Driving Directions Argentina

ARGENTINA, the world’s eighth largest country, stretches from the Tropic of Capricorn to Cape Horn on the southern tip of the South American continent. It is 3,331 kilometers or 2,070 miles long and nowhere exceeds 1,384 kilometers or 860 miles in width, and it also includes the eastern part of Tierra del Fuego.

Driving Directions

To the west, the massive mountain chain of the Andes forms the border with Chile. The country’s highest peak is Aconcagua in the northern Andes (6,960 meters or 22,834 feet) which lies just north and east of the Chilean capital, Santiago. Several other peaks also reach elevations more than 6,705 meters or 22,000 feet but, farther south, the Patagonian Andes are lower and do not usually exceed 3,658 meters or 12,000 feet in height. In the north, the plains form part of the subtropical region known as the Gran Chaco. South of the Chaco and extending for about 1,609 kilometers or 1,000 miles are the grassy plains known as the Pampas.

The soils of the Pampas are alluvial clays, silts and sands washed from the Andes by rivers and streams and deposited on the flatter land in a fertile layer. The climate ranges from warm temperate over the Pampas in the central region, to a more arid climate in the north and west, while in the extreme south, conditions although also dry are much cooler. The vast fertile plains of the Pampas are the main agricultural area and produce cereals and wheat, while in other irrigated areas sugar cane, fruit and grapes for wine raised. Meat processing, animal products, and livestock production are major industries and also feature prominently in the country’s export trade. A series of military regimes has resulted in an unstable economy which fails to provide reasonable living standards for the population, although more recently a trade agreement with other South American countries has aided economic recovery.

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