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Curious Bottlenose Dolphins

 Estimated reading time: 1 min.Texts Karina Jozami   Photos Jorge González
Bottlenose Dolphin Watching in Playa Unión, Rawson

Bottlenose dolphins dwelling the Patagonian coast escort boats and offer a unique performance.

There are not many places in the world where bottlenose dolphins may be watched in their natural environment. Playa Unión is one of those privileged sceneries. This spectacular show takes place a few meters from the Patagonian Atlantic littoral.

Semi-rigid boats leave from Rawson's harbor in the afternoon. In the mornings, the bottlenose dolphins remain in the depths, eating prawn, anchovy, squid and sardine.

The bottlenose dolphin has coastline habits and dwells the area between the San Matías Gulf and Tierra del Fuego. Its length rarely surpasses the one and a half meter. Its average weight is 50 kilos and it is characterized by its body colors: white and black in the tail and head.
Bottlenose Dolphin Watching in Playa Unión, Rawson
For many years and as a result of its curiosity and lack of shyness, bottlenose dolphins have been captured in order to be displayed in aquariums or be used as bait for spider crab fishing. But, in 2001, bottlenose dolphins were declared Provincial Natural Monument by the government of Santa Cruz. At present, its capture is forbidden. However, changes in behavior amidst its populations have been observed, probably caused by the increase in the number of harbors in Patagonia.

Bottlenose Dolphin Watching in Playa Unión, Rawson
Beloved dwellers of the fjords, streams, bays and river mouths, their favourite “game” is to slide at surface level, jumping, surfing the waves and crossing their way before the boats.
Bottlenose Dolphin Watching in Playa Unión, Rawson
After several minutes of performance, they disappear in the distant horizon, leaving a bright wake in the water.
Useful Data
Toninas Adventure
Frente al Muelle - Puerto Rawson (9103) Rawson - Chubut - Argentina
Cel: +54 9 280 4675741  
Inter Patagonia

Level of Difficulty
1 hour
Tour Kind
fauna watching
Useful DataUseful Data


The Detail

Just like the bottlenose dolphins in the Patagonian coastline in Argentina, other species live in the southern hemisphere and have coast habits: the Chilean or black dolphin, which dwells the waters of southern Chile, New Zealand's dolphin and the recently discovered snubfin dolphin.
At present, there are research projects in the Province of Santa Cruz, both in the shores of Puerto Deseado and Puerto San Julián, which study the behaviour of bottlenose dolphins.
The increasing harbor movement has caused changes in their attitude. These animals have become more shy and have retrained their location to the upstream area.

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