Peninsula Valdes stretches over 100 kilometres into the vast Atlantic Ocean in the Argentinean Province of Chubut. At 360,000 hectares, this mushroom-shaped peninsula connects to the mainland by a narrow strip of land and conceals alcoves prevalent with marine wildlife, including 181 bird species. This expanse is 400 kilometres of coastline; to the north is Golfo San Matias, and to the south is Golfo Nuevo. Travelling between these points, you’ll find cliffs soaring to heights of 100 metres, glistening lagoons, small islands, pebble beaches, sand dunes and wetlands. Some of these wetlands are of international importance. The entire peninsula is registered as a UNESCO Nature Reserve, providing nesting spots for migratory birds and a home for thousands of Magellanic penguins.
Thanks to its diverse terrain, Peninsula Valdes contains habitats of significant conservation and scientific value. Its quiet gulfs have become breeding and calving areas of the Southern Elephant Seal, Orca, and Southern Sea Lion (you can kayak amongst the most curious in the Golfo Nuevo). Peninsula Valdes is the only place in the world where Orca beach themselves to hunt sea lion pups, and it’s also the world’s most important breeding ground for Southern Right Whales. So, bring your binoculars, and you might see some aquatic wonders, either from the shoreline or aboard a boat.
Dominating a significant portion of the peninsula is the Patagonian Steppe, an arid desert with a variety of plant communities. Be on the lookout for Guanacos and the Patagonian Mara, a rodent native to Argentina. Since the human population is scarce, the wildlife is courageous and sometimes ventures close to you. End your days by staying in a traditional estancia surrounded by wilderness.