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Puerto Deseado and Isla Pingüino


Spectacular seascapes, stories of explorers and shipwrecks, and excursions to come face to face with the most beautiful dolphins in the world and with a unique colony of rockhopper penguins in Argentina. A great treasure in the north of the province of Santa Cruz.

The excursions on board to observe fauna take place from October to March.

What to see
Puerto Deseado

The city of Puerto Deseado, located on the north coast of Santa Cruz, is the gateway to some of the natural wonders of this province. Settled on volcanic outcrops from the Jurassic, the rocks shape ravines and outcrop into islands, creating a very particular marine landscape. Its main natural attractions are reached with embarked departures.

It is advisable to visit the Mario Brozoski Municipal Museum, in the center of the city, which brings together objects from the Swift corvette sunk in the area in 1770; the Lourdes Grotto (15 km from Puerto Deseado) and the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve (88 km) with immense beaches and where you can see penguins, cormorants and a colony of fur seals.

Deseado Estuary and Darwin Camp

With its turquoise waters in the middle of the desert, the estuary forms a spectacular and changing landscape. It is recognized for its great biodiversity: on its coasts, islands and canyons live sea birds, sea lions, dolphins and Magellan penguins.

To observe fauna, it is best to go on a boat trip with a guide. If the tide allows it, you can enter some of the ravines on the north coast, surrounded by rock formations over 150 million years old.

At the end of the estuary, 42 km from Puerto Deseado, is the area known as “Darwin's Camp”, where the naturalist Charles Darwin camped in 1833. There is also a cave with cave paintings dating back seven thousand years. It is visited with a full day excursion.

Isla Pinguino (Penguin Island)

20 km from Puerto Deseado, and accessed with a boat excursion, the Isla Pingüino Interjurisdictional Park is one of the jewels of the area. It is a protected area that has the only easily accessible rockhopper penguin colony in Argentina. Sitting quietly to observe them, without haste, on a small rocky islet surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, is an unforgettable experience.

On the island you can also see sea lions, Magellanic penguins, skuas, oystercatchers, steamer ducks and four species of cormorants. As the island's terrain is rocky, the half-day excursion is recommended for people over the age of six and adults with good physical mobility.

During navigation, you can see Commerson's dolphins, small and very striking dolphins that dazzle. They are present in southern Argentina and Chile, which is why they are an icon of the region. As they are curious and playful, they approach the boats allowing them to see them up close.

Jaramillo Petrified Forests

270 km from Puerto Deseado, you can visit the Bosques Petrificados de Jaramillo National Park and Natural Monument that protects great testimonies from the past: 150 million years ago, in this place, there was a large araucaria forest. Today, those logs are petrified and are a great attraction in the heart of the steppe. It has an information center and museum, and a walking path. It can be visited privately or on a full day excursion from Puerto Deseado. More information in the unmissable Petrified Forests of Jaramillo.

How to get there and move around

The nearest airport to Puerto Deseado is in Comodoro Rivadavia, 297 km from Puerto Deseado. The route is paved and can also be reached by bus or with excursions.

Both the Deseado Estuary and the Penguin Island or the Darwin Camp area are visited with excursions on board.

Where to stay

Puerto Deseado has various accommodation options such as cabins, apartments, hotels and a campsite, as well as restaurants, supermarkets and other services.

More information