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Río Gallegos/Argentina

Introducing Río Gallegos

Hardly a tourist destination, this coal shipping, oil-refining and wool-raising hub is a busy port with a few merits for travelers. Since the reign of the Kirchners, the capital city of their home province has been spruced up and spit polished. Outside of town, visitors can find some of the continent’s best fly-fishing, traditional estancias and amazingly low tides (retreating 14m). Traveler services are good here but most zip through en route to El Calafate, Puerto Natales or Ushuaia.

Gallegos’ economy revolves around nearby oilfields, with coal deposits shipped to ocean-going vessels at Punta Loyola. Home to a large military base, the city played an active role during the Falklands War. The main street, formerly Roca, was renamed Kirchner in honor of the former president.

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