A short distance from Puerto Madryn is an inlet tucked into the dramatic Patagonian cliffs where a colony of sea lions lives. South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) are sea mammals that can weigh up to 350 kg, and the males are distinguished by a lionesque mane. These marine animals are common throughout southern South America’s coasts, but this colony in the Punta Loma Nature Reserve is undoubtedly one of the best places to see them. You can visit them here with a Punta Loma Tour.
This Punta Loma Tour takes you on a 2.5 hour excursion from Puerto Madryn to the Nature Reserve, 17 km southwest of the city. After entering the protected Punta Loma Nature Reserve, pay the entrance fee (currently AR$ 50, not included in the tour), and take a walk through the Patagonian vegetation, where you’ll learn a bit more about the local flora and its importance for the environment here, including its role in the flavour of the famous Patagonian lamb! You’ll walk to two lookout points where you have amazing views of the sea lion colony on the beach and waters below. Listen to the sounds they make, and watch them interact with each other, swim out to sea and soak up the sun. It’s an amazing opportunity to observe these large marine animals.
Sea Lion Watching Tips:
- This tour can be taken at any time of the year. If you wish to see sea lion pups, the best time is between December and February.
- This activity is short and is perfect for the day of your flight. Since the tour departs according to the tides for the maximum viewing experience, there is a possibility to be picked up at the airport in order to fit the tour into your schedule and ensure the best activity possible.
- Keep your eyes open for birds and other wildlife in the reserve and in the bay.
- This is a protected area that takes conservation seriously. Make sure you follow your guide’s instructions and leave the environment as you find it.
- As the viewpoints are on an exposed cliff, it can get very windy and chilly. Dress warmly and bring a wind jacket.
Video by: Olimpio Brunetto / Words by: Nicole Eberhard