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Comodoro Rivadavia

Comodoro Rivadavia’s history began 251-299 million years ago, during the Permian Period of the Palaeozoic Era, when South America was still part of Pangaea. Once the super-continent began rending and the Andes uplifting, the jungles were covered in deep ash and the oceans dried up. Over millions of years, all decomposed, petrified and became petroleum, that thick, black blood that Comodoro’s very existence relies upon.

Comodoro Rivadavia (often simply called Comodoro) began in 1901 as a port for the export of goods from the Sarmiento Valley settlements. From 1914 to 1978, a train connected the city with those inland villages. The lack of potable water always plagued Comodoro, though. In 1907, a drilling team was sent to dig wells. When it reached 543 meters (1,782 ft) down, “some oily bubbles smelling like kerosene” was hit. Oil had been discovered and the fate of Comodoro Rivadavia changed. Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF) was founded as the national petroleum company and the city dubbed the National Petroleum Capital. The oil fields around Golfo San Jorge provide much of nation’s oil.

Comodoro wraps around the base Cerro Chenque, which provides a magnificent view of the city, port and sea. On the north flanks of this plateau are former barrios, or oil workers towns YPF, Astra and Shell Oil had established. Atop Chenque are two windmills. Since 1994 Comodoro has also been producing renewable, clean energy by harnessing Patagonia’s infamous winds. The 18 45-meter (148-ft) high windmills of Parque Eólico Antonio Morán, 17 kilometers (11 mi) west of city, make up one of South America’s largest wind generator parks. Other turbines are near Rada Tilly.

Today, Comodoro Rivadavia is the largest city in Southern Patagonia. It is the hub of the petroleum industry, with lodging and dining prices more geared to the executive business traveler. Casual wanderers, though, will find their trails lead here, as it is tthe major transportation hub of the region. To while away the time, Comodoro does present some good museums to browse, including one of the world’s few dedicated to the theme of petroleum. To the north are beaches strung along the coast, leading to Caleta Córdova, a fishing village that now marks the southern point of the new Parque Marítimo Costero Patagonia Austral, which begins at Camarones (263 km / 164 mi north). To the south of the city is Rada Tilly, which has a large sea lion colony.

(Altitude: 61 m / 200 ft, Population: 188,890, Phone Code: 02966)


Other places nearby Comodoro Rivadavia: Puerto Madryn, Sarmiento, El Cóndor , Bahía San Blas , Piedra Buena , Gaiman, Playa Union , Cabo Dos Bahías And Parque Marítimo Costero Patagonia Austral, Puerto San Julián and Rawson .

By Lorraine Caputo

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

05 Oct 2010

Things to do in Comodoro Rivadavia

Comodoro Rivadavia’s Museums

141848Comodoro Rivadavia’s museums hold a wealth of information for travelers wanting to learn about the region’s history and culture. Museo Ferroportuario, in the former train station, displays the ...
Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina

Museo Del PetrĂłleo

North of Cerro Chenque, where YPF’s former campamento (workers’ town) was, is the Museo del Petróleo. This is one of the world’s few petroleum museums, and considered to be among the top three ...
Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina

Cerro Chenque

141850Comodoro Rivadavia’s symbol, Cerro Chenque, is a 215-meter (705-ft) high plateau at the edge of the gulf. On the south flank is downtown, and on the north are the old oil company towns. From the ...
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Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina

Caleta CĂłrdova

Caleta CĂłrdova is a small fishing village north of Comodoro. Every day the flotilla amarrilla goes to sea, bringing back pejerrey (Patagonia silverside) and other deep-sea creatures for market. ...
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Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina

Rada Tilly

Rada Tilly is on a small cove anchored by two plateaus full of 60-million-year-old marine and land fossils. To northern point is Punta Piedras, with a lookout point atop. To the south is Punta del ...
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Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina
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