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!!!ARG BAHIA BUSTA Sea vu exterior.jpg (40612 bytes)  Bahia Bustamante
Open from August through April


nearby Comodoro Rivadavia
Patagonia, southern Argentina

Area Map & Distances

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ABOUT BAHIA BUSTAMANTE - in their own words:
Bahía Bustamante is a seaside village entirely surrounded by nature. It is located on the northern arch of San Jorge Gulf, an area characterised by its relevant biological biodiversity.

There are few places in the world that house such an amount and diversity of seabirds and marine mammals.

Since 1952, the village has been exclusively devoted to the seaweed harvest. At the beginning, 500 people lived there who then used wagons pulled by horses to collect the crops. Today some 40 inhabitants live in Bahía Bustamante who are all devoted to the seaweed production, which makes this place a “world’s unique seaweed village”.

The streets are named after seaweeds such as Avenida Gracilaria, Macrocystis, etc. You will feel the years of history that have modeled this land of pioneers just by walking in the streets. In the shade of a few old trees, you will find the second tractor used by the Soriano Company to move the seaweeds. A little further, you will discover the school, the church and the square with its pole, flying the Argentine flag. The old López bar, located on the seafront, is the oldest building of the village and it remains a silent witness of the area’s history.

Bahía Bustamante is part of a farming project. It is surrounded by more than 10 000 hectares (24 700 acres) dedicated to the wool production and using high technology in order to ensure a high quality of wool. The lands reach the coastal area and the plateau, which offer a great diversity of landscapes.

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LOCATION:


Bahía Bustamante is located on the northern arch of San Jorge Gulf, Chubut province, Patagonia, Argentina, lying to the South of Camarones, another seaside village, and between Comodoro Rivadavia (110 miles/180 km) and Trelew (155 miles/250 km).

The best way to get here is by plane from Buenos Aires to COMODORO RIVADAVIA (2 ½ hours) followed by a 2 hour land transfer from Comodoro to Bahia Bustamante (110 miles).


HISTORY:
Mr. Lorenzo Soriano (Baeza, Jaen, Spain, 1901-1987) arrived in this area in 1953, searching for seaweed so as to be able to extract the colloids that enabled the production of Malvic hair gel, which he had started in 1947. After travelling all over the Patagonian coastline in search of seaweed, he discovered Bahía Bustamante, known then as the “Rotten Bay”, due to the accumulation of rotten seaweed. He decided to carry out a preliminary research and then, together with his four sons, started the seaweed harvest. It was at that moment that this exclusive village was born.

Back then, there were only two constructions by the sea. They settled there and began to build Bahía Bustamante. They built houses and rooms for more than 400 employees, with its own school, church, police station, warehouses, workshop and grocery store, among other things.
Almost fifty years ago, the Soriano family built this village in a desolated area of Patagonia, living with the richness of nature. Today it opens its doors so that you can also be part of its history and get to know its main activity: “the Seaweed Industry.”

ACCOMMODATIONS:
There are six Sea Houses, situated in front the of the.  All houses have two bedrooms, one bathroom, living room, mini bar and an ocean front view terrace. A stay in one of the Sea Houses includes breakfast, lunch/picnic basket and dinner (fixed menu) and all the scheduled activities

There are another four Steppe Houses, much more simple than the Sea Houses. Located at the edge of the "village" where the steppe landscape begins, each house has one double room, dining room, bathroom, fully equipped kitchen and a small living room with a single bed. Maximum capacity is three persons. A stay in the Steppe House includes only lodging.

DINING & SUCH:
Two blocks away from the houses, you will find the grocery store where meals will be served here in a typical Patagonian environment. At the grocery store, you will be delighted with our exclusive regional meals based on our local products such as seaweed, lamb, fish and seafood. The largest part of the vegetables is grown in a large garden sheltered from the wind. You may visit it when you come back from the Petrified Forest.

In the old Grocery Store you may find:

The “Proveeduria”: Where the dining room is situated. Regional food, based on typical products of the area, such as seaweed, bovine meat, guanaco, fish and shellfish are served.

The Museum: A small museum with old photographs of the village and its old ways. Showing the first steps of the seaweed industry worldwide, that took place in our coast. This was how Bahia Bustamante was born in 1950. Going further back in time lithography’s of the Malaspina Expedition in 1789 are also shown. Two ships arrived to our shore, Malaspina being the leader of the expedition and Bustamante, the Captain of the second vessel. The museum also owns a telescope that allows the study of stars by night.

