The Peninsula Valdes is a remote region that juts out from a narrow isthmus at Puerto Madryn and offers one of the country’s finest coastal locations for observing a whole host of stunning wildlife as well as one of its more intriguing natural phenomenon.
The Peninsula is a vast stretch of patagonian steppe and distances are long between towns and ports but once at the coast, you can relax in the most tranquil surroundings, with only the sound of the waves crashing against nearby cliffs and seabirds flying overhead.
Lodgings are relatively simple here, although have some fascinating history attached as you may be staying in a former lighthouse or seaweed processing plant, so do not expect exceptional luxury. However, it is all about the sweeping horizons and, more importantly, the wildlife here.
Sight one of nature’s most magnificent creatures, the southern right whale, as mothers and young whales scythe through the waters off the coast in early spring (August to November). When the whales depart, you may then spot dusky dolphins from December to March. Also a treat in store for nature-lovers are the colonies of Magellanic penguins, elephant seals and fur seals, as well as a profusion of birdlife along the Patagonian coastline during all of the austral summer months.
One of the biggest draws, albeit one that requires a good level of patience to witness for yourself, is the phenomenon of the Orca whales feeding on young seals. Orca whales swim right into shore on rare occasions, nearly beaching themselves in order to catch a pup. We will gladly advise which areas are best and at which times of year, if seeing this incredible sight is top of your list, to maximise your chances.
After a day’s outdoor activity, an authentic Welsh tea beckons in the nearby town of Gaiman, still a traditional Welsh-speaking community after more than 150 years of colonisation. The first pioneers here were hardy individuals looking to make their fortunes, among them immigrants from Wales. The descendants of these Welsh settlers still inhabit the region today, maintaining many traditions including the language and even an annual Eistedfodd!
For your chance to explore the more rugged and untouched corners of northern Patagonia, contact us to discuss your wildlife and photography safari to Peninsula Valdes. Or visit our page What to expect from a holiday in Patagonia to find more experiences on offer in Patagonia.