Whales watching

During a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, we watched adult whales and their calves and became acquainted with their habits while they seemed to play.

Puerto Pirámides (Port Pyramids), on the Valdés Peninsula, has become the main meeting point of southern right whales on the Patagonian Atlantic coast. In a peaceful, breathtaking marine environment, their movements in the sea can easily be watched close up.

After a delicious early breakfast, we set off from Puerto Madryn across the Patagonian high plateau towards the Valdés Peninsula. The spectacular view of the sea to our right more than made up for the barren landscape.

On reaching the narrow entrance to the peninsula, we caught sight of the gulfs that surround it: San José to the north and Nuevo to the south. The road took us through the fauna reserve to Puerto Pirámides, the only urban site in the area, where we boarded the especially equipped boats for our whale watching excursion.

  • Huge tail flukes

    Huge tail flukes

  • Declared Natural National Monuments

    Declared Natural National Monuments

  • The distinctive callosities on its head

    The distinctive callosities on its head

  • All cameras focused on its lunges

    All cameras focused on its lunges

  • Which seemed to greet visitors

    Which seemed to greet visitors

A chorus of excited voices from all over the world enveloped us minutes before boarding. We all eagerly began taking photos, even before setting off.

The bright yellow waterproof capes and the life-jackets added a dash of color to the outing. Although the temperature was pleasant, we could feel the cold wind.

Towards the Realm of the Whale

It was not long before we spotted the first whale, curiously coming towards us. It playfully circled our boat, pirouetting and lobtailing. All cameras focused on its lunges and huge tail flukes, which seemed to greet visitors with a friendly ’How are you doing?’

Suddenly, a huge, dark bulk rose to one side of the ship and slapped the water so hard it absolutely soaked us. Astonishment and nervous giggles broke out among the observers, which subsided as soon as the crew assured us there was nothing to be afraid of.

Every year, from May to November the coast of Golfo Nuevo is invaded by mature whales coming to mate or breed and giving a spectacular daily performance.

Somewhat calmer as the whales swam away from the boat, we listened to the guide explaining some of their distinctive features: ’The southern right whale has a slightly arched body and no dorsal fin. An adult can weigh between 30 and 40 tons. In its mouth there are about 260 baleen plates covered in thin hairs. It is from the word ’baleen’ that the Spanish word ballena (whale) is derived.’

Aquatic Dance

We were calmly sailing along when an enormous tail fluke popped up in front of us. It waved for a minute as if happy to be up in the air while the rest of the huge body remained underwater.

We were incredibly lucky to watch a mother and its newly born calf, a simple yet incredibly tender sight: such huge but loveable animals, just like our pets back home. The calm water of the gulf is perfect for giving birth with no unexpected surprises.

’The distinctive callosities on its head are a mark of identity, like fingerprints, as no two are the same,’ our guide continued explaining in a soft voice, not to disturb such an intimate moment.

Southern right whales, declared Natural National Monuments in 1984, provide thousands of stories, teach us their habits and above all, leave an indelible imprint in our senses. We will never forget such a unique experience.

Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Jorge González

Contact of the excursion or tour

Avistajes Bottazzi

1º Bajada al mar, Puerto Pirámides, Chubut, Agentina

Phone Phone: +54 280-4474110 Cell phone Cell phone: +54 280-4363690

Southern Spirit- Yellow Submarine

1º Bajada al Mar, Puerto Pirámides, Chubut, Agentina

Phone Phone: +54 280-4495094 Cell phone Cell phone: +54 280-4572340

Peke Sosa

2º Bajada al mar, Puerto Pirámides, Chubut, Agentina

Phone Phone: +54 280-4495010

Whales Argentina

1º Bajada al mar, Puerto Pirámides, Chubut, Agentina

Tour typeTour type: whale watching
DifficultyDifficulty: Low
DurationDuration: 1 hour and a half.
Opening hoursOpening hours: The boats doing this excursion leave from Puerto Pirámides at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm, approximately.
How to get hereHow to get here: Go 77 km along Provincial Route 1 and then 2 from Puerto Madryn until you reach Carlos Ameghino Isthmus, from where you will see the Gulfs San José and Nuevo. Puerto Pirámides is 20 km east.

From Viedma go south along National Route 3, past the junction to Las Grutas. Take Route 2 east to Puerto Pirámides. Continue as explained above.


Things to do in Puerto Pirámides

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