Argentina
Puerto Madryn

Here you’ll find travel reports about Puerto Madryn. Discover travel destinations in Argentina of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

8 travelers at this place:

  • Day32

    The Tail

    September 11, 2017

    On Friday we went on a spectacular trip to the Peninsula Valdes, a nature reserve that was once under the sea. The earth there is made up of sand and grit, and volcanic ash that drifted from distant places when the water still covered it. There is no fresh water - drinking water has to be pumped via pipeline from Puerto Madryn. Consequently, the flora and fauna is quite unique in that the plants and animals have to survive on limited rain water (it doesn't rain much) or be able to eat salty stuff. To enter the reserve, we had to pay a fee, in the same way that you have to pay to get into the Sacred Valley in Peru, but here in Argentina, foreigners pay double. As a result, the area is completely protected and sparsely populated. There is the occasional building, but mainly of an agricultural or scientific nature, and the ranch style restaurant where we ate lunch.

    First stop on our minibus tour was Puerto Piramides, a tiny town with a small bay (Punto Piramide) where we caught the boat, or 'sheep', as the guide liked to refer to it, to see the whales. And we certainly got up close and personal with these gnarly beasts. I remarked to Chris before we set out, that the 'money shot' would be a tail out of the water, not really expecting this to happen. The first picture I got was just that, and it seemed all too easy to see this awe-inspiring sight. The captain of the ship would spot them from his cab and gently motor up to them, before turning off the engine. According to the guide, the whales are just as curious about us as we are about them, and so it appeared, because they happily continued splashing, diving, swimming, and generally 'enjoying themselves' as close to the boat as we thought it possible for them to get, given their great size. Almost close enough to reach out and touch, so close that we could count their barnacles, see up their nostrils and feel the mist of their spout spray. The whales only travel to this area to breed. The adults do not even interrupt the fun to eat - they have stocked up for months elsewhere before swimming to the bays of the peninsula. Consequently, we mainly saw families, mothers and babies, and even saw two mating. "Can you see the penis?" the guide kept saying, "It's pink". Chris said he did. He fibbed - you wouldn't think you could miss something as big as a whale penis, but we did! What we did see however, was an unusual, grey-coloured family pod, one of which had darker spots on its fin like an haricot bean.

    Next we drove along the stone road that runs horizontally across the south of the peninsula. Here the 'bus ranger guide' pointed out the most amazing wildlife. We saw the guanaco, the largest of the camelid family (the group that includes alpaca, llamas and vicuña), herds of them. They have the colour and elegance of a vicuña, but the height and breadth of a llama or alpaca. We also saw the mara, an animal that is a little like a guinea pig, but has long back legs that give it the appearance and movement of a rabbit, but they are large, bigger than a hare. The first one the guide pointed out to us happened to be running by a tiny white owl that was perched on a bit of scrub nearby. See pic.

    We briefly stopped at a viewing point, to see the sand spits that connect the peninsula with the mainland, and to see the elephant seals that live there, from afar, but our final stop was for lunch at a beautiful farm restaurant, surrounded by a ground cover of autumn-coloured succulents and saw-edged cacti (with a model of a dinosaur out the back). Here we ate the most delicious lamb stew, before walking across a moorland ridge and over the edge of a sand dune, to a shelf like area a few metres above the beach, which was crowded with elephant seals - sunbathing, or covering themselves in sand with their flippers. We slowly made our way back up the steep sand cliff before heading home, first across another stone road higher up the peninsular, and finally, the main road, back to Puerto Madryn.

