Photograph by Aldo Sessa/Getty Images
In the nearly two centuries since winning independence from Spain, Argentines have turned a million square miles of grassland, mountains, deserts, and tropical forests into one of the world’s richest nations.
Argentina’s first gauchos, or cowboys, were cavalrymen who fought in the civil wars that scourged the country for almost 50 years after independence. Now they’re seen as reminders of a more chivalrous past.
Mount Fitz Roy
Photograph by Kratu Patel, My Shot
Just beyond the mist, Mount Fitz Roy rises to 11,070 feet (3,374 meters) at the border between Argentina and Chile. The almost perpetual cover of clouds inspired the region’s native Tehuelche people to call the peak Chaltén, "mountain that smokes."
Lavalle Street, Buenos Aires
Photograph by Alvaro Leiva/Photo Library
On Calle Lavalle in Buenos Aires’s cinema district, crowds throng shops, theaters, restaurants. The largest city in Argentina, the capital draws tourists and business alike.
Photograph by Ken Kochey/National Geographic Stock
In a small restaurant in Buenos Aires, a couple tangos for the diners, pivoting and gliding to timeless melodies.
La Boca, Buenos Aires
Photograph by Keren Su/Getty Images
A coastal neighborhood of Buenos Aires, La Boca was settled by Italian immigrants and has some of the city’s most colorful real estate. It also has one of nation’s best soccer teams, Boca Junior. The team’s bright blue and yellow jerseys were inspired not by the local homes but by the flag of a Swedish ship that sailed into port.
Falklands War Memorial
Photograph by Kevin Moloney
The guard changes at a memorial commemorating the hundreds of Argentines who died during the 1982 Falklands War, in which their country lost to the United Kingdom. Described by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges as “a fight between two bald men over a comb,” the war contributed to the downfall of the right-wing military junta that had ruled Argentina since 1976.
Photograph by Christine Belmonte, My Shot
Cars sit parked along a narrow, stone-paved road in the town of Humahuaca in northern Argentina. The valley in which it lies—the Quebrada de Humahuaca, named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003—has been a trade route for thousands of years.
Photograph by Jean-Yves Ruszniewski/TempSport/Corbis
Children play a game of pickup futbol in the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires, just blocks from the stadium of the Boca Juniors. The neighborhood has been home to some of the world’s greatest soccer players, including Diego Maradona, a coach of the national team who is remembered for his controversial “hand of God” goal in a 1986 World Cup game against England.
Photograph by Rolando Garibotti
The icy, triangular peak of Cerro Torre greets climbers as they pass through the Cirque of the Altars. The granite spires of the mountain rise 10,177 feet (3,102 meters) into the sky.
Horse Ranch, El Calafate
Photograph by Patricia de Solages, My Shot
Men and horses pause near El Calafate, a town just beyond Lake Argentina in the southern reaches of Patagonia. With its stunning backdrop of Andes peaks, the town is one of the country’s biggest tourist draws.
Plaza de Mulas
Photograph by Brad Jackson, My Shot
Icy remnants of winter snows guard Plaza de Mulas, base camp for climbers approaching Mount Aconcagua, the world’s highest peak outside of Asia. Known as the Stone Sentinel, the mountain remains mostly free of snow even though glaciers fill the valleys below.
Photograph by Des and Jen Bartlett
A mother elephant seal rests on a Patagonian shore, forming a platform for her pup. Before being weaned at about three weeks, newborn seals grow to nearly 300 pounds (136 kilograms), while their nursing mothers lose up to a third of their body mass.
Photograph by Ken Welsh/Photo Library
"Great water" to the Guarani Indians, Iguazu Falls stretches for two miles (three kilometers) through the jungle near the border with Paraguay and Brazil. Parrots, toucans, jaguars, and tapirs share the surrounding orchid-dotted national park.
Salta Province Festival
Photograph by Jose Marques, My Shot
The wind makes mischief for a girl dressed in her festival best in Salta Province in northwestern Argentina. The Andes rise up behind her, eventually running the length of South America and delineating the border between Argentina and Chile.
Plaza de la República, Buenos Aires
Photograph by Laurie Chamberlain/Corbis
Drivers stream past the obelisk in the Plaza de la República in Buenos Aires. The monument was built in 1936 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city’s founding.
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
See all the winning images from the 2014 Traveler Photo Contest.