Wildlife and Amazing Scenes (12n/13d)

Penguins are just one species to be found in the Natural Reserve Ria Deseado

Penguins are just one species to be found in the Natural Reserve Ria Deseado

DAY 01: Trelew / Puerto Madryn
Reception at Trelew Airport. Full Day visit of Peninsula Valdes, the most important natural protected area of Argentina due to its extension and to the variety of fauna concentrated there. Lodging at Puerto Madryn.

DAY 02: Puerto Madryn / Trelew / Bahia Bustamante
Full Day visit of Punta Tombo Penguin Nesting, the biggest continental colony of Magallanic Penguins of the world sheltering more than 400.000 adult samples per year. After the excursion transfer to Bahia Bustamante, a seaside village entirely surrounded by nature. It is located at the northern of San Jorge Gulf, an area characterized by its relevant biological biodiversity, There are few places in the world that house such an amount and diversity of seabirds and marine mammals. Since 1952, the village has been exclusively devoted to the seaweed harvest, At the beginning, 500 people lived there, who then used wagons pulled by horses to collect the crops. Today some 40 inhabitants live in Bahia Bustamante who are all devoted to the seaweed production, which makes this place a “world’s unique seaweed village”. Built way back in the sixties, the facilities were redesigned to accommodate guests without modifying the original structures, Its streets are named after seaweed such as Gracilaria or Macrocystis and, from the houses that afford a wonderful sea view, you can enjoy unforgettable sunsets, moon risings on the bay, a unique atmosphere and a rich marine fauna. Lodging.

DAY 03: Bahia Bustamante
Ideal for nature lovers, this place offers different activities such as bird and sea lion watching, visits to the Petrified Forest, to the seaweed industry, and to a typical Patagonian Ranch, panoramic trekking, horseback riding and mountain bike. Also, you can just relax and enjoy the most exclusive sandy beaches and crystal-clear water, surrounded by huge redish rocks, in an atmosphere of incredibly different textures and colours. With its huge number of geographic accidents, sound and quietness, Bahia Bustamante is a paradise for you to discover.

DAY 04: Bahia Bustamante / Puerto Deseado
Arrival PM at Puerto Deseado. Lodging. We explore the Natural Reserve Ria Deseado in boats suited for small groups, making possible incredible sightseeing of sea fauna, as Commerson’s Dolphins and Sea Lions; bird watching in different colonies with Red-legged Cormorants, Rock Cormorants, and Blue Eyed Cormorants, Snowy Sheathbills, Black-Crowned Night-Herons, Dolphin Gulls, Crested Ducks and Flying Steamer-Ducks, Real Terns, South American Terns and Cayenne Terns, Great Grebes, etc. Crossing different channels and going ashore in Isla de los Pajaros, we will be able to see Magallanic Penguins, Blackish Oystercatchers and Magallanic Oystercatchers, Neotropic Cormorants and Kelp Gulls. Lodging.

DAY 05: Puerto Deseado
Full Day Penguin Island Expedition. A voyage in open waters sailing between waves and tiderips to the fantastic Penguin Island, where we will visit the abandoned facilities of the sea lions factory, the Lighthouse, Sea Lion and Elephant Seal colonies; the biggest Great Skuas colony of the coast, Magallanic Penguins and especially the Rockhopper Penguins, the only breeding colony of the entire Patagonian coast. This expedition requires good physical conditions due to the difficult landing and boarding into the island.

DAY 06: Puerto Deseado / Jaramillo Petrified Forest / Puerto San Julian
Start in the morning towards the Jaramillo Petrified Forest. On arrival, walking visit on foot through this magnificent landscape dominated by huge trunks turn into rocks due to a process that began millions of years ago. These trees were giant coniferous of more than 100 meters height that constituted a thick forest fostered by deep rains from the West when the Andes Range was not already raised. A true Jurassic Park in Patagonia. Continue the trip to Puerto San Julian (total 480 km, of which 400 km are paved, the rest is gravel) arrival at this picturesque city located on a smooth plateau that slope down to the bay. Lodging.

DAY 07: Puerto San Julian / Monte Leon / Isla Pavon
Start in the morning, destination Comandante Luis Piedra Buena (total 265 km of which 165 km are gravel). Arrival. Continue to Monte Leon National Park (about 30 km) to visit the seal and sea elephant colonies and penguin nesting. On October 2004 was passed the law that created the park, to protect a part of the big extent Atlantic Coast, (it represents a 1% of our coast) turning it into the first continental marine park of our country. Monte Leon is a place of privilege not only by its beauty but the remarkable representation of the costal and steep fauna that gather there. A 60.000 penguin’s colony live in Monte Leon National Park, it is the fourth colony in the world. The approximately surface of the area is 61.700 hectares. Other proper birds from the coastal slope nest there: 4 varieties of Cormorants: Real, Gris, Imperial and Roquero, Chorlos Migratorios, Flamingoes, Oystercatchers and some duck species. It exist a One Hair Sea Wolf colony as well. Sometimes these gather over big rocky outcrops that are used as natural slides to hurl into the sea. Inside the continent the park protect the typical steep animals: Guanacos, Choiques, Panthers, Wolves and predatory birds like Aguilas Moras and Falcons. It is also remarkable the richness of fish population and the occasional presence of Sea Elephants and Southern Right Whales. Little trees, bushes and “xenophiles herbaceous” composed the vegetation. High cliffs, small bays, beaches and “restingas” composed Monte Leon National Park. We continue our journey to Isla Pavon. Settled in the big junction made up by Santa Cruz and Chico Rivers, constitutes one of the most important attractions of the region, due to its natural and re-creative value as well as to its historical interest. There lived Comandante Luis Piedra Buena, the Lord of the Southern Oceans. Lodging.

DAY 08: Isla Pavon / El Calafate
Transfer from Isla Pavon towards El Calafate. Arrival at El Calafate. Lodging.

DAY 09: El Calafate
All Glaciers Navigation, full day excursion through the North Arm of Argentino Lake to admire the impressive ice flows that cut through its water. Upsala, Spegazzini, Bolados and Agassiz Glaciers will be visited. Lodging.

DAY 10: El Calafate
Full Day Excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier. Optional: Minitrekking on the Glacier to appreciate, walking on its irregular surface, the various tones of blue and its deep chinks. Lodging.

DAY 11: El Calafate / El Chalten
Transfer to El Chalten, through the patagonic plateau to the North, The road begins bordering Argentino Lake towards Viedma Lake the biggest of Los Glaciares National Park. El Chalten, a young patagonic town is located a few kilometers before we will arrive at the lake. Lodging.

DAY 12: El Chalten
It is possible to perform a Full Day Trekking to Cerro Torre or Laguna de los Tres. Lodging.

DAY 13: El Chalten / El Calafate
Transfer El Chalten / El Calafate to continue the trip to the chosen destination.

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