Pinguins & Peninsula
Las Grutas, Rio Negro, Argentina
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under 12 years old
under 12 years old
consult under 5 years
PENGUINS & PENINSULA VALDES
A fantastic full-day excursion to explore Península Valdés, eat a good asado with Patagonian lamb and discover the Península Valdés penguin colony with the possibility of watching whales and killer whales.
We leave Las Grutas early in the morning heading south, along National Route 3 that joins Buenos Aires with Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. 140 kms to the south is the town of Sierra Grande, home to the largest iron mine in Argentina. It was a ghost town from the closing of the mine in 1994 until its reopening 20 years later. Fifty kilometers further south we cross the border with the province of Chubut and after an hour we enter Peninsula Valdes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ameghino Interpretation Center has six rooms, each of them dedicated to everything we can see later on: botany, mammals, intertidal space, cetaceans, their history; also with an auditorium, coffee shop and a gigantic skeleton of the Southern Right Whale that serves as an introduction to boat sighting.
A few kilometers before reaching the colorful town of Punta Pirámide, we visited the sea lion colony descending to a vantage point where sea fossils from the Upper Tertiary Period (10 to 20 million years ago) may be appreciated. In the sea lion colony, there is an important colony of One-Haired Sea Lions (Otaria flavescens). Between November and January they have their pups there. Gulls, cormorants, dolphins, whales and occasionally killer whales visit these beaches of deep blue water cut by cliffs and which give them an enviable natural setting.
In Puerto Pirámide we embark for almost two hours to see the Southern Right Whale, Eubalaena australis. A community of 1,500 whales gather every year to mate and give a show of jumps and seductive movements that can be seen very closely on board. Bilingual guide.
After the sighting we can have lunch in front of the sea in an old still life in the port, typical seafood from the Argentinean sea or a la carte dishes at reasonable prices. The gastronomy is very good (if we don't have lunch later!).
After lunch we visit the town and leave for the north of Peninsula Valdes on its gravel roads. At Estancia San Lorenzo we are awaited with empanadas and a tasty Patagonian barbecue. We discover the secret of living in a Patagonian estancia and the art of shearing in this place that receives tourists from all over the world. In an old military truck, we reached the coast crowded with Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus), which have their offspring in spring. Remains of the camp used by the "foqueros" until 1953 are on display to learn about the history of the place. Before returning to Las Grutas, and subject to the time and energy available, we can visit the sea lion colony at Punta Norte where the orca (Orcinus orca) roams
Private excursion with 4x4 truck. Total route of 800 kms with driver through asphalt, desert and gravel tracks. Patagonian adventure in a 4x4 truck, maximum 4 pax.
Shorts, swimsuit, light shirt, trekking shoes, Franciscan sandals or sneakers; hat and glasses. TOWEL TO DRY.
For the return, in case the wind picks up, we recommend a windbreaker, hooded sweatshirt or jacket and long pants; scarf for the neck and headband for the girls' hair!
Sun protection, cream and hydration on the lips.
Mineral water, maté equipment and cookies. Also the camera and always check the charge of the batteries before leaving.
Bathrooms: available in the places to visit
Good vibe! We're on vacation...
The departure time changes throughout each season and ranges from 06:00 to 08:00hs.