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Factsheet - Argentina


General Information about Argentina

Capital city: Buenos Aires (population 3 million)
Area: 2,780,403 sq km
Population: 40.6 million
Language: Spanish
Currency: Argentine Peso (ARS)
Time zone: GMT -3 (ART), -2 (DST)
Dialing code: +54
Daylight savings begins: Sunday, October 5, 2008
Daylight savings ends: Sunday, March 15, 2009
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin), Type I (Australian/New Zealand &
Chinese/Argentine 2/3-pin)

Intrepid Information on Argentina                                                               

Times to go:
Argentina's temperate climate means that it experiences four distinct seasons (opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere). Summer (December to February) is the best time for visiting Patagonia as the weather is most mild.
In contrast, summer can be very hot and humid in Buenos Aires, so spring and autumn are better times to visit. Autumn is also a good time to visit Mendoza, Cordoba and the Lake District. The north of the country, including Iguazu, is best visited in winter or spring, as it can get very humid in summer. The busiest times are around the main vacations - January, February and July.

Food & drink:

Meals: Argentinians tend to eat a light breakfast, a large lunch, and a late dinner (after 9pm).                                                                                                There are many good restaurants, including some Italian.
Service charge is occasionally added, but if it is not then a tip of around 10% is normal.

Must Try:
Parrillada (dish of grilled meats)
Matambre relleno (stuffed and rolled flank steak served cold or baked)
Carbonada (beef stew with rice, sweet potatoes, squash, maize and chopped apples and peaches)
Locro (thick bean, maize, beef and vegetable stew)
Empanadas (patries stuffed with meat and/or cheese)
Queso y dulce (cheese topped with preserved fruit)
Dulce de leche (caramelised milk)
Helado - Argentinian ice cream is very good

Vegetarians:
Given Argentina's reputation as a meat-eaters paradise, vegetarian food is actually not that difficult to find.
Many restaurants offer a vegetarian option.
Salads are widely available.
A large Italian population, especially in Buenos Aires, means that pizzas and pastas are everywhere providing good vegetarian options.

Drinks:
Mate is a beverage similar to tea and is considered by some to be the national drink of Argentina.
Coffee - the coffee is very good. Usually served in espresso form with lots of sugar.
Wine is not as good as in Chile but it worth a try.
Submarine - a bar of chocolate.

Culture:

People:
The common form of greeting is a kiss on both cheeks

Smoking:
Smoking is banned in public areas in Buenos Aires including bars and restaurants
Other Argentinian cities have similar bans but they are not nationwide

Dress:
It is best to dress conservatively away from beach areas

Toilets:
Toilets in Argentina are mostly western style
Toilet paper should not be flushed as it can cause blockages


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