Neuquén (city)

Neuquén is the capital of Neuquén Province and the largest city in Patagonia.

. . . Neuquén (city) . . .

Avenida Argentina with the San Martín Monument

Located in the south-western part of Argentina, Neuquén is a fast-growing and modern city with an attractive central district and a rich cultural life, competing with Comodoro Rivadavia for the “title” of the cultural capital of Patagonia. The city has 250,000 inhabitants and is the center of a densely populated metropolitan area with about 700,000 people, which stretches into the neighboring Río Negro province.

Neuquén is located near the confluence of the Limay and the Neuquén river, being called Negro river after the union. The city lies in an irrigated oasis valley with some agriculture at the foot of the arid Patagonian meseta with steppe vegetation; the hills north of the city, called las bardas, are already part of this typical Patagonian landscape.

The city center is located about 8 km north-west of the confluence. The railroad connecting it to Bahía Blanca divides the city in two parts: the Alto near the hills in the North and the Bajo in the lower part south of the railroad. The Bajo is the main commercial sector and has also some cultural life, but has no real tourist attractions. In contrast, the Alto has attractive boulevards like Avenida Argentina, many high-rise buildings, and comprises a banking sector, most government agencies, gastronomy, nightlife and some luxury commerce. In the middle of both parts lies the attractive Parque Central around the railway station with museums, monuments and a tourist office.

Outside the city center the only really interesting sector for visitors is the Río Grande neighborhood near the Limay river, with pleasant riverside beaches, a modern park and some gastronomy.

Founded in 1904, Neuquén is the youngest provincial capital of Argentina. Few historical buildings remain, most of them being typical Argentine residences of the 1910s and 1920s or buildings related to the railway activity, some of them have been converted into museums.

The climate is pleasant with hot summers, similar to those in central Argentina, and cool to cold winters. The weather is often sunny – there are cloudy days but it barely rains. Windy days are common, above all in spring, but Neuquén is protected from the worst storms of the Patagonian meseta because of its location in a valley. Bathing in the Limay river is possible between mid-November and early April.

. . . Neuquén (city) . . .

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. . . Neuquén (city) . . .