Whale Watching in the Valdés Peninsula
If you’re keen to experience incredible whale watching in South America, head to the Valdés Peninsula in Argentina. Jutting away from the mainland in northern Patagonia, the Valdés Peninsula is a UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with marine life. There are Magellan Penguins, Southern Elephant Seals, South American Sea Lions, Commerson’s Dolphins and two species of whales – Southern Right and Orca – densely populated here in this Atlantic coast region, with over a thousand different whales spotted in one month alone. This means that encountering whales in the Valdés Peninsula is a likely and rewarding experience, though there are certain things to know about whale watching in the Valdés Peninsula before you go.
When to see Southern Right Whales in the Valdés Peninsula
Southern Right Whales migrate to the Valdés Peninsula in Argentina between June and December. They tend to dwell in the Golfo Nuevo and the Golfo San Jose, the two main bays of the peninsula, with the best months to spot the whales generally being August to October.
How to see Southern Right Whales in the Valdés Peninsula
The amazing thing about whale watching in the Valdés Peninsula is that you can actually spot these mighty creatures from the beach! However, if you’d like to get even closer to the whales, opt for a boat tour from Puerto Piramides or Puerto Madryn. Some boats also have submarine features, so you can go beneath the water’s surface to get a better look. In addition, there are opportunities for kayak safaris and light aircraft flights to see the Southern Right Whales from a whole other perspective.
When and where to see Orca in the Valdés Peninsula
Another fascinating marine mammal to look out for in the Valdés Peninsula is the Orca. You can generally see them year-round: head to Caleta Valdés and Punta Delgada between September and November, or Punta Norte from February to April. If Sea Lion pups are present, you might be able to catch the Orca flexing their brutal hunting skills, particularly at high tide. This is because the Orca hurl themselves onto the beach to attack the young seals without warning, a very unusual tactic that doesn’t happen anywhere else. The best place to witness this extraordinary event is from the sand dunes on the beach.
Other activities in the Valdés Peninsula
Although whale watching in the Valdés Peninsula is simply spectacular, there is even more to see and do in this corner of Argentine Patagonia. You can go snorkelling with Sea Lions at Punta Lomo; meet Magellan Penguins at Punta Tombo; or catch sight of Commerson’s Dolphins in the area in November. What’s more, the Valdés Peninsula is home to Gaiman – a Welsh settlement dating back to the 19th century. Today, you can still hear the Welsh language being spoken, explore the Moriah Chapel, and take a traditional Welsh afternoon tea at one of several quaint teahouses.
How to get to the Valdés Peninsula
You can reach the Valdés Peninsula by flying from Buenos Aires to Trelew Airport, 60km from Puerto Madryn, the gateway to this UNESCO site. The flight takes less than two hours and from the airport it’s a 45-minute drive to Puerto Madryn itself. Alternatively, you could take direct flights between Trelew and Cordoba, or Ushuaia and El Calafate in Patagonia.
Ready to plan your trip to the Valdés Peninsula in Argentina? Handpick the hotels and activities you want, adjust the durations depending on how long you want to stay in each place, and have fun in the process! Surtrek is always at hand to help out. Call us on 1 866 978 7398 (Canada and USA) or 080 8189 0438 (UK) to talk to an expert, and Discover Your South America with Surtrek!