Major Rivers Of Argentina

The Parana River in the central Argentine city of Rosario.
The Parana River in the central Argentine city of Rosario.

Argentina is widely known around the world as a football-loving nation, with its soccer players and teams featuring prominently on the international sports scene. It has its capital in Buenos Aires which is also the largest city. There is no official language in the country, but Guarani, Qom, and Mocovi are the recognized regional languages. The country has a unitary presidential system of governance led by President Mauricio Macri. The country is highly urbanized with over 92% of the population living in the urban areas. It is a country with diverse ecosystems influenced by the natural resources such as rivers. This article discusses some of the longest rivers in Argentina.


The Parana River the longest river to pass through Argentina, and also flows through Brazil and Paraguay. It flows a total of 3,030 miles. The name Parana came from a phrase, “para rehe onava”, which can be loosely translated to mean “like the sea.” It originated from the Tupi ethnic group which believed that the river was as big as the sea. The general flow of the river is from North to South and starts from Brazil, through Paraguay, into Argentina and finally empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The river has a large drainage basin which includes the entire Paraguay, large parts of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and parts of Bolivia. A large proportion of the river is navigable and links inland cities in Argentina and Paraguay to the Atlantic. However, large HEP dams have been constructed and have blocked the usage of the river by the upward cities as a link to the Ocean. The high population of fish in Parana provides a means of income and food to local communities living along its bank.


The Paraguay River has its origins in Paraguay and flows from there into Brazil and Argentina before finally emptying into the Parana River in Argentina. The river flows for a total length of 1,621 miles up to the point where it joins the Parana River. Paraguay River has no single dams, unlike other major rivers, making it navigable for long distances and has the second largest navigable length in the continent after the Amazon. The primary use of the river is fishing and agriculture. It experiences seasonal floods which s force thousands of residents to seek temporary shelters until the floods recede. The fauna includes over 350 species of fish species of which 80 of them are endemic.


The Uruguay River originates from Serra do Mar in Brazil where the River Canoas and River Pelotas join, and flows a distance from there to empty its waters at Rio de la Plata. The Uruguay River forms a submerged canyon which is over 300 feet in depth below the river channel. Another notable feature of the river has five international bridges with two linking Argentina and Brazil while the other three link Argentina and Uruguay. There was a conflict between Argentina and Uruguay over a construction of pulp mills along the river where Argentina alleged that Uruguay had broken a 1975 treaty. According to the treaty, all matters relating to the river were supposed to be agreed on by both countries.


The Iguazu River is one of the major tributaries of the Parana River, and flows through Brazil into Argentina to cover a total distance of 820 miles. The river has a drainage basin of 62,000 square miles and has its source in the Serra da Baitaca State Park. The river contains about 100 species of fish which are native and many more have been spotted. In 2000, an oil refinery located in Curitiba City reported that an accidental oil spill of more than a million gallons of crude oil had flown into the river.

Other Major Rivers in Argentina.

Other major rivers in Argentina include the Salado River which is 715 miles long, the Pilcomayo River which flows through Bolivia and Paraguay and is 684 miles long, the Bermoja which is 659 miles long, and the Colorado River which is 505 miles long.

Major Rivers Of Argentina

RankMajor Rivers of ArgentinaTotal Length
1Parana3,032 miles (shared with Brazil and Paraguay)
2Paraguay1,629 miles (shared with Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay)
3Uruguay 1,142 miles (shared with Brazil and Uruguay)
4Desaguadero 941 miles
5Iguazu820 miles (shared with Brazil)
6Salado715 miles
7Pilcomayo684 miles (shared with Bolivia and Paraguay)
8Bermejo659 miles
9Colorado621 miles
10Dulce505 miles

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