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Caleta Olivia/Argentina

Introducing Caleta Olivia

Slightly seedy but nevertheless authentic, Caleta Olivia earns its living refining oil and processing fish. High winds plague the port, but are preferable to its sporadic dust storms. Located south of Comodoro on costal RN 3, Caleta Olivia is, however, a convenient place to change buses to more inspiring locales, such as the petrified forests, Puerto Deseado or Los Antiguos.

The port was built in 1901 as part of a plan to run the telegraph along the coast, and was named after the only woman on board that first ship to land here. Discovery of oil in 1944 turned the face of industry from wool and sheep transport to petroleum, as evidenced by the eerie 10m-high Monumento al Obrero Petrolero that lords over the downtown traffic circle. Colloquially called ‘El Gorosito, ’ the muscular oil worker looks north, symbolizing the link between this area’s industry and Argentina’s oil-poor northern reaches.