Argentina, the second largest country in South America, is a vast nation, with expansive deserts, impressive waterfalls, tropical rain-forests, beaches, mountains covered with snow, because of that Argentina is divided into geographical areas. each one offering much to the visitors.
THE PAMPAS REGION
Pampa is a Quechua word that means "plain", is the bread-basket of Argentina, the Pampas region include the provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, and Córdova. This region is known as the Land of the Gaucho, all the romantic fantasies about this important figure are concentrated in this region. The Pampas is divided by climate into:
- The Humid Pampas, along the seaboard, cover most of the province of Buenos Aires and Cordova and a great part of the provinces of Santa Fe and La Pampa, is the most fertile region in the country.
- Dry Pampas, in the west and south, cover part of La Pampa and the San Luis province, this region is drier and utilized mainly for pasturing, is famous for its sheep and horses.
THE MESOPOTAMIA REGION
The territory between the Parana and Uruguay rivers is called Mesopotamia ("between the rivers" in Greek), is a humid area in the north-east of Argentina, comprising the provinces of Corrientes, Misiones, Entre Rios and part of the provinces of Formosa, Chaco and Santa Fè. Mesopotamia is an area of heavy rainfall, particularly in August and September, up to 2,000 mm annually. In the northeast part of Mesopotamia, rivers go down over the borders of the great Paraná Plateau and produce spectacular waterfalls including the great natural wonder "Iguazú Falls".
Misiones, in the northern part of Mesopotamia, is nearly enclosed by Brazil and Paraguay, is covered by subtropical forest, with species like alligators, toucans, and monkeys, the main attractions in this region are a section of the Iguazú Falls and the Jesuit Monasteries. Corrientes, is an extensive area of low hills, flatland apt for plant growing and flooded forest at Iberá Wetlands and Entre Rios is embraced with productive pasture land stretching into Uruguay. Yerba mate is grown extensively in Mesopotamia; 1,800 square kilometres of Misiones are dedicated to its cultivation.
THE NORTHWEST REGION
This region is the highest in average elevation, is composed by Jujuy, Salta, Catamarca and Tucumán provinces. The provinces of this region present a variate range of climates: since cold and dry in the Puna and the western side of the Andean mountains to subtropical with abundant rain as in the Yungas jungle.
This region is divided into three sub regions:
For tourism, the most frequent destination are Quebrada de Humahuaca, the Cerro de los Siete Colores, Cafayate, the Valle Calchaquíes, San Miguel de Tucumán, San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, Salta and San Salvador de Jujuy. The culture of this region has strong influences of Quechua and Aymara cultures, the differences with European Buenos Aires can be seen in the music, clothing and custom of the people.
- The Puna. This extensive plateau exceeds the borders of Argentina and is formed by plateaus that vary between 3,000 and 3,500 metres above sea level, this plateaus are separated by the Mountain Ranges that characterize the place.
- The Eastern Mountain Range. It presents three distinct types of mountainous chains, we can differentiate between the Western and the Eastern Cordillera.
- The Sub Andean Mountain Ranges. Ranges of small and parallel mountains, positioned in a North Eastern - South Western direction.
THE GRAN CHACO REGION
Chaco comes from the Quechua word "chaqu" (hunting land), Argentina shares this region with Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil. The Argentine part covers the Chaco and Formosa provinces. This a region has some of the highest temperatures on South America, is sparsely populated, dotted with subtropical forests, scrub-land, and some wetlands. The fragile ecosystems of the Gran Chaco are being destroyed by civilization with burning of vegetation, introduction of cattle and carefree agricultural decisions. Being in danger the Chacoan Peccary (Catagonus wagneri) a mammal endemic to the Chaco.
In 1995, was established the Kaa Iya del Gran Chaco National Park, administered by the indigenous peoples which include the Izoceño Guaraní, the Ayoreode, and the Chiquitano. Also the Chaco has the oldest city of Argentina, Santiago del Estero, founded in 1553, as a stopover between the mines of Bolivia and the coastline gateways in the Ocean.
THE CUYO REGION
Cuyo is located in the western bound of the country, is an mountainous area and wine-producing. In the main mountain range is the highest-peak on the American Continent, the Aconcagua, with his altitude of 6959 meters above sea level and the Ischigualasto Provincial Park. This Region comprises the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan, San Luis La Rioja, and the western portions of Salta. It is a political and economic macro-region.
Is a Region dominated by the imposing snow-covered Andes Mountains, the ground is arid and reddish, most rivers are fed by thawing of snow of the peaks, the Rio Desaguadero (Drainage River) is the main collector, receiving waters from the Bermejo, Vinchina and Salado River, before reaching the Colorado River. The east of this region constitutes one of the most dry places of the country, but Mendoza and San Juan provinces are irrigated lowland oasis, with almost 80% of wine production in the country, its wines are highly considered in the world.
The colonial low houses and churches, and narrow streets are the characteristic of the towns and cities in Cuyo, contrasting the modern constructions with the traditional ones.
THE PATAGONIA REGION
The name Patagonia comes from Patagon (a Spanish word that means Big-foot), The vast region features a glacier-dotted mountainous interior, unique coastal wildlife, forest growing in western fringes, large lakes and amazing Andean national parks. The lakes and mountains are possibly one of the most beautiful in the world. In Patagonia, the provinces of Chubut, Neuquen, Rio Negro, and Santa Cruz has a temperate climate.
The main touristic destinations in Patagonia are Peninsula Valdes, Moreno Glacier, San Carlos de Bariloche and Nahuel Huapi National Park. The glaciers and the area around San Carlos de Bariloche are a year-round resort areas for skiers, trekkers and nature lovers. Patagonia is a region with several oil and coal fields and exists colonies of sea animals in the gulfs and bays along the coastal cliffs.
THE ARGENTINEAN ANTARCTIC REGION
Is the Southernmost region of Argentina, it consist of the Antarctic Peninsula and a triangular section extending to the South Pole. Antarctica is the coldest, driest region on Earth, is covered in snow most of the year.
A journey to this region is an adventure by itself, the fauna is made up by seals, whales, penguins, migratory seabirds, and others. As anecdote, in 1978, the first Antarctic baby was born in the Argentinean antarctic region under the name of Emilio Palma.