MundoAndino Home : Argentina Guide at MundoAndino

Rio Gallegos, Santa Cruz

Rio Gallegos is the capital of the Patagonia province of Santa Cruz, Argentina. It has a population of about 79,000 as per the , while at 2009, the estimated population may be well over 100,000. The city sits on the estuary of the Gallegos River, south from Buenos Aires.


The river was first sighted by a European in 1525 by the explorer Jofre De Loaiza, and was called San Idelfonso River. Simon de Alcazaba's 1535 expedition was the first to name the river "Rio Gallegos". The area was not settled by Europeans until much later, with one of the earliest recorded indications of habitation in 1885, when the Argentine government wished to better express its sovereignty over southern Patagonia a naval base was created which increased the development of the town. Between 1912 and 1920, the government encouraged settlers from the Falkland Islands and southern Chile with preferential farming conditions. Some 3,000 arrived and boosted the town. As sheep-farming increased, Rio Gallegos became the principal port for exporting sheep and their products. The Pioneers Museum is a preserved old Patagonian house exhibiting the life of the early settlers.

In 1888, then-governor Ramon Lista decided to move the Territorial Capital from Puerto Santa Cruz to Rio Gallegos. Official ratification of this decision came on 19 May 1904. In 1957, the Territory of Santa Cruz was declared a Province, with Mario Castulo Paradelo as its first Governor.

In the 1982 Falklands War, the city airport was base of Argentine Air Force Mirage III interceptors and A-4 Skyhawks strike aircraft.

Argentina's former president during 2003-2007, Nestor Kirchner, was mayor of Rio Gallegos between 1987 and 1991.

Today, Rio Gallegos is an important city of the far south Argentina, with military bases and an international airport. Flights between Chile and Mount Pleasant airbase at the Falkland Islands stop at Rio Gallegos once a month.

See also

1949 Tierra del Fuego earthquake


Municipality of Rio Gallegos Official website.

Argentum21 - Rio Gallegos

Video Footage of the City - YouTube

Video Footage of the City 2 - YouTube

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Capitals of Argentine provinces or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Rio Gallegos, Santa Cruz

Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009