Unlike a more typical animal watching experience, about four of us sat with our guide until the sealions became interested in us....and started approaching.
Again, a memorable, maybe once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hightly recommended.
To the south of Trelew (107km) is the Punta Tombo nature reserve (Reserva Natural Punta Tombo), home to the largest colony of Magellanic Penguins in the world. Its ease of access and the close proximity of penguin's burrows to the walkways means it is very popular with tourists but for an introduction to the world of the Penguin it's a real must visit. Aside from the hustle and bustle of the Magellanics keep your eyes peeled for the enormous Southern Giant Petrels, near Albatross sized sea birds that majestically skim the waves. Guanacos can also be seen just off the tracks. The reserve is open to the public between September and March and costs approximately US$4 for entry, there is a cafe and conveniences on site
This is the place where they film the Orcas snatching seal pups close to shore, this is one of the best places in the world for a guaranteed whale sighting. Distances around the peninsula are deceptively large and there is a lot to see, there are organised full day excursions available from Puerto Madryn for those who don't or would rather not drive. Southern Right Whales can be seen in the Golfo Nuevo between June and December (as many as 500 migrating here to mate and give birth), whale watching trips depart from Puerto Pirámedes (see web address below for details). Besides the whales there are Magellanic Penguins, Elephant Seals, Sea Lions and a variety of seabirds to be seen.
I travelled through Chubut Province on the 2nd day of my Ruta 40 journey from El Calafate to Bariloche. Please see my Provencia del Santa Cruz page.
Narrative Version from my Travelblog account:
"Leaving Perito Moreno, our first stop was at Rio Mayo, in the Chubut Province, where we had a comfort stop. It is just a sleepy and dusty Patagonian town.
We then moved on towards Gobernador Costa and we spotted some guancoes in the distance on our way there. Gobernador Costa is just another Patagonian town in the middle of nowhere. Slightly bigger than Rio Mayo. It seems the main stopping point for many travelling on the Ruta 40 and hence it was very busy! I wanted to use the atm but the bank was closed for siesta time and it seems that the atm is not accessible then. Defeats the object of an atm - 24/7 banking! I will not miss Gobernador Costa.
Our unscheduled stop in Tecka, a small village between Gobernador Costa and Esquel, because the bus had a punctured tyre. There was an atm and it was working! I did not expect to find an atm and more so that I was able to top up my ever dwindling funds. It seems Tecka is a place of surprises with interesting things from signs addressing the Malvinas (Falklands) issue to celebrating old sung Argentine heroes!
It was very hot on the bus, no air conditioning and the fans were blowing out hot air and it was a very long ride to El Bolsen. We stopped near Esquel to drop some passengers off including Manuela. At El Bolsen, we stopped at a petrol station so were able to finally get off for an ice cream and drinks. From Esquel, we noticed Alpine scenery with the mountains and the fir trees which was a constrast to what we saw a day ago and it was a lovely ride to Bariloche from then on despite feeling exhausted from the trip and the heat!
We arrived in Bariloche around 9.15 pm and a short walk up a hill and a lot of steps led me to my hostel, Hostel Inn Bariloche. Very high up but we have great views of Lago Nahuel Huapi. It seems so far that all my hostels are on hills! It was nice returning to Bariloche after my visit in 2008 and I was looking forward to exploring as well as doing some recovering and relaxation.
I was glad to do the Ruta 40 but the two long days sitting on a bus with a few stops thrown in took a lot out of me and I arrived in Bariloche very exhausted. Because of exhaustion, I had to change some of my travel plans so I could have more time in Bariloche to recover from the trip and my intention was to take it easy for the next few days!
It was great seeing Patagonia this way and this makes me appreciate how big Argentina is especially considering the distance from travelling from El Calafate to Perito Moreno (One Patagonian town to another one and both towns are in the same province, Santa Cruz!)"
Personally, It was an experience that I will never forget but wouldn't undertake this trip again but would recommend it for seeing the immensity and the huge size of Patagonia. Please see my
Chalten Travel page for entry for prices of undertaking this tour.
There are other penguin colonies, but none (that I know of) that let you get so close, and be, as mentioned before, one of just a few people, with tons and tons of penguins.
I stayed in a triple room with view to the sea. The room was huge and apart from a problem with the...more
This is the swankiest hotel in town, but then again, there's not much competition. It's true that it...more
Avda Julio A.Roca 155 9120 Puerto Madryn Chubut, 9
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