Puerto Madryn Peninsula Valdés shore excursions by maclaren1

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									Puerto Madryn / Peninsula Valdés shore excursions


Half-day tours


Tour of Puerto Pirámides for whale-sighting (November and December only)
A visit to the Peninsula, leaving Puerto Madryn early to drive north through the flat grey expanse
of Patagonian steppes where you might see an occasional rhea –South American ostrich- or
guanaco –small deer. To enter the national park and nature reserve named by UNESCO as a World
Heritage site, you cross a narrow isthmus where you can look out over the immense waters of the
Golfo San José to the left and the vast bay of the Golfo Nuevo to the right. At the entrance also lies
the San José Fort regional museum with detailed information and photos on all the species of flora
and fauna to be found on the peninsula.
The gravel road crosses the peninsula, a landscape typical of the Patagonian steppe, eternally
whipped by the winds that rush across the landscape unhindered by trees, hills or rocks. As it
reaches the coastline, the track suddenly drops down into a crescent of golden cliffs overlooking a
bright blue fan of water which is the bay of the small village of Puerto Pirámides. Built in the first
years of the 20th century, it functioned as a safe port at the end of the railway line which transported
salt from the large glittering salt marshes on the Peninsula to the sea. After the railway closed in
1920 and the salt industry dried up, the town fell into decline for many decades until the local
authorities decided to give tourism a boost and promote not only their whale-sighting activities but
also the other natural reserves in the vicinity to attract visitors to the area.
The herds of southern right whales (thus named because it was the “right” whale to hunt for its
turpitude and tendency to swim close to the surface) tend to arrive in late August, although some
are often sighted as early as June. As many as 700 a year frequent the bay of Puerto Pirámides, their
dark shapes arcing through the waves clearly visible from the shore, often blowing fountains of
water into the sky. There are boat trips organised into the bay from which you can watch these
immensely dignified and pacific creatures gliding past, a calloused rugged head often surfacing
right under your nose with large inquisitive eyes, a huge tail slapping spray over the prow of the
boat.


Duration:                5 hours
Level of effort:         Medium.
Meals:                   Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant with soft drinks.
Others:                  The tour is not suitable for wheelchairs.
                         The boat trips may be cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Information on
                         these will be made available as soon as possible and an alternative tour will be
                         offered subject to availability.




               Florida 890 · 4° Piso · C1005AAR Buenos Aires · Argentina • Tel./Fax.: +54·11 4315·9222
                                         info@atpdmc.com · www.atpdmc.com
Tour of Puerto Madryn / Gaiman / Punta Loma


A charming tour of the old Welsh settlements Puerto Madryn and Gaimán, including a delicious
traditional tea in Gaimán.
Port Madryn, as it was subsequently christened in honour of the colony’s founder, was the first
Welsh community in Patagonia, quickly followed by Trelew, Rawson, Gaimán and Dolavon. The
town’s industrial development grew hand in hand with the construction of the railway network
across the country and adjusted to meet demand as the rail business dwindled, to be replaced
progressively by aluminium, textiles, technology and tourism. The original railway station built in
1889 can still be visited, as can the remnants of the caves of Punta Cuevas hewn into the stone that
the first settlers from the Mimosa inhabited while building their first wooden dwellings. The
Ecocentre, a mix of museum and research centre is also well worth a visit before embarking on any
wildlife sighting activities as it presents a detailed panorama of the different species of birds and
other animals likely to be encountered.
The Welsh settlement of Gaiman was founded in 1884, a few years after Love Jones Parry reached
the shores of Patagonia, and is still the most important Welsh community in the country. Welsh is
spoken on a daily basis while the rich choral tradition which is as much part of this people’s
heritage as their work ethic and religious observances has flourished with the setting up of various
choirs and choral festivals that have achieved national and international prestige. To visit Gaiman
today is to encounter the generous hospitality of a very independent community which has
preserved its finest traditions. Drop into one of the many charming tea-houses for tea, scones with
home-made jam and a slice of fruit cake after strolling around the friendly streets. You will hear
the stories of the local ancestors, the first families that struggled to build up the community with
the help of the friendly Tehuelche native Indians.
On the way back to Puerto Madryn, there is a stop at the colony of sea lions at Punta Loma, a series
of attractive coves which are home to hundreds of lively sea lions. (Timings to see the colony may
vary depending on the tides)
Duration:                       5 hours
Refreshment:                    Tea. Including tea and scones, cakes and bread is included. Other
                                refreshments, soft drinks and bottled water may either be included or
                                purchased separately by passengers.
Level of effort:                Medium: in the towns of Gaiman, Puerto Madryn and also at the wildlife
                                reserve at Punta Loma.
Facilities for the disabled:    The tour is not suitable for wheelchairs, unless the guest has a folding
                                wheelchair and someone to assist them. The nature trails are not suitable
                                for wheelchairs
Others:                         A local welsh choir may be hired to entertain the group during tea in
                                Gaiman.


               Florida 890 · 4° Piso · C1005AAR Buenos Aires · Argentina • Tel./Fax.: +54·11 4315·9222
                                         info@atpdmc.com · www.atpdmc.com
Trelew: Paleonthological Museum / Punta Loma


The Egidio Feruglio museum is to be found in the centre of the town of Trelew, another thriving
Welsh community to the south of Puerto Madryn, and is a major attraction for paleonthologists
from all over the world. On display are an impressive array of fossils from all eras, including
dinosaur eggs, remnants from over 65 million years ago as well as astonishing life-size replicas of
dinosaurs from the Cretacic and Jurassic eras, such as the Titanosaurus. The museum is designed
in such a way as to take the visitor on a journey back through time to the era of the dinosaurs.


