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Argentina Facts

  • The border between Argentina and Chile is 5,308 kilometers, third-longest in the world. The longest is 8,893 km between the USA and Canada, followed by Russia – Kazakhstan (6,846 km).
  • The Argentina tobacco industry produces roughly 150,000 tons of tobacco every year and employs some 500,000 people.
  • Between 1880 and 1930, Argentina was one of the ten wealthiest nations in the world.
  • The Quilmes tribe fiercely resisted the Inca and then the Spanish for centuries, before being beaten and put onto a reservation, and today they are all but gone. Quilmes is now known as a popular brand of beer.
  • Corrientes Province issued its own postage stamps from 1850 to 1880: today these original stamps are very valuable.
  • Yerba mate, a very popular tea-like drink in Argentina, is made from the leaves of the Yerba mate tree, a close relative of holly.
  • In May, 1960, former Nazi Adolf Eichmann was snatched off a street in Buenos Aires by a team of Israeli agents. He was sedated and sent to Israel where he stood trial for war crimes. He was executed in 1962.
  • 907 soldiers were killed in the 1982 Falklands Islands War (258 British, 649 Argentines). The population of the Falkland Islands is roughly 3,000.
  • After her death, Evita Peron’s body was preserved. After Juan Peron was removed from office in 1955, the Argentine military government buried Evita in a crypt in Italy for 16 years under the name “Maria Maggi.” Today she is buried in the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.
  • Mount Aconcagua, located in Mendoza Province, is the highest peak in the Americas.
  • Barry Manilow was originally selected to play Ché Guevara in the movie version of the hit musical Evita.
  • En route to their 1986 World Cup victory, Argentina beat England 2-1 in the quarter finals. Diego Maradona had two goals in the game, one of which was voted “goal of the century” in 2002 and the other of which was the infamous “hand of God” goal, which in slow-motion replays, shows Maradona knocking it in with his fist.
  • Sir Francis Drake did not discover or even go through the Drake Passage.
  • Ballpoint pens were first mass-produced in Argentina in the early 1940’s by Laszlo Biró, a Hungarian who had gone there fleeing the Nazis.



The largest Spanish-speaking country in Latin America, the República Argentina has a population of almost 40 million inhabitants (as of July 2004), 97% of which are Caucasian, mostly Spanish or Italian. Argentina is naturally rich in resources. Combine that with a highly literate population, just over 97% of the population over 15 years of age is literate, and Argentina has potential to be a world leader economically. However, a series of unfortunate economic problems over the last decade have prevented that from happening.

In 2002, the Argentine peso’s fixed exchange rate to the US dollar was abandoned and the exchange rate plunged and inflation picked up for about six months until it leveled off in mid-2002. Focusing on exports, the economy began to recover in 2003 and slowly but steadily stabilized under previous President Nestor Kirchner. The unemployment rate in 2004 was 17.3%. By 2007 this figure had fallen to slightly under 9%. The wife of the former president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, was elected president in October 2007.

Main agriculture products are sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes,corn tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat and livestock. Argentina is famous for its quality beef. Environmental problems include deforestation, soil degradation, desertification, and air and water pollution. However, Argentina is a world leader in setting voluntary greenhouse gas targets.

The intersection of the Argentine, Paraguayan and Brazilian borders is a hub for arms and drug trafficking, smuggling, money laundering and fundraising for extremist organizations. Argentina is also used as a portal for cocaine headed for Europe and the US from other South American countries. Domestic consumption of drugs in bigger cities is increasing.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Argentina: Argentine Music , Population of Argentina, Safety, Tips for Luxury Travelers, Highlights, The Economy of Argentina: Today, When to Go, Holidays and Festivals, Getting Around and Social Issues in Argentina.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
30 Apr 2009

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