Trip to the Antarctic in Argentina

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Hundreds of whales swimming in the waters of Puerto Madryn and elephant seals are stationed on the beaches of the Peninsula Valdés, while waiting in Rawson, the arrival of visitors: the fauna of winter and is ready to provide an extraordinary natural spectacle in the blue waters of the South Atlantic.

Trip to the Antarctic in Argentina

Photography by Mariano Fotos

From Mount Avanzado, 16 miles south of downtown Puerto Madryn, can see the roundness of the earth on the ocean horizon. Only the comings and goings of some whales, yonder, cut the total stillness of the sea surface. In The Doradillo, a beach located 17 kilometers north from the city center, the show is repeated, but each time is unique, like all living things. And from the downtown pier Madryn, once again, the whales back on center stage. Also seen from the windows of Vesta, the restaurant stands on Punta Cuevas, almost on the outskirts of Madryn, exactly the place where the Welsh settlers arrived in 1865 aboard the «Mimosa».

And in the waters of the Peninsula Valdes, looking into the sea with binoculars and naked eye from the viewpoint of the Arenal path … the whales in winter, are everywhere. No need to go out, just want to see them, and if it’s night-there are also those who walk along the pier at dusk to, or simply from the coastal boulevard, are not seen, but he hears the roar deaf that characterizes them, expel a jet of steam in the form of V. That which distinguishes them from any other whale, distinguished as its streets, the thickening of the skin located in the area where people have eyebrows and beard, and that is the hallmark characteristic of each, which allows the recognition of of biologists and specialists. For the whales, no high and low seasons, from arriving in late May, until they go, in mid-December, is the queen of the South Atlantic. But for visitors the advantage of this time is the smallest number of tourists, which makes sightings from ships and makes you feel like a true pioneer in the desert lands of the Peninsula Valdes.

Trip to the Antarctic

Photography by morrissey

Cerro Advanced:

Outside Madryn, Cerro Avanzado is one of the highest elevations in the region, with about 100 meters above sea level. Enough to provide a magnificent view all around, from the beaches of the north to Punta Nymphs, where the Golfo Nuevo communicates over the Atlantic. The surface of the Golfo Nuevo, covers about 2500 square kilometers. Is about 17 miles wide, with average depth 45 meters, you have to think like a big stagnant pond because only between three and four per cent per annum of water from the Gulf is renewed … And about 80 miles away as the crow flies, lies Puerto Piramides. »

The Advanced hill walk can be combined with a visit to Punta Loma, a few miles from the center of Madryn, a permanent colony of sea lions where in recent times is being done on an experimental diving and snorkelling with these animals . «Wolves are social animals and curious, they like to interact. And for three years there is diving, since there are three generations of sea lions who know that boats are not dangerous, so they are becoming increasingly bold. Approach without fear and sometimes even touch or nibble the diver’s arm as they do small pets.

tours to Antarctica

Photography by thejourney1972 (South America «addicted»)

Whale Watching:

The next day, it’s expected time of the sighting of whales. After traveling about 110 miles to Puerto Piramides, and having visited the new interpretation center where you can access the Valdés Peninsula, just opposite the famous Bird Island, is made when approaching the beach and into the sea. Although it is winter, the sky is totally clear and the Atlantic looks bright blue. We are in a very good time for whale watching. Throughout August, September and part of October is the best season. They have come all the whales that have come, and has not been any. In late October start going until mid-December when the last copies are removed. In the 70’s, the visitors were about seven thousand are now about 115,000 a year … There are people making travel nearly 14,000 miles to come see the whales and then go the 1400 miles between Buenos Aires of the Peninsula Valdes.

Travel Advice to Antarctica

Photography by thejourney1972 (South America «addicted»)

In the sea are sometimes queues, sometimes mating, sometimes jumping, and sometimes just floating. A few meters from the boat, accept the presence of people, they remain near the surface and can be seen with calves in moving scenes of maternal affection. Furthermore they are not alone: a handful of somewhat disoriented penguins swim near them, separated from the bulk of birds that come to Punta Tombo reserve only in late September.

The same show also surprising because of its proximity, you can enjoy the beaches of El Doradillo, considered the best to make a coastal sighting. This is a magical place, just standing at the edge of the sea to see at a glance the great whales a few meters from the shore and hear the dull roar with which they communicate. From Punta Flecha, a few meters above the beach, they can see and hear through the hydrophone installed in a shelter from the Fundacion Patagonia Natural: mistress of the ocean, but now growing struggle with the many gulls that prey without cease, excited to see them in their habitat as ambassadors of the marine world whose survival depends on responsible actions of man. Can not but recall the words heard in the Puerto Madryn Ecocentro: In the far south, the Patagonian Sea is a sea alive, enigmatic, which bathes the coasts of Argentina and it seems endless. A moving volume that sustains life on Earth and affects us all.

Whale Watching

Photography by papajuan74

Dolphin (Commerson’s dolphins)

The sand of Playa Unión, Rawson outside, is deserted at this time of year: it is a striking contrast to the hundreds of colorful umbrellas that invade just beginning to do a bit of heat. But water is far from being uninhabited, because this is the ideal place to spot dolphins dolphins, black and white dolphins typical of the coast of southern Argentina. The starting point of the boat is the next port Union Beach, where some sea lions sunning lazily while the guides are up to tourists equipped with waterproof coats and jackets. Navigation is that, unlike what happens in Puerto Piramides, is in open sea and during the search for the dolphins ship movement and wave action can cause a real splash. Very fast, the dolphins are not slow to appear, jump quickly to a few centimeters of the boats, submerged only to reappear on the other side and seem to play hide and seek with the cameras of the passengers. As with whales, the captain is the most attentive and expert to distinguish them on the water surface. But unlike other sightings, sightings of the dolphins (dolphins) is not guaranteed: the species is more unpredictable and moves faster, but most times there is no difficulty to see, after no more than quarter hour of navigation. In total, almost two hours from departure to return to port, when it comes time to enjoy the memories and photos drink it hot off the port of Rawson.

Useful information:

Getting there: By plane to Puerto Madryn, Andes (daily except Saturday), or by airlines to Trelew (about $ 1100 round trip). In micro to Puerto Madryn, from 295 per bed semi in service section.

Excursions: kayak outings, night hikes and mountain tours 4×4 Advanced, Juani Dominguez Tel: (02965) 15721142.

Sightings from ships: Punta Ballenas, George Schmid, is one of six providers authorized to perform these sightings. Second Bajada al Mar, Puerto Piramides. Tel: (02965) 495112.

The knowing the next Antarctic Argentina

Photography by BrianMKA

Live the unique experience of knowing the next Antarctic Argentina!

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