Río Negro (; ''Black River'') is the most important river of the Argentine
province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outs ...
of Río Negro, and Patagonia in relation to its flow rate. Its name comes from the literal translation of the Mapuche term ''Curu Leuvu'', although the water is more green than black. Formerly, it was also known as "river of the willows" because of the big number of weeping willows that grow along the bank. It's 635 km in length. It originates from the junction of the Limay River and Neuquén River at the border with the Neuquén Province, and flows southeast to the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
at , near El Cóndor beach resort some downstream from Viedma, Río Negro province's capital. The river allows the Río Negro province to produce 65% of the
pear Pears are fruits produced and consumed around the world, growing on a tree and harvested in late Summer into October. The pear tree and shrub are a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classificatio ...
s and
apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, wher ...
s of Argentina. Besides irrigation, the river is also source of hydroelectricity with small dams on its course. The river served as natural demarcation between "civilization" and the aboriginal territories during the Conquest of the Desert of late 19th century.


The river is divided into three parts: The Alto Valle (High Valley) near the beginning of the river, Valle Medio (Medium Valley) near Choele Choel, and #Valle Inferior, Valle Inferior (Lower Valley) near its end. The river crosses the steppe plains of the province through a forest of around in the ''Alto Valle'', and as wide as towards the ''Valle Inferior''. In the dry plain it is possible to find seashells and pebble.

Alto Valle

The main cities in Alto Valle are: General Roca, Cipolletti, Cinco Saltos, followed by many others on the National Route #22. Together with San Carlos de Bariloche, this is the most prosperous part of the province. Most pear and apple plantations are at the ''Alto Valle'', but many also at the ''Valle Medio''.

Valle Medio

Next to Choele Choel is the Choele Choel Island, in which are Lamarque, Argentina, Lamarque, Luis Beltrán and Pomona, Río Negro, Pomona, all of them on National Route #250. Besides apple and pear cultivation, tomato is also an important crop, being Lamarque the ''National Capital of the Tomato''. Outside the valley, on the more arid lands around town such as Chimpay and ''Darwin'', some cattle is also raised.

Valle Inferior

Although the term is not as used term as the previous two, ''Valle Inferior'' refers to Viedma and all the cities on the province's coast. Fruit is also produced but is not a primary activity. Onion is cultivated as well as some cereals. Alfalfa and maize is cultivated both for human consumption and for feeding cattle, which is the most important activity.


In spite of its name of ''Negro'' ("black") the colour is more greenish than black. Nevertheless, the name is the literal translation of its aboriginal Mapuche name of ''Curú Leuvú''. The river was also known by the name of ''Río de los Sauces'' ("River of Willows") for the abundant weeping willows along its lower course.


The ''Regata del Río Negro'' (Black River Regatta), run in this river, is the longest kayak boat-race in the world with its . The competition is divided in six stages and last 8 days (with two days for resting). The categories are *K1 men Senior *K2 men Senior *K2 men Junior (17 to 20 years) *K2 women Senior *K1 men Maxi (older than 36) *K2 men Maxi *Touring (open, non professional recreative category)


*Colbert E. Cushing, Kenneth W. Cummins, G. Wayne Minshall: ''River and Stream Ecosystems of the World: With a New Introduction''. University of California Press 2006, , S. 280ff
restricted online version (Google Books)

External links

Valle Medio

Regatta's official site
(English & Spanish) {{DEFAULTSORT:Negro, Rio Rivers of Río Negro Province Rivers of Buenos Aires Province Rivers of Argentina