December 2001 - argentina and Chile

Buenos Aires


2,766,890 km²
(66.6x the Netherlands)


UTC -3


Spanish, indian languages, Italian, English, German

Highest point

Aconcagua - 6,960 m


Independence was declared in 1816 after which a national flag was first adopted. This was a light blue-white-light-blue flag that General Belgrano had already hoisted in 1812. After that a number of other flags followed. In 1853 a new government was appointed and the 1816 flag was chosen again. The sun, with a face surrounded by sixteen straight and sixteen twisting sunbeams, symbolizes the Inti mythology of the Inca's.


Most precipitation in Buenos Aires is from October to March. Patagonia is often tortured by strong winds from the south. The table below shows the average temperature.

Buenos Aires

Temp. (°C) Jan Apr Jul Okt
max 28 23 15 22
min 14 13 8 13

El Calafate

Temp. (°C) Jan Apr Jul Okt
max 17 13 5 14
min 5 1 -6 2

The current Argentine peso is in use since 1992. Depicted on the banknote is Bartolomé Mitre, sixth president of Argentina from 1862 to 1868



The Argentine geographer Francisco Moreno (1852-1919) was the founder of the Los Glaciares National Park. Through his efforts, the entire area belongs to Argentina. The park stretches from the southern border with Chile to El Chaltén. The Perito Moreno glacier is a three-hour drive from El Calafate. The walls of the glacier protrude more than 60 meters above water and the glacier is 5 km wide at the base. The ice shifts 1 to 2 meters per day. Once every four years on average, the glacier closes off the southern arm of the lake, causing the water to rise more than 30 meters before the ice dam breaks down again. You can hear the ice cracking almost continuously and from time to time another huge part of the glacier falls into the lake. A fascinating spectacle.

El Chalten is a village founded in the north of the Los Glaciares National Park in 1985. It is located at the foot of the 3,405 meter high Mt Fitz Roy, named by Francisco Moreno after the captain of the Beagle. The area around El Chaltén is fantastic for hiking. The climb to the Laguna de Los Tres is strenuous but once you are at the lake your effort will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the valley and the granite peaks of the Poincenot and the Fitz Roy. A little less strenuous is a hike to the glacial lake at Cerro Torre, a mountain in the shape of a needle. It is located just south of the Fitz Roy.

In 1536, Juan Diaz de Solis founded the settlement of Santa Maria del Buen Aire on the site of what is now Buenos Aires. It was temporarily abandoned because of the attacks of Native Americans and after that is was permanently inhabited from 1580. The La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, near the stadium of the Boca Juniors football club, is very colorful. It is traditionally a working-class neighborhood with immigrants from Genoa, Italy. Workers' wages used to be paid in the form of goods like paint, which shows on the multicolored houses. The San Telmo district is where the tango originated. Take a tango class in one of the many dance schools. At the Recoleta Cemetery, for rich citizens, you can visit the grave of Eva Peron buried in the tomb of her own family, the Duarte's. The Casa Rosada, built in 1894, is located on the Plaza de Mayo. Every week the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo gather here to commemorate their missing sons. Their symbol is a white headscarve, painted on the sidewalk.