What is Argentina Known For? (19 Things It’s Famous For)

Argentina is a South American country that covers 2,780,400 km of the continent. Considered one of the largest countries in the world, it occupies a more extensive area than Texas and Mexico combined. Moreover, it also encompasses a landscape that’s as diverse and rich as its culture, including but not necessarily limited to immense forests, plains, tundra, deserts, tall mountains, and ocean shorelines. Moreover, several South Atlantic islands and a considerable part of Antarctica are also claimed by Argentina. 

Argentina is known for its cultural history, food, wine, athletes, and eye-catching landscapes. But that isn’t all. Argentine people also take pride in their country, as it boasts a high literacy rate in all of South America. Francis I, King of France, was born in Buenos Aires in 1494.

Lionel Messi is from Argentina

The name of this iconic Argentinian athlete has become synonymous with football and is now a ubiquitous facet of the country’s culture. Widely regarded for his accomplishments in the sport, Lionel Messi received an award for being the best player in FIFA on the 23rd of September 2019. The athlete is so influential and well-respected that, in Rosario, his hometown, the authorities have strictly forbidden parents from giving their children the same name, as it may confuse the local populace. Nevertheless, most Argentinians look up to Messi because football is the country’s national sport. 

Buenos Aires is a City that Never Sleeps

The capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, is also a prominent feature of the country, with its vibrant culture making it a popular destination among tourists. It’s so famous that it receives over a million visitors every year. Founded by Spanish explorer Pedro de Mendoza in the 15th century, the city boasts abundant activities that locals and travelers can experience. These include its European architecture, nightclubs, restaurants, museums, and historical sites, to name a few. In addition, the street artwork throughout the city depicting giant murals is also a cultural aspect that people commonly associate with Argentina.

Tango Originated in Argentina

A famous and influential dance, tango is a global phenomenon that originated in Buenos Aires. Originally developed by combining South American, African, and European styles of dancing, it used to be performed primarily on the streets and at brothels. For this reason, it was considered a scandalous and seductive dance for underprivileged people. Throughout its illustrious history, it was forbidden and outlawed because of a coup d’état and the subsequent military-run governments between the fifties and eighties. However, it saw a popularity resurgence soon after and became synonymous with Argentina. 

Argentina Has Incredible Steaks

The steaks from Argentina are known for their exquisite flavor worldwide and rarely require any seasoning to release their taste. There are various reasons why the country is recognized for its steaks. For starters, their cattle are grass-fed, antibiotic-free, and free-roaming. They also have unique preparation methods compared to other countries, as they generally use charcoal or wood and stone or ceramic grills called a parilla to cook the beef. In addition, their cattle have high nutritional value. Because of this, steaks are so popular in the country that most Argentinian restaurants offer them on their menus.

The Gaucho Culture is the Country’s Symbol

Gaucho is Argentina’s national symbol and represents bravery, courage, and masculinity. They became famous for all their contributions and support during the country’s independence war, as they helped set ambushes and collected and shared vital information with their countrymen. Also referred to as the country’s cowboys, gauchos are found primarily around Pampa’s grassy plains. Tourists can learn about the culture and practice horseback riding from the many ranches in Argentina’s countryside. While the Gaucho culture isn’t as popular as it once was, many facets of its culture remain in the country.

Wine Production is Popular in Argentina

Another thing that Argentina is well-known for is its flavorful and rich wines. Argentinians’ growing and production techniques in creating wine separate their fermented alcoholic beverages from other countries. Most of the grapes they use are sourced from Mendoza, whose dry and low rainfall conditions are ideal for growing insect and rot-free grapes that would have ruined the grapevines. Moreover, rocky soil can stress the fruits, so they tend to produce fewer but make up for it with high flavor content. 

Iguazu Falls is a Natural Wonder

Iguazu Falls, one of the world’s natural wonders, is in Argentina. In the early seventies, the government established a national park on its namesake to protect the country’s greatest natural beauty. It’s a string of waterfalls taller than Niagara Falls in the U.S. and wider than Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls. With its many nature trailers, personalized boat safaris, forest ziplining, and magnificent panoramic views, the tourist attraction is a famous hotspot that continues to draw in visitors from all over the globe.

It Has a Unique Merienda Culture

While closely associated with European and Asian traditions, a merienda refers to a tea break in the late afternoon just before dinner. In the early 20th and late 19th century, European immigrants brought the tradition to Argentina, becoming one of the country’s cultural traditions enjoyed by many locals. More often than not, the snack includes either coffee or tea with some toast, pastries, torta fritas, and cookies. The main purpose is to help people enjoy the experience and slow down, and it usually happens around five or six in the evening. 

