In January 1779, an expedition commanded by Juan de la Piedra discovers Golfo San José. Landing takes place in lake Villarino.
An order of King Charles III sends farmers, artisans and up to 200 families to settle in this land, and to secure the king´s dominion.
On 20th January the first constructions start, and also the first irrigation channels are traced. Short time after, a part of the population is transferred to a new settlement today called Carmen de Patagones and Viedma, due to the difficult situation originated in the lack of drinking water.
In 1810 a Tehuelche attack destroys the fort then called Candelaria. It is only after the campaign to the wilderness by Julio Argentino Roca that the place is inhabited by white people again. Years later Puerto Pirámides prevails over Puerto San José, and at present, there are no buildings of that primitive moment.
As along the coast of all of Patagonia, the main problem for settlement is drinking water, since the salinity of water makes it almost impossible for communities to stay.
The intimate relation between successive populations both in Puerto Pirámides as in Puerto Madryn takes us to join their histories and rememorate their beginnings together.
Peninsula Valdéshas one of the most important ecological sanctuaries in the world, declared Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Within its 4000 km2 with 110 km of open sea coast and 150 km. of coasts in the gulfs Nuevo and San José, six different natural reserves can be visited.
In 1967 Punta Norte and Isla de los Pájaros resernation was created, and in 1974, Punta Delgada and Punta Pirámide, and also the first Marine Park of Argentina in gulf San José.
Precipitation regime in the peninsula is around 200 mm. a year. The weather is dry during all year. Winter temperatures range from -10 degrees during the night to 15 degrees during the day.
During spring and summer, the night is fresh and dry, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees, and during the day, between 20 and 42 degrees.