Tag Archives: puerto madryn

SNORKELING WITH SEA LIONS IN PUERTO MADRYN

Snorkel surrounded by curious and playful sea lions, who willingly take photos, hug and even smother you with kisses.


Puerto Madryn is the mecca of Argentinian diving activities and only 15 km from Punta Loma, a rookery of Southern Sea Lions. There are not many places in the world where it is possible to snorkel with these marine mammals, but this is one of them. That is why this experience is one of the highlights in the city.

From the service provider office on the coast in Puerto Madryn, we board speedboats and navigate for 25 minutes towards Punta Loma Provincial Reserve, a protected natural area that restricts the permanence time and allows 18 people at the same time. 

On the way, we enjoy a maritime scenario of beaches, cliffs, shipwrecks, whales, dolphins, cormorants and seagulls. Also we receive a briefing including an explanation about the animal’s behaviour, how we must conduct ourselves within the protected area and an introduction to the snorkeling activity and equipment. The neoprene suit we wear maintains body heat and also provides positive buoyancy, therefore, it is not a requirement to know how to swim (although advisable).

As we get closer to the spot, the sea lion noises get louder and louder. Soon, hundreds of them are all around! Adults and cubs. It’s time to get ready and dive in.

If you never snorkeled before, it might be a little uncomfortable at first to get used to the sensation and trying to breathe through the tube, but just try to relax and remember the instructions. Enjoy the experience, look around, paddle softly and when you feel more at ease, you’re good to go.

It’s a surreal feeling to be up close with these creatures, touching and playing with them, going underwater and see them swim so gracefully. Everywhere we turn, there are more sea lion cubs playfully swimming around us. It’s clear that they are used to divers and comfy enough to even kiss us and take selfies.

We remain in the water with the sea lions for 40 minutes, always joined by the instructor. We guarantee that in the end you will wish that the experience lasted longer, even if at first you thought that snorkeling isn’t your thing. To be able to have such an intense and close-up encounter, to observe and play with these curious marine mammals is a fantastic and cherished experience.

After the diving ends, we go back onboard and return to the office, where we return the equipment and change our clothes.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Duration: 3½ hs
  • This activity operates daily in the morning. Depending on the time of the year, departure time is adjusted according to high tide.
  • Difficulty: Moderate The passenger must be able to move with the diving fins for 40 minutes, taking into account that it is within a medium in constant motion.
  • Age restrictions: Minimum 7 years old – Maximum suggested 60 to 65 years old.
  • Min. 2 pax required.
  • The current regulations allow visits of no more than one hour and fifteen minutes in the area. The contact activity with the sea lions takes maximum 40-45 minutes.
  • Included: Neoprene suit, two pieces, helmet, boots and gloves. Coat jacket for round trip transportation on the boat. Snack service on board: water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, alfajores and pastries. Instructor and necessary briefing according to the activity.
  • Not included: Transfers to the service supplier office in Puerto Madryn. Dry suit. DVD with HD photos and videos.
  • The program may be modified or suspended depending on weather conditions, in which case the amount paid will be refunded if it’s not possible to reschedule. Sighting and interaction with the fauna depends on uncontrollable factors, such as climatic changes or reproductive time.


 

PENGUINS UP CLOSE & PERSONAL

This full day excursion provides wildlife sightings and an authentic experience of the Atlantic Patagonia from the eyes of the pioneers who populated the area in the last century.


Only 70 km from Puerto Madryn and along Patagonian steppe, we reach the southern end of the mouth of the Golfo Nuevo where we find the Punta Ninfas lighthouse, a valuable reference for navigators entering the gulf. From the cliff we can see the breeding grounds of elephants and sea lions on the surrounding beaches.

We continue on our way to El Pedral, an authentic Patagonian farmhouse built at the beginning of the 20th century. The materials and furniture were brought from Europe by boat and landed on the shores of the estancia itself. The house was inaugurated in 1923 and still keeps the aesthetics and style of those times. 

Minutes away, there’s a Magellanic penguin colony established on the shores of El Pedral. There were 13 couples in 2008 and today there are more than 5000 penguins. We’re lucky to take a guided walk between their nests and learn a bit more about these curious animals while standing really close to them.

