Puerto Madryn

The Atlantic Ocean waters wash the shores of Chubut’s town Puerto Madryn, a kind of gateway to the magnificent Peninsula Valdes, the Natural Reserve where southern right whales offer their valued sight every year. Birds, sea lions and sea elephants are part of this region declared as World Heritage by UNESCO. Water sports, horse riding and trekking allow you to enjoy Puerto Madryn and its surroundings with all your senses on any kind of experience. Beyond the nearby areas surrounding the city, Punta Tombo is a unique treasure. This spot is home to the largest colony of Magellan penguins in the whole world. At the same time Gaiman offers a taste of Wales and a travel in time to the origins of Puerto Madryn, the town who has earned the title of national scuba diving capital.

Travel to Puerto Madryn

Excursions to Puerto Madryn

City Tour in Puerto Madryn & Sea Lions Watching at Punta Loma

Breakfast at hotel. We begin our day visiting one of the prettiest atlantic cities in Argentina: Puerto Madryn. The principal attraction in the region is the Southern Right whale watching.

We continue our excursion setting off some 17km to the south of the city, where we arrive at the Punta Loma Protected Natural Reserve. This station stands out for being the one hair sea lions chosen place for their habitat, not mentioning that many other whole communities of birds, reptiles and mammals live together, such is the case of cormorants, seagulls, etc.

Visiting Puerto Madryn, El Doradillo & Whales Coastal watching

Breakfast at hotel. Today we will visit the most representative places of Puerto Madryn. This wonderful city attracts visitors from all over the world who arrive at the diving capital wishing to know its principal attraction: the Southern Right whale watching. After knowing the city centre we set off to the protected Municipal Area El Doradillo, located only 12km to the north of Puerto Madryn. It is one of the few places located on the shore of Golfo Nuevo, where we will not have to move from the shore to watch the whales, a unique experience.

Year after year, from June to mid October, we will meet these fascinating mammals that reach the gulf to mate and raise their whale calves. It is a magnificent experience, where we will watch the Southern Right whale in its natural environment. Besides, we will visit the Las Canteras beach and the Punta Flecha lookout point, strategically chosen by the Natural Patagonia Foundation to be able to observe and protect the maritime fauna.

Península Valdés & Whale Watching

Breakfast at the hotel. We will have great excitement on this day. We will set out first thing in the morning towards Península de Valdés, which was declared Natural and Cultural World Heritage by the UNESCO for being one of the few places in the world where you can watch the Southern right whale in its natural habitat. In this place we can find the biggest concentration of sea animals in the entire Atlantic coastline.

We will visit the Interpretation Center in Carlos Ameghino Isthmus, and then we will head for the ecotouristic village of Puerto Pirámides, which is the only urbanized town in the Peninsula. In Pirámides, we will enjoy a spectacular experience watching the whales in their natural habitat, accompanied by whale specialized guides, biologists, and film and naturalist photography teams.

Before starting our voyage, we will provide travelers with a raincoat and a life jacket. We will set out on a motorboat tour around the crystalline waters of Golfo Nuevo (New Gulf) to see the Southern Right Whale. We will have a unique natural experience when the whales make their appearance moving, swiping their tails, blowing air through their holes and jumping. From the end of May to December, whales from Antarctica reach the coasts of Golfo Nuevo (New Gulf) to breed in the coastline of Puerto Pirámides.

Note about the whale watching: It is performed between July and November. Waterproof clothes and windbreakers are recommended. Before the trip, elemental advice is provided. This adventure is available for adults as well as for children.

Punta Ninfas lighthouse: Elephants & fossils

Breakfast at hotel. We start the excursion at the southernmost point of Golfo Nuevo, where Punta Ninfas is located, an excellent place to enjoy the panoramic view of the whole gulf. Visitors know this place for the lighthouse  with the same name. This antique lighthouse in Punta Ninfas has been the principal shelter for elephant seals since over a century. We will be able to see the place history through the marine fossils.

Punta Tombo Penguin colony with Valle Inferior

Breakfast at hotel. Today we visit the most important Magellan penguin colony in South America: Punta Tombo, located in the south of the Valle Inferior of the Chubut River. At the beginning (more than 50 years ago), it was a natural reserve, 20 years later it was considered protected area. Punta Tombo has an expanse of almost 3,000m per 500m wide along the Atlantic Ocean. This natural accident is produced by crystalline rocky structures appearance before the Jurassic era which have beared the erosion produced by the ravages of the sea. Key factors for nest creation are the existence of boulder and compact sand. The season is from the beginning of September until April, when penguins emigrate to nest and protect their young.

Depending on the season, all their productive cycle can be observed. First males appear so as to build their nests or rebuild the previous year one, they take advantage of the natural caves for that. One month later, females lay their eggs to sit on them during 40 to 45 days. During that gestation period, males go for food. At the beginning of April, chicks are already good swimmers and feed alone. In the past, this zone was an indigenous cemetery where many Tehuelches also lived and hunted. When walking around the reserve we recommend not to divert the route.

