Patagonia ( March – August 2012)

Exploring Patagonia, Argentina featured image

Patagonia is a region of Southern Argentina that occupies the East part of the Andes Mountains and South of Colorado River. In this area there are some small ports where port container vessels can dock and the most important ones are: San Antonio Este, Puerto Madryn, Puerto Deseado, Puerto Santa Cruz, Puerto San Julian, Ushuaia.

Patagonia contains some of the most diverse animal life and some of the most incredible landscapes in South America.

Exploring Patagonia, Argentina (1)

Exploring Patagonia, Argentina (2)

Exploring Patagonia, Argentina (3)

The Atlantic Coast is home to a wide variety of marine life – including elephant seals, penguins, right whales, sea lions and a variety of sea birds which attract thousands of tourists each year.

If you are a big fan of nature and want to experience some of the greatest adventures of your life you must embark yourself on one of the vessels that calls these ports and get ready to make some wonderful encounters.

It is well known that some cruising companies offer voyages to naturalists and nature lovers who want to get close to nature in areas where sea is the only possible approach. This kind of voyages are more expensive than normal cruises and are dedicated to people who are passionate about nature – fauna and flora- and want to spend as many hours as possible exploring the waters and the closest shores.

If you want to witness some of the most amazing moments at sea (but not only), you should book a trip on a port container vessel which trades the South Atlantic Ocean. If you are not a passenger, but only a member of the crew on a ship calling one of these ports, you can also enjoy your stay alongside and try to make the best of your visit.

Most of the ports in this area are the smallest ports you will ever see and, for this reason, the cargo operations can last here more than 24 hours, sometimes even 3-4 days. Under these circumstances, you will have enough time to visit the surroundings and witness the wonderful circle of life that goes on continuously in this part of the world.

I cannot advise you to choose one time of the year over the other because each season is different here and it brings along new and new personages, all of them arriving on very strict schedule. It is true that the weather can be fairly bad during winter time (June to September) and especially windy in the rest of the year, but you have to take your chances and face the weather wearing warm clothes, wind and sunscreen lotions and the best of your photo equipment.

Depending on the season, you can encounter:

penguins from end September to March;

whales from June to December; (read more about whale watching here)

orcas from October to April;

elephant lions and sea lions almost all year round; (read more about sea lions here)

– flamingos from November to February.

If bird watching is one of your favorite activities, you will be able to see and observe many different species of birds – while at sea or ashore.

Bird watching in Patagonia, Argentina (1)

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Bird watching in Patagonia, Argentina (7)

Bird watching in Patagonia, Argentina

You will also have the opportunity of admiring and noticing the relationships between different species which take sides together and support each other in feeding themselves, but also in playing and having fun.

San Antonio Este, sea lions (7)

You might have seen many of these creatures during your previous time at sea or in some enclosed spaces – like Aquariums – but nothing compares with the encounters you can experience here, in the wild. You might have seen many whales or, at least, some sprays of water in a distance while crossing the Oceans – around the South tip of India, close to the shores of New Zealand or Newfoundland, in the South of Africa – but you never had the chance of actually admiring them for more than a few seconds or to feel their breath so close to you.

Puerto Madryn Argentina - Whale watching (19)

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Sea lions are among the most playful sea mammals and you will enjoy some very funny moments having these creatures as main actors, but also some birds as a support.

San Antonio Este, sea lions (30)

San Antonio Este, sea lions (39)

San Antonio Este, sea lions (7)

Many documentaries about whales, orcas or penguins you might have seen so far on Animal Planet or National Geographic were filmed in this area and photographers from all over the world come here to take unique photos.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to arrive as far as Ushuaia, although reaching  ‘el fin de mondo’ had always been one of my deepest desires, but I did touch some interesting territories and experienced some amazing moments… and most of them came to life in San Antonio Este, Puerto Madryn and Puerto Deseado.

 

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