Argentina - Provincia de Santiago del Estero

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Santiago del Estero is a province of Argentina, located in the north of the country. Neighbouring provinces are from the north clockwise Salta, Chaco, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Catamarca and Tucumán.


* 1 History
* 2 Geography and climate
* 3 Economy
* 5 Culture


The autochthonous inhabitants of these lands where the Juríes-Tonocotés, Sanavirones and other tribes.

Diego de Rojas first reached this lands in 1542. Francisco de Aguirre founded in 1553 the city of Santiago del Estero as the only northern city founded by Spanish conquistadores coming from the Pacific Ocean.

Santiago then belonged to different governments, passing from the intendency of Tucumán to the Audiencia de Charcas, then again to Tucumán, to be later be named capital of it.

But the bishop moved to Córdoba in 1699 and the government moved to Salta 2 years later. What's more, the silver route between Buenos Aires and the Viceroyalty of Peru passed though Tucumán rather than thought Santiago. All this facts drastically reduced the importance of the city, and the territory. By the beginning of the 19th century the city had hardly 5,000 inhabitants.

With the creation of the intendency of Salta, Santiago del Estero was moved to the new intendency of Tucumán. In the middle of the national conflict, Santiago del Estero separates from Tucumán in 1820. In 1856 the provincial constitution was formulated.

At the beginning of the 20th century Santiago del Estero acquired part of the lands disputed with the Chaco Province. By that time the province had 4 cities and 35,000 inhabitans, most of which lived in precarious conditions. The construction of the Los Quiroga dam in 1950 permitted increase the productivity of the arid land by irrigation.

Geography and climate

The province is located almost completely in the flat lands of the Gran Chaco, with some depressions that. Its in these depression that some lagoons form, mainly at Bañado de Figueroa, Bañado de Añatuya, and those near the basin of the Salado River and Dulce River. The Sumampa and Ambargasta sierras are the result of the influence of the Pampas at the southwest.

The soil, rich in lime and salt, is arid and presents semi-deserts and steppes. The predominant weather is sub-tropical with dry season and high temperatures during the entire year; the annual average is 21.5°C, with maximums of up to 47°C and minimums of -5°C. The dry season, during the winter, receives an average of 120 mm of precipitation, but the annual average is 700 mm.


The economy of the province is based on the primary production, specially on the agriculture, which is centred on the basins of the Salado River and Dulce River. The main crops include cotton (20% of the national production), soybean, maize and onion.

Cattle is also important, mainly on the east, were there weather conditions makes it possible, but goats, with 15% of the national production, adapt better to the rest of the province.

The wood industry of quebracho and algarrobo has also added implanted species totaling an annual average of over 300 thousand tons, of which around 100 thousand tons are used for timber and the rest for firewood and vegetal coal.

There is little mining, and only small sized industrial enterprises centred mainly on food, textiles and leather.

Tourism is somewhat developed, but only around the main tourist attractions. Tourist visit Santiago del Estero (the oldest city in Argentina) and its historical buildings and museums, Termas de Río Hondo and the Río Hondo hot springs with its 200 hotels, and the Frontal dam where water sports are practiced.

The province is home to the Copo National Park, and 4 protected areas: Bañados de Figueroa, Sierras de Ambargasta, Sierra de Guasayan and Sierras de Sumampa.


Some important figures connected to the history of Santiago del Estero include colonel Juan Francisco Borges, leader of the Independence War (and ancestor of writer Jorge Luis Borges), as well as the revolutionary leaders Mario Roberto and Francisco René Santucho, founders of the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores and the Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo.

In the field of the arts we can name the 19th century painter Felipe Taboada, Ramon Gómez Cornet, Carlos Sánchez Gramajo, Alfredo Gogna, Ricardo and Rafael Touriño in plastic arts, and Jorge Washington Ábalos, Bernardo Canal Feijóo, Clementina Rosa Quenel and Julio Carreras (h) in Literature.

Santiago's musical heritage is one of the most important cultural aspects of the city, with typical folklore chacarera and zamba. Some renown artists and groups include the Manseros Santiagueños, Alfredo Ábalos, Jacinto Piedra and Raly Barrionuevo.



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