Tartagal, Argentina - Polarsteps

Tartagal, Argentina, population: about 65,000. Tartagal is located at the base of the Andes Mtns and the Yungas Jungle on the west and the wide-open plains of the Chaco to the east. This mix allows for a very wide variety of native plants and animals. There are also eight different groups of indigenous people who live in this region. This area is also home to the Military Macaw, and this is one of the very few places in the world where it is not extinct in the wild. In the mid-1800s the Franciscans came into the area and built a mission, but in 1891 it burnt to the ground and was abandoned. In 1923, the railroad arrived and passed alongside the mountains and came to the Tartagal River. With the railroad, many people started to repopulate the area, and soon the Franciscans were back. By 1927 they had a steel bridge across the river and a train station. The town grew informally over the years and has no formal founding date. In 1954, the town leaders decided it was about time somebody did some research to find something like a founding date, so they got a man who was a fan of history to see what he could find. When he concluded his work he said the founding date should be June 13, 1924. He never did present any documentation or other proof for that particular date, but it is the date that has remained to this day. At the end of the 19th century, oil was discovered. At first, it was discounted because the people thought it was such a small amount. Soon though, foreign companies came in and exploited the oil reserves. Now, the Tartagal region accounts for a quarter of Argentina's total oil production. The economy is also supported by agriculture, ranching, and tourism. The Yungas Jungle offers a lot for eco-tourists - mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, mountaineering, and sport fishing. It's also possible to get a guided tour of some indigenous communities. So, my impressions: Even though my days here in Tartagal have been wet with some less wet early afternoon periods, I do like this town. The area is pretty, the town is clean, and very little litter is in the streets. Though there are still many dirt streets, well during my days here, they are mud streets. The city center is built around the main square which I noticed is quite popular in the evenings. There is a big grocery store called ChangoMas which is owned by Walmart, and at least four other smaller grocery stores. There are also quite a few ice cream shops, in fact, more of those than coffee shops (I found one coffee shop).
  1. ChipW
  2. My South America Journey
  3. Tartagal