Get up close to whales and penguins on Argentina's craggy coastline

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. Patagonia embraces a sparsely populated area with some harsh, hostile climate and poor soil but the fertility of its coast is a remarkable sight.

The rugged coastline of Península Valdés is 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. 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. All this incredible wildlife can be admired during boat trips or walking excursions.

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