The perfect desolate-yet-charismatic locale for an art film, this small town bakes in bright light and dust, in contrast to the startling blue of the bay. Considered the cradle of Patagonian history, the port of San Julián was first landed in 1520 by Ferdinand Magellan, whose encounter with local Tehuelches provided the region’s mythical moniker. Francisco de Viedma, Francis Drake and Darwin followed. While its human history is proudly put forth, the landscape speaks of geologic revolutions, with its exposed, striated layers, rolling hills and golden cliffs.
Puerto San Julián’s first non-native settlers came from the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) with the late-19th-century wool boom. Scots followed with the San Julián Sheep Farming Company, the region’s economic engine for nearly a century. Today the city is developing like never before, with mining and seafood-processing industries plus a local university. For travelers, it's a relaxing stop and a great place to see Commerson’s dolphins.