There are also several places that the tourist must visit, as el Valle de la Luna(The Valley of the Moon-San Juan province) and el Valle de las Leņas (The Leņas Valley-Mendoza province), the last one an international skiing resort.

 

Northwest

 

This region, which includes the provinces of Jujuy, Salta, Tucuman, La Roja, Catamarea and Santiago del Estero, is the principal custodian to Argentina's pre-Hispanic and colonial past, with cities displaying architectural treasures from a time when Buneos Aires was still a tiny frontier settlement of no consequence.

 

Northeast

The area between the Parana and Uruguay Rivers, enfolding the provinces of Entre Rios, Corrientes and Misiones, is called Mesopotania. Among Argentina's proudest landmarks are the Iguazu Falls, which featured in the film The Mission, together with the architectural splendours left by the Jesuits, which colonised the Indians communities until the Order was expelled, and which now hold United Nations heritage listing.