Located on the east coast, the Chubut province is one of the most visited in Argentina, with tourists from all around the world. And the reasons are not surprising. Puerto Madryn is home to the southern right whale, which returns to the area each year in June in order to mate and procreate. That is why until December, time of their departure to other seas, you can make fascinating coastal encounters or watch whales from a boat and get to see the whales getting close only inches from the boat, turning the experience into something indescribable and well worth living. Hostelling International wants you to enjoy this show, and for your accommodation we have chosen the best hostel in the region. But the journey has just begun and there is much more to see: elephants and sea lions, Magellanic penguins, dolphins, whales, seabirds.... Not a vain reason why the Valdez Peninsula in 1999 was declared by UNESCO Natural Heritage of Humanity.
The Valdes Peninsula is a protected area 48 km distant from the city of Puerto Madryn, The Peninsula can be visited by excursion from Madryn. Our youth hostel The Gualicho offers all the information and tours to the various tourist attractions. Through the Peninsula -after getting a one day pass- you will be accessing a circuit of 200 km of beaches and wonders. In the Istmo Ameghino (70 km) very solicitous wardens will provide all the information tourists need. It also has an auditorium and restrooms.
From the Isla de los Pajaros (Bird Island 79 km) seabirds can be observed, binoculars can be helpful. Whale watching happens in Puerto Piramides (between June and December) and sea lions can be seen during the summer season. Boats depart at 10, 12, 14 and 16 hs. Hostelling Internatinal recommends you to wear a waterproof coat so you don’t get too wet on the boat when speeding up.
Unless you really want to go back to the youth hostel, you can take a few more minutes to reach the breeding colony of sea lions and cormoran rookery (between December and March) which is located in Punta Piramide. In Caleta Valdes (179 km) you will make contact with elephant seals. This is a place where whales can also be seen during breeding and reproduction season. It's also good to know that only 22 km away, is a colony of Magellanic penguins (September to March). At Punta Norte (171 km) there is a reproductive colony of elephant seals and sea lions.
Whales in Madryn. They arrive in July and stay until December. The ideal time to see them is during high tides. Excursions are planned from the hostel.
Other recommended sites in Puerto Madryn are:
Punta Loma (14km) : this is a reserve created in 1967 and should be visited during low tides. It has a viewpoint and a path from where Sea Lions can be seen as well as local Fauna. del Pozo, Paraná Punta Este and Kaiser are ideal for Mountain Bike.
Doradillo (17km): Between May and October, southern whale watching takes place only a few meters from the beach. Cliffs with natural viewpoints and typical species like guanacos, hares, foxes are other kinds.
Punta Tombo (181km): Here is the largest colony of Magellan's penguins in the world. During the season (September to April), 175,000 breeding pairs can be seen. The 290 hectare Punta Tombo are also inhabited by cormorants, gulls, guanacos, marras and rheas.
All resorts of Puerto Madryn have armed the appropriate infrastructures for the practice of water sports: windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, and motosky katesurf. And as the nation's capital of Underwater Activities, the association of diving operators in the city has departures every morning to make contact with diving seals. The estimated average soaking time is 45 minutes.
Places to visit in Puerto Madryn City
- Punta Cuevas area: Welsh ruins from the first welsh settlement
- Exhibition center: Aboriginal history and Welsh culture
- Monument to the Indian Tehuelche: panoramic view of the city
- Plaza General San Martín, church and old buildings
- Provincial Museum of Natural Science and Oceonográfico
- Handcraft fair: open in winter from16 to 21 pm and summer from 18 to 24 hours.
- Ecocentro: Contemporary Ecological institute , bilingual interpretation. Offers lectures, exhibitions and concerts.
- Municipal Art Museum: Important collection of works from local artists and nationals.
- Historical Studies Center.
- Exhibition Center in Punta Cuevas.
How to get there ?
The airlines arriving at the airport of Puerto Madryn are Tehuelche Andes Lineas Aereas (three times a week) and LADE (one flight a week). Alternatively, you can fly to Trelew with Aerolineas Argentinas, LAN or Austral, who have daily departures, and then get to Puerto Madryn by shuttle (67 km).
QueBus, TAP, 28 de Julio, Don Otto, El Pingüino, Mar y Valle and TUS.
By car, the 1470 km that separate it from Buenos Aires are along the national highway number 3.
Aerolíneas Argentinas: Av. Roca 427, tel.: (54-2965) 451998 / 450938
Andes Líneas Aéreas: Av. Roca 624, tel.: (54-2965) 452355 / 452371
LADE: Av. Roca 119 (54-02965) 451256 / 435740
Aeropuerto El Tehuelche: (54-02965) 456774 / 451909
Aeropuerto Trelew: (54-02965) 428021