Culture in Argentina
A quick look at a few of the best spots to soak up some of the culture of Argentina...
Argentina is a destination that has had an interesting and varied history and culture. From the original settlers, in around 7,000BC, to the arrival of the Jesuits and the Spanish, and on to the European settlements and the Incans, each has left a mark on it. For those interested in the arts, the capital, Buenos Aires, is where to head for museums and activities galore. For Incan heritage then the northwest, and for colonial then the city of Cordoba and the province of Misiones.
One of the main reasons many head to Argentina is for its fine collection of Jesuit ruins and the remnants of its Spanish colonial past. Cities such as Mendoza and Cordoba have managed to preserve this cultural heritage and the squares, with their towering palms, are very reminiscent of many cities in Spain. Obviously the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is also where many of these influences can be seen in the architecture and general layout.
Heading north from Buenos Aires, right up to the Misiones Province, is where the best examples of Jesuit influence can be found (along with the region just outside Cordoba). In locations such as San Ignacio, Santa Ana and Loreto there are still very well preserved ruins that offer a fascinating glimpse into how these missionaries were maintained and effectively run…so effectively that it was one of the reasons that the Spanish eventually ejected the Jesuit order from Spain and looked to enslave the Guarini that were resident here.
For those more interested in the culture of the indigenous tribes of Argentina, the Tierra del Fuego, there are remains of the Yamana peoples who were a nomadic fishing tribe who used to live, astoundingly, in this inhospitable place throughout the year, wearing only a simple loincloth, or nothing at all. To learn about this fascinating tribe is one of the highlights of visiting this area.
The final area that is worth having a look at for culture is that of the northwest of Argentina, around the city of Salta. This area was colonized (more by invitation than force) by the Incans, from nearby Peru, and so provides plenty of interesting artifacts and insights into their culture. One of the major features that can still be clearly seen is how advanced the Incans were in agriculture. One highlight of a trip to Salta is to visit the MAAM museum on the main square.