2,780,400 sq km (1,076,311 sq miles).
Buenos Aires. Population: 2,960,976 (1991).
Argentina is situated in South America, east of the Andes, and is bordered by Chile to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil to the north and northeast. There are four main geographical areas: the Andes, the North and Mesopotamia, the Pampas and Patagonia.
Federal and Democratic Republic. Gained independence from Spain in 1816. Head of State and Government: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Spanish is the official language. English is widely spoken with some French and German.
80% Roman Catholic, 7% Protestant with small Muslim and Jewish communities.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Lamp fittings are of the screw-type. Plug fittings in older buildings are of the 2-pin round type, but some new buildings use the 3-pin flat type.
IDD is available (but not generally in use). Country code: 54. Outgoing international code: 00. The system is often overburdened and international calls are expensive. Local calls can be made from public call-boxes, which are located in shops and restaurants and are identifiable by a blue sign outside. Public phones take one peso or 50 and 25 centavos coins or cards. Reduced tariffs apply from 2200-0800.
GSM 1900 network. Network operators include Telecom Personal (website: www.telecompersonal.com.ar). Roaming can be arranged.
Most large hotels have facilities.
ISPs include Ciudad Internet Prima (website: www.ciudad.com.ar/). Public access is available in cybercafés in main towns.
The main post office in Buenos Aires is located in Sarmiento 189 and is open Mon-Fri 0900-1930. Airmail to Europe takes between five to ten days. Surface mail to Europe takes on average 20-25 days but can take as long as 50 days, so it is advisable to send everything airmail. Internal postal services are subject to delay. Post office hours: Mon-Fri 0800-2000, Sat 0800-1400.
The Buenos Aires Herald is the leading English-language newspaper in Latin America. Argentina’s principal dailies include Clarín, Crónica, El Cronista Comercial, La Nación, Página 12, La Razón and Ambito Financiero.