South America Living

Country Profile for Argentina

Andes Mountain Range Between Argentina and Chile

Argentina – as well as its nightlife – never seems to end. It is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil) and home to: the relentless Atacama Desert; non-stop buzz of street life in capital city Buenos Aires; majestic Andes mountain ranges; tranquil Atlantic coast beach towns; Los Lagos (The Lakes) of Patagonia; the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere – Cerro Aconcagua; and over 40 million people. A short visit can turn into a lifetime obsession with the country so be prepared!

          Argentina Fast Facts & Figures

General Background

Argentina has twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city – Buenos Aires (Autonomous City of Buenos Aires). It is located in the southern region of South America on the Atlantic Ocean between Chile and Uruguay. The Rio de la Plata (gulf or marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean) between Argentina and Uruguay is the most densely populated area of both countries.

A Bodega (Wine & Grocery Shop) in the Pampas at Southern tip of the Buenos Aires Province

The climate of Argentina is mostly temperate; arid in the southeast and subantarctic in the southwest. The Pampas (plain) lowlands are in the northern half and Patagonia in the south.

The Andes mountain range straddles the western border. San Miguel deTucuman and Mendoza are in this area and subject to earthquakes. Pamperos are violent windstorms that can occur in the pampas and heavy rains intermittently hit the northeast areas causing severe flooding.

Government & Politics

Casa Rosada (Government House) in Buenos Aires

Argentina is a presidential representative democratic republic. The country gained independence from Spain in 1816. Christina Fernandez is the first woman president of Argentina (October, 2007), following in the footsteps of her former husband Nestor Kirchner who served as president from 2003 – 2007. Nestor died in October, 2010 of a heart attack.

Controversial as a politician yet popular for his – and his wife’s – fight for justice for victims of Argentina’s part in the Dirty War in South America (approximately 1973-1985), after his passing activists paraded through the streets of Buenos Aires in honor of his memory.

As president, Fernandez is both the head of state and head of government. She is also Commander in Chief of the Argentine Armed Forces. Presidents in Argentina serve a four year term. Cristina ran as an incumbent candidate in the October, 2011 president elections and won easily.

Living in Argentina – Newspapers, Internet, Radio & T.V.

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Planning a trip to Argentina? Click here to view Tourist Hot Spots in Argentina.

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