Arrival at the airport. Welcome to the town of Puerto Madryn.
The city was founded upon the arrival of 150 Welsh immigrants in 1865. Its real pull is as a base for trips to the ecological treasure trove of Peninsula Valdes.
You will be met by our English speaking staff and transferred to your selected Hotel.
We travel to the south of Puerto Madryn on the shores of the Nuevo Gulf to arrive at Punta Loma reserve, which was the first reserve in Chubut. It was created in 1967 with the purpose of protecting the only permanent South American sea lion colony. Also dwelling this protected area, there is a colony of cormorants and South American terns and many other sea and land birds, reptiles and mammals. From the vantage point of the cliffs we can observe the colony of sea lions which is made up of about 600 specimens. This mammal species is distributed along the entire Atlantic and Pacific coast in Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia. The males, who are of a darker brown colour, can reach a height of 2.5 meters and a weight of 350 kilos. Males can reach 5 meters in length and weigh 3,500 kg while females can reach 3 meters in length and weigh 900 kg. Elephant seals are the largest of all seals. They use their trunks to fight for females. Every year, they arrive to the Valdés Peninsula in two different occasions. In spring, they come to mate and give birth and, in summer, they return to molt their skin.
They are extremely polygynous. Males compete for females and subordinate them to form harems.They give birth to one pup per year after being pregnant for over 11 months. The mothers nurse their pups for less than a month. While on the coast, they do not eat, and rest most of the time, so as to save energy and be able to return to the feeding area without any problem. They feed on squid, but their diet also includes fish.
They migrate 400 km heading to the continental slope to forage for food. They are amazing divers. They can stay at depths of 1,200 meters for over 100 minutes. As they dive, they exhale the air from their lungs. The bloodstream carries oxygen through the hemoglobin and the muscles carry oxygen through the mioglobin.
Puerto Madryn: Peninsula Valdes
Early morning departure with our bilingual guide who will take you on a full day's tour of the Valdes Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage site.We will arrive at Isthmus Carlos Ameghino from where it is possible to see at the same time Nuevo and San Jose Gulfs, visit the Interpretation Centre and see the Birds’ Island. This is a small island connected to the continent during low tides where visitors are not allowed. A wide variety of birds arrive during their breeding season: seagulls, flamingos, herons, cormorants, ducks and penguins among others.
The tour continues to Caleta Valdes where there is an important settlement of Southern Elephant seals. Further along you will arrive at Caleta Valdes, a large natural creek that is home to a colony of sea elephants. After admiring Caleta Valdes you'll continue along the road as it drops suddenly down into a crescent of golden cliffs overlooking a bright blue bay and the small village of Puerto Piramides. Here herds of southern right whales tend to arrive in June.
You will take a boat trip around the Golfo Nuevo bay and watch these immense creatures gliding past. The peninsula navigation allows you to get unusually close to the whales. You will even get wet if they jump!
While the whales may be seen from late June to mid December, the sea elephants and sea lions are permanent residents. Following your tour you will return to your hotel in Puerto Madryn.
Puerto Madryn: Penguins in Punta Tombo
Full day Punta Tombo Penguin rockery
Punta Tombo is located on the Atlantic Ocean coast, 150 km from Puerto Madryn. During the warm months (September to April) Punta Tombo reserve is home to the world's largest colony of Magellanic penguins. Spending much of their lives in the water, these penguins return yearly to the Patagonian coast to court, breed, and raise their young. Approximately half of the colonies of penguins that nest at Punta Tombo burrow underground. Males arrive prior to the females, preparing and settling into their old nests. When the females arrive, they search out their lifelong mate through a series of calls and a chorus of answers. After an elaborate courtship, the female will lay one egg and both male and female will share the two-month incubation. Once the baby penguin, or chick, hatches, the parents will forage for food, feeding the chick by regurgitation until it can fend for itself. After the chicks learn to swim, the family will return to the ocean and migrate north to southern Brazil. Some Magellanic penguins may migrate 3000 miles round-trip between Brazil and Patagonia. When the immature penguins return to Punta Tombo the following year, they will moult their feathers, and breeding will once again resume. Besides penguins it is also possible to see many other kind of birds in the area. During the transfer to Puerto Madryn, the tour stops at Gaiman, one of the oldest Welsh colonies in the area, where it is possible to taste an excellent tea with homemade cakes.
Transfer to the airport to board flight.
*Prices in US Dollars.
*Valid until Junes 2015 (ask for prices in Christmas and New Year)
- Accommodation at the mentioned hotels daily with local taxes (21%) included for the specified number of nights
- Transfers and tours as specified in the itinerary
- Local Bilingual speaking guide
- Seat in bus
- International or domestic fights. Domestic flights Buenos Aires-Puerto Madryn-Buenos Aires economic class, from Usd 350 x pax tax included.( promotional air fare last minute booking available only 14 days or less before departure)
- National park fee entrances Península Valdés usd 26 / Punta Tombo fee entrantes: usd 16 per person..
- Local tax US$6