Península Valdés

Killer Whales at Punta Norte

Southern Right Whale

Shaped like an ax, the Valdes peninsula is marked by its vibrant coastline, a stunning array of tall cliffs, rocky reefs, and exotic marine mammals. Considered one of the most valuable wildlife areas in the world, Peninsula Valdes is home to the southern elephant seal, sea lion, and right whale.

It is joined to the continent by the Ameghino isthmus with the gulfs of San José in the north, and Nuevo in the south. It is part of Chubut Province in Patagonia.

Gulfs San Jose and Nuevo -- more like sheltered maritime lagoons than gulfs -- lie to the north and south of the peninsula. Year after year, animals return to these calm, protected waters to mate and raise their young. Large colonies of sea lions and elephant seals line miles of coastal beaches, while southern right whales harbor in the gulfs.

At Punta Norte there are elephant seals (breeding season late Sep/early Oct). Killer whales attack zone. At Caleta Valdes, 27 miles south of Punta Norte, you can see Magellan penguins (Oct-Nov nesting), sea lions (Dec-Jan breeding season) and elephant seals.

Peninsula Veldés was included by UNESCO in the World Heritage List in 1999.

Video of Peninsula Valdés by UNESCO

At Punta Delgada the beach provides excellent viewing of elephant seals. In addition, guanacos, rheas, armadillos and other wildlife can be seen on the peninsula; wildlife viewing is at its maximum during October-November.

There are also sheep estancias, and one of lowest continental depressions in the world with the salt flats of Salina Grande and Salina Chica, some 126 feet below sea level.

But perhaps the big attraction is the southern right whale (Eubalaena australis), which frequent the shallow waters of Golfo Nuevo and Golfo San Carlos between June & mid-December to breed and bear their young; Puerto Piramdes is the departure point for whale viewing excursions.

Península Valdés Map

Southern Right Whale

Shores of Península Valdés

Punta Pirámides:

In Punta Pirámides, seals can be observed from a cliff of 50 metres high. From December to March, different species of seagulls and cormorants can be found in Punta Pirámides and Southern Right Whales from March to December.

Punta Norte:

A place where elephant and sea lions give birth. Killer whales attack zone. Grey foxes, tucu tucus, cuises and lizards can also be found there.

Punta Delgada:

Where sea lions and elephant seals live. Seals can be found in Punta Delgada all year long, while elephant seals can be found there from August to April.

Isla de los Pájaros (Birds’ Island):

The island is located 32 km off the coast of Pirámides. Ten different species of sea birds make the island have a great biological value.

Caleta Valdés:

A place where seals, penguins, seagulls and herons go to reproduce. Killer whales attack zone. Elephant seals go there from August to March to reproduce. The rest of the year most of the animals go to the open sea to feed. It’s an area to sight right whales, some species of dolphins, marine and land birds, reptiles (lizards, yararas) and mammals.