Peninsula Valdes, what is it ?
The Peninsula Valdes is a protected natural reserve registered on the UNESCO world heritage since 1999. It is situated in Argentina, in the region of Chubut at the North of the Patagonia. It extends over 110 km in length at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It shelters a plentiful fauna, all year round, which attracts the passionated of the wildlife: sea lions, Elephant seals, Penguins, Whales, Killer whales, Guanacos, Flamingos ans others.
To reach the peninsula it is necessary to cross an isthmus in the South of which is situated the unique village: Puerto Pyramides. The lands there are dry. The place can be visited by car and with caution, offering diverse points of observation of marine mammals. To envisage a visit in bike is unfortunately impossible because the distances are very big and it is forbidden to camp within the peninsula outside the city of Puerto Pyramides. Puerto Madryn is the closest city out of the peninsula from which are made numerous excursions.
According to the season, various species are present:
– The Southern Whales can be observed from May till November.
– The Killer-whales can be seen from October till November and from February till April.
– The Dolphins are visible from October to Mars.
– All other animals are present all year round.
Near the peninsula, there are various places within which we can find wild animals, as Punta Tombo, where we can observe an impressive colony of Penguins.
It is a region which offers the possibility of discovering diverse magnificent animals, in their natural habitat.
The peninsula valdes
The visit is exceptional, in spite of the long distances and the difficult roads, we can observe the majority of the mammals which cross this zone and the points of view are very beautiful. On lands as in waters, animals of all kinds will appear under your eyes. Unfortunatily, there are no real ecologic way to visit this beautiful area.
Two events attract particularly the tourists and the passionate: the coming of the southern whales, which are the biggest whales in the world, and the coming of the Killer whales, who developed a technical of very special hunting which consists in dashing on the coast with the aim of catching small Sea lions and feeding on it.
The peninsula is a magnificent area because it accommodates diverse species which live perfectly together. Their observation is a pleasure and that is why I invite everyone to pay attention on the natural aspect of this environment to protect it. It is a housing environment and an important resource for this fauna. The layout of the zone is built well because the place was the least modified possible while offering a good course to the tourists.
Punta Tombo and Isla Escondita
Punta Tombo is a natural reserve situated at approximately 170 km in the South of Puerto Madryn, within which comes the biggest colony of Penguins of the world, from September till April.
The visit of this reserve is impressive and led well: a predefined path allows the visitors to follow the length of the area up to the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. We can observe Penguins, alone or in a group and hear their “singings”. The closeness with animals is without limit because these sometimes walk without hesitating to be close to people. It is however asked not to touch them and to respect the place to protect them.
Isla Escondita is a zone which goes along the ocean where lives Elephant seals completely free along the beach. It is an area still unknown that allow the animals to live without the tourism attraction.
Sea lions at Punta Loma
Near Puerto Madryn, along the coast of the Gulf Nuevo, is a natural protected area, Punta Loma. This one shelters among others on the lands and in its waters the Dauphins and Sea lions. Various excursions and activities are practicable as the observation since a boat, the dive or the snorkeling. But it is recommended to think on the impact we cause as a tourist and to speak with the diverse societies.
Within the framework of the protection of the flora and fauna the question of the tourist impact within these natural areas has become a concern. We questioned the professionals of an agency of dive and marine activities to know more about the subject. Here is the answer which was brought to us:
Q – This type of activity can often bring to alter the natural areas; according to you, does the tourist attraction influence in a negative way the environment and the animals?
R – No, our activity started with a project for which we made tries to estimate the behavior of animals according to our presence and it is like that that we undertook this approach. Animals have never changed attitude and sea bed was not impacted by our presence.
Q – How long have you been practicing in this zone for?
R – For 8 years.
Q – Do you act so as to make sensitive the tourists in a respectable behavior to the environment within which you bring them?
R – Yes. At each activity we inform, during the way, about various attitudes to adopt or not to adopt. For example, we respect strict distances and we explain how to act in front of animals in order to not affect them. The sea lions that we see are finally very curious about the human presence and have fun around the visitors, without having lost at all that their natural cycle of life.
How to protect the area of Peninsula Valdes and its surroundings ?
As evoked previously, the visit of the peninsula and the surroundings cannot concretely be approached in a totally “ecological way” because it needs an excursion by bus, by boat or by car.
To protect this area at the most, we recommend the following advices:
-Keep all objects in a hermetic bag for not not that they fly away or forget themselves.
-Throw nothing in the nature.
-Follow way dedicated to the visitors.
-Do not affect or feed wild animals.
-Follow the recommendations indicated on the spot.
You can consult the following article for more information as for the importance of the behavior as a tourist.