Argentina is the second largest country in Latin America after Brazil (almost all the countries of Western Europe and Scandinavia could fit inside Argentina’s land mass). The country is diverse and includes rain forest in the north, vast areas of fertile farming land in the centre, the Andean mountain range to the west and the desolate plains of Patagonia in the south, leading down to glaciers at the southern tip.

The first Spaniard to land in Argentina, Juan de Solis, was killed in 1516, and several attempts to found Buenos Aires were stymied by the local inhabitants. Inland cities were more successful, and it wasn’t until the late 16th century that Buenos Aires was securely established.

Despite its military success, indigenous resistance was inexorably weakened by the introduction of diseases from Europe. Even after the native threat became minimal, however, Argentina was still mostly neglected by Spain, which was more interested in developing Lima and the riches of Peru. Early independence in Argentina was marked by an often bitter struggle between two political groups: the Unitarists, who wanted a strong central government, and the Federalists who looked for local control.

Argentina’s culture has been greatly affected by its immigrant population, mostly European. Their influence contributed to the demise of pre-Columbian cultures, resulting in the lack of a dominant indigenous population.

More than one-third of the country’s 32 million people live in Buenos Aires, the capital, which along with other urban areas accounts for almost 90% of the total population. The universal language of Argentina is Spanish, but many natives and immigrants keep their mother tongues as a matter of pride.

Argentina plays an active role on the international stage on human rights, sustainable development, counter proliferation and trade. It was elected to the Human Rights Council in May 2008. It was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council until end 2006.

Argentina’s Explore the Glaciers and Mountains

What a wonderful opportunity to explore the “deep south” of Argentina! This trip takes you to some of the most spectacular hiking in Argentina and Chile. Starting in El Chalten which is located in the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares you will have the opportunity to hike, or ice trek around the lakes, and over the […]

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