Argentina, not just tango

Argentina is certainly one of the longing countries. Many immediately think of the tango, the sun and Patagonia with its high mountains and its everlasting wind. Our first destination was the Valdes peninsula.

Getting there was a bit of an effort. Flight from Buenos Aires to Trelew, further by taxi to Puerto Madryn and a rental car to Puerto Piramides.

When renting a car, we were warned of a high risk of accidents because the roads on Valdes were so bad. In the car there were photos of accidents in the glove compartment and there were more accident photos on the back of the front seats.

So we drove carefully!



I became aware of the Valdes peninsula through a small, rather inconspicuous photo of a sea elephant in a travel magazine. There was only one caption for this, elephant seals on the Valdes peninsula. And already the desire to travel to Valdez was aroused.

Extract from my travel diary:

There was a sweet breakfast this morning and at 9:00 a.m. Jürgen picked up the car key. The car rental company was right next to our hotel. So, paid the bill, loaded the car and off we went. 100 km through the steppes of northern Patagonia. On the way we saw goats, sheep, maras and guanacos.

At noon we reached Puerto Piramides. A tiny place with a few guest houses, cafes and a lot of tourists who go on walewatching tours from here. We rented a cabañas for 3 days. A pointed wooden hut, very cute, you sleep in the top. A little dollhouse moderately. Well, and here we are, on the terrace, with the scent of gorse in our noses and the sea in front of us. Nice!

Next day: After having slept wonderfully tonight, we were able to admire the first whale in the bay at breakfast. It was far out, but easy to see thanks to binoculars.

After breakfast we started. Buy provisions, rolls, cheese, cakes, water, petrol and go!

1. The goal was the Punta Delgado. A lighthouse on a cliff and below it, elephant seals. We were only allowed to go down with a guide. The guide was very nice and told what we would see, elephant seals and orcas. The second I thought was a joke. But it wasn't.

First it went down a steep staircase to the water. About 3 meters away from the animals we settled on the pebble beach and were able to calmly look at the elephant seals. They doze in the sun, scratch themselves from time to time, belch and puff. They have huge eyes, small (moderately speaking) teeth. They are currently shedding their skin and looking pretty plucked.

Well, and then came the orcas - 7 copies! The leader recognized them all. He said that they came with the tide every day and stayed about 5 to 5 km north for about 2 to 3 hours.

So we drove further north to a colony of sea lions and a few minutes later the orcas actually came swimming.

The sea lions were great too. The males had real lion manes and they also have these wonderful eyes.

Another 1 km further we saw the orcas from the next cliff. Up close. Right below us. 4 animals, two of them very small. One even hunted and ate a sea lion. He tossed it into the air several times to begin his painting afterwards. It was really exciting to watch this hunt.

But that wasn't all that day. At the next interesting point there was a colony of elephant seals and you could go down the cliff - almost to the beach. From there we saw two giant whales. And another 2 km further penguins! When I opened the car door, someone was sitting in front of me, looking at me big.

I am really excited. One of our best vacation days ever. In addition, blue sky, little wind and the gravel roads over the Peninsular Valdes were bearable for our little Opel Corsa.

Next day: Today was a boat trip and whale watching.

At 10:00 o'clock it was called life jackets and on the boat. We were launched with the tractor. Totally funny. The boats lie on a boom, which is driven backwards into the water until the boat floats.

After a relatively short drive to the next bay, we soon saw the first whale. A sleeping male. Huge! He swam completely relaxed on the surface of the water and snorted now and then. The next whale was more active. He literally jumped around the bay. The boat slowly came closer to him. We were able to look at him very closely, because the whale swam towards us and looked at us very closely. He nudges every now and then to the boat and slowly swam beneath us. A giant animal. Next, a mother and child show up. Approximately 3 months old and almost as big as our mother, here our operator kept more distance.

Overall, we spent 1 1/2 hours watching the whales on the 2 1/2 hour tour. It was a real experience and worth every penny.

On the last day on Valdes we saw more penguins, elephant seals, sea lions and penguins. Fortunately, two accidents in which the cars overturned were not seriously injured. These gravel roads are really not easy to drive.


Type | Technique | Theme


Picture 1: Elephant seals on the Valdes peninsula, Argentina


Picture 2: Humpback whales in Piramides Bay, Valdes


Picture 3: Sea lions on Valdes


Picture 4: Sea lions on Valdes


Picture 5: Orcas in front of Valdes


Picture 6: Orcas in front of Valdes


Picture 7: Magellanic penguins on Valdes


Picture 8: Elephant seals on Valdes


Picture 9: Guanacos on Valdes