When planning a trip to Puerto Madryn you will no doubt be eager to indulge in the large range of wildlife that you are able to see roaming around this… famous Patagonian port. There are creatures here that you probably have never seen before. Yet you don’t just ‘see’ them, in Puerto Madryn you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal any strange creature that you may come across; be it whale or sea lion, elephant seal or penguin.
From Buenos Aires it is an 18-hour coach journey south to the tip of the nation. If you didn’t know before, the long-distance bus service in Argentine is very comfortable and efficient. We would highly recommend selecting the Super-Cama option. Super-cama literally translates to super-bed, in other words your comfortable seat on the bus will convert to a full bed whenever you please. Believe us, the further you glide down towards Patagonia and the colder the weather gets outside, the more you will appreciate the luxury of Argentine bus travel. Observe Argentina’s stunning countryside, clutching a glass of fine wine and float your way to Patagonia. A journey in Super- Cama will cost around AR$ 700 by bus.
So what to do here once you have planned your trip to Puerto Madryn? One thing many people choose to do is go on a full-day tour of Peninsula Valdes (the stretch of land that is most teeming with wildlife). To enter this UNESCO World Heritage site, you will cross an incredibly narrow strip of land with sea on both sides. Further along you will arrive at Caleta Valdes, a large natural creek that is home to a colony of sea elephants. Observe the way these great beasts bask in the sun, snorting and flapping as they climb all over each other. 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. How does less than 3 metres away sound? 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 and you can select to go snorkelling with them if you fancy it, an option commonly chosen in the summer.
From Puerto Madryn there is easy access to go and see the penguins in Punta Tombo. Leave the port and drive 120km south to visit the largest colony of Magellan penguins in South America. The colony’s population reaches over half a million birds during the peak season, and the best time to visit is between October and April. One of the greatest features of this reserve is the fact that you can literally walk among the penguins and take in their habits. You’ll have the opportunity to see how they feed their babies, defend their territory, build their nests, and of course, whilst holding back the chuckles, see them waddle in and out of the sea.
Following the tour you could head to Trelew in order to visit the Egidio Feruglio Paleontology Museum, before continuing to the charming Welsh town of Gaiman for afternoon tea and Welsh delicacies. But make sure you get back to Puerto Madryn just in time to enjoy the sunset.
For more information on planning a trip to Puerto Madryn visit www.sayhueque.com