Estancia San Lorenzo, Penguin Land
On the shores of the San Matías Gulf, inside the Punta Norte area on the Valdés Peninsula, Estancia San Lorenzo shelters a reproduction colony of Magellanic penguins.
Getting up early during vacation time turns out to be very useful when it comes to visiting a new place and enjoying ourselves. Estancia San Lorenzo, its penguin reserve and a visit to the elephant seal colony at Punta Delgada, well deserved the effort.
As we headed for the estancia on a van, we were told that the Machinea family, owner of San Lorenzo, settled down in the area in 1906 occupying almost 5 kilometers on the shore of San Matías Gulf.
During the first years, they devoted themselves to cattle raising and later on, from 1918 to 1960, to hunting South American sea lions. They would use the fur to make leather items and the fat to produce industrial oil. Years later, the venue started exploiting sheep husbandry and then they concentrated their natural resources on educational, scientific, preservation and tourist activities.
Estancia San Lorenzo
A trail goes through the penguin colony
You can enjoy good roasted lamb for lunch
To see the customs of these birds
We enjoyed that immense peace
Some elements, such as old boilers used by the sea lion hunters to turn fat into oil, still remain in the area.
Feeling very enthusiastic about everything we had heard during the journey, we visited the penguin colony and were amazed at the countless specimens that dwell in this place. Every year, from August till March, penguins develop their life cycle at this location. They nest, breed, mate and wait for their eggs to hatch. Both parents feed the young and teach them basic strategies to become independent in the sea.
A trail goes through the penguin colony and invites visitors to see the customs of these birds and their nests and to listen to their loud screams out of tune without disturbing the animals.
Much research has been done ever since the penguin colony settled down in Punta Norte. It becomes larger and larger every year and the preservation of the species is guaranteed by the staff of CENPAT (Centro nacional Antagonico-CONICET), who monitor the birds and are highly experienced in the environmental management of protected natural areas.
We continued our way towards the beach, where a small group of penguins were heading for the sea. They freshen up and also look for their favorite food: shrimp and little anchovy. We enjoyed that immense peace where the land meets the sea while petrels and gulls hovered over our heads showing who the real owners of those beaches really are.
Past and present of a Patagonian undertaking lives on as a result of the spirit of preservation of natural resources.
Mónica Pons / Eduardo Epifanio
Bear in mind: The estancia remains open from September till April. If you arrive at noon, you can enjoy good roasted lamb for lunch.It lies 150 kilometers away from Puerto Madryn and 60 km from Puerto Pirámides following Provincial Route 3. Only 17 km separate it from Punta Norte wildlife reserve.
Estancia San Lorenzo
a 60 Km. de la ciudad, (9121) , Puerto Pirámides, Chubut
Tel: +54 280-4458444