OverviewThe Valdes Peninsula is the best place on continental South America to observe marine life.
Located in Argentina (North-East Patagonia), it is about 80 kms long & large.
From cute little Penguins to massive Sea Elephants, it's all there for your eyes to look at.
Seasons take an important place in the wildlife on Peninsula Valdes.
Some species may not be there at certain period.
Note that it has been a Unesco World Heritage since 1999.
Two Main Cities
Peninsula Valdes has two base cities : Puerto Madryn and Trelew (an hour drive, South of Puerto Madryn)
They can be very busy from September to November as it is the best season to observe Southern Right Whales with their puppies.
Therefore harder to find a hotel.
Puerto Madryn is ideal to go Peninsula Valdes (but you still can reach Peninsula Valdes from Trelew).
It has more charm than Trelew has it is by the Atlantic Ocean.
Trelew is better if you want to visit Punta Tombo (South of Peninsula Valdes) to discover the Magellanic Penguins.
This city is bigger than Puerto Madryn but no sea shore to enjoy.
Puerto Madryn and Trelew are both outside Peninsula Valdes.
The main village within the Peninsula is called Puerto Piramides, where there is a camp site :
Tel : 495 084
USD 1.50 per person & per night
- Admission Fees :
Peninsula Valdes = USD 12.00 (valid for 2 days)
Punta Tombo = USD 7.00
Punta Loma = USD 3.50
Getting There and Around...
- From Buenos Aires :
To reach Puerto Madryn, you first to fly to Trelew with LADE or Aerolineas Argentinas.
Then you can easily take a bus to Puerto Madryn (45 to 60 min / several a day).
Otherwise you can take a bus from Buenos Aires directly to Puerto Madryn, but it takes to 16 to 18 hours, depending on the company.
- Once There :
Once in Trelew / Puerto Madryn, you can either use a local agency that will provide transportation with a guide, or you can take a regular bus and be independent. It will take you to Puerto Piramides : from there boats leave every hour for whale-watching.
However there is no public transportation on the Peninsula.
So if you want to go from a point to another, you will have to hitch-hike (if you're not touring with an agency).
- Rent a Car :
Your best bet would be to rent a car in Trelew or Puerto Madryn to be fully independent from bus timetables. And it will be much easier to discover the Peninsula, rather than just go where the guide will take you.
Animals , Seasons & Locations
Peninsula Valdes is a paradise for those nature lovers.
The wildlife there is astonishing.
However it is important to check on a calendar before going, depending on what you hope to see.
- Southern Right Whale :
On average : 12m / 30 tons
May to December
All around the peninsula, best seen from a boat departing in Puerto Piramides
- Southern Elephant Seal:
On average : 6m / 4 tons
All year long
A large colony is present in Punta Delgada
- Southern Sea Lion :
On average : 2m / 300 kgs
All year long
The best area is Punta Loma which is right outside Puerto Madryn.
You can see some on the Peninsula as well
- Killers Whales :
On average : 9m / 6 tons
February to April
In Punta Norte they rush out of water to grab young sea lions and sea elephants on the beaches
- Magellanic Penguin :
On average : 45 cms / 3 kgs
September to April
The best area is undoubtedly in Punta Tombo (2h South of Trelew)
Peninsula Valdes is also a great site to admire sea birds, choiques and guanacos.
Dolphins can also be seen in the ocean.
Maps & WeatherHere is a map taken from the excellent Chubut Province website.
You can find other relevant information there.
If you want to take a map with you, a good suggestion is the one edited by Zaggier & Urruty :
Peninsula Valdes Ecomap
For local Weather forecast in :