Argentina - Provincia de San Luis

Buenos Aires - Argentina

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San Luis is a province of Argentina located near the geographical center of the country (on the 32º South parallel). Neighboring provinces are, from the north clockwise, La Rioja, Córdoba, La Pampa, Mendoza and San Juan.


* 1 History
* 2 Geography and climate
* 3 Economy
* 4 Tourism


The present area of the San Luis Province was inhabited by different aboriginal tribes: Michilingües, Calchaquíes, Ranqueles, Puelches, and Pehuenches.

The city of San Luis was founded in 1594 by Luis Jufré de Loaysa y Meneses, to be later abandoned after repeated attacks of the natives, and then again by Martín García Onez de Loyola in 1596 under the name San Luis de Loyola Nueva Medina de Río Seco.

In 1712 the city was severely damaged in an attack of the aboriginal malones and had to be rebuilt, along with a series of fortresses in that area.

Shortly after the creation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776, the province was taken under the intendency of Córdoba and, in 1813, to the intendency of Cuyo. On March 1820 the province declared its autonomy, and its constitution in 1855.

The railway system reached San Luis in the year 1875, which helped the appearance of small town on its path, such as Villa Mercedes and Santa Rosa.

During the 1930s' crisis there was a massive exodus of almost half of the population of the province, that was reversed and stabilised after the tax reduction given to the province to encourage industrial development.

Since the return of Argentina to democratic rule in 1983 (and as of 2005) the Rodríguez Saá family has managed to have a member on the governor's seat. This situation is usually explained by the opposition by long dated use of nepotism and propaganda of social welfare acts. In the last week of 2001, Adolfo Rodríguez Saá was interim president of Argentina for 7 days, during the social instability of December 2001.

Geography and climate

The province has low sierras on the north neighboring the Pampas, and another such system on the west with the Guayaguas, Cantanal, Quijadas and Alto Pencoso Sierras, typical of the Cuyo region.

On the central and souther part of the province predominate flatlands, and the Pampa de las Salinas great salt lake at the centre depression.

Even though the weather of the province is temperate-arid, there are numerous areas with milder microclimates, such as Villa de Merlo, where the land is fertile and the air less dry as the eastern slope retains the humidity of the Atlantic Ocean.

The main rivers of the provinces are the Conlara and Quinto, and the border rivers of Desaguadero River and Salado River.


Before the tax reduction for the industry applied in the province in 1982, its economy was based almost exclusively on agriculture (mainly maize), and cattle, which is still very important specially related to diaries, meat plants, and tanneries.

Of the industries installed in San Luis after the tax reform, mainly in the city of San Luis and in Villa Mercedes, it is worth mentioning the production of home appliances, textiles, ceramics, plastics, and paper/cardboard articles.

Mining is concentrated on construction materials such as limestone and marble, but also extracted are tungsten, uranium and salt.


Even though San Luis is not common destination for international tourism, it receives a lot of Argentinians searching for the oxygen-rich mild-weather sierras that produce the well known microclimate around Villa de Merlo. Other destinations include the capital city, the Sierra de las Quijadas National Park, Valle de Conlara, El Trapiche, and the artificial lake of the Potrero de los Funes dam.




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