We chose this vacation idea because we wanted to be near the beach. Las Grutas is a small town built just right next to the Atlantic coastline. As it was summer the town would be crowded and since we wanted a quiet and leisurely holiday we booked a cabin.
The cabin that came with a fully equip kitchen, from this campsite called Oasis, which is situated 3km outside of the town itself.
Upon arrival we went to San Antonio de Oeste. This was another spot on our list of Argentina places to visit as it’s known for top notch fresh seafood. It’s only about 3km away from Oasis. Here to purchase fresh seafood from a fishmonger.
We bought baby octopus, local prawns and abadejo (part of the cod family) and mejilliones (blue lip mussels) and headed back to the cabin.
There was a beach just behind the compound of Oasis so we headed there to chill out. While there we met a lady park ranger who informed us that half of the beach is not accessible to the public as that was a protected area.
Apparently some migratory birds on their way to the Antarctica would make a stopover at that particular beach to stop and rest. They have been sighted feeding along the shoreline during low tide. We were told even pink flamingos have been spotted. We made a mental note that the next day we would come back with our binoculars!
That night we had an outdoor seafood barbeque since the cabin came with an outdoor grill. We just seasoned the seafood with salt and grilled it over hot embers of wood. That gave the food a real smoky flavor. Dinner was fresh and delicious, accompanied along with the salty sea breeze that was blowing inland.
Second day we spent the day on the beach. The tide was out, leaving 500 meters of exposed seabed covered with colonies of baby blue lip mussels and rock pools scattered all over. Now we know why the birds were there! We spotted where the pink flamingos were feeding and moved closer so that we can view them through our binoculars since they were feeding along the shoreline and we did not want to move too close and startled them.
We did get to see the pink flamingos and some other birds, not very sure of their names since we were not really avid bird watchers. There were altogether 76 pink flamingos. The sight was phenomenal being able to see them in the wild. It is not an everyday occurrence where one would get to see pink flamingos unless one is at the zoo or bird park.
On our third day we went to look for this pristine beach we had heard about, which is along the way to El Puerto de San Antonio Este. Here the beach is even more beautiful and quieter since it was really way out and the only people who are there are usually campers or RV owners who had camped there at the campsite.
We went exploring during low tide along the rocks and crevices and found baby octopus inside some of them. I took one and put it on my arm. It was sucking onto my arm with its tentacles and suddenly it made a loud and high-pitched sound like this "Yeeeee". That was fun.
That night we decided to have dinner in El Puerto de San Antonio Este at this local restaurant called El Puerto. They were famous for their seafood cazuela. Dinner turn out to be a bit of a damper. The cazuela is supposed to be like a seafood stew but it came out looking dry and chewy.
We had 2 more days left at the beach so we spent our fourth day on the beach soaking in the sun and taking dips in the ocean every now and then to cool off. That night itself we went into Las Grutas town and had dinner at one of the local small shop, having calamari, and fish and chips.
The next day we left and headed home after a nice and leisurely vacation. I had enjoyed myself especially since the sighting of the pink flamingoes was never on our agenda. Las Grutas is a bit remote compared to other Argentina places to visit. It is reachable via bus from Buenos Aires or even by car but distance can be long.
Another Argentina vacation idea is Puerto Madryn for whale watching between May and December. Then 180km south from Puerto Madryn, is Punta Tombo Natural Protected Area where the Magellanic penguins migrate to every year to breed, that is during September till mid-March.
November is the best time as that is once the babies are born. If the above does not fit your vacation ideas there is always the iron mines found in Sierra Grande that would provide a most unique experience, as there is a tour that brings you through the mines.