Península Valdés

Wildlife enthusiasts shouldn’t miss Península Valdés in the Atlantic Patagonia region.

While seemingly unfit to host life, the surrounding waters and the sea life that thrives there beckon a visit.

True Marine-Mammal Haven

Península Valdés is a 1,544-square-mile sandy promontory, thrusting 62 miles eastwards into the South Atlantic—a true marine-mammal haven. The 249-mile shoreline is a stunning sprawl of towering cliffs, sandy and pebble beaches, intertidal mudflats, coastal lagoons, rocky reefs, and hidden inlets enclosed by resounding surf.

The Peninsula’s Natural Bays

Marine life both big and small live here, and perhaps the most alluring spectacle is the southern right whales that take rest in the peninsula’s natural bays, their breeding and nursing grounds between June and November.

Dolphins, southern sea lions, southern elephant seals, a high diversity of birds including Magellanic penguins (depending on the year), humpback whales, and orcas (killer whales) are no strangers to these parts—the last an undoubtedly rare wildlife opportunity, for the pod that scouts these grounds in search of sea lions is one of only two in the world that have taken to ingeniously beaching themselves in the hunt for food.

Land mammals such as the rhea (relative of the African ostrich), the guanaco (related to the llama), and the mara (resembling a large hare) are also numerous.

Puerto Madryn

Although the peninsula’s nearest town, Puerto Madryn, bustles with tourism and industry, as the gateway to Península Valdés, it makes for an excellent base from which to explore the region, with other regional highlights such as the Magellanic penguin colony found at Punta Tombo and the Welsh settlement at Gaiman each only a short trip away.

From the end of June to the end of August, you can also enjoy whale sightings.

Península Valdés (Atlantic Patagonia) Essential Information

Reasons to Visit

  • Family Travel
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • 3 nights

When to Visit

  • Good: May–August
  • Better: December–April
  • Best: September–November

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