Argentina - Tourism, travel, and recreation

The government promotes tourism through the National Tourist Bureau, with headquarters in Buenos Aires.

Mar del Plata, on the South Atlantic, about 400 km (250 mi) from Buenos Aires, is the most popular ocean resort. The delta of the Río Paraná, forming a series of inland waterways, is a center for pleasure boats and launches. Córdoba, with its fine colonial cathedral, and nearby Alta Gracia attract many visitors. San Carlos de Bariloche, at the entrance to Nahuel Huapi National Park in the Andean lake region of western Patagonia, has become famous as a summer and winter resort, with some of the best skiing in the Southern Hemisphere. The Iguazú Falls, in the province of Misiones, on the border of Argentina and Brazil, is a major tourist attraction. Mendoza, situated in a fertile oasis below the towering Andes, offers such historical attractions as the Cerro de la Gloria, with its monument to San Martín, and the Historical Museum, with its collection on San Martín.

The most popular sport is football (soccer). Tennis, rugby, basketball, and golf are also played. Opportunities for gambling include a weekly lottery, football pools, horse racing at the Palermo and San Isidro tracks (in Buenos Aires), and the casino at Mar del Plata, whose profits go to the Ministry of Social Welfare.

In 2000, 2,949,139 foreign tourists visited Argentina, about 70% of them from other countries in South America. Receipts from tourism were at about US $2.8 billion that year. As of that year, there were 166,087 hotel rooms with 378,246 bed-places.

The US Department of State estimated the daily cost of staying in Buenos Aires in 2002 at $223 per day. Expenditures at other locations can average about $167 per day.

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