Argentina Geographic Regions
Updated June 9, 2019
Argentina geographic regions are very dissimilar. There are plains and mountain ranges; woods and jungles; arid, swampy or clayish lands. Traversing the country along its latitude (3.779 km, according to IGN) is a long way.
From the point of view of geography, Argentina can be divided into eight different regions defined by a homogeneous climate and relief; these, in turn, are sub-divided according to its most salient features; to learn more about the climate in different regions see Types of Climate of Argentina
This great surface of 463,322 sq. mi. (1,200,000 km2) is located in the north-east of the country and its boundaries are set to the north by Pilcomayo, Paraguay and High Paraná Rivers; to the south, by Colorado Rivers; and the west boundary is set by the foot of the big mountainous masses.
The Plata Plain is, in turn, divided into the following regions:
The Chaco Plain is located to the northeast of Argentina. It limits the north with the Pilcomayo River, east to the Paraguay River and in the south with the mountains of Cordoba and the Salado river to its confluence with the Paraná river.
It occupies the north part of the region and integrates four morphological units: the High Chaco, whose soil has thick sands and slime; the Depressed Chaco, which presents wide surfaces covered by swamplands and marshlands; the Low Chaco, characterized by its clayish-sandy soil and by the numerous swamplands and frequent floods; finally, there is the Fluvial Diagonal of Santiago del Estero, with its vast swamplands.
The estuaries and marshes are depressed areas, located in the Province of Corrientes, which is part of the Plata Plain , and is located between the Paraná and Uruguay rivers.
The waters of Alto Parana, whose channel was moving westward was leaving sandy sediments and contributing to the formation of dunes that were fixed by vegetation.
Different changes of relief and climate determined the formation of marshlands; the most important ones in this area are those of Iberá, Maloyas, Batel y Santa Lucía.
It is located in the south of the region. Three different types of low sierras are found in this area: Mahuidas, Tandilia y Ventania.
The Pampa Plain is divided into three parts: the undulating Pampa, whose territory presents soft slopes, where you can distinguish ravines and fluvial terraces; the depressed Pampa, with permanent floods and the high Pampa, where some salty lagoons, salt-pits and dune formations can be found.
Entre Ríos Slopes
This sub-region can be found towards the east of this region and the south of the Corrientes Marshlands.
With a slightly undulating relief, it presents clayish soils and copious rainfalls.
This area of 14000 m2, is at the south of the Entre Ríos Slopes, and it is limited by Entre Rios, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires canyons.
The islands characterizing this region were formed by the constant deposit of sediments from Paraná River. A slow and permanent delta forming process determines the constant change in the shape and size of the islands.
This region is located towards the north-east area of Argentina, its boundaries coincide with those of Paraguay and Brazil, and it is separated from the Plata Plain by the Aguapey River.
The frequent rains determine the vaulted relief of this plateau due to the erosion they produce. Furthermore, it presents some hills which are about 3,280 ft (1,000 m) high.
The rivers in this area usually have waterfalls and brooks and define the important hydraulic potential of the region. Las Cataratas del Iguazú fueron declaradas Patrimonio Natural de la Humanidad por la Unesco en 1984.
As indicated by its name, it is located in the north-west area of the country. It is divided into three sub-regions:
It is a vast altiplane going beyond the boundaries of Argentina. In Argentina limits at north with Bolivia and in the west with Chile.
The place is characterized by plateaus between 9,842 and 11,483 ft (3,000 and 3,500 m) high, separated by sierra ranges. Cafayate in Salta, is in the limit between the Puna and the Eastern Cordillera.
Limits in the west with the Puna and in the east with Sub-Andean Sierras, it develops in north-south direction, between both.
It presents three different kinds of relief: one of them is mountainous, within which you distinguish two chains, the Western and the Eastern. In the Western the most important peaks are Aguilar and Chañi with 6200 msnm in Jujuy; Cachi, Acay and Cumbre del Obispo in Salta. In the Eastern, we found lower mountains represented by Sierras de Santa Victoria in Salta, and Tilcara in Jujuy.
Another relief kind is represented by quebradas. The Humahuaca and the Santa María-Guachipas are among the most important. The best known of the appointed place is definitely the Quebrada de Humuaca and its western branch, the Quebrada de Purmamarca, which resembles a large valley in front of the Rio Grande, where the Cerro de los Siete Colores stands. Humauaca Clough was declared Cultural and Natural Heritage in July 2003 by Unesco.
The valley, generally wide and with soft slopes, like the valley of Jujuy and the Lerma in Salta. To the north, the Valle de Lerma connects to the Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy; the southwest with the Quebrada del Toro coming down from the Puna de Atacama and south borders the Calchaquíes Valleys, Tucumán.
They are low, parallel sierras, looking from north-east to south-west.
Limited to the west by the Cordillera Oriental and on the east by the Chaco Plain. They develop along the provinces of Salta, Jujuy and Tucumán, from the border with Bolivia in the north to the valley of the Sali River in the south.
Comprises the Sierras de Oran, del Alto, Candelaria and Tartagal in Salta; Zapla, Santa Barbara, Centinela in Jujuy; Cresta de Gallo, between Salta and Jujuy; and Ramada in Tucumán among others.
Located along the west border of the country and extending from the south of the Puna up to latitude 37º South, this region is basically mountainous. High summits and constant snowfalls are their main characteristics. In the Main Cordillera there is the Aconcagua, the highest peak in America, with 22,381 ft (6,959 m).
The foot of the mountains, to the east of the mountainous ranges constitutes the plain area within this region. In hydrographical terms, this area presents rivers with a thawing regime, making up the Desaguadero system in one of the driest places in the country.
This region is in the center of the country, occupying part of the provinces of Tucumán, Catamarca, La Rioja, Santiago del Estero, Córdoba, San Luis y San Juan.
The predominance of sierra ranges with flat tops, separated by valleys, fields or hollows, is the main characteristic of the area.
These ranges are the following: Eastern or Sierras de Aconquija, which divides the provinces of Catamarca and Tucumán; Austral, Central or Velasco in the Province of La Rioja; and West Famatina system in the center of the province of La Rioja Argentina, where stands the Cerro Gral. Belgrano also known as Nevado de Famatina with a height 6097 meters, which is the highest of South América’s extraandina summits.
Located towards the south of Colorado River, Patagonia is divided into two sub-regions:
It is compounded by mountain ranges separated by valleys and lakes, whose summits are covered by glaciers.
It is a plateau, and its morphology is varied and complex, presenting stair-shaped plateaus, sierras, depressions and wide fluvial valleys.
With a 386,102 sq. mi.(1,000,000 km2) surface, the Argentine shelf is one of the largest ones in the world and it is covered by the Argentine Sea.
It progressively widens towards the south and is morphologically similar to the Extra-Andean Patagonia, due to the stair-shaped plateaus.
The Malvinas Islands are within the Argentine platform.
The Argentine Sea generally presents a moderate surge and its tidal-range increases towards the south.
Being the southernmost region of the Argentine territory, it is covered by ice and snow most of the year.
This region sits on the Antarctic tectonic plate.
The Argentine Antarctic Sector is characterized by including a large peninsula elongated S-shaped, which is crossed by Antartandes, geologically, turns out to be a continuation of the Andes.
The topography is rocky outcrops, called nunatak; and winds reaching 124 mph (200 kmph) form ice dunes, called sastrugis.
This region is compounded by these islands: South Orcadas, South Shetland, Decepción, Palmer, Biscoe, Belgrano, Elefant, Clarence, Berkner, Portillo and Quijada.