Patagonia Atlantic Wonderful Coast
Extraordinary Argentina Beaches
Whales, penguins, guanacos, hares, marine elephants, birds: the almost virgin Patagonian region is one of the most wonderful places on earth for sightseeing and ecologic tourism.
Thousands of kilometers on the Atlantic Coast of Patagonia, Argentina, are waiting for the traveler, starting at Carmen de Patagones in the Province of Rio Negro (the entrance gate to the Patagonian coast).
The itinerary continues through Las Grutas, Puerto Madryn, Peninsula de Valdez, Punta Tombo, Camarones, Puerto Deseado, National Park Monte Leon and Tierra del Fuego.
More details and information about these enchanting places can be found at www.travelargentinabeaches.com.
The Atlantic Coast of Patagonia extends along approximately 4000 Kilometers, from the south of the Province of Buenos Aires, where the landscape begins to show the Patagonian characteristics, up to Tierra del Fuego.
These coasts ornamented with cliffs and beaches endlessly caressed by the winds and the blue waters of the ocean, are haven for many species, rare and in danger of extinction.
Planning a trip along these coasts should take into consideration the season, not only regarding the animal seasonal habits, like the migration of birds and marine mammals, but also for the climate conditions prevailing there.
Once the trip is planned, it is recommended to contact local specialized guides, who are acquainted with the secrets of each corner and the best way to approach the animals observed for protection of the animals and the visitors.
Starting the Trip
Carmen de Patagones and the city of Rio Negro, are two cities located on the shores of the Rio Negro river, although located in different provinces (Buenos Aires and Rio Negro), both have common tourist interests. Both cities create the entrance gate to the Atlantic Patagonian Coast, in addition to the many historic interesting places to visit and tourist attractions.
Route No. 1, or as called “The Route of the Cliffs”, runs along the coast from Viedma, the capital city of Rio Negro, up to San Antonio, surprising with incredibly beautiful, solitary, peaceful bays and beaches.
El Condor beach is the recommended stop before continuing south. El Espigon is where the Patagonian cliffs have the most whimsy shapes formed by the winds and the tides. Not far away is Punta Bermeja, the first marine wolves’ colony to be observed. The natural balconies on the cliffs are ideal for the observation of the Right Whales, Dolphins and Orcas.
Continuing south, passing the golden beaches of Bahia Creek, is found the Cove of Parrots or Caleta de los Loros; an area of dunes and bays. The name was given for the huge colony of parrots that can be seen and heard.
Punta Mejillon is also a small colony of marine wolves. It must be considered that the area is completely solitary and the roads not always asphalted.
The Second Part
True Atlantic jewels are being discovered by the tourists in recent years. Las Grutas is one of the main centers in the coastal region between Viedma and Puerto Madryn. This is a true paradise for a dream beach vacation. There are cliffs, caves carved by the sea, and small lagoons left by the ocean during the low tide. Las Grutas is also part of the Natural Reserve Bahia de San Antonio, protecting 45 kilometers of paradisiacal beaches of white and turquoise.
Marine birds migrating between Tierra del Fuego and the North Pole find here a place to rest and feed from mollusks, small crabs, and other dishes offered to them by the coastal wetlands, ideal for the observation of these birds.
Right whales can be observed in San Matias Gulf, although the best place to see them is in Puerto Madryn.
Puerto Madryn, 260 Km from Las Grutas is the ‘national capital of scuba diving” and the Patagonian highlight for those seeking fauna sightseeing. This location is, together with Trelew, the entrance gate to Peninsula de Valdes.
The Right whale can be seen here from every angle and perspective, size and color, right from the beach of El Doradillo, a few kilometers from the city. It is possible to see them jumping and playing with their babies by plain sight and better by using lenses.
A close look is possible from Peninsula de Valdes, with a stop at the marine wolves’ colony of Punta Loma. There is a small location in the peninsula called Puerto Piramides from where all the sightseeing boats departure for a close look at the whales from a few meters distance.
The routes within Peninsula de Valdes lead to other fauna important centers: Punta Delgada with a marine elephant’s colony, Punta Norte with marine elephants and wolves and Caleta Valdes.
Along the road it is possible to meet hares, mares and guanacos. The Bird Island, Isla de los Pajaros, can be observed from the interpretation center on the coast. The island is a natural nesting reserve of several species of marine birds, such as seagulls, cormorants and others.
At some 150 Km from Puerto Madryn there is the extraordinary natural reserve of Punta Tombo, an impressive colony of Magellan Penguins, mating, nesting and reproducing every year from October to March. These faithful birds return every year to meet their same mate in the same nest and it is possible to have a 40-50 cm distance look at them.
Penguins can be observed also on the coast of the Province of Chubut: Camarones (between Trelew and Comodoro Rivadavia) is an extraordinary place being recently discovered by tourists. The place is well known by fishermen who come every year for the National Salmon Festival, and safari photographers.
Route No 3 reveals the natural reserve of Cabo Dos Bahias where terrestrial fauna can be also observed such as ostriches, guanacos, foxes, hares and other species. Not to mention the abundant fruits of the sea to be found and the amazing underwater sites for diving.
90 Km from Camarones is Bahia Bustamante, a village dedicated to the recollection of sea weeds. Almost unknown to tourists, this village appreciates the arrival of those willing to protect the wonders of nature and purity of this region. Many species of marine and terrestrial fauna can be observed here.
More information about the above mentiones places can be found in www.travelargentinabeaches.com
The Final Part
Puerto Deseado, in the Province of Santa Cruz, expects every year the arrival of the Yellow Crown Penguin colony inhabitants, about 20 Km of the city.
Around 30 thousand of these birds invade the island between September and April. This is the only place in the continent where this species can be seen. The tiniest species of penguins, of 55 cm height. Other sites are located in the Malvinas Islands and sub-Antarctic islands. They are easy to distinguish by their yellow feathers contouring their red eyes.
The province of Santa Cruz has another important natural reserve, the National Park Monte Leon. It is in process of being created and located in one of the most beautiful places of the Atlantic Patagonian Coast. The reserve is the habitat for all the species migrating and permanently dwelling the region. In the past the area suffered from uncontrolled hunting. Now it has become a site for protection and conservation.
The best know places for observation are Cabeza de Leon and Pico Quebrado.
Passing the last Argentinean continental spot, the part that is left to visit is Tierra de Fuego. The sight changes completely there. It is the ending of the Andes mountain chain and forests meeting the southern plateaus and steppes.
The access to “The Land of Fire” is at the southernmost city of Ushuaia.
The foxes and guanacos are original species that have to share their habitat with other species that were introduced for commercial purposes (furs and skins) and became part of the regional fauna.
The Argentinean part of Tierra del Fuego is a National Park expanding over 240 square meters.
This is a land of adventure, full of options for trekking and hiking to short and long distances. The most known trails are Sendero Laguna Negra (trail of the black lagoon) and Lapatai.
The best time of year to travel there is November – March, but in all seasons the weather is mostly unpredictable.
This is a fascinating coast for wildlife lovers.