1. The mate (pronounced maw-tay)
Mate is the first thing you should know about Argentina before visiting! It is an herbal tea that comes in many forms. The most standard way that Argentines drink it is with a bag of herbs (most commonly referred to over there as yerba), hot water, and sugar right by their drinking cup. They pour everything in (although not at once, there’s a process to it) and sip it slowly while offering some to anyone nearby. During the summers when it’s hot and humid outside, terere is the yerba served with cold juice to help the locals cool down. There are many different flavors of herbs, types of cups, straws, and containers available for purchase according to one’s specific need. Ask any Argentine “what flavor of yerba do you prefer?” and it will spark an interesting conversation!
2. The meat
Argentina is known as the “meat capital of the world” because of the high-quality beef that is produced there. All of the cattle are grass-fed and the meat is then shipped all over the world. Ask any Argentine and they’ll tell you that the best meals in the country are:
Asado—meat slowly cooked over charcoal giving it a rich taste unlike normal barbeque
Empanadas—a mix of ground beef, hardboiled eggs, olives, spices, garlic, onions wrapped in a flaky dough
Milanesas—beef flattened out and then breaded and fried. Served best with chimichurri sauce!
3. The history
Many Argentines have German and Italian descent so most of their food (pizza, pasta, bread, sausage) also reflects the flavors and traditions of these European countries. This can be traced back to the wave of immigrants that came to this promising country in the 19th century. In 1982, Argentina fought with the United Kingdom over the territory of Las Malvinas which are islands off the southern coast of Argentina. After 10 weeks, Argentina was victorious!
4. Geological wonders
Argentina has all of the sights needed for a vacation in nature. The Andes mountain range runs along the border of western Argentina and Chile. Meanwhile a famous range of waterfalls named Iguazu Falls is right on the border between Argentina and Brazil. Many hikers dream of going to Patagonia which is the southern part of Argentina to adventure among glaciers, rainforests, bodies of water, and fields.
5. Los alfajores
Los alfajores—or cookies filled with dulce de leche and covered in chocolate—are an Argentine delicacy. The brands available depend on the region that you’re in. For example, in Sante Fe, the alfajores have crackers filled with dulce de leche and glazed with sugar. There are alfajores triples (pronounced tree-plays) which have three cookies instead of just two and there are endless types of fillings too: peanut butter, jam, mousse, chocolate, etc. You can’t leave Argentina without first trying an alfajore!
6. The soccer
Soccer is huge in Argentina! Walk through any town and surely you’ll find little boys on the street playing a quick game amongst themselves. Messi and Diego Maradona are just two examples of talented, well-known soccer players from the country. Fun fact: the Spanish word fo
7. The language
The type of Spanish spoken in Argentina is called “castellano” (pronounced caw-sti-shano) and the locals believe that it is the purest form of Spanish that can be spoken. There are a few different ways to address other people in Spanish: tú is the most casual meaning “you” while usted also means “you” but in a more formal way. Ustedes is what to use when addressing a group as it means “you all”. In Argentina, they use vos which is a more casual way of saying “you”. They have taken this slang and adapted it to their language even changing the way that some words are conjugated.
8. The capital
Buenos Aires is like a small piece of Europe in South America! The capital has classic cobblestone streets, outdoor cafes, and large buildings with architecture avantgarde. El Obelisco is a large monument in the city that most tourists enjoy taking pictures with. The freeways are windy and colorful! La Boca is a unique area with the Boca stadium and fun souvenir shops at every street corner.
9. The tango
The tango is an influential dance from Argentina involving two dance partners with long, sweeping motions and sharp steps. The woman in the dance usually wear large, flowy dresses and twirl it around with the turning of their wrist. The tango is a sensual ballroom dance that will often be done by street performers in the capital for the tourists visiting.
10. The people
Argentina’s motto is “el país con buena gente” or in English: a country with great people! The people in Argentina is what makes it the best. Argentines greet each other with cheek kisses to be friendly and are known to invite anyone inside their house for some tea and crackers. The people are kind, loving, and fun. Be sure to talk to the local people and they will change your life!
You won’t regret a trip to Argentina, The trips are affordable, family-friendly, and planned out to ensure that all travelers make the most of their time while adventuring! Plan a trip with Acanela today to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity visiting South America.
Post written by Annelin Stephans