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On the Marquis’ Headland

   
 Estimated reading time: 1 min. Texts Marcelo Sola   Photos Jorge González
Punta del Marqués Natural Reserve

We visited a natural protected area lying just 17 kilometers from Comodoro Rivadavia. On the edge of a cliff, we watched a South American sea lion colony.

During our visit to Comodoro Rivadavia, we resolved to abandon the oil city for a while and head southwards, to the neighboring district of Villa Rada Tilly. We went to Punta del Marqués Natural Reserve, a protected area that lies on the Southeastern end of a craggy high plateau, where we would observe a colony of South American sea lions.

A consolidated gravel road in good condition led us to the highest area in the reserve. This geographical feature enters approximately 2.5 kilometers into the sea. Therefore, this becomes the most remarkable headland in the Gulf of San Jorge. The high plateau stands at 167 m.a.s.l. and features the view of the Cities of Comodoro Rivadavia and Villa Rada Tilly along with their beaches.

Punta del Marqués Natural Reserve
Due to the erosion of the sea, the wind and the scarce rainfall, the cliff experiences constant movements and collapses. Therefore, it is advisable not to get too close to the edge.

History goes that these lands used to belong to Everardo Tilly y Paredes, best known as the Marquis of the Tilly House in Spain. The headline has been named Punta del Marqués after him.
As we went along the interpretation trail and stopped at each of the nine vantage points, foxes, lizards and several aquatic birds that nest around the area appeared before us.

We soon reached the South American sea lions viewpoint. This protected area offers a daily service of binoculars and guides during the high season.
Punta del Marqués Natural Reserve
With the help of the binoculars, we could observe the foot of the cliff, where the permanent non-reproductive colony of South American sea lions is located. This large shoal shelters a population of 400 to 1,500 sea lions, according to season. The highest concentration occurs between October and December. Due to the land features, the sea lions depend on the tides to settle down on the platform. It is possible to observe them in the water during the high tide or resting during the low tide. The truth is that this is a wonderful site which invites visitors to stay for long hours beholding the horizon outlined in the distance.

At the moment of writing this article, the Municipality of Rada Tilly was building a refuge in the highest part of the plateau along with a mini interpretation center that will shelter tourists visiting the reserve on windy days.
Punta del Marqués Natural Reserve
Another way to access this protected area is by enjoying some alternative activity such as mountain biking or hiking. The natural charm becomes a part of these sports.

Visiting Punta del Marqués is a quiet way of getting in contact with nature and wildlife in the southern seas. Ideal to be discovered with the family.
Useful Data
How to get here
Punta del Marqués protected area stands 17 km away from the City of Comodoro Rivadavia, on the South Atlantic coast. Visitors must travel along Route 3 up to Rada Tilly and then take the gravel road leading to the reserve.
 
Timetables
all day
 
Recommendations
Punta del Marqués protected area stands 17 km away from the City of Comodoro Rivadavia, on the South Atlantic coast. Visitors must travel along Route 3 up to Rada Tilly and then take the gravel road leading to the reserve.
 
 
Inter Patagonia

Characteristics
Level of Difficulty
intermediate
Duration
half a day
Tour Kind
wildlife mapping. Contemplative tourism.
Useful Data Useful Data



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