<p>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.</p> <p>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.</p>

Argentine Gaucho

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.

Photograph by Aldo Sessa/Getty Images

Argentina Photos

See photos of Argentina (including Buenos Aires, the Pampas, gauchos, and more) in this travel photo gallery from National Geographic.

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