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Peninsula Valdes in Eastern Patagonia is UNESCO-registered nature reserve, and a wonderful location to observe varied sea life, marine birds and Southern Right whales close up.

Puerto Madryn is the main village providing a base and access to the Peninsula Valdes; a flat barren land where the main interest is the wildlife along the coast. This part of Patagonia is a sparsely populated area with a harsh, hostile climate and poor soil. This is contrasted with the fertile, rugged coastline of Península Valdés with its beaches, mudflats, lagoons and wetlands that provide home to a remarkable variety of wildlife. 

Each year, Southern Right whales come between June and December to breed, particularly in October and November, joining elephant seals, sea lions and Magellanic penguins at Punta Tombo. There are large numbers of seabirds such as petrels, albatrosses, cormorants and skuas, while inland armadillos, rheas, foxes, guanacos, burrowing owls and the Patagonian cavy are all relatively common. Killer whales are also among the visitors, and can occasionally be seen powering through the shallows to snatch an unsuspecting sea lion pup from the shore. Due to its remoteness and lack of human interference, much of the wildlife is unafraid of humans making it in some ways similar to the Galapagos Islands.

All this incredible wildlife can be admired during boat trips or guided walking excursions from Puerto Madryn. If you are interested in the vast colonies of Patagonian penguins, then staying closer to Punta Tombo in a choice of lodges is advised. 

Felipe

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