The Valdes Peninsula to the north of Puerto Madryn was declared a Natural World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999 and is one of the worlds best places for whale watching.
Depending on the time of year the southern right whale and the spectacular black and white orca or killer whale can be seen cruising in these waters, as well as elephant seals, penguins and several varieties of dolphin.
Valdes Peninsula is a large spit of land shaped like a mushroom and forming two huge natural bays to the north and south, which provide sheltered and slightly warmer waters, perfect for the whales to mate and calf.
During May to September, you are most likely to spot the southern right whale, which was almost hunted to extinction. It was named the right whale, as it was so easy to hunt. It swims at a slow speed of about five knots which meant the whalers could keep up with it. As its body is made up of a high percentage of blubber, it floats when dead, making it easy to harvest. Now, since the species has been protected, the populations are slowly increasing, and these days the biggest danger to the whales is being struck by a ship.
Next to the whales, Valdes Peninsula has a high diversity of birds. The Peninsula´s intertidal mudflats and coastal lagoons are important staging sites for migratory shorebirds. The Magellanic penguin is the most common in the area with aroung 40,000 active nests.
A cruise in Valdes Peninsula gives you the opportunity to experience the wild animals from a close perspective.