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San Luis Province

San Luis is a province of Argentina located near the geographical center of the country (on the 32 South parallel). Neighboring provinces are, from the north clockwise, La Rioja, Cordoba, La Pampa, Mendoza and San Juan.


The present area of the San Luis Province was inhabited by different aboriginal tribes: Michilingues, Calchaquies, Ranqueles, Puelches, and Pehuenches.

The city of San Luis was founded in 1594 by Luis Jufre de Loaysa y Meneses, to be later abandoned after repeated attacks of the natives, and then again by Martin Garcia Onez de Loyola in 1596 under the name San Luis de Loyola Nueva Medina de Rio Seco.

In 1712 the city was severely damaged in an attack of the aboriginal malones and had to be rebuilt, along with a series of fortresses in that area.

Shortly after the creation of the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata in 1776, the province was taken under the intendency of Cordoba and, in 1813, to the intendency of Cuyo. On March 1820 the province declared its autonomy, and its constitution in 1855.

The railway system reached San Luis in the year 1875, which led to the founding of small towns on its path, such as Villa Mercedes and Santa Rosa.

During the 1930s' crisis there was a massive exodus of almost half of the population of the province. It was reversed and stabilised after a tax reduction given to the province to encourage industrial development, a policy which has contributed to San Luis's expansion to this day.

Politics in San Luis have long been influenced by the descendants of the noted mid-19th century advocate for San Luis's integration into the rest of Argentina, [[w:es:Juan Saa|Juan Saa]]. Since the return of Argentina to democratic rule in 1983, in particular, the Rodriguez Saa family (of Peronist affiliation) has occupied the governor's seat. This situation is, as in many smaller provinces in Argentina , partly explained by the customary use of a combination of nepotism, propaganda and generous social welfare legislation. This includes substantial allegations of illegal pressure, including the violent 1991 harassment of a local journalist and his neighbors.Noticias. 6 September 1991. Since 1983, however, Governor (now Senator) Adolfo Rodriguez Saa has also overseen record investment by light manufacturers (mostly food-processors and bottling plants) and advances like the construction of Argentina's most extensive expressway network.

During the last week of 2001, Adolfo Rodriguez Saa was interim president of Argentina for 7 days, unsuccessfully presiding over the social instability inherited from the December 2001. His brief turn at the presidency is memorable for his having declared a cease in payments on US$93 billion of Argentina's public foreign debt, making it (then) the largest sovereign financial default in world history.

Geography and climate

The province has low sierras on the north neighboring the Pampas, and another such system on the west with the Guayaguas, Cantanal, Quijadas and Alto Pencoso Sierras, typical of the Cuyo region.

On the central and souther part of the province predominate flatlands, and the Pampa de las Salinas great salt lake at the centre depression.

Even though the weather of the province is temperate-arid, there are numerous areas with milder microclimates, such as Villa de Merlo, where the land is fertile and the air less dry as the eastern slope retains the humidity of the Atlantic Ocean.

The main rivers of the provinces are the Conlara and Quinto, and the border rivers of Desaguadero River and Salado River.

It was the only province in Argentina which does not change the hour during summer, remaining at UTC-3 while the rest of the country changes to UTC-2. However, in 2008 most Andean and Western Argentinean provinces have joined San Luis and remained at UTC-3.


San Luis' economy has, over the past generation, been among the most improved in Argentina. Its 2006 output, estimated at US$3.4 billion, yielded a per capita income of US$9,200 (somewhat above the national average).

Before the tax incentives for the industry applied in the province after 1982, its economy was more agricultural, this based mainly on maize and cattle, which is still very important specially related to dairies, meat plants, and tanneries.

Manufacturing, however, now contributes nearly half of San Luis' output, a higher proportion than in any other Argentine province. Of the industries installed in San Luis after the tax reform, mainly in the city of San Luis and in Villa Mercedes, it is worth mentioning the production of home appliances, textiles, ceramics, plastics, and paper/cardboard articles.

Mining is concentrated on construction materials such as limestone and marble, but also extracted are tungsten, uranium and salt.


Even though San Luis is not common destination for international tourism, it receives a lot of Argentinians searching for the oxygen-rich mild-weather sierras that produce the well known microclimate around Villa de Merlo. Other destinations include the capital city, the Sierra de las Quijadas National Park, Valle del Conlara, Potrero de los Funes, Papagayos, Carpinteria, La Carolina, El Volcan, La Toma, El Trapiche, and the artificial lake of the La Florida dam.

World Chess Championship

The FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 took place in the Hotel Potrero de los Funes from 27 September to 16 October 2005. It was won by Veselin Topalov.

Political division

The province is divided into nine departments (departamentos).

External links

Provincia de San Luis - Official website (in Spanish)

Argentour: San Luis Province

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article San Luis Province

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