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Argentina

Wacky Weather

Even countries with perfect climates have their fair share of strange weather phenomena. Every June in Argentina (the middle of winter), the country experiences what is known as the Short San Juan Summer, a brief warm spell where temperatures might top out at 75 degrees F (24 C). During this period, which may last anywhere from three to seven days, it's not unusual to find people soaking up the rays in the city's squares [source: International Living World's Best].

If you like hot and humid, you'll love Argentina.

Then again, if you like the cold and lots of snow, you'll also love Argentina.

This South American country's range of elevations -- it lays claim to both the Western Hemisphere's tallest peak and its lowest point -- practically assures a variety of climates to suit most every taste [source: CIA World Factbook]. The elevation difference is so great that average summer temperatures can differ by as much as 40 degrees F from north to south [source: Summerfield].

If it's snow you seek, you'll want to stick to the 3,000-mile-long country's southern end, where you'll find mild summers and cold winters with abundant snow. The higher elevations of the Andes mountains in the west also guarantee arctic-like temperatures.

Sun lovers can choose from one of the country's many coastal beaches in the east or head farther north to the tropical rainforests. Here the summers are hot and humid and the winters mild and dry.

Argentina's range of climates is matched by its range of landscapes. Home to 47 major glaciers, fertile grasslands and tropical rainforests, this second largest country in South America is an adventure junkie's dream [source: National Geographic]. From Iguazu falls in the lush jungles of the north to the volcanic peaks, valleys and marshes of windy Patagonia in the south, Argentina truly does have something for everyone.

While you may not want to leave this South American paradise, you won't have to travel far to find the next country on our list. But be prepared to stay: It was ranked the top place to retire by International Living Magazine in 2009.

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