Home > South America > Argentina > Mesopotamia and Northeast Argentina > The Gran Chaco > Formosa
Page Rating
Content Quality:

Page Importance:
Author Pick:
Close Map

Book a Hotel or Hostel

Hotels Hostels & Budget


Check in Date

Check out Date

Number of Rooms

Top Argentina


(Altitude: 57 m / 187 ft, Population: 198,074, Phone Code: 03717)

From Resistencia, paved Ruta Nacional 11 goes north to Formosa (166 km / 103 mi), the capital of Formosa Province. All along the route, fields of corn, sorghum and cattle briefly interrupt the thick vegetation scraped with thin country lanes. Marshes mirror the sky, and birds fly from caranday palm to caranday, the stately trees mottling the flat landscape. About 20 kilometers (12 mi) north of the Chaco capital is a monument to the Massacre of Margarita Belén, in which 22 political prisoners were killed December 12-13, 1976, during the last military dictatorship. A few more kilometers on is Reserva Natural Guaycolec, a park working to preserve the region’s fauna (daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Reserva Nacional 11, 27 km / 17 mi north of Resistencia, Tel.: 03717-42-7526 / 43-6822). Formosa is nicknamed the gateway to El Imperio del Verde (The Green Empire). From here roads depart to Parque Nacional Río Pilcomayo to the north and Bañado La Estrella to the west.

Formosa wasn’t always here. Once upon a time, it was further north. Between 1811 and 1865 the border between Argentina and Paraguay was not well defined. In 1865, Argentina signed the Tratado de la Triple Alianza with Uruguay and Brazil. In this treaty, Argentina was promised lands as far as Bahía Negra at the end of the war. With the help of indigenous nations of the region, General Emilio Mitre occupied the area and established the capital of Chaco Territory at Villa Occidental, just north of Asunción. In 1878, following the War of the Triple Alliance, Argentina asked then-U.S. President Rutherford Hayes to arbitrate the border between it and Paraguay, hoping he would grant Argentina the Gran Chaco. But Hayes decided the Río Pilcomayo would etch the two nations’ boundary. Argentina was forced to move its Chaco capital elsewhere. Comandante Luis Jorge Fontana was sent to find a new place. He chose Vuelta Formoza (Formosa), a bend of the Río Paraguay, so named by the first explorers of the river searching for the legendary Sierra del Plata. On March 28, 1879, inhabitants of Villa Occidental relocated to the new site. The city was officially founded on April 8, 1879. The Paraguayans changed Villa Occidental’s name to Villa Hayes.

Formosa became the capital of the new territory of the same that was formed between the Pilcomayo and Bermejo Rivers in 1884. European immigrants began to arrive in waves, reaching a crescendo from 1914 to 1947 with the construction of the railroad from Formosa’s port west to Embarcación in Salta Province. The train ran until the 1993 provincialization of the national railroad. The government plans to intiate service once more, with the terminus at the new port to the south.

The principal avenue of modern Formosa is Avenida Gutnisky, which becomes Avenida 25 de Mayo. This boulevard is interrupted by Plaza San Martín, a shady park with an equestrian statue of Liberator in the center and bridges over small lakes. Avenida 25 de Mayo continues towards the Río Paraguay, passing through the city’s commercial district. Iglesia Catedral Nuestra Señora del Carmen, built between 1898 and 1928 is between Calles Fontana and Moreno. The church has striking architecture outside and in. The twin bell towers look like the Franciscan fathers got happy with Lego blocks, adding tier upon tier with many spires. Inside, the temple has a Roman-cross floor plan. The second-floor balcony, with a balustrade, around the apse, is an exceptional feature. There are crypts on the right upper level, including that of Comandante Fontana.

Just before the river, Avenida 25 de Mayo meets Avenida San Martín, a major north-south artery, then ends at the port, the hub of the Paseo Costanero Vuelta Fermosa. Just to the north, the former Estación del Ferrocarril (train station) now houses municipal offices. In the crook of the river’s curve is Isla Alberdi, a Paraguayan island, duty-free zone and popular shopping destination. During siesta (noon-5 p.m.), when the heat and humidity swell, the riverside promenade and streets are empty. The only sound heard is the constant hum of cicadas. But come sunset, people emerge to enjoy the refreshing breeze before catching dinner or a cultural event.


Other places nearby Formosa: Las Lomitas , El Sauzalito , JJ Castelli, Parque Provincial Pampa Del Indio, Bañado La Estrella, Laguna Blanca, Villa Río Bermejito , Fuerte Esperanza, Clorinda and Ingeniero Juárez .

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

26 Apr 2010

Things to do in Formosa

Museo Histórico Regional Juan Pablo Duffard

The Museo Histórico Regional Juan Pablo Duffard is in the former home of General Ignacio Fotheringham. Eight galleries display the history of the city and province. The collection of indigenous ...
Formosa, Argentina

Paseo Costanero Vuelta Fermosa

139020 The Paseo Costanero Vuelta Fermosa, with Formosa\'s port as the centerpiece, runs for almost three kilometers (1.8 mi) along the west bank of the Río Paraguay. To the north, the coastal ...
City Walk
Formosa, Argentina

Reserva De La Biósfera De La Laguna Oca Del Río Paraguay

139021Reserva de la Biósfera de la Laguna Oca del Río Paraguay, created by UNESCO, is a 13,000-hectare (32,123-ac) reserve with lagoons, creeks and forests. The park is home to 176 species of bird, ...
Other Activity
Formosa, Argentina
View Formosa Map

South America | Central America and Mexico | Antarctica |
Advertise | Anúnciese | Jobs | Alliances | Alianzas | Terms of Use | Contact Us | About Us | Blog | Administradores |
You must register as an owner for access to these listing tools and benefits.

Notification of new reviews: receive your latest reviews by e-mail

Customized request-a-review link: encourage guests to spread the word about your property

Our owners' newsletter: stay informed about our latest tools and benefits for you

User login

Enter your username and password here in order to log into the website:


Create a new V!VA account

Forgot Password