From June to December Argentina’s Patagonian coast attracts one of the most impressive gathering of Southern Right whales in world. The monumentally sized animals flock to the warm, remote waters of Península Valdés to mate and breed, and as the weather gets warmer whale-watchers and nature enthusiasts have the opportunity to catch a once in a lifetime glimpse at these incredible creatures up close. With only a few months until June, we’ve put together a brief guide to whale watching in Península Valdés to get you excited and inspired for the perfect summer trip.
Península Valdés, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Argentina’s most important nature reserves, is 250 miles of protected coastline along the Eastern side of Argentina’s Patagonia. Because the waters are fairly closed off and highly protected, the peninsula has become a safe haven for thousands of endangered southern right whales and a handful of other marine mammals throughout the year.
Most people traveling to go whale watching in Península Valdés choose to stay in Puerto Madryn. The peninsula’s dazzling city is dotted by boutique hotels and quaint restaurants, and can be easily reached via direct flights from Buenos Aires in under two hours. With an intricate history as the second-largest fishing port in the country, it’s a great home base for those looking to explore a bit of Patagonian culture or warm up with a good meal after a long day on the water. For those itching to fully immerse themselves in the heart of Península Valdés’ rich wildlife, staying in the tiny beach village of Puerto Piramides is the best way to go.
The peninsula’s two natural inlets create a hidden calm from the intense Atlantic, and from June to December, southern right whales spend their time mating, breeding, and dancing alongside their young on its coast. Seeing these 47 ton, endangered animals at their highest concentration is a must for understanding Patagonia’s important role in conserving our natural resources, and luckily for you, it’s as easy as booking a tour to Patagonia with us! Our hour and a half long tours set sail daily on catamarans and zodiacs led by experienced guides. These knowledgeable whale-lovers lead small groups on an unforgettable adventure where the close-by whales jump and wave as their significance and breeding patterns are explained.
With some 300 to 400 whales swimming near the shore at one time, you’re almost always guaranteed a chance to see – and even be splashed by them! If that chance isn’t enough and you’re set on seeing at least a few whales during your open water ride, we recommend booking your trip to Patagonia for when these massive mammals are at their peak population in October. To go even one more above and beyond, your Encounter Latin America Expert can help you book a private tour during an iconic Patagonia sunset or under the silver moonlight. Who knows, if you’re lucky, you might even get the change to spot a rare white whale.
Spend the end of your whale watching trip exploring the rest of the peninsula’s diverse and friendly wildlife. Dolphins, penguins, marine birds, and even killer whales frequent the coast during the same season as the southern right whale migration – ensuring that you’ll leave with a renewed appreciation for the untouched wild and the animals that inhabit it.