Welcome to Northern Argentina
The northern regions of Argentina are an interesting mix of
colonial heritage, incredible natural beauty, agriculture and an
indigenous flavour. Two major Argentinean rivers, the Paraná and
the Uruguay, flow together in the northeast of the country,
creating the Rio de la Plata estuary. The land in between the
rivers is known as Mesopotamia, a swampy, wet and very hot region
covered with yatay palms, orchids and tree ferns.
Perhaps one of the principal attractions in this region are the
spectacular Iguazú Falls in the Iguazú National Park, tucked away
in the extreme northeast, surrounded by Brazil. Lush forests
bursting with wildlife and impressive, rugged mountains lie in
contrast to the vast, fertile plains of the Pampas below. Spread
over a large portion of the country, the Pampas are known as the
Gran Chaco in the North, and these plains form the agricultural
heartland of Argentina, where
gauchos(cowboys) roam and where the country's famous beef
comes from. The Gran Chaco is much drier than the central part of
the Pampas and is a rich source of tannins and timber.
Closer to the Chilean border in the west is the impressive Andes
Mountain Range, and its highest peak, Cerro Aconcagua, situated in
the famed wine region of Mendoza. The bustling city and industrial
hub of Córdoba is also to be found in the north and here, Jesuit
traditions, colonial architecture and traditional
guachoculture combine, with plenty of traditional festivals
and local arts and crafts to be discovered. There are many
treasures to be found by travellers willing to move beyond Buenos
Aires, and the northern region is not to be missed.
Information & Facts
Spanish is the official language of Argentina but English
is understood in the tourist areas.
The Argentinean Peso (ARS) is divided into 100 centavos. The
recent devaluation of the Peso has made Argentina more affordable
for travellers but there is still much economic uncertainty and
travellers are advised to keep an eye on the exchange rate.
Currency can be exchanged at banks and
cambios(bureaux de change) but it is easier to use ATMs,
available in most urban towns, which reflect the current exchange
rate. Credit and debit cards are generally accepted, and US Dollars
and Euros are normally taken everywhere, but some international
cards place limits on transactions. Cirrus cards sometimes aren't
accepted. There can be problems using travellers cheques in rural
areas, although most banks in major cities should accept them. It's
best to take travellers cheques in US Dollars to avoid additional
exchange rate charges.
Local time in Argentina is GMT -3.