Argentina Facts: Tango to This Trivia

argentina factsSo you want to know facts about Argentina. Home to the Tango and conjuring up images of Latino cowboys, Argentina is well known as one of the more popular and must-see South American countries in the world. It is found in the southeastern region of the South American continent. As the eighth largest country in the world, Argentina covers an area of 2,780,400 square kilometers. Apart from being in the heart of South America, the country also has sovereignty over a part of Antarctica, the Isla Malvinas or otherwise known as the Falkland Island, the South Sandwich Island, and South Georgia.

If you are seriously thinking about taking a trip to Argentina, here is a course on Spanish for beginners that can help you converse with the locals.

Let’s Tango

There may be one reason that you are coming to Argentina, and that is the Argentinian Tango. More than just the romantic and furious dance that we have come to know, the Tango is the musical representation and symbol of the country’s capital Buenos Aires. Usually sung in Lunfardo which is an Argentinian slang, the Tango is a unique blend of European and African lyricism and music. Some tango music is in Spanish. Here is a course on conversational Spanish that will help you understand some of the songs.

About Its Borders

Mainland Argentina is bordered in the north by fellow South American countries Bolivia and Paraguay. Brazil borders it to the Northeast while Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean border it to the east. It is bordered by Chile in the west and by the Drake Passage to the south which is the sea that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast portion of the Pacific Ocean and extending all the way to the Southern Ocean. Argentina, being one of the third largest economies in Latin America, is easily accessible with numerous international flights coming into its Buenos Aires airport. There are also travel means of getting into the country by land or by sea coming from its neighboring South American countries as well.

Some History is In Order

The name Argentina comes from the Latin derivative Argentum which means Silver in English, or Plata in Spanish. This comes from the legend of the silver mountains which was the story widespread amongst the first explorers who came into the La Plata Basin from Europe. But before this, the land already was populated as early as the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic periods as evidences have shown. It was in the 1500s when European and particularly Spanish explorers came in to the land. In 1536, a European explorer in the name of Pedro de Mendoza founded a community in the area known as Buenos Aires. From then on, a series of different colonizers came into the country until independence came after Civil Wars. This has brought about the rise of what is now modern Argentina. Here is an article on the Spanish language which is also spoken in Argentina.

Climate and Weather

With a vast land area, climates differ in the regions of Argentina. In the North, expect to have humid and hot summers but with mild but an even drier winter. Periodic drought is also common. More pleasant is the temperate climate in the central part of the country although it may still have high temperatures during the summer with thunderstorms. The Central regions may also have cooler winters. Expect warm summers and snowfall during the winter in the Southern regions.

The Culture

Having been colonized by Europeans in its history, Argentinian culture has very strong European influences. As a matter of fact, It is not uncommon to mistake an Argentinian as a European as there are facial and body resemblances making it hard to distinguish between the two. Argentinians are highly literate and make for the countries agricultural and industrial economy as one of Latin Americas best. The country does not disappoint when it comes to showcasing its beauty with its own distinctive art, music, literature, architecture, cinema, and theater which can rival that of other countries in the world.

The World’s Southernmost

Depending on whether you believe Argentinians or Chileans, Argentina might just be where the world’s southernmost city happens to be. Puerto Williams, the settlement naval base of Chile markets its efforts of tourism on this slogan and the 2 towns are fiercely fighting over which city is actually southernmost.  At the moment, Ushuaia claims this tagline that draws tourist, even as the official title is up for debate.  The capital of Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia is in Argentina’s south with a range of temperatures between  thirty to fifty-nine degrees Fahrenheit. Visitors come here to check out the arctic wildlife like killer whales, seals and penguins. To you can a ride to Tierra del Fuego National Park where a lot of the animals live via the End of the World Train.

Beat This

What do Maradona, Stefano, Batistuta, Carrizo, Ayala, Bianchi and Ardiles have in common?  They are all football greats and all from Argentina. Without a doubt, Argentina is one of the more successful football nations in history, with two Olympic Gold Medals, 16 Copa America medals and 6 Fifa World Youth Championship. Yes, Argentina takes the sport of football quite seriously. The nation’s football team has 25 major football international awards. Football culture started early in the country in 1893 as the Argentine Football Association was formed making it one of the oldest football associations in the world. Second to football, Argentina has numerous international titles for their basketball team as well. If this wasn’t enough, the country also has the distinction of having one of the best rugby teams in the world, placing itself in the top ten.

Salud!

Argentinian wines are among the best in the world. Investments have poured in to make the country’s wine industry world class to compete in the global scale. In fact, the country has the largest wine industry outside of Europe. It also ranks fifth amongst the world’s ranks of important wine producers. Aside from exporting of wine, Wine tourism in the country has also made its mark especially coupled with the beautiful scenery of the Cordillera de los Andes. To consume with your wine are scrumptious Argentinian steaks which come from the country’s vibrant cattle industry.  The country prides itself of having more grass fed cows, which accounts for better quality beef. A popular Argentinian beef dish which you may order in the so many restaurants is called Asado. Similar to grilled Steaks, Asado is beef cooked over charcoal. This is usually served with a relish called Chimichurri which is a sauce made from combining olive oil, chopped parsley, minced garlic, and vinegar. As with other steaks, this is best paired with a Vino Tinto, or a red Argentinian Wine.

Just Spectacular

There is a lot to experience in the culture of Argentina and so muchsee with all the natural wonders and sights that the country has to offer. The massive land offers all sorts of natural landscapes for the eyes to feast on. Start off with the Iguazu Falls which shares the border between Brazil and Argentina. These waterfalls showcase more than 250 cascades and are enveloped by a lush rainforest that is home to the endangered Wild Green Parrot. The large land area and diverse landscape of Argentina has set the stage of temperatures that are nothing short of extreme with matching extreme landscapes. It is home to some of the planet’s most spectacular waterfalls and sets extreme (did I say extreme?) records for wildlife diversity and huge rivers. For instance, on the border between Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls are comprised of more than two hundred seventy five cascades in the country’s north. The water tumbles over eighty meters of heights and three kilometers of weight. Many who see it think of it as one of the world’s most amazing falls. Surrounding the falls are countless species of rare animals and a subtropical rainforest including a wild green endangered parrot called the Vinaceous-breasted Amazon.In Patagonia, visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. This Glacier is easily accessible and is third largest in size in the world as a natural reserve of fresh water.

Who Knew?

To top this all off, here are some interesting and fun facts about Argentina which will make your visit to this country even more memorable.

  • The tango started out as improvisations in brothels around the country.
  • The country celebrates Dia del Amigo, or Friends Day, every year on July 20.
  • 1 in 30 Argentinians go through cosmetic surgery.
  • Every 29th of the month, it is a custom for Argentinians to eat Gnocchi. They do this to bring in fortune and luck as traditions says it does.
  • Argentina is home to the famous world icon Isabel Peron who became the country’s first woman president after the sudden death of her husband.

Did this help? For those who want to blend into the culture the moment they arrive, here is a course called Quick Spanish: Start Speaking Today that could help!