Location, area and frontiers
Located in South America, and thus, in the southern hemisphere, Argentina has an area of almost 3.8 million square kilometers, 2.8 on the continent – approximately 54% are plains (grasslands and savannahs), 23%, plateaus, and the other 23%, mountains - and the remainder in the Antarctic.
It is 3,800 Km. long and is located between latitude 22º and 55º. Its border with Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile has a perimeter of 9,376 Km, while the territory bordered by the Atlantic Ocean is 4,725 Km long.
The country’s territory offers a wide variety of climates: subtropical in the North, sub-Antarctic in the southern Patagonia, and mild and humid in the Pampas plains. Media temperature from November to March is 23° C, and 12° C from June to September.
Argentina’s current population is more than 36 million inhabitants, almost half of which live in the city and the province of Buenos Aires.
Population density calculated on a national basis is 13 inhabitants per square kilometer. 95% of the population is white and most are descendants of Italians and Spaniards. As a result of the massive European immigration, the white and Indian half-castes were slowly reduced and at the present they amount only to 4.5% of the population. The pure indigenous population - Mapuches, Collas, Tobas, Matacos and Chiriguanos - amount to 0.5% of the population.
Spanish is the official language of the Argentine Republic. In Buenos Aires, some “lunfardo” expressions -city slang - are used.
The Pampas plains are amongst the richest areas in Argentina. They have the magic of wide-open spaces with an unlimited horizon, and they are the land of the gauchos, traditional Argentine country men.
The estancias (ranches) in the Argentine Pampas are remarkable because of their varied architecture. They were built in widely differing styles such as colonial Hispanic-American, English Tudor, and classic French.
For many people, gaucho means orphan since they come from two civilizations (the European and the Indian). Possibly the first gauchos were people who broke their ties with the past and chose the loneliness of the great Pampa, where there was water and grass for the cows introduced by the European colonists to graze.
Only an hour away from Buenos Aires, visitors are able to learn about the typical tasks in the Argentinean countryside, the life of the gaucho and his incredible skill with the "boleadoras" (three stones tied together with a rope which, when thrown, tangle with the legs of the cows and prevent them from escaping), the knife, the lasso, and the use of the correct techniques for salting the best meat in the world.
Dressed with baggy knee-length trousers, a sombrero or beret, a handkerchief round the neck, spurs, and a sharp knife hanging from his belt (which is changed for a silver-coin belt for festivities), the Gaucho skilfully rides through the endless prairies. In the evening, by the light of a campfire and with a delicious roast , the Gauchos like singing their songs.