    What a tale to tell!
    Read more

  • Day31

    Buenos Aires to Puerto Madryn

    September 10, 2017 in Argentina

    We left Buenos Aires on Wednesday. We had to check out of our apartment at 10am but the 'overnight' bus to Puerto Madryn did not leave until 3pm. So, after a little confusion with the concierge about timings (I need more practice telling the time in Spanish), we left our luggage in reception and headed into town for a quick whizz around the Botanical Gardens. You can never see too many exotic plants (long pink dangly things and large bushes) in my opinion. After collecting the bags, we had an early lunch in a very friendly cafe - before we left, the solicitous proprietor asked if we were ok and supplied us with bottles of water for the onward journey. Perhaps we looked a little frazzled after the 'broken backpack strap incident' earlier. A swift but difficult tube trip (same backpack problems) saw us emerge into the area around the station. The main street was lined with alleyways of corrugated tin shanties and was full of fast-moving commuters and street vendors. The homeless lay sleeping across the pathways, chunks of bread still clutched in their hands. I soon noticed that all the women were wearing their backpacks on their fronts, and quickly switched the position of mine too. We entered the haven of the station building to await the announcement of our bus platform number. We waited, and we waited, then we waited some more. At 2.50pm, we were worried enough to head out to the bus points, armed only with the information that it could be anywhere between numbers 10 and 25. After a frantic half hour of pigeon-Spanish with anybody who looked official, and running up and down the platform (to cover all numbers), our coach finally left at 3.30pm.

    In the early part of the journey, we passed through a pleasant landscape of flat scrubland and marshes, with the occasional highlight of an egret or a roadside shrine. This, and the Bingo kept us entertained until about 8pm. The bus host even sent down two English-speaking teenagers to explain the rules of the game. He probably didn't realise that we both speak fluent Spanish. But by now we were hungry. I hadn't got enough strength to pierce the holes in the numbers with my little plastic stick, especially since it was taking me so long to work out said numbers. If you remember back to the beginning of this saga, we ate early. We were finally fed at around 11.30pm. We slept quite well, but woke early. I opened the curtain at around 5am to see an eery terracotta landscape, lit by a perfect silvery moon. We watched the sun come up over the ridge of the horizon, and I passed the time by taking photos of anything that interested me (anything that moved, and anything that didn't). Around 7am, I noticed a policeman and a traffic cone. I didn't get a picture of the policeman, or the traffic cone. I daren't. We were being pulled over. The policeman got on the bus. Chris had a better vantage point from his aisle seat, and kept me posted when policeman two, and then policeman three, got on the bus. The first policeman visited us down in our 'first class' boudoir, spending a worryingly long time looking at the stamp pages in our passports, but was very polite, and smiled at us before he left. Phew! Visions of Midnight Express evaporated.

    We arrived at Puerto Madryn bus station around 10.30am and after a brief reccy at 'Informacion', headed towards the front to find our hotel. As he reached the sea, Chris stopped to take in the view. When I finally caught up, he said, "Are they whales out there?!" We had read in the guide book that you could see them from the hotel windows, but didn't expect to see, and hear them (they boom and snort-blow) cavorting in the bay from the prom.
    Read more

  • Day96

    Wer die Wahl hat, sieht nen Wal!

    October 30, 2017 in Argentina

    Eigentlich wollte ich mich nicht lange in Argentinien aufhalten und mich direkt auf den Weg nach Bolivien machen. Allerdings war das wegkommen, aus Süd Argentinien, nicht ganz so einfach und sehr kostspielig. Hinzu kam, daß eine andere Reisende zu mir sagte: "Wenn du Zeit hast fahre doch mit dem Bus. Der Norden Argentiniens ist wirklich schön und auf dem Weg dahin kannst du in Puerto Madryn halten, da ist aktuell Wal Saison." Daraufhin begann meine Umdenken und ich fand mich zwei Tage später im Bus nach Puerto Madryn wider.
    Puerto Madryn an sich ist wenig spektakulär. Die Tatsache dass jährlich Wale, Seeelefanten, abertausende Pinguine und auch Orcas an diesen Ort kommen, um ihre Jungen zu gebären schon.

    Am Tag meiner Ankunft ging es gleich los. Die Rezeptionistin in meinem Hostel erzählte davon, dass man die Wale manchmal auch vom Stadtstrand aus sehen könnte. Also warf ich direkt meinen Rucksack aufs Bett und machte mich, mit wenig Hoffnung, auf den Weg. Und es stimmte tatsächlich. Zwar sehr weit weg, aber dank ihrer Größe sehr gut sichtbar, waren mehrere Wale die aus dem Wasser "sprangen". Das machte Lust auf mehr.
    Im Hostel hatte ich eine 4er Gruppe sehr netter Franzosen getroffen und wir verabredeten uns, für die folgenden 2 Tage ein Auto zu Mieten und die Gegend zu erkunden.

