One of the great attractions of this destination in Argentine Patagonia is undoubtedly the watching of marine and terrestrial fauna.
So that you can plan your trip and make the most of your days, you have to know when is the best time to go and when you will be able to do the different wildlife watching activities according to the fauna in Península Valdés and Puerto Madryn. These two unmissable destinations complement each other perfectly. Don’t miss the details.
When to Go to Península Valdés and Puerto Madryn?
The best “whale season” time in Puerto Madryn and Península Valdés is from June to December. During this time, the southern right whale approaches the coasts to complete its reproductive cycle.
Other wonderful and best months for observing the typical fauna of the place are between September and November. At this time, it is possible to see: sea lions, penguins, and Commerson’s dolphins. However, there are periods when the different species concentrate on reproducing and having offspring. This occurs with greater intensity from October to December.
In addition to whale watching, the area stands out for the availability and optimal conditions for snorkeling, diving, or kayaking. Whale watching can be done from the shore or by boat. This fascinating spectacle of the southern right whales attracts visitors from all over the world.
Puerto Madryn is the starting point to visit the famous fauna reserve recognized worldwide: Península Valdés. Located in the province of Chubut, Peninsula Valdés was declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO IN 1999 and stood out as one of the world’s most important marine wildlife reserves. This amazing destination offers a wide range of activities related to wildlife watching, including the sighting of penguins, orcas, dolphins, elephants, and sea lions, among others.
Make the most of your trip to this destination, knowing what time of the year is the best to observe the different types of fauna.
Fauna Season of Peninsula Valdes
Although the whole area has great natural attractions, Peninsula Valdes is the region’s highlight.
This natural reserve is home to native fauna such as whales, sea lions, penguins and elephant seals.
When to Watch Whales?
At the end of May, the first whales begin to arrive at Peninsula Valdes, making it one of the world’s most important breedings and calving areas.
You can appreciate this spectacle of nature until December.
When to Watch Killer Whales or Orcas?
The most frequent sightings of Orcas are during the period from February to April. However, the “killer whales” can be seen at different times of the year.
Every year during these months, the intentional stranding of killer whales takes place on the Punta Norte beach, located 80 kilometers from Puerto Pirámides. The orcas come to the area to feed on sea lion pups.
Another destination to observe the orcas is in Caleta Valdés. They usually enter this destination during October and November to feed on elephant seal pups.
When to Watch Dolphins?
During the nautical trips from Puerto Pirámides, it is possible to see dolphins almost the entire year. Still, in the summer months, they are seen with greater intensity when they enter the Nuevo and San José gulfs, attracted by the schools of anchovies.
Two species of dolphins are usually found: the dusky dolphin and the common dolphin.
These species are very agile and acrobatic and surprise the boats with jumps and aerial displays.
When to Watch Penguins?
Between September and April, it is possible to see a large number of Magellanic penguins. The Magellanic penguins colonies of Punta Tombo and Peninsula Valdes are the largest in the world.
The coasts of the San Matías Gulf from the Estancia San Lorenzo to Punta Norte, as well as the entire coast and islands of Caleta Valdés, are the places where penguin nests are found. On the tour of the area, there is a public viewpoint at Punta Cantor, with a beautiful panoramic view of Caleta Valdés.
The great natural spectacle is observed bordering the coast in Punta Norte: the largest concentration of Magellanic penguins is there. You can enter through Estancia San Lorenzo.
When to Watch Sea Lions?
During December, the colonies begin to be occupied by the males who await the arrival of the females. At the end of February, the reproductive activities end, leaving the females and calves on land.
Sea lions are adapted to both aquatic and terrestrial environments. They can be seen in the open sea, feeding themselves, reproducing, skin molting, and playing. The “Lobería Punta Pirámide” is the closest place to observe them.
When to Watch Elephant Seals?
Elephant seals can be observed the entire year in Peninsula Valdes.
It is an important breeding area for these marine mammals. Their reproductive season begins in September and ends in late October.
When to Watch Commerson’s Dolphins?
Commerson’s dolphins can be seen throughout the year playing around on the coast of Unión Beach. Another unmissable spectacle to witness is the calving season that begins in November at Playa Unión. During that time, a beautiful moment is to see the dolphins with their breeds.
Traveling to Peninsula Valdes is to enjoy the spectacle of nature in its purest form. To appreciate the fauna in its natural environment without interrupting its daily life and in a place of a privileged observer is an unmissable experience.