Many of our Mount Aconcagua climbers love to explore the culture of Argentina, which differ widely across the different ethnic groups and the immigrants that settled there.
Mainly influenced by Spanish, Italian and other European backgrounds, modern Argentina is a modge podge of European meets American Indian.
This unique blend gives the nation its distinctive cultural flair. For example, Buenos Aires is often referred to as “little Europe” because it is home to fantastic European architecture in a South American setting.
Even though native Indians once dominated Argentina, the onset of European settlers drove Argentina to be a majority Roman Catholic. Catholic holidays are respectively observed on the national calendar and churches can be found almost everywhere. In fact, the current pope is Argentinian.
The country is one of the more fashion-forward countries in Latin America. People dress properly smart and in fashion for the season. Argentina isn’t as conventional with dress like other nations. However, if you do plan on visiting churches, be very respectful. In more rural ranching areas, fashion trends towards more conventional gaucho or cowboy dress.
On the whole, Argentinians are direct and blunt. They are warm people who usually communicate in close contact with one another. It is not unusual to have little physical distance between speakers. When meeting people from Argentina a handshake with eye contact will do. If there is a third party, wait to be introduced.
If you are invited into an Argentine home dress properly and arrive 30-45 minutes later than the expected time. Being on time in Argentina is not considered normalat all. Bring a small gift, but nothing gifts like a knife or scissors, as this is a symbol of cutting ties.
When dining, wait for the host to tell you you can sit. Always keep your hands on sight and do not put your elbows on the table. Wait for a toast before you drink your drink. Also, it is considered normal to leave a small portion of food on your plate when you are finished.
Food And Drınk
Argentina knows very good food and drink. The culinary ingredients of South America met the flavors of Europe in Argentina. The result was very magical. Empanadas are the popular snack in the region and throughout South America. Usually a stuffed meat pastry, these tasty snacks are sure to satisfy your hunger.
Asado, or an array of BBQ’d meats are a staple of every Argentine diet. The nation is the highest consumer of red meat in the world and to many, Asado is their national dish. Vegetarians will really have a hard time here, as the concept is not well understood in Argentine culture.
Haggling is not customary in Argentina. However, if you are buying items in bulk, you might be able to ask for a discount and be granted. Remember, others need to make a living too. However, if something is really over-priced, buying it will only encourage vendors to overcharge.
Tipping 1-5 pesos at hotels is considered suitable. For restaurants, a 10% tip is usually appreciated for good service. In taxis, simply round up your fare or leave a few pieces of change.
Tipping your guide and porter is certainly welcomed, but not really required.
- Annual holidays include holidays recognized by the Catholic church, such as Christmas and Easter. However, Argentina has several other holidays and festivals to note.
- San Antonio de Areco Gaucho: The Gaucho Festival held in November in the town of Parque Criollo
- Gualeguaychu Festival: held in January and February the town of Gualeguaychu has a colorful festival filled with parades, dancing, and live music.
- Tilcara Carnival Festival: The Carnival festival of Tilcara lasts nine days and celebrates Earth. People believe that the devil takes possession of their souls during this time so people let loose.
- Buenos Aires Tango Festival: Every march people from all over Argentina come to the capital to celebrate tango.
- Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival: A 10-day festival in May that celebrates the indy film scene.
- Buenos Aires Contemporary Art Fair: This exhibit in late May celebrates the extensive contemporary art scene in the capital
- Independence Day: Held July 9th, this festival marks the emancipation from Spain. It is a patriotic festival.
- Tango Word Championships: August is tango season. This competition is held in Buenos Aires every year
- Semana Musical Llao Llao: In November, the town of Bariloche celebrates classical music with performances from artists worldwide.
- Buenos Aires Gay Parade: There is a large gay population in Buenos Aires. Every November is a pride festival.
" Its a place to be" - Martin from Canada