July 2, 2010
Patagonia is, unquestionably, Argentina’s most famous natural region, covering an immense surface at the southernmost extreme of the country and of South America. A highlight of the area is the huge Valdes Peninsula, declared by UNESCO a World Natural Heritage Site in 1999. Precisely, one of the most popular and common accesses to this wonder of nature is the picturesque city of Puerto Madryn.
The city of Puerto Madryn is bathed by the deep blue waters of the Nuevo Gulf, at the east of the province of Chubut and lies along the cliffs of a small plateau, which provides breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Founded in 1865 with the arrival of 150 Welsh immigrants, led by the Baronet of Madryn, the city continues to be one of the top hubs for tourism services and receives thousands of visitors every year. The city is located 1400 kilometers south of Buenos Aires and can be reached by road or via daily flights from the capital of Argentina.
Whale-watching has become one of the main attractions of the city and, between June and November, every year, hundreds of Southern Right Whales come near the shore to mate and breed. Some of them already arrive with their newly born calves from the colder Antarctic more southern seas. Visitors may watch them either from the countless tour options offered by boats leaving from Puerto Piraamides and even from several natural observatories on land and almost from all the beaches bordering the city. The biggest concentrations of these cetaceans occur in the months of September and October.
Conceivably thus, there are numerous alternatives to take daily excursions, mainly boat trips, all of which feature the observation of these gentle giants of the seas, who seem to enjoy the human company and perform jumps and swimming in circles around the tour boats, with evident curiosity and pleasure, bringing in cheers of emotion from the voyagers from around the world who are fortunate to witness such a majestic natural event…. Southern Right Whales have dark grayish-black bodies, they are large and heavy and have no dorsal fin. A distinctive characteristic of this species is the callosities found on their heads, which allow the viewers to differentiate them from one another.
Whale watching, which has been practiced in the Puerto Madryn area since four decades ago, is nowadays enhanced by scientific studies, management plans and technology, all geared at preserving the peace and integrity of these magnificent marine mammals, while allowing thousands of travelers from around the world to continue to enjoy the awesome performance of these whales.
But Puerto Madryn has another specialty which also attracts hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors as well. These are the Scuba Diving tours and opportunities which can be found in the nutrient-rich waters of the area. The diving experiences are rated very highly by the experts and, due to the importance of the activity, the city has projected a number of artificial reefs, to aid those bound for first-time diving experiences. Due to these characteristics, Puerto Madryn is known as the “Diving Capital of Argentina”, and thus fully equipped to cater for the lodging, gastronomical and entertainment services required by the visitors as well as, of course, the equipment, water crafts, dive masters and guides to enhance the diving experiences of those travelers looking for new and exciting adventures roaming the depths on some of the planet’s most unique waters…