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Puerto Piramides is a resort town located in the Peninsula Valdes, one of South America’s greatest wildlife reserves, close to the city of Puerto Madryn in the province of Chubut. The relaxing town and the only place in the peninsula with a variety of accommodation and restaurant options, is the base from which visitors may explore the many attractions and sights of the Peninsula Valdes.
Puerto Piramides is home to about 250 residents but receives an upwards of 80,000 visitors every year. The town is accustomed to these high tourism numbers and does an excellent job at providing comfortable accommodation, great restaurants, and a wide array of general amenities. Puerto Piramides is a lovely town to stay in but the real attraction here is in its surrounding areas.
Around Puerto Piramides, in the Peninsula Valdes which covers about 3600 sq km and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on three sides, there are countless wildlife species to be seen including whales, dolphins, sea lions, elephant seals, penguins, and numerous sea birds. Tours can be booked through the many tourism offices in the city of Puerto Piramides or before hand and will take you to places such as the following:
76km from Puerto Piramides, this area of the peninsula is home to huge colonies of sea lions and, during the spring months, elephant lions as well. Most of these animals are used to human visitors, giving you the chance to get quite close. In saying that, tour guides ask that you keep a respectable distance from these beautiful animals as to not disturb them in their natural habitat and for your own safety.
This area is less visited because of its distance, however the sea lion and elephant sea colonies are enormous, as is the Orca (Killer Whale) population from mid February until April, who hunt them. Here it is possible to take boat tours into the water and see the Orca’s in their natural environment.
Punta Tombo (San Lorenzo Estancia)
In the northern area of the peninsula is the San Lorenzo Estancia, a protected reserve that for part of the year is home to about 200,000 penguins. Coming from Brazil, these penguins swim here in August and stay until March, building nests, laying eggs, and then nurturing their newborns here. Visiting these penguins make for an incredible experience as you enter the area walking through the marked trails where penguins walk freely next to you and their eggs or babies are within a few feet. They also can be seen down on the beach and swimming in the Atlantic waters. Please keep in mind that it is prohibited to walk off of the trail in this area or touch the penguins; penguins have the right of way in these parts, so the utmost respect is expected of any visitors.
Isla de Los Pájaros (Bird Island)
This beautiful bird sanctuary is not actually accessible for humans but visible through a highly powerful telescope that allows you to see a close-up view of the area.
Whale-watching excursions can be booked through Puerto Piramides and take visitors out into the ocean, on an ocean motor boat, for a few hours to spot whales, mostly mothers and their babies, in their natural habitat. These tours almost always include dolphin sightings as well, as dolphins can be found in the area all year long, and as playful as they are, they usually follow the boats and play around them during the outing. The boats keep their distance from the whales, however many find the boat a curious object and swim by and under the boat giving visitors exactly what they came to see.
Puerto Piramides is one of those must-see excursions in Argentina. There are few places around the world that offer the accessibility, incredible natural sights, and vast array of wildlife like the Peninsula Vades does, and if you are traveling in Argentina, you would be crazy to pass that by.