Argentina Geography

Argentina Geography

Argentina can be divided into five different geographical zones: the Andes in the west, the fertile lowlands in the north, the “Gran Chaco” of the Indians, the vast “Pampa” in the center of the country, ” Patagonia ” and the archipelago “Tierra del Fuego” in the south of the country. Visit for Argentina among gauchos and mighty spirits.


The name Argentina is probably derived from the Latin word “argentum” – silver. This refers to the “Río de la Plata”, which the Spaniards called the “Silver River” because they hoped for rich silver deposits in Argentina.

Time zone

The time difference between Argentina and Germany is -4 hours in winter and -5 hours in summer.


The neighboring states of Argentina are in the north of Bolivia and Paraguay, Chile to the west and in the northeast of Brazil and Uruguay. In the east the country is bounded by the Pacific.

With an area of 2.78 million square kilometers, it is the second largest of all South American countries and the eighth largest country in the world.

The length of Argentina is 3,700 km, the extension at its widest point, from the ridge of the Andes in the west to the coast of the Atlantic in the east, 1,580 km.

The highest mountain is the Aconcagua (6,958 m), which is also the highest mountain in America.

The southern ridge of the Andes in the west of the country separates Argentina from Chile on the one hand, and a large number of still active volcanoes on the other. In the south, the ridge is narrower but higher (over 6,500 m) and has large glaciers and glacial terminal moraines. In the north, the mountain range spreads to a plateau 600 km wide, on which there are several depressions that have no runoff.

Entre Ríos (Mesopotamia) – Río de la Plata

The so-called two-stream land in the northeast of the country is formed by the Uruguay and Paraná rivers and consists of a hilly, partly swampy landscape. The ” Río de la Plata “, the most important body of water in the country, is actually not a river, but a funnel-shaped estuary in the Atlantic, which is created by these two rivers and on which the state capital Buenos Aires is located.

Gran Chaco
The Gran Chaco, the “big hunting ground” of the Quechua Indians, is a huge expanse that gradually sinks from 500 m to 20 m above sea level. There are many rivers in it that have no valleys, but are constantly shifting their 70 km wide bed. In the Gran Chaco mainly the few descendants of the Quechua Indians still live in small settlements.

The pampas, which with 650,000 square kilometers occupy almost the entire region between the Andes in the west and the Atlantic in the east, got their name from the Quechua Indians, who called this area the “treeless plain”. When they had not yet been conquered by the Spaniards, this area was characterized by grass steppes and shrub steppes. Today it has almost entirely been converted into arable and grazing land and supplies almost 90% of Argentina’s agricultural products, such as wheat, corn, soybeans, but also through the large herds of cattle, beef and hides.

The Argentine part of Patagonia was formed by glaciers and still has terminal moraines. Even today you can still find large glaciers here. Otherwise, the area is rich in mineral resources such as copper, iron ore, uranium and petroleum.

Falkland Islands

The archipelago consisting of 2 large and 200 smaller islands in the Atlantic, 600 km off the coast of Patagonia, belongs to Argentina. In 1767 it was sold to Spain by the first French settlers. In 1828 they built a Spanish settlement. In 1833 the British occupied the 12,173 square km archipelago on the grounds that it was a British crown colony.

Flora and fauna

In the north, due to the tropical climate, there is a diverse fauna with monkeys, jaguars, pumas, tapirs, hummingbirds, flamingos and parrots.

In the barren areas of the Andes, between thorny bushes, grassy areas and cacti, live llamas, guanacos and vicuñas, both species of lama living in the wild, as well as the Andean jackal. On the western edge of the Chaco are subtropical rainforests where pumas, armadillos, anteaters, hummingbirds and parrots live.

The pampa with the grasslands is the habitat for armadillos, maned wolves, rheas and of course for the typical animals such as pampa foxes, pampa cats and pampa deer. Since the soil is very fertile, much of the original vegetation has been cleared and converted into farmland.

Patagonia consists of countless table mountains that are covered by shrub steppes and intensively farmed with sheep. In the easternmost part the landscape changes to desert steppes, in which rheas, pumas and small deer occur. Maned seals and South American fur seals can be seen on the coast. In the sea you can find orcas and Commerson’s dolphins, which are reminiscent of swimming tapirs due to their color and compact body.

Argentina Geography