Quieter, and much less visited by tourists than Puerto Madryn and Península Valdés, the southern stretch of the Atlantic coastline from Camarones to Río Gallegos is extremely rich in marine life of all kinds. There are several wonderful reserves protecting a wide variety of species of birds and mammals, and a few good bases for exploring them at the coastal towns of Camarones, Puerto Deseado and Puerto San Julián, with good services and accommodation. If you have your own transport, you could head out to the only national park on the coast, Monte León, where you can walk the shore for miles and stay in a remote but comfortable
. And on the last spit of land before Tierra del Fuego, there's ancient history to explore near the coast at Cabo Vírgines.
There are two cities in this huge region, of which by far the most appealing is the southernmost town on the Argentine mainland, Río Gallegos. It's a small pleasant place, with good accommodation, and tours offered to penguin colonies, though there's little to draw you here unless you're changing buses. The other city, Comodoro Rivadavia, is probably best avoided, unless you're keen to see the petroleum museum. Aside from coastal attractions, this region also boasts the country's finest petrified forest, the Monumento Natural Bosques Petrificados, difficult to reach on public transport, 250 km west of Puerto Deseado.
This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF