The Pampas (from Quechua pampa, meaning "plain") are fertile South American lowlands, covering more than 750,000 km2 (289,577 sq mi), that include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Córdoba, Chubut, most of Uruguay, and the southernmost Brazilian State, Rio Grande do Sul. These vast plains are a natural region only interrupted by the low Ventana and Tandil hills near Bahía Blanca and Tandil (Argentina), with a height of 1,300 m (4,265 ft) and 500 m (1,640 ft) respectively.
The climate is mild, with precipitation of 600 mm (23.6 in) to 1,200 mm (47.2 in), more or less evenly distributed through the year, making the soils appropriate for agriculture. This area is also one of the distinct physiography provinces of the larger Paraná-Paraguay Plain division. These plains contain unique wildlife because of the different terrains around it. Some of this wildlife includes the rhea, the pampas deer, several species of armadillos, the pampas fox, the White-eared opossum, the Elegant Crested Tinamou, and several other species.
Rio Grande do Sul (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁiw ˈɡɾɐ̃dʒ du ˈsuw] ( listen); lit. "Great Southern River") is the southernmost state in Brazil, and the state with the fourth highest Human Development Index (HDI) in the country, and the third and last in the Brazilian South Region, with by far the highest standard of living. In this state is located the southernmost city in the country, Chuí, on the border with Uruguay. In the region of Bento Gonçalves and Caxias do Sul, the largest wine producing center in Brazil, the attraction is Italian gastronomy. Besides the European influence, the gaúchos, or inhabitants of Rio Grande do Sul, strongly cultivate the traditions of the Pampas – region of the border with Uruguay and Argentina – such as drinking mate (known as chimarrão drunk in special gourd cups), eating the typical barbecue, known as churrasco, and the traditional clothes are the bombachas (baggy trousers), boots and large hats. Although the majority of the population dresses non-traditionally, there is a widespread value for tradition and culture, which renders the image of "cultural zealots" sometimes attributed to the gaúchos.