Full day guided wildlife-spotting excursion. Bleak, barren, and cruelly strafed by bitter winds, the craggy Valdés Peninsula juts out into the Atlantic Ocean where it laps the shores of Argentine Patagonia. It's an inhospitable place, remote and infertile: just a few lonely sheep farms stud the landscape and there is only one village, Puerto Pirámides. But that's by no means all the life supported here. The cliffs, bays, lagoons, salt lakes and plains are crammed with an astonishing array of exuberant and vociferous wildlife - birds and mammals, both marine and terrestrial, mate, breed and thrive here.
On this expedition, depending on the time of year, you're sure to see a variety of these creatures, from gigantic elephant seals sprawled on the beaches to gangs of playful fur seals and sea-lions jostling for position, while migratory seabirds wheel and cry mournfully above the waves. From September to April you can observe nesting penguins enjoying the protection of private reserves: up to 50,000 of them choose to bear their young here.
The biggest attraction from August to December is surely the presence of southern right whales, which breed and calve in the calm waters of the gulf sheltered by the cliffs of the peninsula. From Puerto Pirámides, you can take an optional whale-watching boat trip to view them up close, their huge, primeval bodies and graceful forked tails heaving above sea-level almost within touching distance: an incredible sight. Continue to Caleta Valdes to see the elephant seals, driving through salty dunes populated by Patagonian hares, guanacos, ostriches, foxes and owls. After a break at an isolated inn, continue to an interpretation centre with its small museum and then climb up to a viewpoint over Bird Island.