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Thursday 23rd November
Argentina Information - Page 1
Geography
The Argentine Republic is in South America. It is bordered by Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean.

Buenos Aires is the capital city and a major port. Cordoba is the second largest city. Other ports include Bahia Blanca, Deseado, Rosario and Santa Fe.

Argentina's terrain consists of plains, known as the Pampas, the Patagonian Plateau and the rugged Andes Mountains. Major rivers are the Parana, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The climate is very varied, for example, subtropical in the north and sub-arctic in the south.

Environment
Argentina's extremely diverse environment is protected by its system of National Parks. There are also Natural Property World Heritage sites.

The Iguazu National Park, shared between Argentina and Brazil, is the location of one the largest waterfalls in the world. It measures eighty metres high, and two thousand seven hundred metres in diameter. The park's subtropical rainforest is home to animals such as monkeys, tapirs, ocelots and jaguars.

Ischigualasto and Talampaya Natural Parks cover desert regions and are the location of many well preserved fossils from over two million years ago.

The Los Glaciares National Park is an area with rugged mountains and many glacial lakes including Lake Argentino.

The World Heritage site of the Peninsula Valdes in Patagonia is home to a number of endangered whales, southern elephant seals and southern sea lions.

Architecture
The Quebrada de Humahuaca Valley, a World Heritage site, is one of the locations of early settlements in the region. There are also remnants of the Inca civilisation of the fifteenth to sixteenth centuries.

Other World Heritage sites in Argentina are the remains of the Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis, located within tropical forest, and the Jesuit Block and Estancias of Cordoba (university, church and farming estates). Both sites date back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Population
The population of Argentina was estimated at 41,769,726 in 2011.

Languages
Spanish is the official language. European languages spoken include Italian, German, French and English. Indigenous languages are Guarani, Mapuche and Quechua.

Religion
The majority of the people are Christians.

Food
Meat, particularly beef, is an important part of Argentine cuisine. It is cooked in a variety of ways: fried, grilled, roasted, barbecued and stewed. It is an ingredient for filled pastries known as empanadas, also made with a corn and cheese mixture. Other meat, such as chicken, and fish are eaten. Salads, french-fried potatoes and vegetables often accompany meat dishes.

Pizza, pasta and gnocchi (pasta dumplings made with potatoes) are Italian contributions to the country's cuisine.

Dulce de Leche, a caramel sauce, is used in many desserts including flans and pancakes. It is also sandwiched between traditional cookies known as alfajores.

Yerba mate is a traditional drink similar to tea and made with the leaves of the yerba plant. Coffee is a popular drink and wine is produced locally.

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