Meses de reproducción=reproduction months.
Península Valdés Circuit:
You depart from Puerto Madryn northwards taking 1 Provincial Route , which joins 2 Provincial Route , always on tarmac. During the season the whales take the old (pebble) route to Pirámides so that you can see them as from the shore at El Doradillo beach, considered natural reproduction area. After you make 77 km, you arrive at the isthmus: Carlos Ameghino, narrow land strip from which you can see San José Gulf and New Gulf . There you will have to stop to pay access to the Península Valdés Integral Fauna Reserve. You will also find an Interpretation Centre authorised to inform properly about flora and fauna, the Peninsula 's past and the places to visit as from this point on.
Elephant seals' post. You can watch the fauna as from the viewpoints located on the cliff. It has ranger post and toilet services as well as a small bar. Punta Norte: seals and elephant seals' post. Great seals population in summer. You may also see 'orcas' (especially with the rising tide). Interpretation Centre and ranger post. 5 km. away from this place, going down by a pebble way you find Birds' Island , important seabirds' post, which also has an interpretation centre and viewfinders to see the island's population in detail. After touring 25 km. you arrive at bathing resort in Puerto Pirámides, where you will be able to see the amazing scenery of fauna (in the sea) 'embarcados'
The whales can be seen from June to December, although the species moves forward its stay at the peninsula more and more. The adult whale reaches up to 40 thousand kilos and up to 15 metres size.
At Pirámide the whales are very near the shore, after five or ten minutes sailing. This is great in comparison with other places in the world, where it takes a long boat trip to find a specimen. You can also see seals in summer accompanied by coastal birds, penguins and dolphins.
From this village you can visit 'La Lobería de Punta Pirámide', 'de un pelo' seals' post during the breeding and reproduction season (between December and March). Pebble way. From Puerto Pirámides and towards Caleta Valdés, Punta Norte or Punta Delgada you will have to circulate around 75 km. along pebble roads until you reach the fauna reserve. Punta Tombo and Chubut River Valley Penguin Rockery Circuit:
You depart from Puerto Madryn, southwards, taking 3 National Route . After you tour around 70 km. on tarmac and go past Trelew you reach the junction with 1 Provincial Route (pebble way), that after 107 km. will lead you to Punta Tombo, the biggest continental Magellan Penguin reserve. You pay for an entrance ticket, as in the rest of the provincial reserves. The reserve has toilet services and a bar. To watch the fauna it is important to respect the perfectly signalled paths for circulation. Going back by the same route, when the pebble way finishes, we find 25 Provincial Route towards the coast. You can visit Rawson (the province's capital, first Welsh settlement in Patagonia , at the end of the past century.
Its public buildings show modern architectonic manifestations. Its past can be known visiting the museums: Salesiano Regional Museum , Historical City Recupture Museum , Berwyn Chapel, among others and Union Beach (bathing resort in Chubut River 's lower valley, founded in November 1923, with the arrival of the railway. Union Beach stands out due to its white sands and clean gravel coast.
You can enjoy long walks, as the beach does not have seaweed. 'toninas overas' watching is a unique opportunity. Towards the valley, going past Trelew you will find (Paleontological Museum and Luis' Town Museum), industrial and commercial polo, and if you go on along 25 route towards Gaiman, old Welsh colony that today still preserves its traditions (Museum - City tour - tea houses - Welsh Chapels). Florentino Ameghino Dam Circuit:
We depart from Puerto Madryn southwards, taking 3 provincial route (tarmacked) to Trelew. When you reach the roundabout (after having done around 60 km.) you turn right and take 25 National Route to Esquel.
From this roundabout and up to Las Chapas there are 117 km.; at that point you turn left and after 12 km., you arrive at Florentino Ameghino Dam, important building where you can see the rocky walls that make up a reddish canyon that frames the river waters along several km. The bank vegetation and the colour of Chubut River 's waters make up a suitable place to rest and contemplate nature in all its glory. The place has 'fogones', camp, 'proveeduría' and facilities. In summer there are adventure activities (rafting, trekking, photographic safaris, etc)
Punta Loma Fauna Reserve Circuit:
Going along Almirante Brown Boulevard south-westwards , there is a pebble access to the 'lobería'. This reserve was created on September 29th 1967 , 679 Provincial Law, and it was turned into one of the first fauna reserves in the conservation system in Chubut . After going along around 14 km., you have access to the reserve. After paying for the admission ticket you have access to a viewpoint fitted into a gully that gives to Golfo Nuevo, from where you can see the 'one hair' seals' rockery. There is also a path where you can watch and interpret the flora typical of the region. It is important to note that this reserve can be visited all year round according to low-tide timetables.
Going on along the same pebble way, 3km. southwards you will arrive at Cerro Avanzado (Advanced) beach, it takes that name because of the characteristics of the place. Fences made up of millions of years old sediment that keep oysters and sea vertebrates fossils between their strata. Going back to Puerto Madryn along the same way, you can stop at the different beaches the gulf offers: Del Pozo, Paraná, Punta Este and Kaiser beaches. This tour is ideal for mountain bike lovers.
