Coastal-Marine MPA
Rocas Coloradas
Protected Natural Area

© Carlos A. Santander


Rocas Coloradas is an untouched terracotta paradise. It is characterized by its extreme natural beauty and its archaeological value. It has a total area of 95,000 hectares including a marine platform. It combines flat plateaus and terraces, desert aridity and immensity of the sea. It gathers a great diversity of coastal vegetation and fauna, a petrified forest with remains of coniferous trunks more than 60 million years old and the presence of remains of palms from the Paleocene and sea lions of one hair.

There is also the Lunar Valley, the Mount of Meteorites and valuable anthropological and cultural resources. Its thick reddish textures, together with the greenish blue of the sea create an extraordinary color palette.

Geographic Location




-45.51° Latitude S

-67.21° Longitude W

Size and Limits

Total Area:


Marine Area:


Continental Area:


Estimated area based on the calculation of the area of the polygon represented on the map (ArcGIS PRO) with an Albers Equivalent Conic projection to preserve area calculations.

Legal Aspects



Year of Creation


Creation Legislation

Law N° 102/20

© Carlos A. Santander
© José Oyarzo

Eco-regions represented


Magellanic Province
North Patagonian Gulfs Ecoregion


Patagonian Steppe

Conservation Objectives

  • Maintain representative samples of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems, ensuring the continuity of marine processes.
  • Protect the landscape, natural and cultural heritage.
  • Promote and facilitate environmental research and monitoring as the main activities associated with management.
  • Promote sustainable activities, compatible with the conservation of the area.
  • Raise awareness about the importance of the area’s conservation among the area’s users and the region’s inhabitants through interpretation and environmental education.
  • Guarantee public use to contribute to the physical and spiritual wellbeing of visitors, preserving its natural and cultural attributes for current and future generations.

Conservation values

  1. General geomorphology, including the islet of Rocas Colorada, coastal and continental geomorphs;
  2. Landscapes of imposing scenic beauty, such as the lunar landscape, the emblematic Salamanca Peak and the entire coastline;
  3. Petrified trunks;
  4. The coastline and its oceanographic processes;
  5. the biodiversity of the coastline, especially the clam, snail and octopus banks of the subtidal environments;
  6. Fish assemblages, particularly chondrichthyans such as the Gatuzo (Mustelus schmitti), the dogfish (Galeorhinus galeus) and the catfish (Nothorynchus cepedianus) and reef fishes;
  7. Seabird and shorebird assemblages;
  8. The single-haired sea lion (Otaria flavescens) rookery of Islote de Rocas Coloradas;


Management effectiveness and evaluation year

Not evaluated.

Sources consulted: Law No. 102 (2020)