The Valdes Peninsula is one of the greatest marine life sanctuaries of the South Atlantic, and along with El Vizcaino one of the best in Latin America. Jutting out into the Atlantic from Patagonia, Valdes is one of the pre-eminent wildlife reserves in the southern hemisphere for sea mammals such as seals and whales. It is also one of the northernmost habitats for penguins.
The Patagonia region of Argentina is one of the southernmost habitable areas on Earth. Despite this it remained largely uninhabited until the late 19th century. However, the native seal and sea lion populations suffered heavily from hunting. It took over a hundred years for the importance of Valdes to be recognized. It was finally designated as a world heritage site in 1999.
Valdes is one of the world’s great habitats, nesting and mating grounds for species including the Sea Lion, Elephant Seal and Fur Seal. Countless thousands of these beautiful animals can be found here seasonally throughout the year. The nearby ocean is excellent for whale spotting, with Baleen Whale and Orca common to the area.
The Valdes Peninsula is about 3,600 square km, most of which is protected reserve. It is located about midway down the Atlantic coast of Argentina, approximately 700 miles south of Buenos Aires. It is open year round, but not all areas can be visited. As of this writing no visitor information was available. Web: www.patagonia-argentina.com (official website).