This small town with just seven thousand inhabitants is a strategic point to travel in and out of the Patagonia, a definite geographical reference only a few kilometers from the popular route known as Conquest of the Desert. In December, this town celebrates the National Alfalfa & Petroleum Festival.
Colonia 25 de Mayo
is located at the southwestern end of the Province of La Pampa
, just ten kilometers from the Colorado River, which is the border between the provinces of La Pampa and Río Negro
. More specifically, it is situated 411 kilometers from Santa Rosa
and 160 kilometers from Neuquén
. It has a population of approximately seven thousand inhabitants.
This small town started to be settled at the turn of the 19th century by people of diverse origins devoted to shepherding activities and who sowed alfalfa at the corners of the river. As a result of these strong agricultural roots, the Province of La Pampa celebrates the National Alfalfa & Petroleum Festival every year on the first weekend of December, since oil business is a significant part of the economic engine of 25 de Mayo. This is one of the most significant happenings in the province, in which renowned music artists gather to play.
Nowadays, this small town is situated five kilometers from the place where it was originally founded, since the former 25 de Mayo was flooded by the breakage of the natural dam of Lake Carri Lafquen.
Visitors can get to this place along Provincial Route 34, a detour from the roundabout on National Route 151, a few meters before (or after, depending on the direction visitors take) the bridge/dam crossing the Colorado River. On this spot, there is an YPF gas station owned by the Automobile Club of Argentina
, which also provides lodging. Eight kilometers ahead, tourists can find the access to this town.
Among its attractions, we can visit the “Don José Cholino” Fossil and Mineral Museum situated within the Industrial Park where visitors have the chance to learn more about the origin of a variety of significant minerals and fossils, such as the bentonite, crucial for the economic life of Colonia 25 de Mayo. Bentonite is exported as an ingredient for some medicinal products and balanced food as well as a product which is used to waterproof oil wells, the other significant economic resource of this town. Besides these two elements, gypsum and gas complete the poker cards of the economy of 25 de Mayo.
In the downtown, the bus terminal is the most awesome site. Recently inaugurated as a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the foundation of 25 de Mayo, this terminal became the most innovative building design and is absolutely different from the traditional architecture seen in this town. Undoubtedly, it must be one of the most modern building designs in Argentina and its architectural structure is so unusual that it seems to have been taken off another landscape or, even, another city.
Not only is Punto Unido the name of the sport club but it also refers to the most valuable engineering work in this town. Punto Unido is the dam which holds the waters of the Colorado River, which changed, together with the small irrigation ditches, this dessert into a small productive oasis. This dam is of such relevance that it is part of the official coat of arms of the city, since it is the symbol of the agricultural richness of the region.