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Bahía San Blas

On the far southeast corner of Buenos Aires Province, where Bahía Anagada meets the Atlantic Ocean is San Blas Bay and Isla Jabalí. On this 6,000-hectare, crescent-moon-shaped island are two hamlets, Puerto Wassermann, on the coast, and Mulhall, a bit inland, which are collectively known as Bahía San Blas. The entire area is now Reserva de Usos Múltiples Bahía San Blas (Multiple Use Reserve Bahía San Blas), to protect this bay’s different environments which provide for rich biodiversity.

What makes Bahía San Blas so special is its fishing. Considered one of Argentina’s best sport fishing venues, anglers come from around the world to face the challenges of river and sea. The bank, or coastal fishing and deep-sea fishing here are both attractions. The bay here is a marine shaft without waves or swells. During the entire summer until Semana Santa, the town hosts fishing competitions. The third weekend of January is "Las 24 Horas de San Blas," the major tournament. "Safari embarcado del tiburón," the first weekend of February, is to see who can catch the biggest shark.

From November to April, the goal for all these fishers are lenguado (flounder), corvina (croaker), cazón (tope shark), pescadilla (sea trout), gatuso (Patagonian smoothhound), chucho (bullnose eagle ray), and several types of tiburón, or shark (gatopardo or sevengill, escalandrún or sand shark, hocico corto or short snout). Cazón season is also September-October. Pejerrey (silverside) can be caught year-round. Shark measuring up to three meters (10 ft) and weighing over 180 kilograms (400 lbs) have been hooked here. The tourism offices in Carmen de Patagones and in Bahía San Blas have a pamphlet-map of the prime fishing spots and detailing seasons, technique and catch. Ask at the tourism office of the Prefectura Naval about fishing permits.

Non-anglers also have a reason to come to the quiet, safe village of Bahía San Blas. The tranquil waters are ideal for practicing water sports. Playa La Rebeca, with shallow waters, is perfect for swimming. The sand beaches dappled with boulders are paradisiacal for strolling to watch the myriad birds that rest along this coast. In town is the Capilla de San Blas, built by Bruno Wasserman in 1930 and dedicated to his wife Berta, where you can find a marble statue of the Inmaculada carved by Joska in 1968. A cemetery from the 18th Century and an indigenous cemetery, with ceramics, arrowheads and painted skulls, may be seen. (Please do not take any “souvenirs” – it is highly illegal and disrespectful.) Near the northwest point of the islands is the Capilla de los Franciscanos, Padre Estebán Gregov’s offering to the Virgin Mary for saving his life after being shipwrecked. Thirty kilometers (18 mi) away, on Punta Rubia, is Faro Segunda Barraca, a 34-meter (111-ft) high lighthouse. Every February 3, the village saint, San Blas, is feasted with a procession through the village, down to the sea.

In olden days, San Blas Bay was called Bahía de Todos los Santos. Besides Isla Jabalí, several other isles spot the basin, such as Césares, Sur, Gama and Flamenco. The first navigator to arrive here was Núñez de Pinzón in 1508. The bay soon earned a reputation for being a safe harbor. The immense sea lion colonies drew European and North American hunters. Spanish Royal Navy pilot Basilio Villarino reconnoitered in 1781. Settlement of Isla Jabalí didn’t start until the late 19th Century, when Eduardo Mulhall bought a parcel of land from Cándido Galván (1881). October 1908, Julio Mulihill and others founded the village. The Wasserman family, who had been on the island since the beginning of the century, were the first to welcome tourism. It became the refuge for politicians, North American magnates, ex-presidents, Hollywood stars, and national and international artists. In recent decades, it has become the getaway for national and international commoners.

Bahía San Blas has a typical Patagonia climate: dry and windy. Mean annual rainfall is only 300 millimeters (12 in), the majority of it falling in winter. In summer temperatures average 19ºC (66ºF) and in winter it can dip to 1ºC (34ºF).


Bahía San Blas has limited services. Oficina de Informes Turísticos is open only in the summer high season (Avenida Costanera s/n, between Calle 35 and 37, Tel.: 49-9257, E-mail:, URL: At other times of the year, visit the tourism office in Carmen de Patagones. Also visit for more information about fishing, attractions and services in Bahía San Blas. This website also lists tide tables. Other important addresses are Prefectura Naval Argentina (Avenida Costanera s/n, between Calle 28 and 27, Tel.: 49-9477), Policía (Calle 27, between Calle 3 and 2, Tel.: 49-9271 / emergency 101), Sala de Primeros Auxilios first aid station (Avenida Piedrabuena s/n, between Calle 28 and 27, Tel.: 49-9206 / emergency 107). The hamlet also has one pharmacy, phone-internet centers and a laundry.


Crafts may be purchased at El Mar y Tú (Calle 33, between Costanera and Calle 2), Cazón (Avenida Costanera, between Calle 27 and 28) and Puerto Pirata (Avenida Costanera, between Calle 30 and 31). For fishing gear: Casa Sarquis (Avenida Costanera, between Calle 30 and 31), Mike (Avenida Costanera, between Calle 37 and 39) or Casa Turme (Avenida Costanera and Calle 29). Mar Azul carries camping supplies (Avenida Costanera, between Calle 37 and 39).


The tourism offices in Bahía San Blas and Carmen de Patagones have a list of the almost 30 guides providing embarcación (boat) services for sea fishing and the almost dozen coast-fishing guides. The only one offering fly fishing services is Manfred Relling, who also does boat and coastal fishing (Calle 2, between Calle 33 and 35, Tel.: 49-9433)


The tourism office in Carmen de Patagones and San Blas keep a complete list of the over six dozen houses, cabins and apartments for rent in Bahía San Blas. Of the four campgrounds, El Trébol is open year-round (Avenida 4 and 29, Tel.: 49-9466).

– Hostal Pueblo Viejo (Calle 30 and Kenedy, Tel.: 49-9456, E-mail:, URL:

– Mar Azul (Avenida Costanera s/n, 1 block from the fisherman monument, Tel.: 49-9221, E-mail:, URL:

– Hotel Club Jorge Newbery (Avenida Costanera, between 35 and 37, Tel.: 49-9248).


San Blas has five small supermarkets.

– Lo de Pedro (Avenida Costanera, between 37 and 39, Tel.: 1557-8601)

– Don Antonio (Calle 2, between 35 and 37, Tel.: 49-9421)

– El Sellado (Avenida Costanera, road to Posta Jabalí, Tel.: 1547-7674, E-mail:

(Altitude: 16 m / 52 ft, Population: 463, Phone Code: 02920)


Other places nearby Bahía San Blas : Gaiman, Rawson , San Antonio Oeste , Puerto Piramides, Piedra Buena , Puerto San Julián , Monumento Natural Bosques Petrificados, Comodoro Rivadavia, Puerto Madryn and Río Gallegos.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

01 Jul 2010

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