The Valdes

Somewhere over the rainbow in a faraway Argentina there is a place where people and animals live friendly and peaceful, this place is called The Valdes peninsula. It is situated in the coldest and most spiritual part of the country Patagonia, in the Chubut province.

The Valdes is a breathtaking natural resort where birds, animals and human coexist. It has been recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which made it a popular destination for eco-tourism. It is a place where you can witness the most unbelievable natural actions: see whales swimming in less than a km distance, take photos of hundreds penguins who run on a shore or come close to sea lions who rest on a beach.

The total area of the flora reservation is more than 3 600 square kilometers. Its coastline is inhabited with elephant seals, penguins, fur seals and other marine mammals. You might get an impression that the island is a complete icy desert but in fact it has beautiful green landscapes that are filled with interesting plants and flowers. In Valdes forests you might come across one of the rarest species like wild guanaco, rheas and maras. The land is also filled with various salt lakes that are located approximately 40 meters below the sea level.

It is also a land of birds. Imagine, that scientists have counted that there are at least 181 bird species and 66 of which live migratory, like Antarctic pigeon.

Of course the most exciting activity for tourists who come to the island is whale watching. As Patagonia is shared between Argentina and Chile much of the southern right whales can be seen in such places like Golfo San Jose or Golfo Nuevo. If you are interested in baleen whales you should probably book a ticket to Valdes in a period of May – December, this time they come here for maternal reasons as the water in a gulf is the warmest in the nearest area. Such whales as orcas (also known as killer whales) can be also seen at the coast as they come here to capture sea lions.

In order to arrive, the nearest gateway is another beautiful city Puerto Madryn. It will take you 80 km to get to The Valdes peninsula. In Puerto Madryn you will find numerous travel agencies that provide interesting and trilling tours across the island. Such tours can be individual or group, they are guided by a local who will take you from Puerto to The Valdes showing and telling you everything about history and nature.

The best time to visit The Valdes is from late summer to early December. This time you might see whale moms with their children. Even if you are not lucky to see whales there are still incredible landscapes and various wild animals. Important tip is to travel in small groups in order to see more animals.