There are plenty of good reasons to visit Argentina. Whether you’re a Malbec-mad wine lover or a city slicker, there’s something to see. The landforms of Argentina are some of the world’s most breathtaking and aren’t to be missed. Perhaps the best reason of all to visit this part of South America, however, is its wildlife. Argentina is home to a range of weird and wonderful creatures, believe us. Keen to know more? Good. We’ve put together five of our favourite Argentina animals that any nature lover will want to see.
Five unmissable Argentina animals
Take a vacation to Argentina, and you’ll find yourself faced with plenty of options. Argentina’s animals range from microscopic to gargantuan in size, so some are truly unique. We know Argentina pretty well at this point, so we’ve picked out five must-see critters.
1. Patagonian mara
The Patagonian mara is a weird one. It’s also known as the Patagonian hare, Patagonian cavy or dillaby. To the naked eye, it looks like a cross between a rabbit or hare and a deer. Despite its name and appearance, the Patagonian mara is actually a South American rodent. By nature a herbivore, this exclusive-to-Argentina animal occupies large parts of the Patagonian terrain. Worth noting is the fact that the Patagonian mara practices monogamy. Individuals remain faithful to one sexual partner, only finding a new one after their partner’s death.
2. Andean condor
Hike through the Andes, and you might be lucky enough to spot an Andean condor overhead. It’s got a wingspan of up to 3.3 metres, so it’ll be hard to miss. Taking the combined measurement of wingspan and weight, the Andean condor is the world’s largest flying bird. These majestic birds can live for up to 70 years, putting them among the world’s longest-lived birds. The condor is well-known because it’s an important national symbol of Argentina and several other South American countries.
3. Patagonian lancehead
Not for the faint of heart, the Patagonian lancehead is pit viper native to Argentina. Also known as the Patagonian pit viper or the yararanata, the Patagonian lancehead is thought to live further south than any other snake species on earth. This Argentina animal can grow up to a metre in length, and it can be found mostly in sandy and rocky areas like sand dunes and riverbanks. Of course, we don’t recommend that you actively go looking for this one!
The jaguar is an impressive beast, instantly recognisable because of its spotted coat. Of all the feline species, it’s behind only the lion and tiger regarding size. It’s also the largest in the Americas, where it originates. In Argentina, Jaguar numbers are extremely limited, with a population of approximately just 50 individuals inhabiting northern Argentina. Sadly, the jaguar has long been a target of poachers, and its existence is considered to be near threatened.
5. Pink fairy armadillo
All those big cats, scavenging birds and pit vipers might give you nightmares, so here’s some relief. The pink fairy armadillo is the world’s smallest armadillo, so you’ve got no need to worry about being eaten or trampled upon. This native-to-Argentina animal occupies the country’s sand dunes and sandy plains. It’s not the easiest to spot because it usually comes out at night and lives a solitary existence. It feeds mainly on worms, insects and plants.