Puerto Madryn

Overview

Introduction

Puerto Madryn is a quickly growing tourist destination that serves as the gateway to Valdes Peninsula, a nearby wildlife sanctuary. The city maintains beautiful beaches, but the real delight is June-November, when whales migrate, often coming close enough to be seen from the shore. It is a good base for visitors who balk at the idea of staying in the tiny village of Puerto Piramides out on the peninsula.

A small yet active city, its main industry is fishing everything from prawns to cod. Hotel and restaurant options are slowly yet surely on the increase, catering to visitors who stay here to go whale watching. Other water-related activities include kayaking and stand-up paddling, both popular due to to the bay's calm waters. Snorkeling with sea lions is another popular activity.

Valdes Peninsula—around 70 mi/100 km from Madryn—has UNESCO World Heritage status. Puerto Piramides is the only point from which to board boats for whale-watching expeditions. Boat trips last around 90 minutes and take passengers close to whales, often a mother with a curious one-ton baby calf by her side.

Wildlife spotters will also be keen to see orcas, penguins and elephant seals using Peninsula Valdes as a base, depending on the season. It is truly one of the finest places in the world for viewing maritime wildlife.

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