Rio Grande / Big River is certainly not the right expression for that narrow river but in comparison with the other small rivers that you will normally see in Fireland / Tierra del Fuego the first settlers might have had the feeling that this is a mighty river.
The river will spread also quite a lot shortly after it passed by that bridge, and it will form a lake for the last few hundred meters, before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. This lake is also the reason, why you will see the town already very close to the road, but have to drive all the way around a large bend in order to be able to finally get into town.
The Misión Salesiana Museum is a bit outside of Rio Grande. There is still a school for agriculture there, 2 churches and an interesting museum about the native people, who died out some decades ago, shortly after the arrival of the early settlers.
In the museum you will see also a lot of old machineries that were used in agriculture in Fireland / Tierra del fuego.
Click here and read more about it in my page about my Misión Salesiana de Santo Domingo-page
Dont miss to take a look at the cemetery of Rio Grande, it looks so interesting in its old part with lots of rows of small "houses" for the dead bodies. And inside these houses, you will see all sorts of ornaments and decorations, children-toys, photographs and other things that you will hardly ever find in an european cemetery. You will see the coffin standing there as well and some of the doors are open.
The most touching grave you will see in my "local custom" tips, it is the grave for a young girl, who died in the age of 6 years and you will see a room filled with all sorts of toys, and when we came around december 10th it even had a "merry Christmas" - stocking in the door...
Islas Malvinas is the local name for the Falkland Islands and here in Fireland you will find in almost every village and town a monument for the soldiers, who were fighting for them . This is the one in Rio Grande, it is actually a series of monuments along the main road N3 and is also the wall of the local army barracks.
When you take a look at any map in Argentina, you will never find the expression Falkland islands anywhere, it will always be written there "Islas Malvinas (Arg.)"
This is the house of a pioneer and I found it accidentally, when searching for a petrol-station. The house dates back to the early years of the 20th century and was given as a heritage to the state of Argentina by the Menendez-family. Then it became the first Telephone-office in Rio Grande, but nowadays it is private property again.
It is a good idea to search for such pink signposts, when driving or walking through Rio Grande, so you wont miss any of the sights.
Rio Grande - and I really expected a mighty river ! And then it is just such a narrow river, but at least it had an interesting old bridge, that you can still see below the new bridge for the cartrafic of today.
Just imagine, that in the old days all of the trafic was going over that bridge, including thousands of sheep or cows, when they were taken from one of the farms to the freezing point.
The bridge dates back to 1920 and its components were imported from USA.
You are not allowed to walk over it, and in case that you want to do it anyway, take a look first for the many rusty or broken parts of the construction !!