Península Valdés is a Patagonian nature reserve on the coast of Argentina. It is an important nature reserve which was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
In addition to the whales, dolphins, seals and penguins, this place is also famous for the sightings of orcas beaching themselves. Orcas intentionally beach themselves, risking their lives with the objective of capturing sea lions to feed its pod. Unfortunately we were not there during the season. So we didn’t see any killer whales.
We did however saw a lot of southern right whales. You don’t have to take a boat out to see the whales. Just head to the coast off Puerto Pirámides and stand facing the sea with a binocular, and you’ll see at least 5 – 10 whales. They swam quite close to the shore.
But since we were already there, we took a ‘Underwater Whale Watching’ tour with Souther Spirits. This is a bit over rated as you board a semi-submersible Yellow Submarine and there’s seats ‘under’ the boat that allows the passengers to observe the whales in the water. I find the whole experience unpleasant as you have to fight to get a seat and when you do get a seat, you’re waiting forever for the whale to get close. On top of that I felt sick due to the choppy water. I was better off staying on the ship’s deck to observe the whales from the surface of the water.
There’s only 1 town in the whole area that has hotels, restaurants and facilities – Puerto Pirámides. We stayed here for 2 nights which on hind sight is too much. Most people do a day trip from Puerto Madryn (1h 30m). Also we didn’t hire a car, so it was difficult to move around the area. We ended up joining a tour that goes around the whole peninsula.