    Am ersten Tag verschlug es uns in eine Gegend südlich Puerto Madryns, in die tausende Magelan Pinguine jährlich zum brüten kommen. Sie waren einfach überall. Wir konnten sie im Wasser schwimmend, am Strand watschelnd und auch in ihren Brutplätzen, samt Eier, sehen. So putzig sie auch sind, was ich nicht wusste ist, was sie für komische Geräusche von sich geben können. Es hört sich ein wenig an wie eine dumpfe, monotone Art von Baby gelpärre...

    Der zweite Tag war den Walen gewidmet. Dazu buchten wir eine Tour, bei der man sich in einem kleinen Boot vorsichtig den Tieren nährt. Es dauerte keine 10 Minuten, bis wir die ersten zwei Wale, ca 2 Meter neben uns, zu Gesicht bekamen. Die Art von Walen, die sich dort zu dieser Zeit aufhalten, heißt Right Whale und sie können bis zu 45 Meter lang werden. Während unserer 1,5 Stunden auf dem Wasser konnten wir ca. 15 Tiere, inklusive Jungtiere, beobachten. Es war extrem beeindruckend und man kam sich unfassbar klein neben ihnen vor.
    Am Nachmittag des Tages fuhren wir noch zu einer Seelöwen und Seeelefanten Kolonie. Hier kommt es ab und zu vor, dass man Orca in freier Wildbahn und beim Jagen beobachten kann. So viel Glück hatten wir allerdings nicht.

    PS: Franzosen
    Ich habe auf meiner Reise bis jetzt wirklich extrem viele Franzosen kennen gelernt und ich muss die in Deutschland herrschenden Vorurteile absolut revidieren. Fast alles Sprachen gutes Englisch und waren überaus nette und angenehme Reisebegleiter!
    Read more

  • Day8

    05.02.2018: Puerto Madryn

    February 5 in Argentina

    Heute stand ein Ganztages-Ausflug auf die Halbinsel Valdés auf dem Programm. Diese Halbinsel ist mit dem Festland nur über eine schmale Landzunge verbunden und genießt aufgrund der faszinierend vielfältigen Tierwelt den Status als Weltkulturerbe. Nachdem wir in einer Forschungsstation eine interessante Ausstellung zur dortigen Tierwelt besichtigt hatten, haben wir nach cirka 1 Stunde Fahrzeit eine Pinguinkolonie besucht. Bei der heutigen Hitze von bis zu 37,5 Grad litten offensichtlich nicht nur wir sondern auch die Pinguine. Von ihren Nestern und Brutstätten legen die Pinguine bis zu 1,2 Kilometer bis zum Strand zurück.

    Das Mittagessen haben wir dann auf der Estancia San Lorenzo eingenommen. Es gab Wurst, Käse und Oliven sowie Salat und vor dem offenen Holzfeuer zubereitetes Lammfleisch. Dazu leckeren Rotwein aus Patagonien. Am Nachmittag haben wir dann in Punta Norte noch Seelöwen am Strand beobachten können. Zurück am Schiff waren wir gegen 17:00 Uhr.
    Read more

  • Day20

    Puerto Madryn

    November 28, 2017 in Argentina

    Lovely little town located 19 hours drive from Buenos Aires. It lives by wildlife watching and every year thousands of tourist visit this place hoping to spot a whale or dolphin or penguins. We have spent the first night in the camp that was about 5 km from the town. Once we have returned from the tour in Peninsula Valdes, we have found quite few dogs right next to our tent. Thankfully the camp had a WiFi and we booked ourselves in the cheapest hostel there was available. It the ed our to be directly in the centre and short walk from there, right on the beach we have found our empanada guy. The beach was filled with guys on a windsurf and dogs. The sky at the sunset was so beautiful and we couldn't help to walk along the beach.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Puerto Madryn

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now