Coast of Rio Negro
The sea dominates the landscape. The cliffs fall steeply, delimiting a coastline that hits the rocky edge that contrasts with the intense blue of the ocean. This scenario gives rise to a large reservoir of fauna. A trip to bathe in nature, history, and good gastronomy, at a leisurely and calm pace.
On the southern shoreline of the Rio Negro there is the capital of the homonymous province, Viedma, which is one of the entry portals to the Argentine Patagonia, located in the northeast of the region. The city of Carmen de Patagones is located on the north bank, with which they make up a Tourist Region.
To discover the treasures of the Río Negro Coast, a five-day itinerary is proposed, arriving in the city of Viedma that receives daily frequencies of flights and buses from different destinations in the country.
Viedma is characterized by its pleasant waterfront and lush vegetation, by the spas and calm waters, inviting to carry out different activities related to nature. The city was declared the “Birthplace and National Capital of Canoeing” and has numerous nautical clubs that offer this crossing.
Taking Provincial Route No. 1, 30km from the Rio Negro capital, you get to “El Cóndor”, an ideal beach resort for those seeking rest and tranquility. This small tourist village is characterized by the extension of its beaches and invites you to enjoy and discover nature with different recreational options: beach resorts, wind sports, water sports and fishing. It is recommended to visit the waterfront, the Río Negro Lighthouse and the Malvinas Memorial; and the largest Barranquero Parrot Colony in the world stands out, reaching 175 thousand specimens.
Taking the coastal road that links “El Cóndor” with the Port of “San Antonio Este”, you have the possibility to visit different beaches such as “El Espigón”, “Playa Bonita”, “La Lobería” and a place unmatched by its nature: the Punta Bermeja Wildlife Reserve, a permanent roost of more than 4,000 one-haired sea lions that has a wildlife interpretation center and wildlife guards that accompany visitors to contemplate the sea lions and other species of the region.
Returning to the coastal path, beaches such as “Bahía Rosas” and “Bahía Creek” invite you to enjoy exceptional natural settings to spend the day with your family, ending the “Camino de la Costa” in “Puerto San Antonio Este”.
It is recommended to continue the tour of Río Negro and visit San Antonio Oeste characterized by the Bay of San Antonio, where you can navigate on adventure excursions and make exciting marine fauna watching living an experience that allows you to get closer to the pure and wild nature of the San Matías Gulf.
At 15 km, “Las Grutas” is located, and this is the tourist center that owes its name to the sea forming deep caves called “Grutas” on the wall of its cliffs. The warm waters that allow you to enjoy the beach until the last hours of the day are the characteristic feature of the destination.
During the months of August, September and October, specimens of the southern right whale approach the shores of the San Matías Gulf. The onboard sightings are made in semi-rigid boats for 10 to 12 people, and are offered from “Las Grutas” or from “Puerto San Antonio Este”. It is a fascinating and intimate experience, where these giants of the sea approach the boats and can be carefully observed in their habitat.
In the area, it is also recommended to visit the Urban Center, and the Submarine Park, an artificial reef created from the sinking of a ship. Diving in the depths of the ocean near the artificial reef full of underwater life is one of the most rewarding experiences for divers from everywhere who come to “Las Grutas”. This Submarine Park will be the largest in South America, where three ships are already sunk and two more are planned to sink soon.
50 kms from there, the “Salinas del Gualicho” is well worth, and it is a 72mbnm depression from where the salt of marine origin is extracted and sent to Bs. As for its purification, they are the largest salt flats in the country, and the third ones of industrial importance in South America.
You must also see in Río Negro the Patagonian Train, which runs through the province from the sea to the mountains, starting from Viedma and passing through 11 towns until it reaches San Carlos de Bariloche. It is a journey of 827km in which you can enjoy the majestic landscapes of the Patagonian steppe, in a formation that has cabins, a dining car, a cinema and a disco. In addition, there is now the possibility of linking this trip with the historic train “La Trochita”, which runs between Jacobacci and the town of Ojos de Agua.
Continuing this coastal journey in a southern direction, you will find “Playas Doradas”, a quiet tourist village ideal for resting and enjoying the sun. This beach has very fine sands, unique in the country since they are the result of the fragmentation of quartz and silica, which produce the golden reflections that give the place its name. The beach is 3,000 meters long and 500 meters to the sea, and with some gently sloping, it is a unique combination of sea, nature and serenity. Among the activities for tourists, fishing (grouper, dogfish, octopus, mullet), diving, kite surfing, wind surfing, and other sports stand out.
Throughout the tour you can find different gastronomic proposals that take the best of traditional cuisine and new and innovative gourmet proposals. The San Matías Gulf treasures seafood in abundance. Fish and seafood arrive at restaurants within hours of being extracted from the depths to be transformed into delicious dishes in the hands of a group of chefs and cooks who know all the secrets to extract the best of their properties.
The most characteristic products are octopus, scallops, mussels, hake, salmon, and haddock. Seafood is transformed into delicious pickles and casseroles or eaten gratin or in sauces that accompany delicious pasta. Fish such as salmon and haddock and hake are ideal to be grilled and covered with delicate sauces. Grouper, sole, snook and silverside, clams and cholgas are also highly appreciated by consumers.