La LoberĂa (Sea Lion Colony)
Â As usual, we try to show you new and unique places in our immense Patagonia. This time we introduce you to a beach which has also got a Sea Lion colony in its surroundings. It will amaze you with its great beauty in the Nearer Patagonia.
60 Km away from Viedma, the Capital city of RĂo Negro province, you reach the spectacular Balneario La LoberĂa beach: It is a lost paradise in northern Patagonia.
It is a different kind of beach,Â partly with sand and also rolling stone. During low tide, enormous natural rocky pools appear. These pools, besides offering an unbeatable landscape, allow a safe swimming experience both for adults and kids.
The beach is surrounded by high cliffs and this feature puts La LoberĂa in a big advantage compared to the rest of the nearby places since these cliffs protect the beach from the typical strict Patagonian winds.Â On top of this, its waters are warmer than average as a consequence of the Brazilian current which gets to our coasts at St. Matias Gulf. All the aforementioned details make this place unique.
The access to this resort is via the cliffs through concrete stairs, along which an electrical lift runs in order to make things easier for the tourists.
During high tide the sea covers the natural pools so it’s time to go and play with the sea waves at the shore. However, special attention must be paid since some feet away the soil is rocky. Diving is not allowed. When in doubt, always ask the lifeguard; there are many during the whole summer. During low tide, besides having fun at the pools it is possible to walk to the sea and enjoy the Atlantic’s waters. At this stage, it is very likely that you will see Sea Lions happily playing very close to the people.
Remember they are very friendly and they love company. Don’t be scared and don’t scare them: they are charming.
Walking to the right of the access to the beach you will discover incredible places, especially after passing the first row of cliffs. There, there is a huge beach called “El Anfiteatro” (literally, amphitheater) because of the shape of the surrounding rocks and cliffs. A tiny bay between these cliffs as well as the slow ramp sands make this place irresistible. Do not hesitate; the little walking effort is really worth the while and you cannot miss the reward.
The place is beautiful and strange at the same time. If you start walking as soon as the tide is low, you will find yourself in immaculate sands and feel, at least for a moment, that you are the first human arriving there to discover all these wonders…
3 Km. from the beach via a gravel road you will reach the Punta Bermeja Fauna Reservation. There is a small sea museum, the gamekeeper’s house and a large wooden runway bordering the high cliffs in order to be able to watch Patagonia’s biggest Sea LionÂ Colony, with more than 3,000 of them populating the area.
In the beach there is a basic campsite with boxes to shelter the tents from the wind, bathroom and hot running water. There is also a drugstore, a bar/restaurant and a parking lot which can be used even if you are not camping there.
The small elevation mean is not expensive and is very handy, particularly when returning from the beach exhausted by a day of “good life”.
Another must is tasting the home made bread and “pastelitos” (small cakes) made by the ladies at the bar, which are also sold across the beach.
For many people, this place is mystical. Some say they have seen UFOs, while others strongly believe there is a “gateway to another dimension…” in any case one thing we can tell: You will find La LoberĂa a magical place. And its landscape of cliffs, sun and beaches will remain with you forever.
How to get there:
From Viedma, the Ceferino bus company runs a regular service to La LoberĂa during the summer season only. Please note this service ends at the beach resort and not at the Sea Lion colony itself. You must either drive the 3 Km. or walk. Out of season the only way to get there is by car.
Where to stay:
At La LoberĂa the only choice is the campsite. 30 Km. from here, and halfway to Viedma, there is Balneario El CĂłndor, a developed little sea town with hotels, apartments and houses for rent. Or you can stay directly in Viedma and get here as a day excursion.