Whale Watching in the Southern Patagonia of Puerto Madryn, Argentina

One of the most well-known tourist sites is Puerto Madryn, in the Province of Chubut in Argentine Patagonia, and one of the primary things to do there is whale watching.

Whale Watching in the Southern Patagonia of Puerto Madryn, Argentina
Whales sighted in Patagonia. Photo by Domie Sharpin / Unsplash

Puerto Madryn, Province of Chubut in Argentine Patagonia, is one of the most well-known tourist destinations in the world's south, with key features such as whale watching and unique marine wildlife and flora.

The distinctive tail of the southern right whale may be seen from the coast (Eubalaena australis). Thousands of visitors from across the world flock to this part of southern Patagonia to go whale watching, either in boats or by standing on the beaches of El Doradillo or Puerto Madryn.

The southern right whale is the ocean's biggest animal, reaching 15 meters in length and weighing 50 tons on average. Whales come to the calm waters of Peninsula Valdés (a natural area protected by UNESCO since 1999) between June and December to go through some of the most essential periods of their life. They may be seen here performing courting rituals, giving birth, and training their calves to swim. Once everything is in order, the entire family will go south to Antarctica in quest of food.

In the hour and a half that the navigation lasts, you will be surprised by whales, herds of dolphins, sea lions, dolphins, and countless birds. If it coincides with the right season and with a little luck, you can see orcas.

Prepare to disembark and have a chocolate drop at a coffee shop in Puerto Pirámides, a tranquil community where the majority of its residents have some type of interaction with the sea: they go on sighting cruises, dive, fish, or are inspired to create works of art.

Other Puerto Madryn adventures

Days in Puerto Madryn might be tranquil with sightings and excursions to natural areas, but they can also be more lively. The city has a plethora of options, such as desert 4x4 safaris, gulf kayaking, and day and night underwater activities.

Puerto Madryn is the National Capital of Diving, an activity that can be done all year and with the whole family, starting with youngsters as young as eight years old. The Parque Les Piedras and Piedras Grandes, the Kouturiaris, Jorge Antonio, and Miralles shipwrecks, the Rio de Oro, and the Albatros fishing vessel are among the most notable places on the underwater map of this area.

Crabs, sea spiders, stars of all sizes and colors, octopuses, red, brown, and green algae, sea bream, groupers, and salmon are just some of the creatures that can be spotted.

Swimming with sea lions during the Patagonian winter is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The sea lions are pups at this time of year and play more; they approach without being fed, merely out of curiosity. It's incredible to see these swift little animals perform a frenetic dance, chewing on frog legs and tugging at the costumes with their lips.

The Magellanic penguin is another popular species on Peninsula Valdes. Punta Tombo, 170 kilometers from Madryn along National Route 3, is the largest continental penguin colony, with around two million specimens between September and April.

Walking through the park's walkway areas, you may observe them up close, near their ground nests, feeding their young in their beaks, or following them to the sea to teach them to swim before their annual trek across the Atlantic Ocean.

Punta Tombo also attracts a variety of other seabirds, including gray or southern kittiwakes, skuas, steamer ducks, royal and black-necked cormorants, Antarctic pigeons, and giant petrels, to name a few.

Puerto Madryn's well-known cuisine

Puerto Madryn's cuisine pleasantly delights us between excursions. This region's traditional cuisine includes meals based on fish and seafood, as well as the famed Patagonian lamb in its most varied presentations.

Every year, the city organizes a culinary circuit with over 40 restaurants as part of its Winter Gastronomic Festival, when specially crafted dishes based on traditional recipes and regional ingredients are served. And the greatest alternative for tea time is to drive 70 kilometers south to Gaiman, which still remembers Princess Lady Di's historic visit.

Cream and chocolate cakes, fruit tarts, warm bread and scones, butter, and homemade marmalade of Calafate, rosehip, and wild strawberries adorn the table. The Welsh black cake is already well-known around the world for its ability to keep well over time.

To round up the journey before returning to the legendary Buenos Aires, visit the city itself, the handicrafts market in Plaza la Rambla to the pier, and the Ecocentro Puerto Madryn, which is perched on a cliff and is an interactive interpretation center with the sea.

This venue contains exhibitions, sound masters, reproductions, and a high viewpoint with the best views of the sunset over the city. A voyage on the catamaran Regina Australis is another option for seeing the panoramic view of Puerto Madryn from the sea. The three-hour excursion allows you to know the entire sketch of the coast and see some whale tails on the horizon, with space both outside and indoors, even if it is cold.

Visiting Puerto Madryn

From Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, in Buenos Aires, there are non-stop flights to Puerto Madryn. Leaving Puerto Pirámides, some six operators offer boat excursions lasting an hour and a half. Snorkeling with sea lions and diving initiation is recommended. In natural rock reefs, sunken ships, and artificial parks, both underwater diving and deep diving are emblematic activities in Puerto Madryn. There you can explore the seabed and discover the flora and fauna of the area. Before traveling, get to know the calendar of fauna and cultural activities in Puerto Madryn.