The Valdes Peninsula is an important nature reserve that was first listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. After passing the El Desempeo checkpoint, the tour arrives at the Carlos Ameghino Interpretation Center at the Isthmus Ameghino, 40 miles away from Puerto Madryn.
The center has an excellent collection of and information about historical events that took place here, the ecosystems of the area, and the regional flora and fauna.
The excursion continues on gravel roads heading to Caleta Valds, where you can see the southern elephant seals, considered to be the worlds largest seals. There are different hiking paths and several levels of balconies where you can position yourself to enjoy the landscape and the animals to the very fullest.
Here you will also have an opportunity to have lunch (at your own expense).
Time permitting there will be a short visit to see the penguins nesting on a cliff nearby (please note that they can only be observed through a fence).
At Caleta Valds and Punta Norte, you may be fortunate enough to watch orcas hunting for sea lions or seal pups on the shore, in a unique technique they developed by stranding themselves on the beach.
Time permitting there will also be a short visit to the Punta Norte Sea Lion reserve, where the typical terrestrial fauna species that inhabit the region (guanacos, maras, choiques, foxes, armadillos, etc.) can be observed, as well as two salt flats –the most important depressions of South America.