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Die Patagonia Argentina, Bild: Dmitry Pichugin / shutterstock

Argentina – Tango, gauchos and the vastness of the pampas

Tango – behind the five letters in Argentina hides a philosophy. In this South American country, tango is synonymous with danced thoughts, and the music speaks of love and desires. For the Argentines, this dance is tender and aggressive at the same time, and anyone who is on holiday in Buenos Aires, the small towns of the pampas or in Patagonia will be accompanied by the sensual sounds of tango. This is a country of glaciers full of elemental force, with huge national parks and evergreen rainforests. And Argentina is a region for people who are open to unusual encounters.

Argentina, Buenos Aires, Congress Palace
The Argentine Congress Palace in Buenos Aires, Image: saiko3p / shutterstock

After years of civil war, Argentina’s tourism strategists invented the advertising slogan of the “Land of the Six Continents”. And they are probably right, because in their homeland there are fundamentally different climatic and landscape conditions. There are the wastelands of the deserts, the impenetrable jungles, the icy regions of the Andes and, last but not least, the wonderful beaches. These are all Argentina’s trump cards and arguments for round trips in the land of the gauchos. But even in the vastness of the dry pampas, the holidaymaker is never completely alone. And even if it’s just the company of wild cats and the maned wolf, which is notorious among farmers as a chicken thief.

The inhabitants of Buenos Aires are said to be quite haughty, because if you ask them about the characteristics of Argentina, many of them think that the country actually consists only of their city and a huge nothingness. Of course, this is a wrong assessment, because this proud Argentina has many faces. In Buenos Aires , the unique settings and the contradictions of commerce and culture are confusing. World stars such as Toscanini and Stravinsky found their stage in the Teatro Colón and Avenida 9 de Julio is considered the heart of the metropolis and the widest boulevard in the world and a shopping paradise.

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Patagonia
Torres del Paine National Park, Image: cge2010 / shutterstock

At the beginning of the history of Buenos Aires The port of La Boca was born, where the plaintive sounds of the tango can be heard from the bars and where old and young try their hand at dancing more or less smoothly and the guests from another world get very close to the soul of this city. More than 13 million people live in Buenos Aires, and if you want to leave the narrowness and dynamism of this big city, you should go to the Delta de Paranà, forty kilometers away. The confusing freshwater system stretches from Diamante to the mouth of the Rio de la Plata.
The legendary Andean Railway leads to the Chilean border and up to an altitude of 4,500 meters. Actually, the train mainly transports grain, but passengers are also transported in a wagon. One thinks that the horizon in the Puna Desert with its extinct volcanoes and endless salt lakes reaches here and there to the distant clouds. This is an adventurous ride of a different kind.

But Argentina has surprises in store that hardly anyone expects. For example, the mansions of the pampas as testimonies to a time when the so-called cattle barons afforded magnificent villas and a luxurious lifestyle. Some buildings are a kind of homage to the quality of living of the European nobility of the early twentieth century. About a hundred of these estancias have been preserved. Some of them resemble French castles with their green parks.

The vastness of Patagonia has a special charm in a region where the nearest neighbour is only far beyond the horizon. Unreal yet fascinating is the storm-tossed Beagle Channel. Enthusiasts of extraordinary landscapes will find their Eldorado in the icy pinnacles of the Fitz Roy massif or in the petrified forests near Santa Cruz. At the foot of Argentina, the Panamericana, the “dream road of the world”, ends. Patagonia is full of wonders – apparently created on a particularly beautiful day in the story of creation. Argentina is a country for vacationers who can’t wait to satisfy their wanderlust.

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Travel information Argentina

Capital Buenos Aires
Form of government Federal republic
Presidential democracy
Currency Argentine peso (ARS)
Area approx. 2,780,400 km²
Population approx. 44,293,300 (2017 est.)
Languages Spanish
Electricity grid 220 volts, 50 Hz
Area code +54
Time zone UTC-3