From Puerto Madryn: Full-Day Valdes Peninsula Tour

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Discover the enchantments of the Valdes Peninsula on this full-day tour with whale watching. Departing from Puerto Madryn, you can admire the spectacular scenery and encounter the abundant wildlife including whales, sea lions, seals, and dolphins.

Highlights

  • Learn about the history and wildlife of the Valdes Peninsula at the Carlos Ameghino Interpretation Center
  • Admire the spectacular views of the surrounding area from the tower at the Carlos Ameghino Interpretation Center
  • Explore the enchantments of Puerto Piramides, the only village on the Valdes Peninsula
  • Enjoy a 1.5-hour boat ride to spot whales in their natural habitat
  • See the sea lion colony of Punta Piramides as well as the cormorant colonies
  • Pass by the Great Salk Lake and Small Salt Lake
  • Visit the lighthouse and see of the greatest concentrations of elephant seals at Punta Delgada
  • See the unique geological formation of Caleta Valdes

Description

On this full-day tour you will discover the enchantments of the Valdes Peninsula. Traveling to Carlos Ameghino Isthmus, the narrow strip of land that connects the peninsula with the continent, you will explore the landscape and the flora and fauna of the area as well as enjoy the chance to spot some whales in their natural habitat. The first stop is at the Carlos Ameghino Interpretation Center, which offers information on the ecosystem of the Valdes Peninsula, the Patagonia land animals, the species of marine fauna surrounding the peninsula, the flora, and the history of the region. It is also possible to see a complete skeleton of a whale and some animals, and learn a little history of the first settlers of the Valdes Peninsula. The interpretation center has a tower, where it is possible to see and appreciate the narrowest part of the isthmus to the south, the Nuevo Gulf, and San Jose Gulf to the north. You can also see Bird Island located 5 kilometers north on the San Jose Gulf, a protected area that is an important nesting site for marine birds. The next stop is at Puerto Piramides, the only village on the Valdes Peninsula and the only place for starting the marine fauna boat trips. The beaches are surrounded by cliffs that resemble pyramids, hence its name. You will take a 2-hour stop in the village, in which time you can either sail the waters of the New Gulf or simply explore the enchantments of the village. Boat trips are taken in boats of varying capacities, from 5 to 70 passengers, and last approximately 1.5 hours. Southern right whales inhabit the gulf from June to December. You will be able to get very close to these whales as they are curious and slow-moving animals, allowing you to observe their characteristic skin covered by callosities. From time to time the whales swim under the boat and you are able to observe their actions and hear their breathing. With a bit of luck they will offer the wonderful spectacle of breaching or at least a flap of the tail. From January to March, marine fauna cruises are available when the whales immigrate to the Antarctic seas. You will first sail to the sea lion colony of Punta Piramides. You will then visit the “Island of Cormorants” and the “Precipice of the Birds”, colonies of Rock Cormorants and Neotropic Cormorants. You will later travel to caves filled with fossils and, if the climate is good and luck is on your side, you will be able to see dusky dolphins. The cruise also offers the option to go snorkeling – the boat makes a 20-minute stop and has all the necessary equipment including wetsuits, masks, and fins. You will leave Puerto Piramides and continue on the excursion, passing by the Great Salt Lake and Small Salt Lake at 42 and 35 meters below sea level respectively. Depending on the hour and the cloudiness they appear with a pink coloration due to its chemical composition and the incidence of the solar light. Heading to the south-eastern end of the peninsula, you will arrive at the old naval station of Punta Delgada, where you can see the lighthouse dating back to 1905 and observe one of the greatest concentrations of elephant seals with the great cliffs standing behind. By the west coast you will go to a new viewpoint where we can see more elephant seals. After a few kilometers you will travel to Caleta Valdes, an exceptional geologic formation consisting of a thin strip of land which runs parallel to the coast locking up a portion of sea. Connected through a small mouth to the surrounding sea, its calm waters, naturally isolated beaches, and steep cliffs make an excellent place for the elephant seals. From a scenic viewpoint you can contemplate the place and descend the cliff by stairs to observe the elephant seals on the beach as well as the colony of Magellanic Penguins. You can visit Punta Norte between the months of October and March, depending on the condition of the roads and the migration of the fauna, where you can see the breeding elephant seals and sea lions. With high tide it is possible to see killer whales during the months of February, March, and April, or off the coast of Caleta Valdes during September, October, and November. You will then return to the city of Puerto Madryn.

Includes

Transportation English and Spanish-speaking guide Boat trip

Important Information

  • It is advisable to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You should bring a jacket as the weather in Patagonia can change quickly, as well as a camera, batteries, extra film, binoculars, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, drinking water, and snacks. If you are taking the boat trip, you should bring a change of clothes and a towel. You should also bring cash with you as the last chance to get money from a cash machine is at Puerto Piramides. The time and order of places visited can change depending on the season, weather, or group’s interest.

Easy cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund

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