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Flag of Argentina.svg Cities and towns
in Argentina
Río Gallegos
Province Santa Cruz
Department Güer Aike
Location 51°38′S 69°13′W / 51.633°S 69.217°W / -51.633; -69.217Coordinates: 51°38′S 69°13′W / 51.633°S 69.217°W / -51.633; -69.217
Elevation 20 m AMSL
Population 79,144
Phone code +54 2966
CPA base Z9400

Río Gallegos is the capital of the Patagonia province of Santa Cruz, Argentina. It has a population of about 79,000 as per the 2001 census [INDEC], while at 2009, the estimated population may be well over 100,000. The city sits on the estuary of the Gallegos River, 2,636 km (1,638 mi) south from Buenos Aires.



The river was first sighted by a European in 1525 by the explorer Jofré De Loaiza, and was called San Idelfonso River. Simón de Alcazaba's 1535 expedition was the first to name the river "Río 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 (Spanish: Las Islas Malvinas) and southern Chile with preferential farming conditions. Some 3,000 arrived and boosted the town. As sheep-farming increased, Río 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 Ramón Lista decided to move the Territorial Capital from Puerto Santa Cruz to Río Gallegos. Official ratification of this decision came on 19 May 1904. In 1957, the Territory of Santa Cruz was declared a Province, with Mario Cástulo 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, Néstor Kirchner, was mayor of Rio Gallegos between 1987 and 1991.

Today, Río 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 Río Gallegos once a month.


Average temperatures (min., avrg., max.) and precipitations.

See also




Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Rio Gallegos article)

From Wikitravel


Rio Gallegos (Río Gallegos) is a town in southern Argentina. There may not be much to see in town but it can be a base for exploring the wider area. The town serves as the provincial capital.

Get in


Patagonia2000 has cheap connections to Rio Grande (around Ar$100) and in high-season to Ushuaia. Ask around in one of the tour agents in town.


The bus terminal is located at about 3 kilometers from the center. There are bus connections to Rio Grande and Ushuaia.

  • Museo de Arte "Eduardo Minnicelli": Small art museum with free admission.
  • Pioneer Museum: The city's oldest standing house furnished with items from the late 19th and early 20th century. Admission is free. Open daily 10 am to 7:30 pm.
  • Casa de Familia Elcira Cantreras, Zuccarrino 431, 02966-429856. Offers cheap dormrooms. Only a 15-minute walk from the bus terminal.
  • There is a penguin reserve about 2 hours south that is right on the Strait of Magellan.
  • The glacier Perito Moreno is the only glacier in the world that is still advancing, and is 4 hours or so to the west, close to the village of El Calafate. It is a treat to see chunks of ice the size of a ten-story building falling into the blue depths of Lake Brazo Norte.
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