While most visitors to Puerto Madryn head north on day trips out of town, to the Península Valdés, a series of beautiful beaches also lies to the south of the city. Among the closest, just 12 kilometers (seven miles) outside the city, is the Playa Paraná, a long curve of pebbly beach that extends for miles. There is almost a lunar quality to the landscape—and no shade to speak of—but it's a spectacular setting and a popular spot for kayakers and divers. A rusting shipwreck adds to the drama. Continue south and you'll soon reach the Punta Loma Nature Reserve, home to a population of sea lions.