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Camarones

On the seafront promenade of Camarones is a plazoleta with a small stone tower crested by a wooden cross in one corner. This monument is the venue for El D铆a de los Espa帽oles (Day of the Spaniards) celebrated March 9. It commemorates the founding of Spain鈥檚 first colony in present-day Argentina, Ciudad de Nuevo Le贸n, established by Sim贸n de Alcazaba y Sotomayor on Caleta Hornos in 1535. The site lies just around the point of land on the other side of Bah铆a Camarones. That colony did not survive.

The most successful attempt came in 1890, when Spaniards and Central Europeans settled along this bay. With time, Camarones became the main port for shipping products from nearby sheep ranches. The wool, known for its fine quality and distinctiveness, earned the designation lana Camarones, still recognized to this day. When he was a child, three-time President General Juan Domingo Per贸n鈥檚 family moved to Camarones where his father was the Justice of Peace. Carefully restored, the home is now the Museo Familia de Per贸n, dedicated to his family history and the socio-political revolution he launched (April-November 9 a.m.-5 p.m., December-March 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Estrada 467. Entry: free). Many buildings from the town鈥檚 first decades are constructed of chapa (corrugated tin). Those from the 1940s and 50s are made of the local piedra toba, a stone with a distinctive earth-tone marbleized pattern.

Camarones offers many activities for nature lovers. The beaches are good for fishing, swimming, boating and scuba diving. To the north is Playa Thompson. To the south are El Arroyo, Elola, Honda, El Pescadero and Caletas. Boat tours are a pleasant way to explore the bay from December to March. Salmon, elephantfish (pez gallo), sea bass (mero), Patagonian redfish (escr贸falo) and tope shark (caz贸n) can be hooked in this sea. The three-day Fiesta Nacional de Salm贸n (first weekend of February) has fishing competitions, election of festival queens and concerts. The last night is closed with the serving of the traditional dish, chup铆n del pescador, or salmon stew.

Camarones鈥 big attraction is Cabo Dos Bah铆as, with important colonies of Magellanic Penguin and South American sea lion. This protected nature area is being incorporated into the new Parque Mar铆timo Costero Patagonia Austral, Argentina鈥檚 first marine-coastal park.

The town鈥檚 economy is now based on wool, fishing and mussel farming. Piedra toba continues to be quarried. With Camarones being designated the service area of the new Parque Mar铆timo, the town will grow even more rapidly. Within five years, Camarones won鈥檛 be the same small village it is today.

Services

Already Camarones has basic services for the casual tourist, including: Centro de Informes Tur铆sticos (September-April: Monday-Friday 7:30 .m.-8 p.m., weekends 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; May-August: daily 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Espora s/n, on the seafront, E-mil: turismo.cultura.municamarones@gmail.com, URL: www.camaronesonline.com), Polic铆a (Roca s/n, Tel: 496-3026) , Banco del Chubut, post office, cyber caf茅 / phone center, Hospital Rural (25 de Mayo and Roca, Tel.: 496-3032) and pharmacy.

Artesan铆a

Amutui Quimei (Sarmiento, between Urquiza and Roca, Tel.: 154-171-369) 鈥 Camarones wool, wood and other regional crafts

Tours

For more information on guides, contact the tourism office (496-3013).

Excursiones Patagonia Austral (Brown and Belgrano, on the seafront, Tel.: 154-712-165 / 154-004-844, E-mail: patagoniaustralexpeditions@hotmail.com) 鈥 boat excursions (bay $29 per person, Cabo Dos Bah铆as $35 per person, minimum 4 passengers), scuba diving, sport fishing

Remis Catriel (Tel.: 154-184-077) 鈥 driver and vehicle to beaches, Cabo Dos Bah铆as ($34 round trip)

Hotels

Camping Municipal (Espora s/n, next to the tourism office, Tel.: 02965-1532-2906) 鈥$3 per person per day, under 10 years old free, plus one fee: tent $1.50, car $3, motorhome $4.50

Hotel Viejo Torino (Brown 100, Tel.: 496-3003 / 154-311-159) 鈥攕ingle $17, double $34

Residencia Bah铆a del Ensue帽o (Sarmiento and San Mart铆n, Tel.: 496-3007) 鈥攑er person $17-23; also caba帽as

Hotel Indalo Inn (Sarmiento and Roca, Tel.: 496-3004)鈥攕ingle $46-63, double $54-72; also caba帽as

Restaurants

Casa Ramal general store stocks camp stove gas in summer (Brown and Belgrano, seafront).

Del Buen Sabor (Urquiza and Mitre, Tel.: 154-122-166)

Casa de Comidas Camarones (Roca s/n, past 25 de Mayo, Tel.: 496-3094)

La Vieja Estaci贸n (Belgrano s/n, Tel.: 155-0090-825)

(Altitude: 1 m / 3.25 ft, Population: 3000, Phone Code: 0297)

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Other places nearby Camarones : Pen铆nsula Vald茅s, Comodoro Rivadavia, Sarmiento, Monumento Natural Bosques Petrificados, Puerto Madryn, R铆o Gallegos, Piedra Buena , Cabo Dos Bah铆as And Parque Mar铆timo Costero Patagonia Austral, Las Grutas and Puerto Santa Cruz.







By Lorraine Caputo

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

27 Sep 2010

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