Argentina is a territory that defies a single definition. It has the power to amaze or exasperate, but it is never less than fascinating.
From the sub-tropical jungles and steamy falls of Iguazu to the frozen Antarctic waste of Tierra del Fuego, that one territory can contain so much diversity defies belief. This diversity is reflected in the enigmatic but colourful Argentine people. They define the fiery Latin American temperament – fiercely patriotic as they are history tells of more than one occasion when hell-bent self-destruction of their country was imminent. And this split personality seems to run through every aspect of their lives – the romance of Evita sits alongside the swaggering machismo of the gaucho cowboys, and the daily siesta is still adhered to while life around it moves at a blinding pace.
However, strange as it may seem at first, after a few days it all seems to make sense. Why sleep at night when you can sleep during the day and party all night? It’s not all tango either, visit Buenos Aires and you’ll find a city capable of rivalling any other in the world for the range and variety of entertainment on offer.
But to come here just to sample city life, no matter how unique a city Buenos Aires is don’t miss out on the rest of the country. In its northern reaches and the far-south Argentina has two of the world’s greatest natural wonders – the Iguazu falls, larger than Niagara, and the Moreno Glacier, one of the world’s few growing ice-fields. In between there is a veritable wealth of history mingled with nature. The colonial towns of early Spanish rule remain relatively untouched, while in the shadow of the Andes, high on the puna, you can find a way of life that pre-dates even these centuries-old invaders.
Argentina has its problems but, while it’s wrong to dismiss them, few people let it affect their outlook on life. It all goes towards understanding the country’s immeasurable romanticism, where a street kid from Buenos Aires can become the world’s greatest footballer, and throw it all away again, and an actress can capture the heart of a nation. Come and fall in love for yourself.
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