Whale Watching Holiday to Peninsular Valdes
Tour Title: The Southern Right Whales of Peninsular Valdes
Tour Destination: Peninsular Valdes – Chubut – Argentina
Tour Dates: November 5th – 14th 2016
Tour Guide: Nic Slocum PhD FRGS
The legendary Peninsular Valdes, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the finest destinations on the planet to see southern right whales. They enter the Golfo Nuevo to calve and nurse their young away from the predatory groups of orca that patrol this part of the Atlantic coastline of Patagonia. Whales Worldwide have developed a week long tour to see this iconic species of whale and their calves as well as outstanding opportunities to see the other unique marine and terrestrial wildlife endemic to this part of Argentine Patagonia.
The southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) is distinguished by the presence of large prominent callosities on the head, a broad back that lacks a dorsal fin and large head with arching mouth that starts just above the eye. The callosities appear white due to the large number of cyamids (whale lice) that congregate on these skin patches. Reaching lengths up to 49 feet when adult and weighing in at around 47 tonnes the southern right whale is one of the largest whales in existence. Once considered the “right” whale to kill because it floated when dead and yielded large volumes of oil, these remarkable whales have made a comeback in the southern hemisphere currently numbering around 10,000 animals. The male southern right whale has the largest testes in the animal kingdom as sperm competition is an important element in the breeding process.
This is a fully guided, small group, whale watching adventure. Local boat handlers are used for their vast knowledge and expertise. Each one is carefully selected and complies to strict safety and national wildlife engagement protocols.
Other Wildlife and the Atlantic
The wildlife watching opportunities in Argentine Patagonia are outstanding. The wide open steppe bordering the cold and rich South Atlantic waters provide a habitat for a wide range of endemic plant and animal species. Guanacos, mara and rhea roam freely among the clumps of coirones. Punta Tombo is the largest breeding colony of Magellanic penguins in South America and in the waters off Rawson we look for the unique Commerson’s dolphin or Toninos as they are known locally. Apart from the stunning southern right whales one of the highlights of this tour are the elephant seals of Punta Norte. The famous BBC footage of killer whales beaching themselves in order to catch unwary elephant seal pups was shot here.
Talk to us directly…
For first-hand information on this tour please call Whales Worldwide on +353 86 120 0027. Alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to call you at your convenience and take you through the holiday itinerary in detail.
Telephone : + 353 86 120 0027
Your Expert Guide…
Nic Slocum PhD, FRGS
Nic Slocum has been watching whales from boats for 30 years, from humpbacks and fin whales in Ireland to southern right whales in Patagonia and Pacific gray whales in Mexico. He has been instrumental in putting together one of the most comprehensive codes of conduct for boat based human – whale interactions right down to the species level. Nic is an established authority on the threats currently faced by this unique group of marine mammals.
As an experienced naturalist and wildlife guide Nic is best known for his escorted tours taking enthusiasts out, both in Ireland and overseas, to view and photograph whales and dolphins. Nic has maintained a lifelong passion for the conservation of our wildlife and wild places and has appeared as an expert commentator on RTE, Channel 4 and ITV and is regularly called on to comment on national radio.
A zoologist by training, Nic has published articles on conservation related issues in both regional and national newspapers. Nic Slocum divides his time between West Cork, Ireland and other iconic whale watching destinations around the world. He is the CEO of Whale Watch West Cork which runs boat based tours to watch and photograph whales and dolphins off the coast of southwest Ireland.
Nic is no stranger to adventure and leading groups to remote places on earth. In 1976 he led an expedition across the Sahara Desert to Central Africa and back which earned him Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society. Nic’s hard work ethic, and detailed knowledge of the species and the locations where they are found ensures his customers have a whale watching and wildlife experience second to none.
Tour Dates: November 5th - 14th 2016
The price for this ‘experience of a lifetime’ is:
€3,225 per person
(Please note this holiday is priced in Euros)
The Southern Right Whales of Peninsular Valdes wildlife adventure starts and finishes in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 1. Arrive Buenos Aires International airport and transfer to our hotel in downtown Buenos Aires. A day in Buenos Aires and an evening to explore this vibrant multi-cultural South American city.
Day 2. Flight to Pueto Madryn and transfer to our hotel, the Territorio, conveniently placed on the outskirts of Puerto Madryn but within easy reach of the town centre and with lovely views over the Golfo Nuevo.
Day 3. Transfer to Puerto Pyramides and a boat to tour to see the southern right whales and their calves. Boarding our boat on the beach we head out along the northern shore of the Golfo Nuevo.
Day 4. We take a leisurely tour to Punta Norte which is the most northerly part of the Peninsular Valdes. Here we can see elephant seals and fur seals lounging on the beach. We return through the steppe looking for groups of rhea and guanaco as they forage on the patches of scrub. Mara can also be seen in these beautiful desert landscapes.
Day 5. No trip to this part of the Argentine coast would be complete without a trip to look for the endemic and unusual Commerson's dolphins that inhabits these coastal waters. We head down to Rawson where we take a boat out to look for this remarkable little dolphin. Fur seals are also a regular sighting on this tour as they head up the estuary on the flood tide.
Day 6. Punta Tombo, south of Puerto Madryn, is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in South America. During our tours the birds are just beginning to lay their eggs and may frequently be encountered in small nest burrows and scrapes sitting on their, usually single, egg. This is a unique opportunity to see these iconic flightless birds on shore as they spend over nine months of the year at sea.
Day 7. We return to Puerto Pyramides for a final encounter with the southern right whales of Golfo Nuevo. Within six weeks of our visit both mothers and calves will start the long and arduous journey south to feed on the rich food sources of the southern ocean and will not be seen again off Puerto Madryn until the onset of the Antarctic winter.
Day 8. Return flight to Buenos Aires where the tour ends.
NB: This eight day tour runs from Saturday to Saturday during October/November each year.The daily itinerary may vary depending on prevailing sea conditions.
We base our selves in the coastal town of Puerto Madryn, south of Buenos Aires in Chubut which is the northern part of Argentine Patagonia. We stay in, what is considered to be the best hotel in Puerto Madryn, the Terratorio. Located on the outskirts of the town we have access to all the excellent whale and wildlife watching areas and are within easy reach of the town centre and its many restaurants. You can watch southern right whales from the hotel lobby as they lift their tail flukes high in the air for minutes at a time. A behaviour only seen in southern right whales.
What IS included:
- Hotel in Buenos Aires on the first night after arrival
- Return flight to Puerto Madryn
- All airport/hotel transfers in Puerto Madryn
- Hotel in Pueto Madryn at the Terratorio for six nights
- All whale watching and other wildlife tours
What IS NOT included:
- We don't include food as we find customers want to do their own thing
- Personal purchases
- Tours outside the published itinerary
- Hotel in Buenos Aires on the return from Puerto Madryn. Many customers extend their holiday and stay on for a few days in this iconic Argentinean city.