Top 50 Interesting Facts about Argentina and Argentines
Argentina is a typical country in Latin America that shares many common features with neighboring countries in the region. However, at the same time, it is a unique nation with its own customs, history, and culture. In our article, we have collected 50 fascinating facts about this country and its inhabitants, which will help form a first impression and plan your vacation in Argentina interestingly.
50 Most Interesting Facts about Argentines and Argentina
So, let’s begin our journey through the history, traditions, and sights of this amazing country.
1. The first people on the territory of modern Argentina appeared 11 thousand years ago, and the settlement of the country began in the south – it was there that primitive people from Chile were able to overcome the Andes.
2. Much later, already in our era, representatives of the Guaraní, who lived in Paraguay, came to Argentina. They were engaged in agriculture, particularly growing cassava.
3. Around 1400, the Incas invaded Argentina, but the period of their rule was short.
4. The first European to set foot on the shores of Argentina was Juan Diaz de Solis in 1516. He landed in the La Plata region and was immediately killed by local Indians.
5. The first Spanish colony in the country – Sancti Spiritu – appeared in 1526. It was founded by the navigator Sebastian Cabot at the mouth of the Paraná River.
6. The Jesuits, who appeared in 1610, played a significant role in the conquest of Argentina. They preached Christianity and defended the rights of the natives.
7. The favorable location of Buenos Aires has always attracted the eyes of conquerors. The Portuguese and the British tried to capture it but failed to hold it.
8. In the early XIX century, the War of Independence began in the country, where an important role was played by Jose de San Martín, who became a national hero.
9. As a result of internal conflicts between the provinces of Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay separated from the state, becoming independent.
10. Patagonia joined Argentina later than anyone else. This happened after the military operation of 1874-1875, called the Conquest of the Desert.
11. Currently, the republic is one of the most dynamically developing countries in Latin America, serving as a permanent member of the UN, IMF, WTO, and other international organizations.
12. With a population exceeding 46 million, a significant proportion of whom live below the poverty line, the average salary in the country does not exceed $600 per month.
13. Argentina holds the title of the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, covering an area of 2.7 million square kilometres.
14. The country’s economy is based on agriculture, traditionally, and a rapidly developing industry. Primary export products include soybeans, wheat, corn, oil, and automobiles.
15. The capital of the country, Buenos Aires, founded in 1536, currently hosts a population of 3 million people. Its name translates to «Good Air.»
16. The official language of the country is Spanish, spoken as the mother tongue by 98% of the Argentine population.
17. Argentina’s national composition is complex, with many considering themselves descendants of Europeans, unrelated to the local Indians. Argentines have roots in a variety of European countries.
18. Catholicism is the predominant religion in the country, with over 70% of the population adhering to it. Protestantism holds the second position.
19. The monetary unit of the country is the Argentine peso. Its exchange rate is not stable, as the country experienced three defaults due to a substantial national debt in the 21st century.
20. Argentina is located in the UTC-3 time zone, three hours behind Coordinated Universal Time. While some regions should observe winter time changes, the transition has not occurred for a long time.
Attractions of Argentina
21. The main attraction of the country is the city of Buenos Aires, often referred to as the Barcelona of South America. It boasts numerous historical buildings, cathedrals, and simply stunning places.
22. One of the most alluring yet potentially risky neighbourhoods for tourists in Buenos Aires is La Boca. Known for its colourful houses, it hosts lively carnivals, festivals, and fairs.
23. Buenos Aires is home to South America’s largest planetarium, “Galileo Galilei.” Here, visitors can observe 8,900 fixed stars and constellations.
24. The city of Cordoba is renowned for its Jesuit neighbourhood, home to the country’s oldest National University. This neighbourhood is included in the UNESCO list of cultural heritage sites.
25. The largest Catholic cathedral in Argentina is situated in the city of La Plata. Constructed in 1884, it stands at a height of 112 meters.
26. An unusual historical attraction is the Cueva de las Manos Cave or the Cave of the Hands. Within it, enthusiasts of primitive graffiti left imprints of hundreds of hands, estimated to be 10,000 years old.
Character, Traditions, and Customs of Argentines
27. The fundamental character trait of the locals is emotionality, bordering on irascibility. Argentines attribute their explosive character to the mix of different blood in their veins.
28. Nevertheless, Argentines treat foreign tourists kindly and without negativity, making it one of the most tolerant countries in the world.
29. When meeting Argentines, it is customary not only to shake hands but also to exchange kisses, preferably at least three times. Throughout, Argentines maintain a friendly smile.
30. Argentines are not known for punctuality and strict adherence. They may be late for meetings and sometimes fail to keep their word. When promising something, an Argentine often adds the qualifier «later, sometime.»
31. Soccer holds an obsessive place in the hearts of Argentines. It is a genuine religion, surpassing any other passion in its fervor. Diego Maradona is a national hero.
32. Simultaneously, Argentines pay great attention to their appearance. The country ranks among the top globally in terms of the number of plastic surgeries per capita.
33. Another passion of Argentines is tango, the beautiful and sensual dance born in the country. Tango is danced everywhere, with dancers often performing on the streets.
34. Argentina holds a reverent attitude towards the institution of marriage. Couples marry relatively late, usually after 5–6 years of courtship, and it’s customary to establish a prenuptial agreement.
35. Argentines adore children and shower them with fantastic care. Consequently, it’s not uncommon for young people in the country to live with their parents until 30–35 years old, delaying the start of independent life.
36. Argentine pensioners lead remarkably active lifestyles. They learn languages, participate in hobby clubs, and engage in extensive travel.
37. Argentines are known for being great gourmets, with their favourite dish being «asado,» a kind of barbecue often cooked on balconies in cities.
38. The preferred alcoholic drink among locals is the bitter liquor «Fernet,» often mixed with cola. However, the most beloved beverage of Argentines is Yerba maté, a tonic herbal tea.
39. A gourd with Yerba maté is an essential accessory for any Argentine. They regularly carry these vessels, frequently refilling them with Yerba maté.
40. Argentines have a deep affection for dogs. Even if a busy Argentine has no time to care for a pet, they will get a dog and hire someone specifically to walk it. The profession of dog walker is highly sought after in the country.
41. Argentina holds the title for the country with the highest percentage of psychologists per capita. It is a common practice for every Argentine to seek psychological counselling, often starting from school.
Nature of Argentina
42. Argentina stretches for more than three thousand kilometres along the eastern coast of South America, boasting a coastline just under 5,000 kilometres long.
43. The southernmost point of the country is in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, where the world’s southernmost settlement, the city of Ushuaia, is located.
44. The climate and relief of the republic are characterized by great diversity. In the north, there is a tropical jungle; in the west, the towering Andes; and in the south, the expansive steppes of Patagonia.
45. On the territory of Argentina lies the highest point of the Andes—Mount Aconcagua, standing at 6960 meters. It is covered with glaciers that never melt.
46. Argentina boasts many rivers, with the northern Paraná, Uruguay, and Paraguay being the largest. The confluence of the Paraná and Uruguay forms La Plata, a vast bay covering an area of 3.2 million square kilometres.
47. Floods caused by heavy rains are the most frequent and dangerous natural disasters in Argentina, with earthquakes ranking second.
48. Argentina is home to a diverse array of animal life, including armadillos, tapirs, and capybaras, among others.
49. Tornadoes often occur in the central parts of the country, earning the area the name «Tornado Alley,» similar to North America’s tornado alley.
50. In the north lies the Iguazu Falls complex, serving as the border between Argentina and Brazil. The largest waterfall in the complex is called «Devil’s Throat.»
Friends! If you know more interesting facts about Argentines and the country itself, please share them in the comments. This country is full of amazing stories, culture, and traditions, and many people would be happy to learn something new. We will be very grateful to you!