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Valdés Peninsula

Chubut

Everywhere you look, the Valdés Peninsula will amaze you. Given its rich sea fauna, it is one of Argentina's natural wonders and a World Heritage site.

The star is the Southern right whale, which comes here to mate and have their calves. You will also find penguins, killer whales, elephant seals and sea lions, dolphins, guanacos, maras, lesser rheas and a great variety of birds.

To observe the fauna, check the calendar. Recommended for family trips. Entry fees apply.

What to see
Interpretation Centre

The Interpretation Centre lies on the isthmus Ameghino, on the entrance to the Valdés Peninsula, and it is the first step to get immersed in this natural world. In here, you will find out information about the area and on how to organise your visit according to your interests and taking into consideration the fauna calendar and the tide tables.

Puerto Pirámides

It is a small town on the peninsula with accommodation and cuisine options. Whale watching boat tours and other types of tours depart from here (one of the operators provides affordable tours). Puerto Pirámides is also the starting point of the gravel roads to Punta Norte and Punta Cantor/Caleta Valdés, two must-see places to observe the landscape and the fauna.

Punta Norte

Located 80 km away from Puerto Pirámides, Punta Norte is home to an important colony of South American sea lions and elephant seals. There is an interpretation centre, a grocery store, and toilet facilities.

Particularly between February and May you can see killer whales, and close by, there are two farms offering cuisine, accommodation and tours.

Estancia San Lorenzo is home to one of the largest continental colonies of Magellanic penguins in the world. Entry fees apply and local guides are required to visit this place.

Caleta Valdés/Punta Cantor

About 75 km away from Pirámides and 55 km from Punta Norte, there is a large elephant seal colony, a small Magellanic penguin colony, and during the mating season, you can see killer whales. The area has toilet facilities, restaurants, sale of regional products and a farm with accommodation and cuisine

Sea fauna: what to see and when

When planning a trip to the Valdés Peninsula, it is important to check the fauna’s calendar and the designated areas to observe the animals.

  • From June to mid-December, the highlight is the Southern right whale. They swim to this area to mate and have their calves. There are whale watching boat tours departing from Puerto Pirámides. The best time to see them is in October.
  • From mid-September to March, you can see the Magellanic penguin. On the north end of the peninsula, in the Estancia San Lorenzo (a farm that provides accommodation and some services), there is an incredible colony of Magellanic penguins with a population of over 600,000 individuals, making it one of the largest colonies in the world.
  • Killer whales arrive to the coast between October and November, however seeing them requires patience and luck. Between March and May, you can see them hunting sea lions in the area of Punta Norte using an extraordinary technique called intentional stranding, which consists of swimming almost completely out to the shore to catch their prey. A unique phenomenon.
  • Throughout July, elephant seals start arriving to this coast and they stay until March; between September and October, you can see giant male elephant seals fighting each other.
  • All year round: sea lions, Commerson's dolphins, guanacos and maras, foxes, lesser rheas, tinamous, and many other bird species.

For more information, check the Fauna Calendar

How to get there and move around

By plane to Puerto Madryn or Trelew; by car or by bus to Puerto Pirámides or Puerto Madryn from different cities in the country.

There are regular bus services from Madryn and Trelew to Puerto Pirámides, but there is no public transport inside the peninsula.

The best way to explore the peninsula is by car or hiring a tour in Puerto Madryn.

Where to stay

Puerto Madryn is a city with lots of accommodation and cuisine options that you can use as a base to explore the peninsula for the day. Be careful: the trip covers a total of 400 km.

A more relaxed and shorter alternative is to use Puerto Pirámides or Punta Norte as a base inside the peninsula, although accommodation, restaurants and grocery stores are more limited.

More information