Gobernador Gregores was originally named Cañadón León (Lion Canyon), a name chosen by residents for the town's proximity to a canyon where many puma lived. By 1958, the town was modernizing and locals were ready for a new name. So, at their request, Gobernador Gregores became the permanent name, in honor of Lieutenant-Commander Juan Manuel Gregores, governor of the Province.
Gobernador Gregores is a great stop along the Undiscovered Patagonia route, providing a charming setting for rest and recreation. The city has supermarkets, restaurants, options for shopping, and a variety of lodging. You can choose between hotels and hostels, Estancia stays, cabañas, and camping areas. In the city, you will encounter important logistical and assistance services, a Tourist Information Center, a great city park, museums, churches, and much more.
In town, we recommend visiting:
- The Municipal Park, which offers great places for relaxing, enjoying local life, and catching some sun. There is also a nice Municipal Camping Area.
- José Kuney Posne's home, the Herreria and the Old Smithy: In March of 1922, Austrian, José Kuney Posne built the first house in what would later become the town of Gobernador Gregores. It was a wooden structure, covered with the sheet metal re purposed from 20 liter gas cans. This site presents a great example of pioneer ingenuity. You’ll find it at the intersection of the streets, Alberdi and 9 de Julio.
- The Old Tractor: At the intersection of Av. San Martin and O'Higgins, rests an old tractor that was imported to Patagonia in 1917. Of British origin, the tractor was used by Thomas Hospitaliche, a pioneer who arrived in the area in 1890, to move loaded carts, wool bales and farm equipment.
- The Municipal Exposition Center: Rotating shows and displays are offered in this small Museum, located in the House of Culture, between Ruperto Barrenechea and Av. San Martin.
- The Provincial Agricultural School Museum is a free Museum, managed by the students of the school. You can enjoy guided tours of their collections of old photos, rural storytelling, antique collections and a mini botanical garden.
- Facón Grande Center of Traditional Dressage: Established in 1996, this center is home to various heritage festivals, folklore events, and dressage competitions each year.
- La Noria: This was the first irrigation system used by small farms in the area. It is located on the left bank of the Chico River. In 1992, this system was declared an Historic Landmark.
The Surrounding Area:
- Sector Ugly (Fea) Island: Despite its name, this island is lush, green, and fertile, surrounded by the waters of the Chico River, just 1 Km from town. It is the heart of local agriculture. You can visit the farms and purchase fresh foods produced in the zone, including garlic, vegetables, strawberries, cherries, and beautiful tulips, a local specialty. The sheep’s milk cheeses are exquisite!
- Tour the Estancias outlying Gobernador Gregores: Between October and March you can visit the various Estancias in the area, which offer a range of fun activities including hiking, horseback riding, and recreational fishing. Sure bets include:
- Explore History: The Granaderos Estancia, founded in 1916, offers a well-researched heritage tour. You can access from Provincial Route 12.
- World Renowned Bird watching: The Angostura Estancia, located in Santa Cruz's central plateau, in the valley of the Chico River is surrounded by Tulip groves and famous for its bird watching. You’ll find it 55 Km from Gobernador Gregores, on National Route 40.
- Fly-fishing Adventures: Estancia Laguna Verde offers fishermen the chance to experience wild Patagonia at its best. It’s surrounded by beautiful untouched landscapes and unparalleled flora and fauna. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to battle against huge and strong fish during the day and return to the comfort of an exclusive lodge, each evening.
- Visit beautiful Lake Cardiel: Located 69 Km from Gobernador Gregores via Route 29, at the junction with Route 40. Turquoise water and great fishing make this a recreational paradise.
Guided Heritage Tour: Rebellious & Tragic Patagonia – Following the Strikers’ Path. This tour visits sites central to the Rural Worker Strike of 1921, which culminated in tragedy. The important events proved pivotal for human rights of Patagonian workers in Argentina. The tour takes you behind the scenes of the tragedy and includes interpretation by local historians. Schedules are coordinated through the Municipal Museum or the Tourist Information Office.
- Visit Cerro La Ventana: This 460 m Cerro of volcanic origin, is close to Gobernador Gregores, along Provincial Highway 27. It offers the opportunity for a ½ day of hiking, where you can see native flora and fauna to the Patagonian Steppe. The best views (of course) are from the top of the hill, where you can set your imagination free. Picture what it must have been like, standing in this same spot, in the time of the Tehuelche or of explorers like George Chaworth Musters, who has been deemed the “Marco Polo” of Patagonia.