Argentina, Patagonia – Puerto Madryn
Port Puerto Madryn is situated on a cliff making an edge of a plateau. From there you may enjoy the vista over the endless Atlantic ocean. Whale observation is the main attraction over there. However, keep in mind you can do this activity only from June till December. Local cliffs make observing whales so much easier.
The town was founded in 1865. 150 Welsh settlers came here and named the town after Sir Love Jones-Parry. Punta Cuevas hides the ruins of the first Welsh settlement. It is very likely that the houses built back then there were the very first in Patagonia. Currently, there are expositions showing items which belonged to first settlers and information on Welsh culture. By following Camino del Indio we get to the memorial of Tehuelche indians (Monumento al Indio Tehuelche). Up form there we get an amazing vista over the town, beaches, and industrial zone. Locals also enjoy the amazing vista. They park their cars on the side of the road, drink mate, and enjoy the vista.
Of historic sights worth seeing one should pay attention to „Monumento a los Colonos Galeses“, built by sculptor Luis Perlotti to commemorate 100th anniversary of foundation of the city. The church and some older structure may be seen on General San Martín square. Don't expect much however. Tourists come here enjoy nature and water attractions. Currently Puerto Madryn is visited by thousands tourists annualy. Patagonia tourist services are situated mostly here. Average summer temperature here is 14 °C, but maximal temperature gets as high as 35 °C, in winter it drops down to 5 °C. There are no periods without precipitations throughout the year.
Whales is the best attraction. You may observe them from the area called El Doradillo. Tourists without a car will have quite problems to reach this place. So another option is to pay for a cab. To rent a car is quite good to have when visiting Peninsula Valdes. This vast peninsula allows you to see sea lions, penguins, elephant seal, killer whale. It is not the cheapest of trips yet if you want to see penguins the best is to visit Punta Tombo.
We found accommodation in a camp. We were quite lucky to see there so many Argentinian tourists who took us to Punta Loma reserve about 12 kilometers behidn the town. Founded in 1967, Punta Loma was the very first reserve in Chubut province. It was founded for the one reason only - to protect the only prmanent sea lion habitat. Also, here we see commorant and South American tern. When we arrive here, there are only several sea lions laying around on the beach, other hunt for prey. We wait for a while, make a quick walkaround, and then observe how other sea lions return on the beach. Close to Punta Loma, there is Cerro Avanzado hill. From there you may see the dunes and steppes around.
Once we return to the camp, we enjoy the true free time Argentina style. Argentinians are used to do barbecue in good weather and enjoy their "asado". So they pay a small fee in a camp and spend an afternoon bbquing, drinking wine and mate.
If one doesn't want to do sports like diving, windsurfing, or cayaking, Puerto Madryn is not an interesting town. The fauna aroudn this place makes it very special. It is good to ask around at the visitors' center and think, how much one is willing to spend here actually. The possibilities are numerous.
GPS: 42°46'01.1"S 65°01'56.1"W
Text and photos: Tomáš Novák
We leave Tierra del Fuego for north. In a bus we cross the Rio Gallegos and then we hitchhike again. Now we would ride along Ruta 3 along the coastline up to Buenos Aires.
Trelew is situated in the lower part of the Chubut river valley. The town was founded during a colonization wave in the 1884. Then the Welsh settlers were searching for a way to a port so they could bring their agricultural production. Construction of a railroad connecting the valley and Puerto Madryn was allowed. Trelew was founded as a railway terminal.
Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city, home to 13 million porteños, as the inhabitants of Buenos Aires are often dubbed. Also, it is one of the most fabulous capitals in Latin Americe. Historic and modern architectur meet here and add to wonderful atmosphere of the city with vibrant night life.
We walk around the city center on our following days in Buenos Aires. Apart from historic houses or churches we see Teatro Colon, considered one of the best opera houses in the world for its amazing acoustics. Opened in 1908, the theater hosted some of the most famous dirigents, singers, and dancers of the 20th century. Consider Igor Stravinski or Luciano Pavarotti. In 2010, the city finished theater's renovation and opened it to the public.
There are many interesting places around Buenos Aires. To conclude our journey in Argentina, we visited Lujan and Tigre. Then we took a ferry to Uruguay.
The town was named after Calafate fruit, sweet berries used to make marmelades. Legend has it that he who tastes the fruit will never fullfill his taste. What makes El Calafate a popular destnation today, is Perito Moreno, a melting glacier. Los Glaciares national park covers an area of 500 thousand hectares and features 47 glaciers.
The further south we get, the worse the weather is. Constant wind, clouds crossing the sky, and cold. There are almost no cars to hitch. But we try our luck still.
Patagonia is an exceptional place. You won't experience anything like it anywhere else in the world. Only in South America. The Andes create a tall tall wall in the west, in the east there is the blue waters of the Atlantic ocean, it is the land of pines and lakes, and there is huge plain in its central part. And in the south there is the Tierra del Fuego and the town of Ushuaia. It is true end of the world.
Bariloche is am Argentinian town situated in Rio Negro amidst thousands year old forests, snow capped mountains, and crystal clear lakes. The town is situated within Nahuel Huapi national park (which neighbors the Andes). Local nature gives plenty of oportunity to do many adventurous activities throughout the year. In 2012, Bariloche was declared the capital of adventure tourism and the national town of chocolate in 2015.
The name Tierra del Fuego possibly came to be when some explorers spotted the coast of unknown land with fires scattered around and smoke clouds from the fires of the indigenous people. The fire must have lookd like the island floats in haze above the sea.
As we arrive in El Chaltén, steppes seem to be replaced by forests. Mountain rise high up into the sky. But the wind stays the same. Tourists love El Chaltén for beautiful nature. Glaciers, mountains, lagoons, waterfalls, and forests. Great temptation to take a walk to. Moreover, you can drink right from a river or a lake.
a is the second largest city in the country. Founded by Jeronimo Luis de Cabrere in 1573, the city was named by Cordoba, Spain. Cordoba in Argentina is the capital of the Cordoba province and also was Argentinian capital two times in its history.
We leave Mendoza for the townso f La Rioja and San Miguel de Tucumán. We are about to hitchhike again. Eventually, a truck driver recommends us to visit the town of Vallecito known mostly for the place called Difunta Correa.
The town is situated on the foothill of the Andes. It is a beautiful oasis made by man thanks to huge irrigation system supported by the rivers of Mendoza and Tunuyan. The town is the gateway into the Pacific Ocean. Climate is very pleasant, wind and rain are seldom here.
Upon several days in the large city of Cordoba we move on. Mendoza is our next stop. Once we find out that a cheap suburb train rides to the small town of Cosquin we take it. Moreover, the train rides in beautiful terrain. Sometimes even Argentinians who travel there with children are quite amazed by the beautiful vistas. They often get off the train at train stations just to buy breakfast. Before our stop, we get off the train by Lago San Roque lake. Opened in 1890,one of the largest submarine sinkholes in the world is the greatest attraction around. Only looking at it one gets scared. We hitchhike our ride from here to Villa Carlos Paz town.
Leaving La Rioja we set out to San Miguel de Tucumán. We wouldn't have even thought that we would visit local folk dance competition.
Posadas is the capital of Misiones province. Before the Jesuites settletd here, the native inhabitants were the Guarani indians. Today, you can see them selling hteir handmade products. The province also features amazing Iguazu waterfalls as well as historic sights such as Ruinas de San Ignacio.
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