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Pioneers to the South

  • Rio Gallegos
  • Available in: Spanish, English

About the guru Margarita Ines

My name is Margarita da Silveira and I am 27 years old. I was born in Tacuarembo Uruguay, a city north of Uruguay. I have been living in Argentina for 12 years, in the south, in Patagonia. I felt in love with its climate, its landscape, its people, its culture. I am an Agricultural Technician, I like animals and the countryside, and I've been working in tourism since some y... More »

My name is Margarita da Silveira and I am 27 years old. I was born in Tacuarembo Uruguay, a city north of Uruguay. I have been living in Argentina for 12 years, in the south, in Patagonia. I felt in love with its climate, its landscape, its people, its culture. I am an Agricultural Technician, I like animals and the countryside, and I've been working in tourism since some years ago. I lived for many years in El Calafate, a very touristic city, I have been a guide, I have worked in touristic stays taking foreigners for a walk, I have worked in travel agencies and hostel. I have lived in places like Bariloche, Tierra del Fuego, Calafate, Punta Arenas (Chile) and at the moment I am living in Rio Gallegos. Which I know well! I like to be in contact with tourists, talk to them, know their stories, especially I like them to know this infinite, but beautiful Patagonia. I worked a lot in the field, I really like nature and I know all the Province of Santa Cruz as well as what activities I can do here. I want to show you the history of the pioneers of this place, their customs, their culture and how they came to this place so distant, cold and dark, but full of anecdotes, beautiful glaciers and good people.

About the tour

According to a chronicler of the Magellan expedition, the Trinidad ship was the first that landed on these lands in 1520 under the command of a pilot whose last name (Gallegos) gave the place its name. On the other hand, it is also said that the place was formerly called San Alfonso, in honor of the 1526 fleet of Jofré de Loayza and Sebastián Elcano.

The truth is that in 1885 (on December 19, to be more exact) the Argentine Naval Prefecture founded this city, which has the advantage of providing a direct domain over the continental end of Argentina. That is, the foundation of Río Gallegos obeys the need to defend the sovereignty of the country in this territory.

It is due to this privileged location that three years later (although the legal transfer arrived in 1898) Governor Ramón Lista moves the capital from Puerto Santa Cruz to Río Gallegos, with the firm objective of monitoring Cabo Vírgenes and its wealth more closely. In 1907 in Río Gallegos the first popular election took place and in 1957 the territory of Santa Cruz was declared a province and Dr. Mario C. Paradelo, its first governor.

Gas and oil farms (their main resources) have always been the most salient economic activities of the place. However, in 1876 a new economic activity (occasional, of course) appears in these parts: this year, near Cabo Vírgenes there is gold. It happened that, on the occasion of the wreck of a fishing vessel, a crew began the search for water and ended up finding gold nuggets. History repeats itself years later (when a new shipwreck takes place in the area), although not too successfully, perhaps due to the unsystematic and somewhat amateurish search.

Río Gallegos was growing thanks to its commercial and refrigerating activity. In its beginnings the population had a majority of English, Chileans and Germans and only a small percentage of Argentines.

Undoubtedly one of the most important tourist attractions of the city is the cathedral church that is located on Av. San Martín between Zapiola and Libertad. Declared National Historic Monument in 1983 and recycled not many years ago, this church, dating from 1899, was the first parish of Santa Cruz and the entire Patagonia, built by aborigines who worked under the command of R. P. Juan Bernabé. The first mass of the parish took place on Christmas Eve that same year and in 1900 it was blessed and officially inaugurated by Monsignor Fagnano.

Places we will visit: Government House, The Rock Balcony, Former Swift Refrigerator, The Old Bakery of the Government, Monument to the Fallen in the Falklands, Pioneer Museum, Roberto Galian Railway Museum and more.

Please, in the case of wanting to visit a tourist stay in the area or to know the nature reserve of cabo virgenes or any excursion that you specifically want, such as going to Calafate or El Chalten, or going to any other nearby city in the area, or any activity that you want to do, no problem, contact us with time, to put together the tour that you deserve.

We have different places to see and visit !!!

The huge province of Santa Cruz has magnificent glaciers, crystalline lakes, beautiful coasts and thriving cities. We show you the places you can not miss !!!!

We wait for you !!!!

Meeting point
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How to find me: In San Martin Square, with a black shirt
Tour duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Tour schedule

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What's the price?

A guruwalk is a pay-what-you want walking tour, which means, it's completely free to book and join the group, but the 'guru' expects to be rewarded once the tour ends. Some people give €5, some people give US‎$ 50, you choose the price.

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