Bahía Laura Natural Reserve

The scene around Bahía Laura is so tempting that it well deserves a visit, even when many kilometers must be traveled along gravel roads that cross the Patagonian high plateau in order to reach it.

The main attraction at Bahía Laura is the short distance existing between visitors and penguins, cormorants, steamer-ducks and other birds that inhabit the natural reserve. Besides, there is the possibility to fish in the sea and go on photographic safaris.

We left Puerto Deseado towards the south following an almost desert road. Only some classic Patagonian estancia appeared here and there, as well as rheas and guanacos that crossed the fields at full speed.

As we approached the seashore, the scenery began to change significantly. We had a map of the area in order to find our way around and see the coastline features in detail.

We spotted the bay and stayed there for a while enjoying its sandy spots before getting into the refreshing waters. It was necessary for us to keep our footwear on, as the rocks on the seabed were really rough. The beach features well-marked steps created by the tides and it ends at large rocky headlands that give shape to a cove.

  • Enjoying its sandy spots

    Enjoying its sandy spots

  • Magellanic penguins

    Magellanic penguins

  • Cormorants

    Cormorants

  • The sea wildlife features many charms

    The sea wildlife features many charms

The Natural Reserve starts at Cabo Guardián (Cape Guardian) to the north and ends at Campaña de Punta Mercedes Lighthouse to the south. It is necessary to learn in advance when the various species of birds that make up the colonies, such as rock shags or penguins, arrive. They feed and then migrate.

Shortly afterwards, we went to Cabo Guardián and could see Magellanic penguins nestling on some islets. They stay there from September to April every year. They prepare their caves and mate on Raza Chica and Baggio Islands. They sit on their eggs until they hatch. When the offspring are ready to swim, they all migrate northwards.

We then headed for Punta Mercedes Lighthouse, which works automatically and has no staff. We were informed that a village used to be located there until the mid twentieth century. Sheep wool from the local estancias would be prepared to be shipped at this village. The classic inhabitants of the area are steamer and crested ducks, white-rumped sandpipers and kelp gulls.

There was a group of campers at a wild corner of the bay, even though there are no organized services. A few steps away, there lies Bahía Laura estancia, and a little farther, estancia El Amanecer, which welcomes visitors to stay at its inn or its campsite. Specialized guides lead guests to the penguin colonies and the hills in the surrounding area.

This site is ideal for photographic safaris, as the sea wildlife features many charms and its movements and free life forms amaze the eye. We just carried our cameras that captured enough images to let us become aware of the magnitude of the tour we had just experienced.

Contact :

Estancia El Amanecer

E-mail: marisol_vidal1988@yahoo.com.ar

Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Jorge González

How to get hereHow to get here: Setting out at Puerto Deseado, take gravel Provincial Routes 47 and 85 and cover a total distance of 150 kilometers.

Bear in mindBear in mind: Make sure you have enough fuel, supplies and water, as there are no stores in the area.

Location

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