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Peninsula Valdes

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Travel Guide South America Argentina Chubut Peninsula Valdes

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Introduction

Peninsula Valdes by a satellite

Peninsula Valdes by a satellite

© All Rights Reserved ecolodge

The Peninsula Valdes (Spanish: Península Valdés) is a peninsula on the Atlantic coast in the Viedma Department in the northeast of Chubut Province, Argentina. About 3,625 km² in size, it is an important nature reserve of the world. The peninsula is part of the Patagonia, a beautiful region of Argentina.

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Geography

The Peninsula Valdes geography is mostly described by high cliffs, extended sedimentary platforms, sandy and pebble beaches. Small bays and many small barren islands complete our coast scene. All this area has a great geological value, thats why Peninsula Valdes was declared Mankind Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 to be protected, preserved and valued.

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Cities

  • Puerto Pirámides - The only town in Peninsula Valdes. An unique place in the world for sightseeing marine fauna: whales, sea lions, orcas, dusky dolphins, penguins and many more.

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Cost

For non residents of Argentina the entrance fee is ARG$70. Argentine residents pay ARG$20.

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Sights and Activities

Activities at Puerto Piramides, Valdes Peninsula, Patagonia Argentina

Activities at Puerto Piramides, Valdes Peninsula, Patagonia Argentina

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The coastline is inhabited by marine mammals, like sea lions, elephant seals and fur seals. Southern Right Whales can be found in Golfo Nuevo and Golfo San José, protected bodies of water located between the peninsula and the Patagonian mainland. These baleen whales come here between May and December, for mating and giving birth, because the water in the gulf is quieter and warmer than in the open sea. Orcas can be found off the coast, in the open sea off the peninsula. In this area, they are known to beach themselves on shore to capture sea lions and elephant seals.

The inner part of the peninsula is inhabited by rheas, guanacos and maras. A high diversity and range of birds live in the peninsula as well; at least 181 bird species, 66 of which migratory, live in the area, including the Antarctic Pigeon.

Most of the peninsula is barren land with some salt lakes. The largest of these lakes is at an elevation of about 40 metres below sea level (see extremes on earth), until recently thought to be the lowest elevation in Argentina and South America (The lowest point being Laguna del Carbón, Argentina).

Marine fauna at Puerto Piramides, Valdes Peninsula, Patagonia Argentina

Marine fauna at Puerto Piramides, Valdes Peninsula, Patagonia Argentina

© All Rights Reserved ecolodge

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Weather

This area features a peculiar climate because of the effect created by the Atlantic Ocean. Although it does not rain much in the region on an annual basis, summers are usually mild, and the temperature sometimes gets very hot and then eases off in the evening. The area does get very windy at times, especially on the peninsula , and proper clothing is recommended.

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Getting There and Around

There are buses going to Puerto Pirámides or book a tour in Puerto Madryn. If you take a bus from the Puerto Madryn terminal to Puerto Pirámides, there are no peninsula tours that leave or pickup from within the park. It is suggested that you pick up a tour from Puerto Madryn, otherwise you might be stuck in the small town of Puerto Pirámides and miss the rest of the peninsula.

Most people visit the peninsula with a day tour organised from Puerto Madryn. The tours usually start at 7:30 and return between 6:00 and 7:30 depending on the tour company. Destinations are typically the visitors center, Puerto Pirámides (for whale or marine fauna watching depending on the season), Caleta Valdes/penguin area and Punta Norte. An advantage of a tour is the English speaking guide.

For more independence rental cars are available to explore the peninsula. The entrance fee is valid for a single entry and not depending on how many days you stay.

If you are only interested in the whales, just take a bus to Puerto Pirámides and pick a boat-tour from there.

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Eat

Valdes Peninsula has lots of meals to choose from. It is characterized by a great variety of fresh sea food. You may find an important number of gourmet restaurants with international menus or fast food stores with low prices too. There are several restaurants in Puerto Piramides, a restaurant in Punta Cantor and at the lighthouse in Puerto Delgado there is a self service restaurant that serves extremely good asado for that remote area. If you plan on going during the low season its best to call ahead to make sure they are open. In Puerto Pirámides there are several seafood restaurants with fish from the daily catch.

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Drink

There are several bars in Puerto Piramides.

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Sleep

Book in advance, especially in summer and at weekends because it is a popular tourist area. You can rent a room in the light house in Puerto Delgado but it is very pricey! For budget or mid-range budgets it is better to stay in Puerto Pirámides.There is a camping area here as well

Visitors should note that the entire peninsula is privately owned and people are not allowed to explore on their own or camp wherever they wish.

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This is version 5. Last edited at 10:20 on Feb 14, 18 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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