Flag of Argentina

Argentina

The Argentine Republic is a country in southern South America, located between the Andes mountain range in the west and the southern Atlantic Ocean in the east and south. It is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay in the north, Uruguay and Brazil in the northeast, and Chile in the west and south.

The name 'Argentina' derives from the Latin 'argentum' (silver), from the fact that when the first Spanish conquistadors discovered the Río de la Plata, the indigenous people gave them gifts of silver. The legend of Sierra del Plata - a mountain rich in silver - reached Spain around 1524, and the name was first seen in print on a Venice map from 1536. The name Argentina was first used extensively in the 1612 book "History of the Discovery, Population and Conquest of the Río de la Plata" by Ruy Díaz de Guzmán, which named the territory Tierra Argentina (Land of Silver). In British English, the traditional name of the country is The Argentine but this term is no longer in common use.

Despite Argentina's recent economic woes, its pleasures - stunning natural wonders, an elegant capital with a European-flavoured sophistication, and a passionate culture - are still as tempting as ever. The silver lining to the financial cloud is that it's now one of the best travel bargains going around.

This is one Latin American country where Europeans and North Americans can feel at ease and travel relatively inconspicuously. An interest in soccer and some nimble foot skills may be all you need to feel like a local.

Map of Argentina