Valdes Peninsula Tours
The Argentine shoreline has numerous gulfs, bays, inlets and peninsulas host a great variety of wildlife. Areas such as Valdes Peninsula congregate such unique species as Southern Right whales (from late June to mid December), various species of dolphins, orcas, southern elephant seals, South American sealions, Magellanic penguins (from late September to March), and various species of cormorants among others. Together with the wildlife, Welsh settlements are to be visited and the famous Welsh Tea will be ready for visitors!
You can visit Peninsula Valdes all year round. Summer season lasts from December 15 up to March 15. Whales season is from June 15 up to December 15.
Day 1 Trelew / Puerto Madryn
Arrival in Trelew / Puerto Madryn. Meet & greet at the airport and transfer to the Valdes Peninsula area.
The city of Puerto Madryn lies on the cliffs shaped by a small plateau that features an impressive perspective of the Atlantic Ocean. Founded in 1865 with the arrival of 150 Welsh immigrants, Puerto Madryn was named after Sir Love Jones Parry, Baronet of Madryn and one of the best-known dwellers of this city in the Welsh country.
DAY 02 Valdes Peninsula
We suggest a full day visit to the Valdes Peninsula and its most important rookeries protecting large colonies of South American sea lions and Southern elephant seals, Magellanic penguins also inhabit this area along with oystercatchers, dolphin gulls, kelp gulls, cormorants, etc.:
* Puerto Piramides there is a small sea lions colony worth of visit. Our next stop will be Punta Delgada, the Southernmost tip of the Valdes Peninsula. This area is particularly interesting for its elephant seal colony (Mirounga leonina).
***During mid June through December you may embark on the safe navigations to sight the impressive Southern Right Whale. Every year between mid June and December the Eubalaena Australis type of whales (comonly known as Southern Right Whale) come to the calm waters of the Golfo Nuevo at the Peninsula to mate and give birth to their calves. The females calve toward the end of the winter, after a gestation period of nearly 10 months. The nursing calves remain with their others for another 10 months, so the females are able to calve only every three years.
* Caleta Valdes with its elephant seals colony (during Octobre & November and if lucky) we may see orcas while practicing their intentional stranding on the beach.
* Punta Norte and -time permitting - the Penguin rookery at Estancia San Lorenzo (private property; entrance fee required)
DAY 03 Puerto Madryn - Punta Tombo
We suggest visiting Punta Tombo Rookery, the most important breeding colony of Magellanic penguins in the world. The aim of this reserve is to protect one of the most diverse sea bird colonies in Argentina and the largest Magellan penguin continental colony, housing almost two million individuals. A rocky 3-km-long and 600-meter-wide mass getting into the sea, covered by sand, clay, and gravel and surrounded by large sandy beaches, it offers the largest concentration of sea birds in the entire Patagonian coast.
We will walk through a trail, which cuts, deep into the colony to observe closely these fascinating birds. The area is full of caves, where the penguins lay their eggs and raise their young. You will be able to watch the hectic activity dominating the colony, while some penguins would dig their caves, others would fight over their territories, at the same time that the continuous murmur of their voices would invade the atmosphere.
Punta Tombo is also a paradise for other sea birds that have chosen this site to nest. Other species such as kelp gulls, skuas, dolphin gulls, the Chubut steamer duck, two species of cormorants -the king cormorant and the rock shag-, snowy sheathbills, and several species of terns and giant petrels are some of the ones we can find nesting in the area. Hairy armadillos and Patagonian foxes also inhabit the area and may be seen here.
Later, return to Trelew and further on to Gaiman, a typical Welsh settlement. Gaiman is a place where one can walk leisurely around the small village and appreciate the strong influence that these first inhabitants have given to the place. Together with a visit, we will have leisure time to enjoy a tradition in the area: Go to a local tea house and enjoy a very healthy tea complemented with local delicacies (not included).
Normally these houses are the original houses built by the first inhabitants. They are well kept and we will be able to mingle with their friendly owners and hosts and learn more about their traditions and their everyday life. Over the years, the British tea tradition - brought to the province of Chubut by Welsh immigrants in the 19th century-has been honored in each home using old family baking recipes that may or may not have been reinvented by successive ladies of the house.
DAY 04 Trelew
Day at leisure until the time to transfer back to the airport.
We can also craft itineraries with overnights in hotels at Puerto Piramides on the peninsula or in small lodges near the peninsula or estancias on the coast of the peninsula at privileged locations, to get away from the crowds during high season, and to be closer to the wildlife "action". Or at Bahia Bustamante, further down from the peninsula and also away from the crowds