The town was founded under the name of Pueblo Nuevo Ledesma in the year 1899, on an area donated by the owners of the Ledesma sugar refinery. Two years later, the outline and later subdivision of the eight blocks surrounding the main square was made.
In 1906 the railroad arrived, and the station was built half way from the town to the industrial centre. The area was enjoyed an economic expansion strengthened by the first Lebanese and Syrian immigration. In 1950 the town was renamed after the Libertador General San Martín.
Located only 8 kilometres from the entrance to the Calilegua National Park, tourism in the area has recently started to grow. Hot springs and trekking routs are some of the other touristic attractions available to the visitors.