The Valdes Peninsula






Argetina’s Valdes Peninsula

The Valdes Peninsula sits eastward into the South Atlantic, creating a 310-mile coast between two bays. Here, in the wind-swept province of Chubut, the land forms a vast plain—the Patagonian Steppe—stretching hundreds of miles from the Andes to the Atlantic. Peninsula Valdes rests at the eastern end of that expanse. Where the steppe meets the sea, the land plummets hundreds of feet down sandstone cliffs to pebbled beaches.

This is one of the best places in the world to observe marine mammals and penguins. Herds of elephant seals and sea lions are regularly found here, lounging on the gravelly beaches. In stunning displays of intelligence and stealth, orcas drive sea lion pups and penguins ashore, before hurling themselves from the water to feed.

LANDED recommends a three-night stay for most guests.

San Pedro Claver
The region surrounding the Valdes Peninsula was settled by Welsh and Italian immigrants in the late 19th century. Welsh influence is ubiquitous here, expressed in the Red Dragon flag of Puerto Madryn, and tea-houses of Gaiman.

Trelew, another Welsh settlement, is the area’s largest city and the site of one of South America’s best paleontology museums. The Egidio Feruglio Museum houses more than 1,700 fossils, including dinosaur eggs and skeletons. Many of the specimens were found at the Bryn Gwyn Paleontology Park, south of Gaiman.

San Pedro Claver

Penguin Watching in Punta Tombo

Punta Tombo, a small peninsula, 70 miles south of Trelew, is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in the world—a key nesting ground on the birds’ migration route from southern Brazil to Patagonia. Between November and January, visitors can observe the nest sites and hatchlings up close.

What to do in The Valdes Peninsula

The main attraction here is the wildlife. Whale watching, as well as visits to the penguin and Punta Ninfas elephant seal colonies, are among the most popular. Visitors to this area can often also spot foxes, guanacos, rheas, mountain cats, hares, turkey vultures, shorebirds, and sheep.

The Valdes Peninsula’s migratory wildlife is mostly present from September to April. In September, the male Magellanic penguins arrive to prepare nests. The female penguins arrive a few weeks later to choose a nest and the mate who happens to inhabit that nest. The chicks hatch in November, leave the nests in January, and change plumage in February. These penguins migrate each year, leaving the Peninsula around March or April.

The area’s whales also migrate. Southern Right Whales are baleen feeders, filtering plankton in the Golfo Nuevo from June to December (then migrating to New Zealand). The presence of orcas (killer whales) coincides with that of the penguins and the pupping season of seals and sea lions (September to April). Orcas are known to practice “strand feeding” here, hunting penguins and seal pups right at the edge of the beach.

Southern sea lions and Southern elephant seals are year-round residents. Seal pups are born in October-November and are weened approximately one month later.

The Valdes Peninsula offers the luxury of experience, solitude, and sincere hospitality. Apart from wildlife watching guests can enjoy hikes, mountain biking, and sunbathing during the Austral Summer months.

What is the Weather Like?

Most properties in The Valdes Peninsula are open to guests during the Austral spring and summer seasons, from September to April, when wildlife viewing is at its peak.

Patagonia is known for its nearly constant wind. During the summer months, rain is possible, but the days are generally warm and breezy, with daylight from approximately 7 AM to 9 PM. November and December are the warmest months (temperatures range from 83° to 55°) and best for wildlife viewing.

These averages are changing, please check extended weather forecasts using your favorite weather app prior to departure.

Getting There

Puerto Madryn has a small airport (PMY) that receives weekly flights to/from Buenos Aires on most days of the week. The nearest major airport is in Trelew. Daily flights connect Trelew (REL) with Buenos Aires. Flight times from Buenos Aires average two hours.

El Pedral, our favorite property in Puerto Madryn, is approximately one hour south of Puerto Madryn by car and one hour and 50 minutes from Trelew.

Trelew also has seasonal connections to Ushuaia (USH).

Start your journey today

LANDED delivers the finest in custom, private travel to Central America, South America, and Antarctica. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our travel designers and let us create a tailored itinerary for you in The Valdes Peninsula. 

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