Join us for the southern right whale & penguin tour at the best time of the season. Every year in October, the popular tour takes place on the Atlantic coast of Patagonia, Argentina. Join us on this tour to discover right whale and penguins in their natural habitat and witness numerous natural spectacles. You will get the incredible opportunity to see not only southern right whales and penguins, but also a large number of other species. Among those other species are dolphins and sea lions, elephant seals as well as cormorants, albatrosses and many other species. This 14-day tour is off the beaten track and gives you an insight into the animal world of Patagonia that you probably won’t find anywhere else.
Itinerary of the Right Whale & Penguin Tour in Patagonia
Exciting 14 days in Argentina await you! For over 20 years we have been travelling to the coasts of Patagonia at the best time of the season to visit the right whales in their nursery. Every year we return to this fascinating location. The Right Whale & Penguin Tour is a journey into the breath taking wildlife of the Patagonian coast. Besides whales and dolphins, sea lions and elephant seals, you will encounter Magellanic penguins, rockhopper penguins, grey red-footed cormorants, albatrosses and many other inhabitants of the Argentine Atlantic coast. You will travel on routes far away from the usual tourist areas and travel through fantastic landscapes.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Patagonia
Reception at Trelew airport. In minibuses you will travel for about two hours to Puerto Pirámides. There you will spend the night at The Paradise Hostería. The small and cosy rooms have modern bathrooms with hot and cold running water. The hotel has a restaurant where breakfast is served. From there you can already see the whales jumping in the Golfo Nuevo.
DAY 2 to 8 – The whales of Península Valdés
Over the next five days you will go whale watching at sea. The crew will show you at close range the different behaviours of the animals. Biological processes such as courtship, copulation, jumping, fluking, thermoregulation, but also the social behaviour of mother and child are part of the observations
The bays off Puerto Pirámides are among the best places on earth to observe large whales up close. Southern right whales are not shy and come very close to the boats – although sometimes you wonder who is actually watching whom
Another focus of the right whale & penguin tour excursions is dolphin watching. With a bit of luck, you will encounter black dolphins. Also called Dusky Dolphins, they congregate here in large schools as anchovies come to spawn in the Gulf. They are accompanied on the hunt by thousands of seabirds, seals and also penguins. It is an exciting experience to encounter such a “ball of food”, which one usually only knows from documentary films. On one day, a safari around the Valdés Peninsula is on the programme. You will visit beach-dwelling animals such as elephant seals, but also look out for seabirds and pampas birds. Guanacos, foxes and maras (pampas hares) are among your companions here.
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DAY 9 – Onward journey to the south of Patagonia
About 550 km of driving on the Argentinean highway “Carretera” we head south. Today’s destination is Sarmiento, a village in the middle of the pampas. On the way you will stop at viewpoints along the coast and of course whenever animals cross the way. Overnight in Sarmiento.
DAY 10 – The petrified forests of Sarmiento
About 20 km from Sarmiento lies a breath taking natural park. Here, winds have exposed an erosional landscape where petrified trees and volcanic eruptions form dreamlike motifs. A special permit makes it possible to hike in the zones of the national park that are closed to the public, accompanied by a ranger, and thus see indescribable landscapes. After the hike, the journey continues another 400 km south to Puerto Deseado.
Darwin landed in Puerto Deseado on 23 December 1833 with his ship, the HMS Beagle. In the course of the Ría Deseado, he found a unique biodiversity that prompted him to stay on site and continue working on his studies. When we arrive in Puerto Deseado, we check into the Hotel Arcantilados. It is the only hotel directly on the river course.
DAY 11 – In the course of the river Ría Deseado
Trip in the expedition boat into the shallow course of the river. You can observe many seabirds and the rare Jacobite dolphins, which look like small orcas with a size of only one metre. This makes them one of the smallest whale and dolphin species in the world and they are found in two geographically separate regions of the Southern Hemisphere. Recently, white-bellied dolphins (also called Chilean dolphins) have also been discovered in the river. En route, stop at Bird Island, where gulls, cormorants and penguins breed.
DAY 12 – The Island of the Rockhopper Penguins
You will visit Penguin Island, about 20 km offshore, which is home to the northernmost and only accessible colony of about 8,000 rockhopper penguins. In addition to the approximately 60,000 Magellanic penguins, elephant seals, sea lions, skuas, cormorants, Jacobites and peale dolphins also live here. Birdwatchers can rejoice, as a total of 136 different species have been observed so far. Especially the beautiful grey cormorant with its steel-blue eyes stands out. The rare birds nest in the cliffs of the riverbed. Penguin Island is home to an 18th-century sea lion factory and a century-old lighthouse. The island is therefore a perfect place for photographers to capture the very special atmosphere. Only 200 tourists are allowed to enter the island each year.
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DAY 13 – Birdwatching at Ría Deseado
Today you will drive and walk along the course of the river to observe birds such as flamingos, night herons, grey cormorants, rock cormorants and various birds of prey. The rest of the day is at leisure. Optionally, you can take further boat trips or visit an “estancia”, a cattle farm.
DAY 14 – Departure to your home country
Today you leave paradise. Transfer to the airport early in the morning.
About the Right Whales & Penguins Tour
30.09.2023 – 13.10.2023
Please enquire directly with us for dates in 2024.
- Eight nights in a double room at The Paradise Hostería including breakfast
- One night in a simple double room in guesthouses including breakfast
- Four nights in a double room in Cabañas Las Nubes without meals
- All transfers from Trelew airport/to Comodoro Rivadavia airport
- German tour guide and English speaking local guides
- Five days whale watching with 2 excursions each day
- All excursions mentioned in the programme
- Group size: min. 8, max. 12 persons
Services not included
- Scheduled flights to Trelew/ from Comodoro Rivadavia
- Bus transfers between international and domestic airports in Buenos Aires
- Meals not listed
- National Park fees (total approx. 300 USD per person)
- Insurance (Cancellation insurance and international health insurance are strongly recommended)
Please note that excursions are subject to weather conditions and are therefore without guarantee. Nature is unpredictable and therefore there is no guarantee of animal sightings. Accommodation and itinerary are subject to change without further notice due to unforeseen circumstances