Argentina, the second largest country in South America, is a vast and diverse nation known best for its romantic Tango and political heroine Eva Peron. The country’s capital, Buenos Aires, is one of the world’s most sophisticated cities with excellent theatre, art, fine restaurants and wide elegant boulevards that give the city a decidedly European feel. In the rest of the country, natural beauty and charming local customs give Argentina a flair of its own including: mile-long Iguazu Falls in the northeast, the glaciers and abundant marine life of Patagonia in the south, and the immense pampa region where the gauchos (cowboys) ride, Argentina is a country of unique people and experiences.
The name "Argentina" derives from the Latin "argentum" which means silver. The origin of the name goes back to the voyages made by the first Spanish conquistadors when local natives presented them with silver gifts.
The country is a Democratic Republic. Buenos Aires is the capital city with a population of approx. 11 million. There are 23 provinces. The head of State and Government is President Cristina Kirchner.
Argentina is at the southern extreme of the American continent. Its total surface area is 2.7 million sq. kms. The country is 3,700 kms. in length, and the climate varies from subtropical to cold. Most of the country is in temperate climate zones, one-third in humid zones, and the rest is in arid and semi-arid zones.
The total population of Argentina is 37,500.000 (2001) with a density of 11.9 per sq. km. One third of this population is concentrated in the capital, Buenos Aires and the surrounding suburbs. The population is made up of Spanish, Italian, British, German descendents, Native, and South American immigrants. The religious makeup is 80% Roman Catholic and 7 % Protestant, with small Muslim and Jewish communities.
Monetary Unit: Argentine Peso.
Credit Cards: Diners Club, American Express, Visa and Master Card are accepted.
Time: 3 hours behind GMT
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plug fittings are either 2 pin round type and 3 pin flat type. These can vary.
Health Requirements: None
Major Industries: Automobile, agrochemical and petrochemical manufacturing, mining, cement production and consumer appliance manufacturing.
Major Exports: Agricultural products, livestock, fish, wood and automobiles.
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