The grassy plains of southeastern South America are called the Pampas. In other parts of South America, such as Venezuela, the grassy plains are called Los Llanos.
The word "pampas" comes from the Quechua Indian word for "flat surface." In Argentina, the Pampas covers about 295,000 square miles and is divided into two distinct zones. The dry zone in the west is largely barren with brackish streams and sandy desert. The humid zone in the east, which includes part of Buenos Aires province, is temperate, well-watered, and the economic heart of the Argentine nation.The Pampas serves as an iconic background for Argentina's gaucho literature.