Puerto Madryn (days 3-5)
1078 km from Buenos Aires
Travel agencies: Huinca travel
There are two airports close to Puerto Madryn, the homonymous (LAN flys there) and the Trelew (Argentinian Airlines) where we landed, 65 km from Puerto Madryn. You can find taxi, little bus or rent a car there. No public transport available.
If you rent a car it’s impossible to get lost as there’s only the Ruta3 to follow!
The city is not really interesting but you can have a very nice walk on the long promenade (about 10 km). The reason to visit the Chubut is in the natural wonders of the province, as you will see below.
But to be fair with Puerto Madryn, I have to mention some very good places i’ve found there (you can find my reviews also on TripAdvisor):
96 km from Puerto Madryn, mostly on unpaved roads.
The route is brutal: no trees, few cars but tonnes of unusual animals like Guanacos, Peludos, Choique and obviously sheep. You will also find some estancias in the distance, but they are private properties so it’s not allowed to cross the enclosures!
What’s inside the peninsula:
Istmo Ameghino is the door of the peninsula. You can find natural and historical information on the national park and have some rest (you can find souvenirs as everywhere). But usually the guide (if you’re on an organized excursion) has already told you everything you need to know about the place before you arrive!
On the road you can have different stops at the miradores, when you can stretch your muscles after all the km, look at the amazing view and the local fauna: sea lions (lobos marinos) on the beach and very close encounters with Magellanic penguins (pinguinos de magallanes).
Puerto Piramides it’s the only inhabited place in the whole peninsula: a very small village in the real middle of nowhere, where inhabited is an overrated adjective.
There are some restaurants and bed&breakfasts as well as a place when you can buy fruits, vegetables and food.
You can take a boat to take you to the whale watching (from june to december).
But as we where in late Dec the guide warned us that it would be very unlikely to see whales at the end of the coupling period and suggested to us a minitrekking around the place, as we had to wait about an hour as the couple we were sharing the car with chose the whale watching.
The view is breathless and well worth the walk!
On the way to Punta Delgada (where you can meet sea lions) you’ll pass close to the salina grande and salina chica, two amazing salt lakes, which thanks to the presence of little pink crabs has very particular pink shades. Unfortunately the lakes, like most of Argentinian land (about 90%) are private property, so it’s not allowed to go too close!
Before to go back to Puerto Madryn have one last stop at Gaviotas beach (24 km from PM). It is worth it and could be your last chance for whale watching. For us it wasn’t fate this time.
174 km from Puerto Madryn.
The place is famous for the colony of Magellanic penguins which lay eggs there every year. You have to follow a rock signed trail trying not to bother the penguins which walk literally on your side…and bear in mind to always give the way to them as it’s not uncommon to see penguins walk on the trail you’re walking! Very suggestive and impressive natural experience.
Apparently in touristic peak periods it’s not unusual to proceed like in a parade due to the large amount of people visiting it.
There is a bar at the entrance of the park…very good empanadas!
On the way back from Punta Tombo take some time to visit the surrounding of Gaiman. You’ll be shocked! After kilometers of bare land you’ll find trees!
The area was colonized by runaway Welsh people (after some first adaptation issues) and in contrast to the rest of Chubut, there’s water! That’s the reason for all the green, the plantations and the cherries production (which the area is famous for).
Believe me, after days of endless landscape, you’ll be struck by the trees!
The village is nothing exciting, lots of Casas de Té Galés (Welsh tea houses) and famous for being one of the few stops of the very sparse Argentinian railway.
One of the most important wool textile centre of the country. And nothing more!