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Chubut, stunning wild life reservoir

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Punta Tombo - La pinguineraMap of Chubut in Argentina Chubut is one of the most visited destinations in South America. In particular, Puerto Madryn -a deep water port and home for some of the most important fisheries in Argentina-, which acts as a bridge to visiting Valdes Peninsula, a wild life sanctuary unique in all its beauty where visitors can have the chance to spot some whales in short whale watching trips, watch sea-lions and sea-wolves and observe penguins in their natural habitat. There is a vast amount of bird species too that will make a trip to the Peninsula an unforgettable journey. Best time of the year for whale watching: from September through October. However, some of the first whales can be spotted around mid August and they can stay in the area until end of December. The peninsula is part of a corridor that runs north-south from bahia Blanca up to Chubut river and is known as the coastal region of northern patagonia. It encompasses part of southern Buenos Aires, the coastal area of Rio Negro and its capital - Viedma-, as well the coastal region of Chubut which not only includes the Peninsula but also Trelew and Rawson.

Peninsula Valdes - Punta Tombo

Loberia at Peninsula ValdesPuerto Madryn, Chubut (45,000 habs) is one of the most progressive cities in Patagonia. From here, it is possible to visit Valdes Peninsula and its awesome array of natural life. Sea lion sanctuaries at Puerto Piramides and elephant seals sanctuaries at Caleta Valdes combine well with the old lighthouse recycled into a Hotel in Punta Delgado. About 100 km from Pto.Madryn stands Punta Tombo crowded with penguins looking for their squads. (September through April being the best season to visit). For penguins the season is as follow: 1) arrival at reservoir in August, 2) October, laying eggs. 3) November, giving birth. 4) end of March move north to warmer waters. Best season to see sea elephants: October and for sea lions usually January/ February.

Sea elephants in Peninsula ValdesThe Peninsula is "wrapped" around two gulfs, Golfo San Jose and Golfo Nuevo. It has about 360,000 hectares of pure raw marine mammals. Right at the entrance to the peninsula, visitors are encourage to stop at the "Centro interpretacion Ameghino y Museo Regional Fuerte San Jose where there are records of past decimation of the fauna (1958) including pictures of Puerto Piramide from 1920, at its glory. In the peninsula itself there are only 450 habitants who take care of tourists as well as manage about 150,000 sheep.

A lot has been said about the almost extinct southern right whale but many tourists come here to watch Orcas. They reside in these waters all year round looking to feed from baby sea lions. They can be spotted from the beaches, usually a dark fin coming out of the water in suspicious motion, the sign of a predator. They never swim alone and most likely before an attack they group together as much as 8 orcas at a time. Males may be as long as 10 mts and weight about 6 to 7 tons whereas the females are a bit smaller. It is very common to see them at Punta Norte hovering the area around APRIL, where they will wait just offshore for a *sloppy* sea lion. Punta Norte is also home for the LOBERIA where males settle disputes in bloody battles.

La loberia
Whale watching trips - Puerto Piramide

Whale watching tripsIt's been said that inner peace exists independently from where we are, however, places like Puerto Piramide can deeply tune us into the harmony of nature. With only 300 habitants Puerto Piramides offers all the basic services needed and many more. It is a mandatory stop for those interested in whale watching as catamarans and special boats depart from here. The tours last about 1 hour and they are guided by experts in the subject. Puerto Piramide is in the southern part of the peninsula very close to the Loberia. There are numerous flyers with scientific information provided by the CENPAT on the spot. Only a few kms away visitors can also see sea lions from December to March (best season). These group of marine mammals bears a close connection to the ones in Viedma.

Penguins at Peninsula ValdesFrom May to December hundreds of whales can be watched procreating. Authorized boats can get very close to them. Boat companies licensed by the government (only 6) have proven to be quite responsible not to upset the natural habitat of the whales. During summer, dolphins can also be spotted. The "Ballena Austral" or southern right whale has been declared a natural monument by Federal Law. The biggest species are almost 25 mts in length weighing as much as 80 to 140 tons. There was a time when 100,000 whales populated these waters. Human slaughtering reduced that figure to only 4,000 today. The first whales usually show up in May peaking about September / October. To this date noone has been able to see an actual birth taking place.

Punta Tombo, also called 'pinguinera' is located in mainland south of Trelew / Rawson. This is a protected area by federal law since 1979. The pinguinera itself consists of a rock formation that extends for almost 3 km into the ocean and is about 600 mts wide. There are nests everywhere and it was here that the crew from Magellan voyages spotted penguins for the first time. Visitors can walk and mingle with penguins which will act as if nothing is going on. They can eat twice their weight in a day.

Southern right whales spotted in Gulf Nuevo

National park Los Alerces and Esquel - La Trochita in Ingeniero Jacobacci

Esquel, paradise for fly fishingTren de trocha angostaNational park Los Alerces was created in 1937 to preserve the milenary forests of Alerces that are difficult to repopulate. It occupies approximately 263,000 hectares of land. The Park consists of a complex system of lakes which end in the Futaleufu river which in turn crosses the Andes to reach the Pacific Ocean. Esquel (23,400 habs) is one of the closest towns. In recent years, Esquel has seen its number of habitants grow. From Esquel to El Maiten -a 135 km journey- visitors can take one of only 5 trains left in the world traveling through narrow rails (75 cm wide). It takes 14 hrs to cover 400 km through 620 curves. The machines are 70 years old and are in excellent condition. This train is known as "La Trochita" and it runs from Ingeniero Jacobacci all the way to Esquel. The engines are the original ones from Germany (Henschell) and from the USA (Baldwin). Visitors can take a short trip as well. Esquel was officially founded in 1906 and some of the early settlers were from British descent. Later on, italians, sirians and even chileans became part of the social mix. The town was in the beginning a sort of supply-village to the very large ranches that surrounded it. Even after 1937, when the government protected the area of Los Alerces, Esquel wasn't really on the map. In 1945, railroad development connected the town with Ingeniero Jacobacci. But it was after 1973, once the Futaleufu dam was completed, that this area benefited from immigracion, commerce and development. One important note about Esquel is its proximity to Trevelin, a dream destination for fly fishing in patagonia as well as being the beach head for the ski resort La Hoya.

Map of Puerto Madryn, Argentina

Discussing Peninsula Valdes in our forum

* Fly fishing Rio Corcovado
* Train travel Argentina
* Fly fishing Argentina
* Trelew
* El Calafate - Esquel
* Fitz Roy
* Spin fishing Patagonia
* Bus Trelew - Esquel
* Trelew - Bariloche
* Punta Tombo
* Punta Tombo and Puerto Madryn
* Whales Puerto Piramide

Weather Puerto Madryn

* Current weather in Trelew
* Puerto Madryn historical weather patterns
* Whale watching trips


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We have shown you some of the most interesting aspects to be explored in this State. If you are considering vacations in Argentina and in particular to this region we recommend that you fill out our 'no commitment' vacation planner so that we can provide you with a more precise idea on the cost of a trip.  It is possible to combine circuits and tours in this State with circuits in other States as well as neighboring countries, like Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and even Bolivia for prolonged stays. Trips may range from just a few days to many weeks. Upon reception of the reservation form we will be in a better position to let you know detailed scheduling for a trip as well as specific activities that can be arranged in the area, plus all the information regarding how to get your air tickets, payments, travel insurances, transfers from where you are and the cost of the tour or vacation as per your choices. Please do not hesitate to contact us.