Argentina is a country of seemingly endless variety. The world's eighth largest country, it stretches from its tropical north to a glacial south, the mountainous Andes in the west to the sweeping Atlantic coastline in the east. [See Argentina itinerary ideas]
This is a land of great passion, where national football matches mesmerize a nation and the city streets rock and weave to the aphrodisiac effects of the tango. Argentines live intensely - perhaps a product of a rocky political past, or perhaps because they don't dare relax for too long, knowing the abundant delights that sit on their doorstep that would take a lifetime to explore.
Argentina luxury holidays typically start in the cosmopolitan capital of Buenos Aires, a heady mix of Havana's colour and Paris's elegance. The great natural playground of beautiful Patagonia is another Argentina travel highlight, while the vineyards of Cafayate in the northern province of Salta reveal another side to the country.
Elsewhere, visitors to Argentina can take in the placid waterways of the Lake District, admire rumbling Iguazu Falls and watch southern right whales pass by the beaches of Peninsula Valdés.
When to go
Due to its vast size, there are huge differences in climatic conditions across the country, which are worth taking into account when planning a trip.
Buenos Aires is best in spring (September to early-November) or autumn (March to May) when temperatures are mild. Summer in the capital can be stifling, with temperatures often hitting the high 30s.
The shoulder seasons are also a good time to explore the northern and central provinces - autumnal leaves make Mendoza and the Lake District spectacular and the Iguazu Falls benefits from November to March rainfall.
Patagonia is best in the summer (December to February) when the weather is mild and most services - transport, tourist information etc. - are fully functioning.
Capital - Buenos Aires
Size - 2,780,400 sq km
Language - Spanish is official. Others include Italian, English, German, French, Welsh, Mapudungun, Quechua
Population - 41.3 million
Religion - Roman Catholic (over 90%), Protestant, Jewish
Currency - Argentine peso
Time zone - GMT -3
Flight time from the UK -14hrs
January - Fiesta Nacional de la Cereza, cherry festival in Los Antiguos
February - Carnival
March - Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia, celebration of wine and the winemaking industry
April - Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente, international festival of independent cinema held in Buenos Aires
May - Arte BA, international art fair
June - Semana de la Bandera, weeklong celebration of Manuel Belgrano
August - Buenos Aires Tango Festival
September - Festival de la Empanada, a celebration of the best empanada chefs in the country, in Tucumán
October - National Beer Festival
November - Día de la Tradición, nationwide gaucho festivities
December - Abierto Argentino de Polo, Argentina's annual polo open
Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.
Passports must be valid for the full duration of your stay. If you are visiting another country or countries en route to or from Argentina, be sure to check any further entry requirements.
The Argentine peso (AR$) is the official currency of Argentina. Coins come in denominations 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos and $1 and $2; notes in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100.
The most widely accepted credit cards are Visa and Mastercard, though American Express is also accepted in most places. A surcharge or rechargo is sometimes added to the cost of a purchase. This can be 5% or 10% of the overall price. There are ATMs (cajeros automáticos) throughout Argentina, many with instructions in English. There's likely to be a small charge for foreign transactions, though exchange rates at ATMs are generally as good as you'll find anywhere else. ATMs only allow $300 to be withdrawn at any one transaction, but multiple transactions can be made at the same machine.
Be sure to notify your bank of your travels to avoid them from blocking your card when an international transaction is made.