Bookstores Remain Popular in Argentina

Bookstores are a common sight in Argentina. As previously mentioned, the country boasts a high literacy rate among many South American countries. Buenos Aires has also been hosting book fairs every year since the seventies, with millions of people regularly attending. Walrus Books is one famous bookstore that can be found in Argentina. It offers a sizable collection of literature that can be challenging to find anywhere else in the country. Bookstores in Argentina come in all sizes, but they offer visitors and locals cultural enrichment and opulence.

Falkland Islands is Part of the Country

In the early eighties, the Falkland Islands were invaded by Argentina, which claimed it to be its territory. Despite being colonized by the British, there’s still controversy on which country has a rightful claim on these islands. While sparsely populated with under 3,000 inhabitants, the Falkland Islands encompasses over 4,000 square miles. The barren, windswept landscape is also home to many avian species, making it a bird sanctuary. One reason it remains disputed is that the Argentinians claim it had been inherited in the 18th century from the Spaniards.

It’s a Politically Unstable Country

The country has a history of being politically unstable due to various factors, including its economic situation and internal politics. The instability of Argentina had resulted in many dictatorships and military coups, with its most recent dictatorship occurring in the seventies and eighties when the country was under military junta rule. It was a period referred to as the dirty war, with an estimated 30,000 people losing their lives during the period. Despite its rather turbulent past, it is now a democratic country. However, periodic unrest and protests still come about.

Italian Heritage is Alive and Well in Argentina

Argentina has a significant Italian population that’s second only to Italy because of its mass migration in the early 20th century. For this reason, there are many Argentinians with Italian ancestry. The culture’s influence can also be seen in its cuisine. Many of the country’s popular dishes, such as gelato, pasta, and pizza, have Italian roots. Additionally, many can speak and understand the Italian language. It’s also fairly common for them to celebrate Christmas, Easter, and other Italian holidays. 

Fernet is Popular in Argentina

An herbal liqueur known for its bitterness, Fernet is an alcoholic drink made from various spices and herbs, including aniseed, rhubarb, and mint. It’s typically taken after dinner as a digestif. However, it’s also mixed with carbonated beverages like cola. While it may not be popular outside Argentina, Argentinians are crazy about Fernet. Locals even give the drink to their country mates residing overseas as gifts.

Patagonia Boasts Unique Sights

A region in the southern part of Argentina, Patagonia is widely recognized for its dramatic landscapes, such as forests, mountains, and glaciers. It’s also home to many types of wildlife, including whales, seals, and penguins. The reasons it’s so popular among nature lovers and adventure seekers are the activities that it offers, from hiking and climbing to kayaking. You can also explore many natural trails in El Chalten, its hiking capital.

Diego Maradona is an Argentinian

A retired footballer, Diego Maradona is another popular Argentinian athlete. He’s best known for playing with Barcelona and Napoli. During his time playing for the national team of Argentina, they were able to secure a World Cup victory. To this day, his winning goals against England remain a well-respected legacy. After retiring as a player, Diego became a coach and manager, having a relatively successful career in both. He holds such a respected and legendary status that many Argentinians paid him tribute when he died in 2020.

It is the Breadbasket of the World

Between the first World War and the 19th century, Argentina was considered to be the agricultural powerhouse of the world, especially with its significant wheat production. Because of this, the country had the 8th largest economy worldwide at that point in time. While the majority of Argentinians are nostalgic about their country’s glorious past for eradicating illiteracy and implementing Latin America’s first subway, Argentina will always be most famous for being a leading producer of crops.

Alfajores Are from Argentina 

While Alfajores are popular across South America, the delicacy’s decadence remains unmatched in Argentina. The famous snack is essentially a cookie sandwich that’s filled with a caramel-like filling called dulce de leche. However, in Argentina, these products have an additional coating of chocolate. Almost every corner store sells Alfajores, so they’re easy to get anywhere in the country. It’s a treat that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. For some, it’s even worth traveling to Argentina for.

The Beautiful City of Mendoza 

Perhaps one of the country’s most attractive cities, Mendoza is as popular for its unique architecture in Art Deco as it is with outdoor enthusiasts. During the winter season, many ski enthusiasts visit its best slopes at some famous resorts like Los Penitentes and Las Leñas. But during summer, the city attracts climbers and hikers, many of whom aim for reaching the Aconcagua mountain’s peak. Other summer outdoor activities also include trail riding and whitewater rafting. 

The Teatro Colón

Teatro Colón is widely considered to be the world’s best opera theater due to its excellent acoustics. Built in Buenos Aires in 1908, it’s a famous destination for the biggest opera companies. Julio Bocca, Plácido Domingo, and Rudolf Nureyev are some of the many  famous artists who have performed in the theater.