Peninsula Valdes

Peninsula Valdes, Puerto Madryn: Address, Phone Number, Peninsula Valdes Reviews: 4.5/5

Peninsula Valdes
4.5
Bodies of Water • Nature & Wildlife Areas
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Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Top ways to experience Peninsula Valdes

4.5
1,295 reviews
Excellent
930
Very good
275
Average
60
Poor
19
Terrible
11

AlpinerHut
Chantilly, VA1,226 contributions
Timing is everything
Mar 2020
WHEN you go to Peninsula Valdes will have much to do with the experience you have. Go at certain times of year, and you probably won't see whales. Go when the weather is bad, and it might be hard to see anything. Go at low tide, and the viewing might not be as good.

Your attitude will have something to do with the experience, too. The peninsula's miles and miles of flat, desolate shrubs and grasses are boring for some, fascinating for others.

Know first that looking at this area on a map can be deceptive. Looked like a short tour bus ride from Puerto Madryn, where our cruise ship docked. Turned out to be 2 1/2 hours out and 2 1/2 back! Go past the Isthmus Carlos Ameghino Visitor Center in Peninsula Valdes Natural Protected Area and you're on dirt roads. Bumpy and dusty. 

Crossing the isthmus that joins Peninsula Valdes to the mainland is interesting, it being only 7 kilometers wide at one point. Golfo de San Jose is to the north, Golfo Nuevo to the south.

Much of the land on the peninsula belongs to estancias, ranches where sheep are raised. The guanacos you see everywhere are wild, though; they're closely related to the llama. Our tour guide told us we weren't likely to see the near-threatened Patagonian mara (related to guinea pigs), then we saw one right by the roadside! The best wildlife sighting on the way in: a burrowing owl. Later in the day, we saw a pichi (armadillo native to Argentina) walking through a parking lot while tourists scrambled to photograph it.

The big attractions here in mid-March were Magellanic penguins and elephant seals, both around Caleta Valdes (Valdes Cove). The penguin colony was a small one. The elephant seals were 100 to 200 feet below our viewpoint. There are also a lot of seabirds -- more than 180 species.

TIPS:

* Don't get bored too quickly with the guanacos. They like to jump fences!

* It's possible to stay at an estancia (which literally means "stay" in Spanish). Estancia La Elvira and Estancia Rincon Chico are two.

* Climb the lookout at Isthmus Carlos Ameghino Visitor Center to see what moon walker Buzz Aldrin would no doubt call "beautiful desolation."

* If it's not too cumbersome, take a tripod. You really have to zoom in to get good photos of those distant elephant seals.
Written 13 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peeceecee
Skipton, UK1,057 contributions
Unspoilt but Barren area
Feb 2020
We visited on a small group tour in a mini bus. It is a long drive from Puerto Madryn and the last stretch is on unmade roads. If you have any interest in nature, unspoilt scenery or wildlife then it is worth the trip. We saw a Patagonian Hare,countless Guanacos, an armadillo, penguins, seals and a variety of birds.
If you are looking for a cosseted tourist experience then don't bother.
Written 13 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Papaleadfoot
Cave Creek, AZ376 contributions
In conjunction with seeing other sights
Feb 2020
A place listed as something (a sight to see). Nothing special. If it is in route to other palces then it is worth the stop.
Written 11 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

conbonKR
Nashville, TN107 contributions
Don't go in March!
Mar 2020
If you want to go here, which I'm sure it is lovely at certain times of the year, don't go in March. There was nothing to see. Everything was really far away. Only go at high tide - we went at low tide. From the visitor center it is another 1.5 hour drive (2.5 total) on a gravel road to get out to where you can "see" stuff. 100% not worth it.
Written 5 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Arnold G
1 contribution
Long van ride, limited results
Mar 2020
First of all, I booked this tour in error, actually intending to go to Punta Tombo. However, the problems with the Peninsula Valdes tour is that in the end, there is little to be seen or enjoyed. The landscape is barren, and uninteresting. When you have seen 4000-5000 elephant seals from a distance of 10-20 feet, at Piedras Blancas or Ano Nuevo Beach in California, it is not impressive to see 4-6 juveniles lying about on the beach from cliffs 100-200 feet above them. Nor to see 20-25 Magellanic penguins on the beach, again at a distance. There were plenty of guanacos immediately beside the road on which we traveled, and several Darwin's Lesser rheas, again at a great distance while driving by. The game was not worth the candle.
Written 18 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JHerlig
Cape Town Central, South Africa449 contributions
Shocking road conditions!
Feb 2020 • Couples
We spent 3 days staying at Puerto Pyramides and travelled up to Punte Norte every day in the hope of seeing Orca.
The road is shocking !! The speed limit is 50 but everybody, including the big and small tour buses, were speeding along at 90km/hr. As a result, the road is corrugated so badly that there are cars broken down along the road. Why is this not policed ? When mentioned to a park official, he shrugged and said Argentinians never follow the rules.
Written 17 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mu Z
Lake Oswego, OR204 contributions
Magellanic Penguins!
Jan 2020
It is a large, desolate, peninsula covered in low shrub. We saw a variety of animals on the drive in. The penguin colony is not huge but very close for viewing. The elephant seals were a bit off on a spit or further down the beach. Apparently, the huge males are not here this time of year (January). I enjoyed the day and sights.
Written 6 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

whodaresgins2017
Enfield, UK20 contributions
A very long drive
Feb 2020
Met at cruise port but we all had different times on our tour ticket ranging from 8:00 to 9:30 which was the tour companies fault - so didn’t start well. It was a very long drive in very bad weather, however our tour guide Marina was good and gave us a lot of information and the bus driver did well in poor conditions on the extremely bumpy road. We didn’t see much - a few Magellan penguins and the seals were so far away to see properly. It was too far to go to see so little and not worth the money .
Written 27 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jenna
462 contributions
Could be better with better weather
Feb 2020 • Solo
I think I would have appreciated the tour more if the weather was much better. It was very windy and raining, so we missed the sailing part of the tour. There weren’t much penguins as well. Although we saw 2 seals and colonies of sealions
Written 26 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ruthandvern
Wilton, CA14,503 contributions
Three days visits, lots to see
Feb 2020
The drive daily, via rental car, is four hours round trip or more. Efforts at seeing Orcas must be coordinated with the high tide schedules. We hit Punta Norte day one and two at pm high tides. San Lorenzo penguin rookery added day two. ay three we hit Puerto Piramides, Salina Chica and Caletes Valdes. We saw a huge variety of wildlife and a seemingly desolate landscape. It's alive and awesome.
Written 25 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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