Bahia Bustamante It is a small town with immense nature, located on the north bank of the Golfo San Jorge, an area characterized by its importance in terms of biodiversity.
Few places in the world have this abundance and diversity of marine birds and mammals.
An intense blue sea that contrasts with colored rocks, a petrified forest, sea and land birds, sea lions, killer whales and dolphins, guanacos, maras, lighthouses, starry skies, riding halls and indigenous cemeteries. And, above all, this remote and exclusive town on the Patagonian coast offers you a different place, full of tranquility and security.
The facilities, built in the sixties, were recycled to accommodate travelers, offering them maximum comfort without modifying the original constructions. Its streets are named after seaweed such as Avenida Gracilaria or Macrocystis and, from the houses facing the sea, you can enjoy unforgettable sunrises, the moonrise over the bay, a unique environment and a rich marine fauna .
Location of Bahia Bustamante
It is located at the northern end of the arch of Golfo San Jorge, on the shores of Bahía Bustamante. South of the town of Camarones and between the cities of Comodoro Rivadavia (180 km) and Trelew (250 km).
History of the Bahia Bustamante
Don Lorenzo Soriano (Baeza, Jaén Spain, 1901-1987) arrived in the area in 1953, looking for seaweed, in order to extract colloid that would allow him to continue with the manufacture of the Malvik hair fixative, an activity that began in 1947. After touring the Patagonian coast in search of Seaweed, he discovers Bahía Bustamante, known in the area as “Bahía Podrida”, due to the accumulation of seaweed in a state of putrefaction. He carries out the first survey and then, together with his children, begins the collection of seaweed, giving rise to this exclusive Alghero town.
In the beginning, there were only two buildings facing the sea. There they settled and began to build what is now Bahía Bustamante. They built houses and rooms for more than 400 employees, a school, a church, a police station, warehouses, workshops and a supply store, among other facilities.
Approximately 50 years ago, the SORIANO family built this small town in a lonely place in Patagonia, coexisting with natural resources. Today Bahía Bustamante opens its doors for you to be part of its history and learn about its main activity: “the Seaweed Industry”.
Ideal for nature lovers, the place offers different activities such as: bird and sea lion watching, visit to the petrified forest, interpretation of the Algae industry, visit to a typical Patagonian ranch, panoramic trekking, horseback riding and mountain biking.
In addition, it is possible to enjoy its exclusive beaches of white sand and crystal clear water, framed between rocks of a characteristic intense reddish color, which provide an incredible framework of textures and colors.
With its large number of landforms, its sounds and its solitude, Bahía Bustamante is a paradise to discover.
The sea lions (Otaria Flavescens) roosts on the islands, approximately 3,500 individuals, are a key component of the population of this species in central Patagonia, gathering no less than 20% of the total number of animals that settle and reproduce in the Golfo San Jorge.
The Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) colony, which numbers approximately 60,000 individuals, is the most abundant and constitutes one of the main tourist attractions in the Province of Chubut. You will also find colonies of Cormorants, Quetros, Herons, Gulls, Terns, Petrels, Skuas, among other species.
The richness of the area also attracts the presence of Orcas, Toninas and Dolphins. And, in their migratory passage to or from Peninsula Valdés, we are visited by some specimens of Southern Right Whale and Elephant Seals.
Wildlife of Bahía Bustamante
When touring this region, you will be surprised by the unique indigenous animals that inhabit the Patagonian steppe. Maras, choiques and guanacos often cross paths and, sometimes, a restless furry or a skunk peeks out from between the branches of a thorny bush. Sunset is the perfect time to see a great variety of birds, martinetas and even some gray foxes.
Birds in Bustamante Bay
The coastal sector of Bahía Bustamante and Caleta Malaspina is one of the most relevant for marine birds in Patagonia. There are around 21 breeding colonies made up of between 1 and 7 species of seabirds. The islands and islets with habitats characterized by a combination of different substrates and vegetation, added to the high productivity of the adjacent marine area, offer these seabirds adequate environments to reproduce. On the other hand, these islands are protected from the winds and bottom seas and are difficult to access for terrestrial predators, such as furry, foxes, skunks, etc.
The Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) colony numbers approximately 60,000 individuals and constitutes one of the main tourist attractions in the Province of Chubut. In addition to the marine ones, several coastal birds use this sector to reproduce or to feed and rest during the migratory stage. Likewise, these coasts are frequented by 7 species of migratory birds, 5 Nearctic and 2 Patagonian. It is also possible to spot a great variety of species of steppe birds. Running, insectivorous, walker, caviar, and raptor birds are common.
The Petrified Forest of Bahía Bustamante
Every story has a beginning and our story begins with the story written in the landscape exposed before our eyes in Bahía Bustamante. This story tells what the landscape was like approximately 60 million years ago, a time that we identify with the name Paleocene, corresponding to the beginning of the Tertiary era, the era of the Mammals.
Dinosaurs and many other beings disappeared forever from the face of the earth a few million years before, but life continued with new actors and new settings.
At the time of our story, the sea entered from the Atlantic and covered a wide area of the San Jorge Gulf, forming a bay that extended beyond the Chico River, leaving the Camarones area emerged as an island. On the continent, life thrived: great forests covered vast areas of Patagonia. The climate was mild, with abundant rainfall and moderate temperatures. The Andes mountain range was just beginning to rise, so there was no natural barrier to the humid Pacific winds as we see today. The volcanoes were very active and the wind distributed both the humidity and the volcanic ash throughout all of Patagonia.
On our walk through the Patagonian steppe, today we can visit fossilized remains of those forests, observing huge pieces of petrified trunks, turned into hard rock with the characteristic shine of opal, which replaced the original organic matter of the tree. We can observe the growth rings, vestiges of its bark and many more characteristics.