Villa El Chocón
Located 80 km from the capital Neuquina, it was built on the western bank of the Ezequiel Ramos Mejía reservoir, which is an oasis formed by a landscape of plateaus typical of the Patagonian desert relief.
The red sandstone soil of Villa el Chocón and the shores of the reservoir are rich in fossils, which has resulted in the town being known as The Valley of the Dinosaurs.
In addition, remains of minor saurians, footprints three meters long, the petrified forest, are also found by Carolini. Nowadays this heritage is protected by scientists and researchers, who have carried out works of conservation and reproduction of fossils, many of them are on display at the Ernesto Bachmann Municipal Palaeontological Museum.
The energy of a villa
The town arises from the construction of the hydroelectric dam on the Limay River that generated a reservoir with an area of 816 square kilometers. The urban plant, built by Hidronor S.A, more than 25 years ago, required large investments in material and technology. From the construction of these works there were important changes in the regional physiognomy, and an area rich in fossil remains, petrified trees, remains and prints or traces of dinosaurs, which today constitute the most important attraction.
El Chocón Hydroelectric Dam
The creation of the villa required careful architectural planning, with an intense afforestation of its streets and parking of public places, achieving a microclimate and landscape very pleasant for urban life.
The main economic activity is concentrated in the generation and transport of energy produced by the hydroelectric power plant with a power of 1,200 kW. Since 1994 it has been granted to a private Chilean-American consortium that will operate for 30 years.
Architects Antonini, Schon and Zemborain participated in the design of Villa El Chocón, projected in ninety days, in 1968. It took place in a center of civic activities materialized by buildings linked by streets and squares; and a pedestrian urban plot that links it to the houses located on terraces overlooking the reservoir.
Land of Dinosaurs
In Villa el Chocón and its surroundings prehistory arises in every corner of its land. One manifestation of it is the footprints or ignites of herbivores and carnivores dinosaurs dating back to about 97 million years found on the shore of the lake. There is a museum of site to protect and interpret them. The valley of dinosaurs is a great attraction.