On the way back to Puerto Madryn, there is a stop at the colony of sea lions at Punta Loma, a series
of attractive coves which are home to hundreds of lively sea lions. (Timings to see the colony may
vary depending on the tides)


Duration:                       5 hours
Refreshment:                    Soft drinks or bottled water may be included or purchased separately by
                                passengers.
Level of effort:                Medium
Facilities for the disabled:    The tour is not suitable for wheelchairs, unless the guest has a folding
                                wheelchair and someone to assist them.




               Florida 890 · 4° Piso · C1005AAR Buenos Aires · Argentina • Tel./Fax.: +54·11 4315·9222
                                         info@atpdmc.com · www.atpdmc.com
Full day tours


Punta Tombo


The largest colony of Magellan penguins in South America, this extraordinary roosting spot reaches
over half a million birds during peak times when the baby penguins start to hatch in November.
One of the greatest features of this reserve is the fact that you can literally walk among the
penguins, follow them and learn their habits, see how they feed their babies, observe their
courtship rituals, their fights to defend their territories, how they build their nests, and their
comically characteristic waddle to and from the sea. The penguin’s natural predators are the killer
whale and the seal, which sometimes make brief forays close to shore. The penguin season is from
September to April.




Duration:                       7-8 hours
Refreshment:                    Soft drinks or bottled water may be included or purchased separately by
                                passengers.
Meals:                         Lunch will be in pic-nic form.
Level of effort:                Medium: walking around the reserve.
Transit times:                  The travelling time is 2 ½ hours each way, including driving on uneven
                                and gravel surfaces.


Facilities for the disabled:    The tour is not suitable for wheelchairs, unless the guest has a folding
                                wheelchair and someone to assist them. The nature trails are not suitable
                                for wheelchairs




               Florida 890 · 4° Piso · C1005AAR Buenos Aires · Argentina • Tel./Fax.: +54·11 4315·9222
                                         info@atpdmc.com · www.atpdmc.com
Full-day tour to Peninsula Valdes


A full day’s visit to the Peninsula, leaving Puerto Madryn early to drive north through the flat grey
expanse of Patagonian steppes where you might see an occasional rhea –South American ostrich- or
guanaco or small deer. To enter the national park and nature reserve named by UNESCO as a
World Heritage site, you cross a narrow isthmus where you can look out over the immense waters
of the Golfo San José to the left and the vast bay of the Golfo Nuevo to the right. At the entrance
also lies the San José Fort regional museum with detailed information and photos on all the species
of flora and fauna to be found on the peninsula. Some 25km further along the road, Caleta Valdés,
a 35km long natural creek embraced by a long narrow promontory is home to a colony of sea
elephants whose grunting and roaring announces their presence at a good distance while they are
still no more than amorphous grey shapes against the sand. The surrounding rocks and dry grasses
are also the natural habitat for storks, guanaco deer, armadillos, Patagonian hares, foxes, eagles and
many others. The first recorded inhabitants of the peninsula were the Tehuelche native Indians
who wandered the marshy sands of Caleta Valdés in their hunt for guanaco deer and choique, a
kind of ostrich, as well as fishing and gathering oysters.


After Caleta Valdés, the road suddenly drops down into a crescent of golden cliffs overlooking a
bright blue fan of water which is the bay of the small village of Puerto Pirámides, built in the first
years of the 20th century as a safe port at the end of the railway line which transported salt from the
large glittering salt marshes on the Peninsula to the sea. After the railway closed in 1920 and the
salt industry dried up, the town fell into decline for many decades until the local authorities
decided to give tourism a boost and promote not only their whale-sighting activities but also the
other natural reserves in the vicinity to attract visitors to the area.


The herds of southern right whales (thus named because it was the “right” whale to hunt for its
turpitude and tendency to swim close to the surface) tend to arrive in late August, although some
are often sighted as early as June. They frequent the bay of Puerto Pirámides, their dark shapes
arcing through the waves clearly visible from the shore, often blowing fountains of water into the
sky. There are boat trips organised into the bay from which you can watch these immensely
dignified and pacific creatures gliding past, a calloused rugged head often surfacing right under
your nose with large inquisitive eyes, a huge tail slapping spray over the prow of the boat.
While the whales may be seen from late August to November, the elephant seals and sea lions are
permanent residents. Killer whales tend to frequent the coast line in February and March


Duration:                       8-9 hours
Refreshment:                    Picnic lunch including soft drinks or bottled water.
Level of effort:                Medium: walking around the reserve.
Transit times:                  The travelling time is 2 ½ hours each way, including driving on uneven
                                and gravel surfaces.


               Florida 890 · 4° Piso · C1005AAR Buenos Aires · Argentina • Tel./Fax.: +54·11 4315·9222
                                         info@atpdmc.com · www.atpdmc.com
Facilities for the disabled:   The tour is not suitable for wheelchairs, unless the guest has a folding
                               wheelchair and someone to assist them. The nature trails are not suitable
                               for wheelchairs




              Florida 890 · 4° Piso · C1005AAR Buenos Aires · Argentina • Tel./Fax.: +54·11 4315·9222
                                        info@atpdmc.com · www.atpdmc.com

								
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