El Pedral takes care of a beach control and cleaning scheme, collaborating with the GPS Foundation (Global Penguin Society), which monitors the Magellanic penguin colony of Punta Ninfas.

After the walk, we taste a typical barbecue with a variety of salads, dessert and coffee. Lunch includes drinks and house wine.

In the afternoon -if the weather is right- we can enjoy the pool or the small football field, as well as walk around the property or have a tea accompanied by a typical Welsh cake before leaving the estancia. The way back to Puerto Madryn provides the right time for a nap.

This full day excursion is an excellent option for those who want to avoid long journeys to visit a colony of Magellanic penguins; an ideal family experience!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Full day regular excursion. Departs from meeting point in Puerto Madryn at 8:30 am and returns at 5:00 pm.
  • Departs every day from September 15th to April 15th.
  • Includes: Visit to the Punta Ninfas Lighthouse and sea elephants and lions observation. Guided walk to the Magellanic penguin colony at El Pedral reserve. A Patagonian lunch in the quincho of the old part of the estancia (wines included). Tea and coffee service with Welsh cake. Transfers to and from Puerto Madryn.
  • Free of charge for children up to 4 years old. 

 

Península Valdés Adventure

A thrilling close encounter with Patagonian nature and marine wildlife.


Península Valdés is a natural reserve in the Patagonia, located on the Atlantic coastline. It is renowned for the marine fauna that inhabits its beaches and surrounding waters, such as whales, penguins and many other seabird species, sea lions and elephant seals. Few places offer the possibility to observe so many animals in their natural habitat; this is a true and unique wildlife reservoir in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

For the chance to appreciate the abundant local fauna, we recommend our featured product “Peninsula Valdés Adventure”, tour that stands out from others because of the variety and quality of experiences included.

The first adventure of the day takes us to Estancia San Lorenzo, a pioneer sheep ranch located on the coastline of the San Matias gulf and 160 km away from Puerto Madryn.

This working ranch not only produces Australian merino sheep wool but it is also the home of a 600.000 Magellanic penguin colony, which brings us to this spot. On a 4×4 Overland truck we will reach the reserve and then trek towards the rookery, guided by naturalist guides. This may be the closest you will ever be of a penguin. Without altering their habitat, we will pass by and observe them.

Then, we will hop back on the 4×4 truck and go through the Cañadón de Fósiles, a fossil canyon witness of a million year history.

After the active part of the tour, we will get back to the estancia and enjoy an exquisite lamb on the spit in the old shearing barn, which was reconditioned to serve as a country restaurant, visitor centre and mini shop for local products and ranch souvenirs.

To finish the day, a 2 hour boat ride at sunset in Puerto Pirámides to watch Southern Right whales jumping and swimming around for the best pictures you could ever take. If we´re lucky, maybe these huge and majestic cetaceans will just pass us by so close to almost reach them. As close a you can be of wildlife itself.

For nature lovers, discover Patagonian marine fauna and fossil history as in no other place in Argentina.  


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Operates from September 15th to November 30th on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Full day tour, 12 hs. From 7:30-8 am to 8 pm.
  • Book in advance; only 20 paxes allowed per day.
  • Basic service includes only 4×4 ride.
  • With additional cost: Access to Peninsula Valdés, visit to San Lorenzo and penguin rookery, lunch at San Lorenzo without beverages, whale watching boat ride.

 

Country Hotel & Penguins at El Pedral

Posada Los Juncos is a classic alpine house fully restored. Located in one of the most peaceful corners of Bariloche, surrounded by an ancient forest, facing Lake Nahuel Huapi. We offer a unique concept in accommodation in the town of San Carlos de Bariloche combining comfort with contents such as film festivals, cultural and gastronomic events, to make your stay in this part of the world, an unforgettable experience.

Ideal for couples, families, friends and travelers looking for different experiences and connection with nature and culture. We have five rooms with place for twelve people. This allows us to offer a personalized service and excellence. Feel welcome to come and enjoy what makes you feel better! Rediscover your favourite place in Patagonia!