The Club: game room: Pool, ping-pong, table-football, “frog” (Argentine game).

Bar & Living room: Perfect for reading or simply watching the sea through the immense windows. A very comfortable way to still be part of the landscape, enjoying the special lighting and fabulous sunsets that the Patagonia offers. All of this comfort sheltered from the wind. In the small library you may have access to the works about birds that inhabit our shores, left year after year by the Biologists that visit us. The bar is situated in a corner of the living room, were drinks are served to go with the Poker or Truco Tournaments that sometimes carry on until the wee hours!!

Description of activities included in the Sea House Rate:

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Visit and Sailing along Malaspina Cove visiting Sea Lion and Seabird colonies:
After taking breakfast, we gather at the grocery store and assess the weather report and the tide tables to determine whether sailing is possible. We get on the boat and sail along the seaweed fields where we come across vessels working on the seaweed harvest. Later we sail on the mussel crops and tell you all about the breeding online system we use. Finally we come near the islands that are within the cove, approach the Roca Malaspina to continue sailing down the archipelago made up by the Vernacci Islands. While sailing, we can contemplate Sea Lion colonies (3,500 animals during the breeding season), Penguins (60,000) and colorful Marine Bird colonies. Then we moored the boat and return to the village.
Estimated time: 4/5 hours approx.

Visit to the Petrified Forest:
After breakfast, we take internal tracks within our private land driving almost 18 miles (30 km) till we arrive to the Petrified Forest. At the gully, we travel 60 million years ago to be able to interpret the different pieces. On foot, we arrive at “the Pyramid” where it is possible to listen to Patagonian silence. We can return walking all along the edge of the hill till we find ourselves again at the starting point.
Estimated time: 4/5 hours approx.

Visit to the Seaweed Industry and Archaeological Sites:
In the morning, we visit the working place where the seaweed harvest is carried out. There we get to know a varied number of species being marketed by our company, their processes and uses. During the visit, we can also go to archaeological sites such as aboriginal working areas and cemeteries.
Estimated time: 4 hours approx.

Visit to a Typical Patagonian Ranch:
At noon, we visit one of our ranches where we participate in the daily tasks. Depending on the date, we may see marking, weaning, shearing, or classifying sheep. We have lunch in situ following the habits of our gauchos. Then we visit the facilities of one of our ranches, say stockyards, shedders, shearing sheds. Mid-afternoon, we head towards Bahía Bustamante.
Estimated time: 4/5 hours approx.

Birdwatching:
1. Two endemic species, the Chubut Steamer Duck (Tachyeres leucocephalus), found in large concentrations and the Olrog s Gull (Larus atlanticus) considered to be an internationally threatened specie, as it has been included in the first appendix of the Migratory Species Convention, which has been ratified by the Argentine Government.

      2. 12 different seabird species nest in the area, in 21 breading colonies populated with 1 to 7 sea bird species each. Within these 12 marine species you may find the Magellan Penguin colony (Spheniscus magellanicus) which is truly large. In the area you may also find significant colonies of Blue-eyed Cormorant (Phalacrocorax atriceps) and Rock Cormorant (P. magallenicus). The Blue-eyed Cormorant is the main guano producer of the country and their colonies have suffered sporadic extractions during the nineteenth century.

      3. Seven migratory, five neartic and two Patagonian species frequent the area. The Bahía Bustamante region, for example, is noted for being one of the main transitory spots on most beach-bird's migratory journey - especially for the Red knot (Calidris canutus), the White-rumped sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) and the Hudsonian godwit (Limosa haemastica) that have their main non-breeding colonies on Tierra del Fuego island.

      4. A great variety and diversity of other marine and steppe birds.

Other Activities: Trekking, Mountain Bike, Visit to the beaches

Other Activities (NOT included): Horseback riding, Kayak, navigation in Zodiac for photographers. 

NOTES:

  • Activities are scheduled and programmed the previous night, and guests are informed of these. As the activities are subject to climatic conditions, the order in which they are carried out is subject to variation.
  • All activities are carried out within the establishment.
  • No activity demands important physical effort. Previous experience is necessary for horse riding and kayak sailing.
  • If you have them, we recommend that you bring fishing tackle and binoculars
  • We suggest wearing suitable clothing such as a warm coat or a windbreaker, comfortable trousers, leather or waterproof shoes, gloves, cap, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and lip protective cream. For the summer, bring swimsuit, shorts and a beach towel.