Peninsula Valdés: need-to-knows & nice-to-knows

Peninsula Valdés is a Mecca for animal and nature lovers. Even though you don't feel like you belong under one of those categories, this UNESCO World Heritage-declared natural park in Argentina’s Patagonia region will most likely take your breath away.

What makes Peninsula Valdés so special is the extraordinary possibilities for seeing wild penguins, sea lions, the llama-looking guanaco, sea elephants, and if you arrive at the right time of the year; whales!

Thus, it can also be a little bit confusing what one should know before visiting, and what is just nice-to-know stuff. So, to help you out with your planning – or maybe inspire you to visit in the future? – I have put together this little informational good to know-guide to Peninsula Valdés:

All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
NEED TO KNOW

On Peninsula Valdés the main action is the whales. However, the whale season is only from June to mid-December. So, the best time to visit is without a doubt during these months. Nevertheless, there are still activities to do out of season, check out more here.

NICE TO KNOW

Even if you don't consider yourself a crazy animal lover (admitted; do normally only see myself as crazy cat woman), standing few meters from cute penguin like these fellows or seeing the sea lions play with their kids in the water will melt your heart – and if you get a chance; do yourself the favor and try out the swimming with sea lions! That was by far the coolest experience in all my time in Argentina! Read more about my experience here.

All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
NEED TO KNOW

Peninsula Valdés is a natural park, and there is charged an entrance fee of $415 Argentine pesos per person (as of 2017) to enter the park. Argentine citizens are charged a lower amount. If you stay inside the park and want to leave and re-enter you must show a receipt of accommodation together which your ticket.

NICE TO KNOW

Along the way around the peninsula, you can also be lucky to see other of the peninsula’s wildlife such as the guanaco which is a llama-looking animal, a Patagonian cavy, all kind of different birds… or maybe one of those: a long-haired armadillo. This little fellow was suddenly running around the parking lot of Punta Norte.

All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
NEED TO KNOW

You are a visitor in the penguins, sea lion and sea elephants house – so behave! I can’t stress enough that you should behave respectfully and with your absolute best manners towards the animals when you are visiting Peninsula Valdés (well, basically any natural reserve!). Our guide told many stories of visitors try to steal or feed especially the penguins... Seriously… Just don’t!

NICE TO KNOW

It is possible to do smaller treks around the area of Puerto Pirámides. The vegetation of dry grass and low bushes that never get higher than your legs, which makes it easy to orientate if you choose to go solo.

All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
NEED TO KNOW

There is only one tinny town on Peninsula Valdés, Puerto Pirámides, which count around 500 inhabitants. Most of these seem to be working with and for the tourists. Apart from that, throughout the peninsula, there are a few estancias (e.g. farms).

NICE TO KNOW

You can stay in hotels, hostels or camping in Puerto Pirámides. Thus, most visitors to Peninsula Valdés seem to stay outside the natural park in the larger town, Puerto Madryn. Even though accommodation might be more expensive out in Puerto Pirámides than in Puerto Madryn, it can save you some of the back and forth travel to Puerto Madryn.

All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
NEED TO KNOW

The closest bigger town is Puerto Madryn. From there, the bus company Mar y Valle runs buses to Puerto Pirámides three times a day during weekdays and once on weekends. The ticket costs $114 Argentina pesos (inflation might change that soon). The ride takes around 1.5 hours’ drive to Puerto Pirámides. Thus, if you are not staying in Puerto Pirámides, you might opt for just booking a guided tour directly from Puerto Madryn.

NICE TO KNOW

Don’t expect to have signal on your mobile when driving around Peninsula Valdés – but hey; can't Instagram wait while you enjoy nature?

All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
NEED TO KNOW

One should always remember that Argentina is massive, and what looks like just "around the corner" is most properly not. Peninsula Valdés is no exception! Even though, Peninsula Valdes is just a little part of Argentine Patagonia (for not to speak of Argentina itself) the distances are huge. It takes a good amount of time to get around, and you should therefore not expect to be able to cover the whole peninsula in one day. Nevertheless, most of the points of interests are in the Northern part of the peninsula. You can rent a car and go around on your own. Or you can go on a guided tour.

NICE TO KNOW

If you are just on a short visit to Argentina and don't have time for the big Patagonia tour, remember that you can reach Peninsula Valdés by flight. Flying from Buenos Aires to Trelew or Puerto Madryn only takes around 2-hours. For more information on how to arrive check out the official website for Puerto Pirámides here.

All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
NEED TO KNOW

There are many organized tours leaving from Puerto Madryn going to the peninsula, so you will not have trouble finding providers if you choose to stay in Puerto Madryn. However, there are also providers located in Puerto Pirámides. Check out my ideas to activities in Puerto Pirámides here.

NICE TO KNOW

Peninsula Valdés is not the only place in the area which offers a great wildlife experience. The Natural Reserve Punta Tombo some 200 kilometers from Puerto Madryn (remember what I said about distances?) is famous for the many of penguins that visit in the Spring. Over at Fly with Lola, you can read more about her experiences at other points of interests "close" to Peninsula Valdés.

NEED TO KNOW

Pack an extra sweater! With Peninsula Valdés' Southern location and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, even in summer months (December-February), the weather can be chilly and the wind cold – not to speak of how it must be in the winter months (June-July)! So, remember an extra jacket or sweater.

All you need to know before visiting Argentina's Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad
Have you visited Peninsula Valdés? Or are you planning your trip there? Or have you visited other breath-taking natural park with amazing wildlife experiences? Please feel free to share your story, ideas or tips in the comments below!
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All you need to know before visiting Argentina's wildlife paradise at Peninsula Valdés - Becci Abroad

5 comments

  1. Ontrip.dk

    WoW sikke et fantastisk sted – helt magisk. Jeg elsker naturområder med et unikt dyreliv og det må dette sted bestemt siges at have. Uhh endnu et sted på ønskelisten 😱😉
    /Annette

    Reply

    1. Rebecca

      Hej Annette!
      Tusind tak for besøget 🙂 Ja, er det ikke bare et helt magisk sted? Hehe, nu må holde op med at kigge på min blog – din ønskeliste bliver jo bare alt for langt 😉

      /Rebecca

      Reply

  2. OnTrip.dk

    Jeg ved det, Rebecca men bliver draget for den er sådan en dejlig blog 😉
    OnTrip.dk recently posted…Boganmeldelse: Turen går til bøgernes VerdenMy Profile

    Reply

  3. Becky

    This place looks amazing! I’d love to see some wild penguins, they are so cute! And the sea lions as well, I’m gonna need to put Peninsula Valdés on my bucket list, seems like a great place 😀

    Reply

    1. Rebecca

      Hi Becky,
      Thank you! So great to have you dropping by the blog! 🙂 Yeah, right? Doesn’t it look amazing! It is so crazy how close you can get to the animals! And I tell you swimming with the sea lions was seriously the best thing 😀 So playful animals!

      Reply

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