The Valdes Peninsula is one of the most visually spectacular wildlife destinations in Patagonia and an exceptional place to visit by road or on an expedition cruise. What to see in Peninsula de Valdés.
Inscribed on the UNESCO list since 1999 and recognized as one of the main whale migration points in the world, the Valdes Peninsula is the pride and joy of Argentina.
Coves, bays, and lagoons abound, making it a rewarding and varied destination for wildlife viewing, home to a host of creatures both in and out of the water.
What to see in Peninsula de Valdes
A narrow and dramatic isthmus is all that connects the Valdés peninsulas to the Argentine mainland, with access just a few kilometers north of Puerto Madryn.
Valdés is a great off-the-beaten-path destination where you are likely to see a host of unique and attractive animals no matter what time of year you visit.
The Valdés animal treasure is the result of the collision of two divergent ocean currents, the north of the Brazilian tropics and the south of the Antarctic region.
The nutrient-rich waters create a pristine and thriving natural habitat for various types of whales (including the endangered southern right), dolphins, Magellanic penguins, southern elephant seals, and sea lions, as well as nearly 200 different species of birds. marine .
One of the most revered and protected natural marine habitats in the world, the Valdés is most famous for its annual killer whale feeding season.
The unique conditions here have attracted a singular killer whale hunting technique not seen anywhere else.
The sight of a herd of ferocious killer whales literally washed up on the beach to feed on baby seals is breathtaking and unforgettable and one of the most fascinating aspects of nature.
However, what makes the Valdés Peninsula so important to marine biology around the world is that it represents the most important breeding ground for southern right whales, the species of whale that has suffered the most at the hands of the industry. commercial whaling.
Today, the biggest risks these gentle giants face are collisions with commercial vessels and traps in fishing nets.
This stretch of the Argentine coastline is ruggedly beautiful with the mushroom-shaped peninsula boasting idyllic quiet coves that attract groups of marine animals in staggering numbers.
It is this distinctive topography that has created a world of its own in Valdés, an almost isolated refuge to which thousands and thousands of animals take refuge. And because this is Patagonia, after all, land animals also include guanacos and Patagonian maras.
Highlights of the Valdes Peninsula- what to see in Valdes Peninsula.
Wildlife observation trips to the Valdes Peninsula are organized by season and this is without a doubt the best way to plan a trip.
Just pick your favorite awesome event to admire … and voila!
Whales: The whales come here to breed in the months between May and December and they are, without a doubt, the most pleasing and crowded of the Valdes Peninsula.
The best tours at the moment are those that include land and sea explorations , with some places better accessible by road and others by boat.
The waters that bathe the coasts of the Valdés Peninsula are also home to sunken vessels that make fantastic diving excursions .
The coveted southern right whales begin arriving in June of each year, and their numbers progressively increase as the months go by. September and October offer the best chances of getting the highest numbers.
Orcas – Although orcas breed in these sheltered waters throughout the year, the famous feeding season occurs during the southern summer season, between late September and early April .
The high viewpoints along the rugged coastline at Punta Norte offer the best views of all.
Dolphins, Commerson’s dolphins , often mistaken for killer whales, live in these waters throughout the year.
Although all other species visit it in the hottest months, between December and March .
Unión Beach is considered one of the best places for dolphin watching in Valdés.
If you also head here in November, you will see the magical synchronized swimming of Commerson’s mothers and their newborn calves.
Penguins – You’ll find penguins in Valdés from October through March, although the height of the breeding frenzy occurs in October and November.
Head to Punta Tombo (175 km south of Puerto Madryn) to see the world’s largest Magellanic penguin colony , with millions of specimens during peak breeding season.
If you visit in November, you will see the puppies walking taking their first steps.
Elephant seals, sea lions and most seabirds are present in the Valdes, throughout the year, and number in the tens of thousands.
Birds: Throughout the year, the Valdes Peninsula and the surrounding region are inhabited by hundreds of unique bird species. There is much to see in the Valdes Peninsula.
This is known, in fact, as a bird watcher’s peninsula first and foremost. Hundreds of beautiful southern flamingos come ashore to feed at low tide, although breeding colonies can number in the thousands.
Be sure to include a visit to the Isla de los Pájaros Reserve in your visit to Peninsula Valdes.
This small town of Welsh immigrant origin is on the way to Punta Tombo and is a very fascinating place to visit.
The architecture and charming tea rooms make for a wonderful stopover if you travel overland through the region.
This is considered the most important paleontological region on our planet, once home to the largest dinosaurs of all. If the fossils and interesting natural history tickle you, don’t miss this place!
Salina Grande and Chica: some of the most impressive sunset spots in the region, the pink salt lakes.
How to get around the Valdes Peninsula- what to see in Valdes peninsula
Transportation by car is a must in this impressive but remote region of Argentina.
With a convenient circular route that will take you to contemplate the best highlights of the Valdes Peninsula.
Although it is possible to take day trips from Puerto Madryn, there are actually some very special accommodation options on the peninsula itself.
Staying overnight here will allow you to make the most of the amazing wildlife spectacle.
For an exceptional experience, visit the Faro Punta Delgada estancia, which offers sensational views.
It’s a totally in the middle of nowhere experience that is superbly suited to its astonishing location.
Plus, there are a ton of places to visit here, so give Valdés the time he really deserves. There is a lot to see on the Valdes peninsula.
Please note that as this is a protected nature reserve, some sections of the Valdés peninsula can only be accessed if you are accompanied by a local naturalist guide.
How to get to Peninsula Valdes -what to see in peninsula de Valdes
Puerto Madryn is the ‘headquarters’ of the Valdés Peninsula, although Trelew is the town with airport connections to Buenos Aires (2 hours), Ushuaia (2 hours) and Córdoba (2.5 hours) . By road, it takes an hour to get to Puerto Madryn from Trelew.
Lovers of marine wildlife and anyone with a passion for observing unique animals in absolutely fascinating places should keep a visit to Peninsula Valdes at the top of their travel wish list.