Spotting Penguins & Whales

Between June and mid-December, some of the largest mammals in the world, Southern Right whales, gather for breeding season in the Atlantic waters just off the Valdes Peninsula. The wind-whipped coastline in Argentine Patagonia, about 870 miles south of Buenos Aires, is the best place in the country for incredible wildlife-spotting opportunities. Along with whales, you can also see Magellanic penguins, elephant seals, sea lions, and dolphins year-round.

Puerto Madryn is the typical jumping-off point for vacations in the Valdes Peninsula. The streets of this small coastal town are lined with tour operators offering a countless array of boat and kayaking excursions, horseback-riding trips, and driving tours of some of the peninsula’s many traditional Patagonian sheep ranches. The tourist information office (Avenida Julio a Roca 223) is a good place to start.

With any luck, you might be able to spot whales right from Puerto Madryn. The town is lined with a wide, sandy beach, and it’s possible to see the slap of a giant tail or the spray of Southern Rights from there.

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