• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Argentina


Argentine Geography - Iguaza Falls
Iguaza Falls

Argentina is a large and geographically diverse country with South America's tallest peak in the west and warmer coast lands in the northeast. The most unique and perhaps the most impressive of Argentina's land formations are in the Andes Mountains, which peak in beauty in Patagonia, which is in the country's south.

Patagonia is in Argentina's far south, where the mountains are high and the Antarctic winds make the landscape cold and covered in glaciers. This region is fairly dry and is sparsely populated as there is little here to attract people other than the beauty of nature. Further north, in the foothills of the mountains are forests and more rains as valleys provide water, protection from the weather, and better living conditions. Again few people live in this region outside a few valleys, such as the valley surrounding the city of Mendoza. This region, like Patagonia, rises in elevation to the peaks of the Andes and it is in this region where Mt. Aconcagua is located. This mountain is the largest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas and stands at 22,834 feet (6,960 meters).

Argentine Geography - Patagonia

Staying in the western and central parts of the country, but further north still is the Gran Chaco, which is an odd land shifting from rainy to dry and from marshes to forests and even semi-arid deserts. This area, like the mountains to the south, is fairly inhospitable as most plants that grow are shrubs and there is little food.

The last part of Argentina is in the east, which is where nearly the entire population lives. This land is flatter, has numerous rivers, and has more regular rains. This region also has great soil so food and animals are present and provide a very livable region for the settlers. Almost the entire population of Argentina lives in this region and it is home to all of the country's largest cities.


Argentina is a large country that spans a great distance north and south. The geographic changes as well as the changes in latitude give the country a huge number of weather variations. In addition to this, the country has a number of seasons that alter the climate throughout the year. These variations mean that many places in the country are quite livable. Buenos Aires and the coasts benefit from the ocean, which tempers extreme cold and hot, making the region very livable. Inland the regular rains, numerous plants and animals, and the elevation also provide ideal living conditions. Patagonia in the south and the desert-like Gran Chaco in the far north are sparsely populated partially due to their temperature extremes, a lack of animals, and in the north a lack of water during some times of the year.

Summers in Argentina run from about December to February when the temperatures rise and humidity consumes the coasts. During this time Buenos Aires has daily lows of about 68 with highs in the low 80s° F (27-28° C). It also tends to rain a fair amount during the summer months in the capital (especially from February to March). The far south and the mountains are also warmer during this time of year, but temperatures can still be a bit cool. Mendoza has similar temperatures as Buenos Aires, but the humidity is significantly less noticeable. At elevation in southern Patagonia daily highs in the 50s° F (11-14° C) are not uncommon with nights getting below freezing regularly. Northern Argentina in the summer can be much hotter than elsewhere.

Winters run from about June to August as temperatures can plunge. Buenos Aires still has a daily high averaging about 60° F (16° C), but nights usually fall to around 45° F (7° C). It also dries up as the city gets very little rain this time of year. Again Mendoza has similar temperatures, but nights usually fall to about 35° F (2° C). Again, southern Patagonia is much cooler as day time highs rarely get above the freezing point. In the north temperatures get cooler and more tolerable than the summer months, as temperatures here are usually warmer than the capital.

The spring and fall (autumn) arrive between these two extremes and are typically the rainiest times of the year through most of the country. Generally speaking, the rains are heaviest in Buenos Aires in February-March and October-November, with each month averaging over 4 inches (100 mm) of rain. These seasons also tend to be the rainiest seasons elsewhere in the country and tend to mellow out the temperature extremes, but these seasons are also less predictable as week to week and month to month can shift dramatically in terms of temperature.


Argentine Geography - Hummingbird

The animal and plant life in Argentina is very impressive as many species are native to Argentina and many others made their ways to the country from nearby countries and regions in pre-historic times. The diverse landscape in the country encourages mountain, water, and plains animals to call the country home.

Among the mammals, there are numerous animals that live in both the mountains and elsewhere. The mountain mammals include some of South America's most iconic animals, such as the alpaca, llama, and the vicuna (a camel species). However many more species exist both in the mountains as well as at lower elevations including deer, cougars (puma), foxes, tapirs, monkeys, beers, armadillos, opossums, sloths, rats, squirrels, mice, rabbits, bats, boars, anteaters, and even an occasional jaguar. Argentina is also home to additional rodents such as the capybaras, the coypu, and the chinchilla.

Argentine Geography - Grapes in Mendoza
Grapes in Mendoza

The mammalian life extends to reach off the coasts as well; sea lions, whales, and dolphins all live in the South Atlantic Ocean, but these waters are better known for the fish and shellfish that call is waters home. Sharks, grouper, barracuda, eels, and shrimp are all common. Argentina is also home to many freshwater fish in their lakes and rivers including trout, salmon, pike, catfish, and others.

Like the mammals, the bird life is quite diverse based upon the varied landscape as the country is home to all sorts of birds. Egrets, eagles, pelicans, herons, and condors all roam the coastal waters. Some of these birds also make their way inland and find many other birds such as partridges, parinas, huallatas, condors, coots, ducks, geese, sandpipers, finches, hummingbirds, wrens, owls, and even the Andean flamingo. One of the most famous of the birds in Argentina is the penguin, which lives in the far southern reaches of the country along the coasts.

Argentine Wildlife - Chinchilla

The reptilian, amphibian, and insect life in Argentina is also diverse, but the variety of species is fairly limited. Many of these animals are spiders, including the tarantula and black widow, and snakes, including the rattlesnake. In or near some of the warmer water rivers and lakes the amphibian population spikes a bit as a number of frogs and lizards are present. The number of insects is quite substantial, including flies, mosquitos, beetles, moths, butterflies, ants, and more.

When it comes to native plant life, South America is home to many famous edible plants and these plants quickly spread throughout Argentina, South America, and beyond. The pineapple is from the region where Brazil and Uruguay meet while potatoes and tobacco originated in the Andes Mountains. A few others, including cacao trees (used to make chocolate), peanuts, and tomatoes are also from South America, although their actual origin is unknown. Peppers, both sweet and hot peppers are from Central America or northern South America while vanilla, avocado, papaya, and corn (maize) are likely from Central America itself. No matter each food's origin, what is known is that these foods spread throughout the continent and to the country of Argentina with the help of pre-historic people, animals, and winds. These people have had these foods for nearly as long as people have inhabited the region and each makes an important part of the people's diet and culture now and for thousands of years into the past.

More than these well-known plants, Argentina is home to many other trees and plants. Pine trees, eucalyptus trees, carob trees, cedar trees, quebracho tree, and cypress trees are all common.

This page was last updated: March, 2013