See also: Excursions in Choele Choel
Situated on the north branch of the large island of Choele Choel, with a population of 10,000, is the most important locality of the Valle Medio of the Río Negro.
The island was occupied by Gral. Pacheco troops during the campaign against the aborigines lead by Gral. Juan Manuel de Rosas and then given to him as a gift by the Province of Buenos Aires Legislature. Later, Rosas exchanged the island for other not so remote places and the island remained unoccupied until the Desert Campaign.
Not until the 9th. of July, after the disputes with aborigines, did the troops under the command of Colonel Conrado Villegas found a town they called Nicolás Avellaneda, and not much later the name was changed to Choele Choel, the original indigenous name.
In 1899 due to the floods affecting the city of Viedma, the capital of the then Río Negro Territory was moved by the government to Choele Choel on a temporary basis.
Another important event was the arrival of the railway in 1900, reactivating the agricultural activity of the region.
The Valle Medio has its axis in Choele Choel
and several localities surrounding it: Lamarque, Fray Luis Beltrán, Coronel
Belisle, Chimpay, Darwin and Pomona.
The main activity is fruit production and horticulture, specially tomatoes, in fact the Fiesta Provincial del Tomate (tomato festival) takes place every year in Lamarque.
Surrounded by trees and several beaches on the branches
of Río Negro, this picturesque town is a true oasis for those traveling
in Patagonia by car. All essential services are available and a growing activity