Argentina Travel Information

Photo Following independence from Spain in 1816, Argentina experienced periods of internal political conflict between conservatives and liberals and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, a long period of Peronist authoritarian rule and interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983, and numerous elections since then have underscored Argentina's progress in democratic consolidation.

Argentines are a fusion of diverse national and ethnic groups, with descendants of Italian and Spanish immigrants predominant. Waves of immigrants from many European countries arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Syrian, Lebanese, and other Middle Eastern immigrants number about 500,000, mainly in urban areas. Argentina's population is overwhelmingly Catholic, but it also has the largest Jewish population in Latin America, about 250,000 strong, and is home to one of the largest Islamic mosques in Latin America. In recent years, there has been a substantial influx of immigrants from neighboring Latin American countries. The indigenous population, estimated at 700,000, is concentrated in the provinces of the north, northwest, and south. The Argentine population has one of Latin America's lowest growth rates. Eighty percent of the population resides in cities or towns of more than 2,000, and over one-third lives in the greater Buenos Aires area. With 13 million inhabitants, this sprawling metropolis serves as the focus for national life. Argentines enjoy comparatively high standards of living; half the population considers itself middle class.

In recent years, Argentina has had a strong partnership with the United States in support of UN peacekeeping. Argentina was the only Latin American country to participate in the Gulf war and all phases of the Haiti operation. It has contributed Argentine soldiers and policy to UN peacekeeping operations worldwide. In recognition of its contributions to international security and peacekeeping, the U.S. Government designated Argentina as a major non-NATO ally in January 1998. Argentina has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Summit of the Americas process and has served as chair of the Free Trade Area of the Americas initiative. At the UN, Argentina's positions have often coincided with those of the United States. Argentina supported efforts to improve human rights in Cuba and the fight against international terrorism and narcotics trafficking.

Important: Travel to Argentina may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Argentina visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Argentine Republic
Capital city: Buenos Aires
Area: 2,780,400 sq km
Population: 42,192,494
Ethnic groups: white
Languages: Spanish
Religions: nominally Roman Catholic 92%
Government: republic
Chief of State: President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER
Head of Government: President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER
GDP: 716.5 billion
GDP per captia: 17,700
Annual growth rate: 8.9%
Inflation: 22%
Agriculture: sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat
Major industries: food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, steel
Natural resources: fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium
Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay
Trade Partners - exports: Brazil 21.6%, China 7.3%, Chile 5.5%, US 5.5%
Trade Partners - imports: Brazil 33.2%, US 14.4%, China 12.4%, Germany 4.7%