Non conventional excursions and boat trips, windsurf, trekking and more...
Another way to discover Puerto Madryn is by water. Golfo Nuevo's small size becomes bigger in front of the visitor's eyes during the boat trip, which tours along its rugged coasts. There are a lot of options as regards boat trips: catamarans, sailing boats, launches. All of them offer the visitor the chance of watching birds, dolphins, seals and even to sail close to the sunken ships' remains. The Patagonian winds make windsurf lovers enjoy Golfo Nuevo's waters. There are days when the wind blows at high speeds that exceed 20 knots, ideal to experiment extreme situations on a fun board.
Madryn by air
A different option to visit the city is as from the air. In, approximately, one-hour flight you will be able to see the coast from Punta Loma seal rockery up to Ameghino's Isthmus, in light aircraft from Puerto Madryn Aeroclub. For the adventurers there is the chance of flying over the city in 'ultralivianos' (extreme light aircraft).
Turismo de estancias (rural tourism)
Rural tourism is a new option that is developed near Puerto Madryn and it has the objective of understand and value rural work, in this way you will be able to know the role of those who have been living in Valdés Peninsula since 1900. They will show you their techniques, uses and customs, as well as, animals and breeds and what is produced in a 'estancia patagónica'. You will also have walks around the place to watch native flora and fauna, delight yourself with 'criolla' cuisine dishes, like 'tortas fritas' with 'mate', an 'asado' (similar to barbacue) or Patagonian lamb. These are some of all the activities that are offered in the local buildings. You will also have the possibility of tour around the 'viveros' (plant nurseries), animal farms, get to know how a shear works or visit the workshops. All this is included in the rural tourism offer. This is an ideal tour to enjoy a different day in this place.
For extreme situations lovers, the region has virgin dunes with the necessary slopes to practice sand board. This sport was derived from snowboard, its fans get together every summer for slalom and freestyle tournaments. The boards are sold at the local homes at very low cost.
"A puro pulmón"
Framed within "ecological-scientific" tourism, interpretative walks are carried out by graduates specialized in Natural Science and related subjects. Each excursion - around 1-hour-trip from the city - has didactic material like pictures and diagrams of the place to visit. After climbing the fences, an unknown world will appear in front of us: millions of years fossil remains. In different programs the dry steppe's harshness joins with the sea coast richness; from bushy plateaus to naked dunes; gullies that lead to Golfo Nuevo; inhospitable landscapes where the visitor will understand the geological history of Chubut's Northwest and enjoy extensive and amazing landscapes. Riding the steppe on horseback is another option Puerto Madryn offers.
Almost 30 km. of beaches, far away from civilization, are the ideal place to gaze at never-ending sunsets on horseback. Private enterprises and clubs rent horses and in summer you can hire guided horseback ridings. Desert and sea become the suitable landscapes to go at an amble as if time were just ours.
Punta Loma fauna reserve, 14 kms. away from the town centre, is the ideal circuit for trekking lovers. This reserve was created on 29th September 1967 by the 697 Provincial Law, this has been one of the first fauna reserves in the conservation system in Chubut . To reach the place you take Almirante Brown Boulevard South-westwards, until you reach Patagonia National University.
The pebble way starts there and it takes us to 'lobería'. Once in the reserve, you go to a viewpoint fitted into a gully that gives to Golfo Nuevo, from where you will be able to see 'one hair' seals post. After visiting the reserve, and if you still have strength to go on doing trekking, you will find Cerro Avanzado (Advanced Hill) beach 3 km. ahead. It has that name because of the characteristics of the formation that keeps its strata oysters and sea vertebrates fossils that can be easily seen. The landscape seen as from the fences of this hill is one of the best in the golf. You can go back to Puerto Madryn taking the natural paths that go along the coast, discovering El Pozo, Paraná, Punta Este y Kaiser beaches. Do not forget that: the Punta Loma reserve can be visited all year round, according to low-tide timetables.
Snorkelling is one of the adventure activities that has been adding more and more adepts in recent years. Just wearing a basic diving outfit (jacket, mask and flippers) you will be able to discover an interesting and extremely varied underwater life at Punta Este, Kaiser and Cerro Avanzado. You can also visit Punta Cuevas, a few minutes away from the town centre, this is another option for snorkelling, ideal to see and enjoy the colours of underwater life.
Puerto Madryn has been considered the Diving Capital par excellence in Argentina at the end of the 50s. It is visited all year round by divers from all the world. Its calm and crystal clear waters, the abundant sea fauna and its spacious places for diving, are enough reasons to consider Puerto Madryn as the "Argentinian subaquatic Capital".
There are varied alternatives for diving in these coasts, as from the beaches as well as in boat trips. You should hire the service of those registered operators. You can practice the different diving modalities (deep, night, sailing, shipwreck, naturalist, photography, rescue, etc.).
There are various companies that provide diving service in Puerto Madryn all year round. All of them offer the diver and the adventurous tourist the chance of visiting the different underwater natural parks, either holding the instructor's hand for the beginners -in the underwater baptisms- or in the guided excursions for more experienced divers.