Arrival - Peninsula Valdes
Your hire car will be ready for you on arrival at Trelew airport, so you’ll begin your trip straight away, crossing the Patagonian plains to the Peninsula Valdes. In total, the drive will take around three hours and you’ll pass the traveller hub of Puerto Madryn along the way. From the park entrance, you’ll follow the road to Puerto Piramides, a tiny village with a couple of makeshift houses and hostels. You’ll stay in a small hosteria in Puerto Piramides with a cosy restaurant and views across the Atlantic Ocean.
If there are whales in the area, you’ll hop onto the zodiac at Puerto Piramides early in the morning, far before the bigger tourist boats from Puerto Madryn arrive. The guides use special sensors to trace the humpbacks so hopefully you’ll be in luck. From the zodi-ac, you can watch the whales breach the surface, swim under your boat and flap their giant tails on the water. It’s something quite spectacular. Back on dry land, you can pick up the car and spend the rest of the day driving around the peninsula.
Maras and nandoos aside, the main attraction here are the huge colonies of elephant seals and penguins. At Punta Delgado, you can see hundreds of elephant seals basking in the sun. From here, continue north to Punta Norte, home to ever-playful seals who will happily give you an acrobatic show. On the way back to Puerto Piramides, you’ll pass a number of penguin colonies. The penguins aren’t shy and you can walk up to them and get so close you can almost touch them.
Peninsula Valdes - departure
In the morning, you can take it easy until it’s time to make your way back to Trelew air-port. The drive takes around 2 ½ hours, so be sure to leave on time. At the airport you’ll return your hire car and say goodbye to the Peninsula Valdes. If you’re planning on dolphin spotting (January – March) or visiting the huge penguin colonies at Punta Tombo (late September – March) we recommend booking an extra night in Puerto Madryn.
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If you’re visiting Patagonia during the whale season (July-November) we would recommend upgrading your accommodation to a hotel near the beach. You’ll have a view of the bay of Puerto Pyramides and with a little luck, you might just open your curtains in the morning and spot a whale tail disappearing beneath the waves. The rooms are quite simple, but feel modern and the beach is just a short walk from the hotel’s restaurant terrace. The beach here is much more central than the one near the guest house. You can also find a restaurant, bar, small supermarket and an ATM just round the corner.
Prices from: £ 415 - per person - In Style accommodation
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Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these: