At the threshold of Patagonia, in the amazing setting of the Río Negro and Neuquén valley, we discovered the perfect setting for a family outing by the river. Rincón Balsa Las Perlas
, in the Municipality of Cipolletti
, is a popular leisure spot for both residents and tourists, especially on sunny summer days. The coast of the Limay River is the main attraction in the area due, not only to its crystal clear water and great fishing, but also to the contrast between the vast tract of semi-desert landscape and the green, fertile valleys. While driving along, we enjoyed looking out at the plateau where settlers breed sheep and goats and produce fruit and vegetables. Before driving down to the beaches, we caught our first glimpse of the river and as we approached, the panoramic view simply took our breath away. Like in an ever changing mise-en-scène, the scenery kept surprising us. In this area, a geological flaw makes the Limay river lean on its southern bank which produced a huge, eroded, sandy cliff whose wide range of colors delighted us as we traversed it. We also visited the cliff known as Las Coloradas where we saw different native animal species such as rheas, Patagonian hares, guanacos and partridges.
The extremely old cliffs and promontories have withstood the strong winds and intense rain through the years, also forming deep ravines where the different reddish layers of soil have been exposed. One of them, Cañadón Tordillo, besides infinite color hues also boasts cave paintings. We came across some anglers casting their lines in the hope of proving the popular belief that the Limay is one of the most generous rivers in Patagonia. Smelt, trout and salmon swim in its fast flowing water and all it takes to catch them is knowing the right bait and tricks. We were captivated by the serenity of the landscape where everyone can do whatever they enjoy most. Actually, we saw a lot of people engaged in all sorts of water sports. Floating, canopy and bird watching are but a few of the activities ecotourism offers. Our first family outing to Rincón Las Perlas this summer was incredible. It re-kindled our love for adventure, so we came away knowing it will definitely not be our last visit.