Argentina’s Valdes Peninsula is a wildlife sanctuary and UNESCO World Heritage Site
The spectacular natural landscape of Argentina’s Valdes Peninsula is special enough to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and to be chosen by a variety of wildlife species as home. The 1,500 square miles of the peninsula’s nature sanctuary are located in the province of Chubut, and make for some of the best wildlife viewing in Argentina.
Scarcely inhabited by man, the peninsula welcomes southern right whales each year, dolphins, orcas, sea lions, penguins and a huge variety of birds and land animals. Visitors should leave themselves at least one to two full days to explore this magical area, where activities range from diving and kayaking to trekking or mountain biking – and, of course, wildlife watching.
- Isla de los Pájaros (Birds Island): Inhabited by a huge number of birds, this area is home to flamingos, white herons, kelp gulls, cormorants and black oystercatchers. Don’t forget your binoculars!
- Punta Norte: In the spring, a colony of elephant seals arrive here, while summer brings the sea lions. Visit between October and April for the chance to see orcas searching for a meal.
- Calenta Valdes: This is another great spot to see the elephant seals.
- Punta Cantor: Visit a settlement of elephant seals and a number of bird species here.
- Punta Delgada: On a beach surrounded by deep cliffs, it’s common to find the local cormorants and other species of birds, as well as more elephant seals.
- Punta Pirámide: Whale watchers should hit this spot during winter and spring for prime viewing. Sea lions take their place during summer and autumn.
- Punta Loma’s Protected Area: Located only about 10 miles from Puerto Madryn, take a bike ride to this protected area to see numerous permanent colonies of sea lions – just remember to go at low tide.