We want to conclude this Argentina month with a few funny and unusual facts that you probably don’t know about this amazing country. For example where the name Argentina came from, which special holiday they have, and how Argentina was trying get a piece of Antarctica in its possession.
- In Messi’s birthplace parents are not allowed anymore to name there child after this famous soccer player. This was banned by the government when a father, Hector Varela, named his child Messi so he could say that he is ‘Messi’s’ father. Although this name may no longer be used, parents can still name there child Lionel.
- Argentina is the first country where they used fingerprints to solve a murder. This happend in 1892 when a double murder of two children was resolved. The mother was found to be guilty for murdering her children because her lover (not the father of these children) otherwise would not marry her. A true, but sad story.
- The first cartoon, el Apostol, by Quirino Cristiani comes from Argentina (1917). Could this have inspired Walt Disney?
- The name Argentina comes from the Latin word for silver: Argentum. The first European inhabitants namely thought the country was full of silver.
- Argentinians celebrate every year on July 20 friends day. This is an official holiday in Argentina (unfortunately not a day off for all), where friends come together to celebrate their friendship. In 2005, the cellphone network on this day broke because so many friends tried to call each other. Serious business!
- In 1977, Argentina sent a pregnant woman to Antarctica to give birth in the hope that a piece of the continent would be Argentinian. The baby boy was the first man, to our current knowledge, that was born on this continent. What kind of passport would he get?
- This year (2015) people can separate before their third anniversary. Previously, this was allowed only after 3 years of marriage. Weird, don’t you think?
What you need to know as well
As a Dutchie, you don’t need to apply for a visa to travel in Argentina. You can stay there up to 90 days. If you want to stay longer than you have to apply for a visa at the Argentine embassy, or temporarily visit another country, such as Uruguay, and then return again. However, you always need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after returning to the Netherlands.
The country uses the Argentine pesos as a currency. It is always wise to take dollars with you, and especially when traveling to Argentina. These dollars can be exchanged in the streets for favorable ‘blue dollar “price that exists in the country due to the (almost) bankruptcy. Pegs is a lot more expensive. It is also good to know that in Argentina they accept almost anywhere the VISA credit card; MasterCard and AMEX are less popular. This applies for the whole of South America.
You can visit Argentina all year round. When traveling to Patagonia we recommend, however, the months of October to April, for skiing June to September and for whale watching August to December.
For traveling to Argentina there are no compulsory vaccinations required. Recommended are DTP, hepatitis A and yellow fever. For a long term stay (longer than 3 months) typhoid and rabies are also recommended. Always consult a travel clinic or health department for departure. Hasta la Próxima is not responsible for your health ;).