Going ashore in Puerto Deseado, Argentina

Puerto Deseado belongs to South Patagonia and it is located in the Province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, where the waters of Deseado River flow into the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a small port in a very beautiful area that was explored by the greatest naturalists and explorers of the world starting with the XVIth century – including Sir Francisc Drake, Charles Darwin and Thomas Cavendish, whose ship, named Desire, gave the name of the territory.

There is no shuttle bus available inside the port, but walk is permitted in order to get to the gate. From there, you can follow the road to the right and head towards the city center or you can take some other interesting paths which will take you to some new discoveries. All the area surrounding the port contains a very rich animal life and amazing landscapes which attract thousands of tourists every year, especially during summer months.

Although 800 km separate this area from Ushuaia – ‘el fin del Mondo’- the landscape looks a little deserted and remote and can be considered less interesting by those who enjoy vivid and crowded cities, but, especially for this reason, many different kind of animals made their homes in these territories throughout the year or only for a few months.

Puerto Deseado - Beautiful lagoon

If you are a passenger on a vessel docking in the small port of Deseado or you just work on the vessel, but have a few hours to spend and relax, you can try to make the best of this visit. If you are interested in nature and animal life, you will witness here some incredible encounters and amazing moments.

Depending on the season, you may find different kind of funny creatures that will make your trip worthwhile and unforgettable.

A colony of sea elephants and another colony of sea lions live on some small islands close to the port throughout the year and you can hire a small boat to get you near these animals. During low tide, you do not even need a boat because you can walk your way through shallow waters, taking advantage of the created pathways which connect different pieces of land. Keep your eyes on the watch, unless you want to get wet in your way back, when the pathways will disappear and you will find yourself surrounded by high waters.

Puerto Deseado - view over the sea lion colony

Shallow waters around Puerto Deseado

Puerto Deseado shallow waters

Puerto Deseado and the islets around it

Exploring the shallow waters around Puerto Deseado

Puerto Deseado Argentina sea lion

If you arrive in this area between the months of October and March, you will witness some of the most incredible and touching moments of your entire life when you meet the real kings of this place – the penguins. There are two kinds of penguins in this area – the Magellan Penguin and the Crested Penguin – and you will need a boat to take you closer to them as they all live on the Penguin Island. These Penguins come on the island at the end of September to breed and lay the eggs and they will remain on land, taking care of the babies, until they become big enough to go into the water. This happens in March when the Crested Penguins will leave the island and go to sea, often a very long way from land and the Magellan Penguin will go North, in search of warmer waters, close to the Coast of Brazil.

There are some tourist offices in town that offer boat trips to the Penguin Island, but the most reliable one is Darwin Expediciones – located very close to the port.

Puerto Deseado - Boat expeditions

Their boats will take you to the island in less than half an hour and once arrived there you have the possibility of spending some time ashore, admiring and taking photos, but keeping a certain distance. The required distance is not for your safety, but for protecting the penguins and the environment.

After you spent some time watching the small and fluffy baby penguins and the majestic and handsome figures of the adults – especially the Crested Penguins- you can have a stroll along the beach and enjoy a few hours of bird or dolphin watching.  Many different species of sea birds inhabit the shores and islands close to the port and you can admire them from a close up. As tourists are very rare in this area, birds and animals are not used to human presence and they will not be intimidated too much by you. So, you can enjoy a close interaction with all the creatures that exist in the area, but showing respect and keeping distance.

Puerto Deseado - sharing the same rope

Exploring the surroundings Puerto Deseado

Bird watching Puerto Deseado

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