The sight of a mother and baby whale basking in quiet waters, just a few metres from your boat is an unforgettably moving sight. Not, perhaps, what you expected to see after travelling for days in the wild unpopulated open plains of Patagonia. But the whole Atlantic coast hosts huge colonies of marine life, and there is no region quite as spectacular as Península Valdés. This wide splay of land stretching into the Atlantic from a narrow isthmus enclosing a gulf of protected water attracts an astonishing array of wildlife which comes to breed here each spring, most famously the southern right whales, who can be seen from September to November. The small breezy town of Puerto Madryn is the best base for exploring the peninsula, though there are
on Valdés itself. Just to the south, Trelew is worth a visit for its superb palaeontological museum, and to reach the old Welsh pioneer villages of Gaiman and Dolavon further west. If you're heading south by road, consider
stopping off at historic Carmen de Patagones, a quaint Patagonian town. Patagonia's fine estancias
start here, with riding and sheep mustering at La Luisa.
This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF