Puerto Madryn Cruises
Situated snugly in a well-protected bay of the Golfo Nuevo, Puerto Madryn is the Chubut Province's natural access point for the plains of Patagonia. This vast area covers one-third of the country but is occupied by less than four percent of the population. Patagonia characteristically encompasses three different regions: a vast and windy, treeless plateau; the Atlantic coast; and the southern part with its national parks, awesome mountain ranges, glaciers and fjords. In the north of Patagonia, in Chubut Province, is Argentina's Welsh community, which began when a group of adventurous Welsh immigrants settled in the area around Puerto Madryn in 1886. The town took its name from Love Parry, Baron of Madryn. Although today the town appears unmistakably Argentine, Welsh customs, names and even some of the language have survived. On the town's outskirts stands the statue of a Welsh woman depicting the simple life of these early settlers.
Puerto Madryn has experienced rapid development thanks to Argentina's first aluminum plant established here. Lately it has also become a popular tourist center because of its excellent diving and watersports, recognized by visitors from all over Argentina and other parts of South America.
Still, its major draw is the proximity to such important wildlife reserves as Punta Tombo and the Peninsula Valdés. Scores of visitors endure long drives to visit these amazing nature reserves for Magellanic penguins, elephant seals, sea lions and whales.
In town, a casino and several restaurants known for good seafood provide visitors with basic diversions. In addition, there is the Museum of Natural Sciences and Oceanography with exhibits portraying the remarkable wildlife in the Province of Chubut. Main street shops offer a limited selection of leather goods, watersports equipment and items made by the Patagonian Indians.