For lovers of wildlife and in particular marine wildlife, Peninsula Valdes is a paradise. The large Peninsula is located in the province of Chubut, a considerable distance from Buenos Aires although there are regular bus services from the capital â€“ the journey takes roughly 18-20 hours. The buses arrive at Puerto Madryn, the largest town in the area which acts as a gateway to another of Argentinaâ€™s natural beauty spots.
There are some beaches in the area, largely inhabited by porteÃ±os (or people from Buenos Aires) but the opportunity to view a plethora of marine mammals in their natural environment arguably draws far more visitors from overseas. Southern right whales are the star attractions and they tend to visit the Peninsula between May and December in order to mate and give birth. Sea lions, elephant seals and a host of birdlife can also be observed in the nature reserve which received UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1999.
For those wanting a piece of the action itâ€™s possible to participate in a host of challenging outdoor activities in the area - diving, hiking, cycling, kayaking and windsurfing lessons/rentals are all available. For those wanting to sit back and watch the wilderness go by at an altogether more leisurely pace, there are tours available which take you to the wildlife-watching hotspots. Puerto Madryn is well equipped for tourists, offering a range of accommodation options and numerous restaurants with fresh seafood on many menus (if you like your seafood, take advantage of it here as seafood in the capital can be very expensive).