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Peninsula Valdes, Argentina
Fast Facts
Scuba Diving
Family-Friendly Tours
Fun Family Trips
Points of Interest Nearby
Family Travel Tips

Southern Sea Lions


Photo by Tito Bottazzi

Península Valdés, a Nature Reserve and World Heritage Site, affords visitors, young and old, with a unique opportunity to observe marine mammals, seabirds and steppe fauna. Watch Magellanic penguins, southern elephant seals and sea lions. Spot southern right whales and orcas. View dolphins, dusky, long-finned pilot, Commerson and Peale. Spy on sea life both on and offshore. Travel across the peninsula and catch a glimpse of steppe fauna - tinamous, armadillos, cuis, tucu-tucus, gatos del pajonal, southern gray fox, maras, and guanacos. Visit the Visitor Center at Isla de los Pajeros and enjoy birding through a telescope. Begin your journey at the Interpretation Center, located at the park entrance, and learn more about the region's wildlife. And should the kids tire of animals and birds, kayak, hike, scuba dive, mountain bike or sandboard. A variety of fun family tours and excursions depart daily from Puerto Pirámides.
Getting There
Peninsula Valdes is situated in Patagonia and is located in the Argentine province of Chubut. The entrance to the reserve is 80 km (50 miles) north of Puerto Madryn. Bus tours depart daily from Puerto Madryn. Rental car companies are located in Puerto Madryn and Trelew. The nearest airports are in Puerto Madryn and Trelew. Of note, if you are on a self-drive tour take the N4 rather than the N1. This unpaved gravel road hugs El Doradillo Beach, the best place in Argentina for shore-based whale watching.
Getting Around
In Peninsula Valdes travel is slow and services are limited. All reserve roads are gravel track. The one gas pump is located in Puerto Piramides, roughly 32 km (20 miles) from the park entrance. There are few hotels and few restaurants. Punta Norte is a 72 km (45 mile) drive on gravel track from Puerto Piramides. Caleta Valdes is 43 km (27 miles) trek south from Punta Norte. Punta Delgada is 71 km (44 mile) from Puerto Piramides. Whale watching tours and other family excursions depart from Puerto Piramides.
When to Travel
Spring (September - November) is the best time of year to visit Peninsula Valdes. Not only is it the peak season for sea life viewing, the weather is generally mild and sunny. Southern right whales frequent these waters from May to December with top viewing in September and October. Orca whales are regularly sighted from August through November and February through April. Dolphins - dusky, long-finned pilot, Commerson and Peale - make their home here from August through March but are most frequently sighted in summer from December to February. Southern elephant seals and sea lions are year-round residents yet viewing is best from December to April. Magellanic penguins nest in October and November; newborns are active from December to March. Birding is best from September to February when migratories are present.
Hours & Seasons
The reserve is open daily year-round. The Itsmo Carlos Ameghino Interpretation Center is open daily from 8:00 - 20:00.
Admission & Fees
Admission is charged per person. A reduced rate is available for Argentine residents and children aged 6-11. Children aged 5 and under are free of charge.
Things to Keep in Mind
Allow two full days to visit the peninsula; the complete tour is nearly 300 kilometers!
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Travel Trivia
The first settlers in Patagonia were: