Southern right whales start arriving at the Valdes Peninsula in July and stay until mid-December. Between 450 and 600 pairs arrive here in the in the coastal Chubut Province at the northern edge of Southern Patagonia to mate and give birth. The peak calving month is August. These whales are most likely to be found in the Nuevo and San Jose gulfs that bracket the peninsula where the shallow waters provide some protection from the orcas that prey on them in the region. Most of the whale watching here occurs on Doradillo Beach and the village of Puerto Piramides in the Nuevo Gulf. Puerto Piramides holds a National Day of the Southern Right Whale celebration in September. A variety of dolphins inhabit these waters too.
The Valdes Peninsula is a day-trip from the city of Puerto Madryn though there is plenty of wildlife to see if visitors wish to stay longer during their Patagonia tours. Two of Southern Explorations trips, the ten-day Patagonia Highlights and thirteen-day Best of Argentina, visit the Valdes Peninsula. We also offer a three-day tour extension to the Valdes Peninsula that visits Punta Tombo as well where visitors may walk among Magellanic penguins during their Argentina travel. In 1999, UNESCO designated the Valdes Peninsula a World Heritage Site in part because of its importance as habitat for marine mammals including a breeding area for the southern right whale.