Have you ever seen Whales in Patagonia?
Just as mushroom lovers have their secret spots in the woods, so does Argentina have an almost secret place for the observation of wildlife: welcome to the Valdes Peninsula!
The Golfo Nuevo and Golfo San Jose on the Atlantic coast are an incredibly diverse ecosystem home to many endemic wild species: Guanacos, Nandus (Greater Rhea), Orcas, Commerson’s Dolphins (also known as piebald dolphins), countless species of birds… and the main character: the Southern Right Whales.
The start of a new observation season
The prestigious National Geographic has agreed with the locals: one of the 10 best spots for whale watching is located in Puerto Piramidas, on the Valdes Peninsula.
Each year, from june to mid-december, many whales swim back up from the cold Antarctic waters to rest, breed and give birth in the calm, sheltered waters of Golfo Nuevo.
Thousands of visitors gather during those months to watch the great mammals. They can be spotted from the beaches or from the end of the pier, but the best option is without a doubt to embark on a navigation to get closer – whales are curious and might come to play around the boat.
Focus on the Southern Right Whales
The southern right whale belongs to the mammal branch of the order of Cetaceans, and more specifically to the Eubaleana species. Its population rounds the 7000 specimens – you might also know them as southern black whales or southern whales. Their characteristics are similar to the bowhead whales, except for their mouths lined up with huge callosities inhabited by parasite shellfish.
Their front limbs progressively turned into fins and their hind limbs into the caudal fin – their other characteristics are the same as all other mammals: the warm-blooded whales nurse their calves and breathe oxygen whenever they come to the surface.
15 meters-long and weighing around 55 tons, they are easily spotted when their V-shaped high blow is projected into the air, or when raising their black indented tail before diving.
These whales move slowly, and their body is so high in oil content that they remain afloat even when they die, characteristics that made them an easy and popular prey for whalers – the adjective “right” in its name comes from the easy hunt. The southern right whale was facing extinction in the 19th century, and is now a protected species and slowly recovering.
The Valdes Peninsula: a wilderness highspot
A national Natural Reserve since 1984, the Valdes Peninsula was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO in 1999, for the unique diversity of wildlife living in this spectacular landscape: sea elephants, orcas, sea lions, magellanic penguins, southern whales and numerous bird species coexist on the atlantic coast.
The peninsula is attached to the continent through the Carlos Ameghino isthmus, and is made up of Golfo San Jose to the north, and Golgo Nuevo to the south.The Área Natural Protegida Península Valdés is a protected area comprising the land, skies and a 3 miles-wide sea corridor running along the coast. The towns of Puerto Madryn and Puerto Pirámides offer the main touristic services, and are the starting point of many tours and
Come meet the whales!
If you would like to meet face to face with these fascinating animals or experience from the water the jump of those 50 tons-weighing mammals, contact our team.
Book the Yellow Submarine navigation with us : the only boat to offer underwater portholes to observe the majestic southern right whales in their natural environment.
Make the most of this beautiful experience and combine whale watching with diving with sea lions, or observing penguins, sea elephants, guanacos, choikes… Valdes is a true natural paradise.
Let us take you there with a tailored experience befitting the incredible wildlife.