King Charles III requested that these lands be populated after the expedition led by Juan de la Piedra landed on the area today known as Villarino Beach back in 1779. Thus, the first constructions were raised and the first irrigation channels were opened. Nevertheless, the lack of drinking water forced many settlers to finally move to a new population that was emerging in the area occupied today by Carmen de Patagones and Viedma.
After the arrival of a Tehuelche Indian raid in 1810 at the fort, this site was not dwelled by white men again until the desert campaign commanded by Julio Argentino Roca. However, the water problem continued due to the high level of salinity in this zone. This made any permanent settlement almost impossible and people had to move around to search for water.
This area boasts immense natural beauty. One of the most remarkable ecological sanctuaries in the planet may be found on the Valdés Peninsula. In fact, the whole zone –which includes six natural reserves (open to visitors)- was declared World Natural Heritage by UNESCO. Its 4,000 square kilometers include 110 kilometers of open sea shore and 150 kilometers of coast on the Nuevo and San José Gulfs.
The reserves located on Punta Norte (Northern Point) and on Isla de los Pájaros (Birds’ Island) were created in 1967. In 1974, the first sea park in the country was opened in Gulf San José, and the creation of the Punta Delgada and Punta Pirámide Reserves followed.
Featuring dry climate year round and winter temperatures ranging between 10 degrees below at night and 15 degrees during the day, the Peninsula presents rainfalls of 200 annual millimeters . The fresh dry climate remains even during spring and summer nights. Nonetheless, temperatures may range between 20 and 42 degrees during the day.