Santiago del Estero is a city in northern Argentina, capital of Santiago del Estero Province, on the Río Dulce .
The city is in the center of an extensive but largely semiarid agricultural region. Founded in 1553, Santiago del Estero is the oldest city in Argentina, but except for several churches, it has little colonial architecture. In the city are a national university (1973) and a Catholic university (1960). Population (1991) 189,947.