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Puerto Piramides

Puerto Piramides is an Argentine town in Biedma Department, Province of Chubut. Its population as of the was 429 inhabitants. It is the only town on the Valdes Peninsula.

Originally inhabited by the Tehuelche people, attempts around 1800 to take control of the area on the part of Spanish conquistadores resulted in a routing by the headstrong Tehuelches. In 1898, Buenos Aires developer Antonio Muno ventured into the exploitation of the area's considerable salt mines, for which he obtained permission to build a rail line and other facilities in 1900. Opting for the calm waters of the Golfo Nuevo, he christened the new settlement Puerto Piramides for the numerous pyramid-shaped cliffs that overlook the inlet.

The disruption of international trade during World War I, however, caused the temporary collapse of the salt market and the closure of the local salt mines. Following bankruptcy proceedings, Muno was forced to cede his share of the land to one of his partners, Alejandro Ferro, who kept the area as a semi-private haven until the Province of Chubut expropriated it in 1958.

The inlet was the scene of an as-yet unexplained series of submarine incidents during 1958 to 1960, though afterwards, the tiny hamlet drew little interest; tourists preferred nearby Golfo San Jorge, where whale watching was better. During a survey of the area in 1972, famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau observed how little interest calving southern right whale mothers had in raising their calves in the Golfo Nuevo near Puerto Piramides, despite preferring to give birth there; when local entrepreneurs launched the first tourist expeditions to the site later that year, however, the calving whales began to stay year-round.

Today, Puerto Piramides is one of the premier whale watching destinations in the world; the municipality has six hotels, 15 lodges and two campgrounds.

External links

Official Puerto Piramides site.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Puerto Piramides

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