When returning from this adventure with penguins, we go towards the lower valley, to know the industrial and commercial center of the region: Trelew. Then we continue towards Gaiman, the most important Welsh colony in Argentina. There are still traditions and customs such as the Welsh tea with Welsh Black cake, as well as the walnut cake with fruit and homemade bread. If we go back the chacras (eateries), we will observe the different Welsh Chapels and observe the farming-tourist ventures.

Trelew & Gaiman: Discovering the Rio Chubut & Valle Inferior

Breakfast at hotel. We begin travelling to Trelew a bit more than 70km away. This city arose at the sides of the railway in 1886 and as years went by, it became the principal commercial and industrial centre in the zone. It is the principal woollen textile pole in Argentina and it is where more than 90% of the wool is commercialized.

We also visit the San Luis Town Regional Museum, where we will be able to enjoy and go into Welsh history and principal inhabitants in more depth. Before leaving Trelew, we will visit one of the most important museums in South America: The Egidio Feruglio Paleontologic Museum  (MEF), which conserves the remains of the Patagonian paleontologic patrimony.

Before returning to Puerto Madryn, we stray off to the west, towards the Cordillera de los Andes (Andes Mountain Range), to go to the geographic centre in the Rio Chubut lower valley: Gaiman. This small town is one of the most important benchmarks of the Welsh colonization in Argentina. It looks as if history was halted in time, as its inhabitants try to keep the traditions and history of each Welsh immigrant who arrived at the Puerto Madryn shores in 1865 giving a great boost to Patagonia. We will enjoy the famous Welsh tea in one of the most prestigious Tea Houses in the place.

Optional: Ameghino Dam

Breakfast at hotel. We will set off to the Florentino Ameghino Dam, hydroelectric reservoir formed by the dam and the tourist village, supplying with energy to most of Patagonia, together with the hydroelectric power station Futaleufú. It is on the Chubut river. It started working in 1963, being a pioneer in Patagonia. The aim of building it was to protect the lower  valley from floods as well as to give electricity to the region. We will enjoy pleasant views during the trip. We then return to Puerto Madryn.

Night Patagonia towards the Cerro Avanzado

Free day to know the city. Before the night, we set off to a special crossing trip: Cerro Avanzado some only 20km travelling south of Puerto Madryn, where we perform a unique trip at night under a full moon. We do a mini-trekking where we will learn about the vegetation, the geological formations and discover the maritime fossils remains of the zone. We descend through the shoal towards the end of the great canon, walking along the beach and then we enjoy delicious appetizers with a glass of wine surrounded by nature. The Patagonic sky delights us with all its beauty and we can enjoy the sound and the figures of the Southern Right whale lit up by the moon.

Ameghino Dam

Breakfast at hotel. We will set off to the Florentino Ameghino Dam, hydroelectric reservoir formed by the dam and the tourist village, supplying with energy to most of Patagonia, together with the hydroelectric power station Futaleufú. It is on the Chubut river. It started working in 1963, being a pioneer in Patagonia. The aim of building it was to protect the lower  valley from floods as well as to give electricity to the region. We will enjoy pleasant views during the trip. We then return to Puerto Madryn.

Kayac in Golfo Nuevo

The day begins with a pure maritime adventure, the marine kayak is an ideal means to know the Atlantic coasts getting an excellent contact with nature. We make an incursion into the calm waters of Golfo Nuevo enjoying a coastal diversity of fauna and flora. This gulf on the Atlantic Ocean, has an extraordinary microclimate for many species habitat. The trip is rather short and always accompanied by sea lions swimming next to the kayaks. We leave Puerto Madryn towards Paraná Beach, where there is a sunk vessel. We start rowing towards the South to the Punta Loma Reserve. We can practise snorkelling, depending on the month of the year we are in. The Cerro Avanzado appears in sight, easy to recognize for the zone characteristics with sedimentary hoardings which preserve fossil remains. We go down trekking the hill and then we go back to Puerto Madryn.

Note: To have previous rowing experience is not necessary.

Diving in the gullf´s waters / Discovering Snorkel

Today we will have the opportunity to live an interesting experience: to dive in the gulf´s waters. We prepare for this by wearing wetsuits of 5mm thick neoprene to protect ourselves from the cold. Once ready we board the speedboat to go to the diving zone. We start descending guided by a professional. We find autochthonous marine flora and fauna such as salmon, groupers, starfish, sea urchins, winkles, crabs and mollusks at the bottom of the sea. We also watch sea lions, dolphins and whales. We can also dive with snorkel as another option. This activity is safe and easy to learn, previous training is not required and you don´t need to be well fitted. We start discovering how sea life is, learning about the flora and fauna we will find in the depth. Once with the suits on and on board, we go to the descending area. In the water we receive advice of how to swim with flippers and how to breathe with snorkel. We use compensation techniques.

Note: If you have a diving licence you can ask to dive in the gulf´s waters, a complete diving equipment is provided.