Fleeing the economic devastation of England's Industrial Revolution, Welsh settlers immigrated to Argentina in search of cheap land. Led by Viscount Madryn, one group of settlers sailed for Patagonia, founding the small city of Puerto Madryn in 1865. Life in Patagonia, however, was not easy. There were lonely prairies, brutally cold winters, and unrelenting winds. Still the Welsh survived, and today visitors can still see their legacy in Puerto Madryn and its surrounding communities.
Puerto Madryn is your gateway to one of South America's largest breeding grounds for birds and mammals - Tombo National Reserve.
Note: Temperatures fluctuate widely in Patagonia. Dress in warm layers, wear sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots and bring a waterproof jacket, hat and bottled water.
Roads outside Puerto Madryn are bumpy and dusty. Transportation are equipped for these conditions but do not offer customary tour amenities.
More about Puerto Madryn, Argentina Points of Interest
Punta Tombo National Reserve
Witness the awe-inspiring Magellanic penguin colony that migrates to this Atlantic peninsula every year to watch over their eggs.
Let your taste buds carry you away to the old Welsh town of Gaiman, where traditional Welsh tea houses scatter the quaint landscape among farms and Welsh-style homes.
Punta Loma Reserve
A year-round haven for sunbathing South American sea lions, this Chubut reserve offers visitors a cliff-top glimpse into the fascinating world of these barking marine creatures.
Estancia San Guillermo
A typical family-owned Patagonian ranch, Estancia San Guillermo offers sheep-shearing demonstrations as well as tours of the surrounding sand dunes and marine fossils that cover the landscape.
This Atlantic peninsula has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and serves as a protected nature reserve for seals and sea lions alike, as well as whales, penguins and a variety of birds.
Educating visitors about the ocean through science, music, literature and art, Ecocentro offers touch pools, captivating exhibits and commanding views of the sea - and sometimes even whales - below.
The most important paleontology museum in South America, it exhibits significant flora and fauna fossil samples from the Argentine Patagonia, each arranged according to scientific criteria so visitors can learn about various fossil sites. Dinosaur skeletons are also a big part of the many exhibits.
El Pedral Ranch
Perched near the edge of the picturesque Punta Ninfas promontory, this former sheep farm is the perfect place to begin your journey to the shoreside colony of elephant seals and Magellanic penguins.
Special Child Pricing Available! Children age 12 and younger, savings up to 50%.
Paleontology Museum & Punta Loma
4.5 hours | Puerto Madryn | PMY-200P M Y - 2 0 0
Punta Loma Reserve
The Chubut Valley in Patagonia is a mecca for dinosaur fans with 300 million years of history recorded in the fossil collections at the renowned Paleontology Museum. A scenic drive to Punta Loma for unparalleled wildlife viewing makes this easy half-day tour the ideal choice for nature lovers too.
Sightsee to Estancia San Guillermo, a working sheep ranch where your charming hosts will welcome you to their home. Experience a sheep-shearing demonstration, visit the friendly guanacos, and explore the nature trails. With a visit to scenic Punta Loma and its sea lion colony your moderate, half-day tour is complete.
Zip across the aquamarine waters of Golfo Nuevo aboard a high-speed RIB for a close up look at the area's marine neighbors. Keep your eyes open for dolphins as you zoom down the scenic coast to Punta Loma Nature Reserve, a protected natural area that's home to Southern sea lions.
Immerse yourself in the history of the Welsh culture when you discover the original settlements that dot the Chubut River Valley region. Visit the Poet's House, tour Narlu Farm and charming Gaiman, and conclude with refreshments at the famed Ty Gwyn Tea House
Valdes Peninsula: Caleta Valdes Lagoon & Puerto Piramide
7.5 hours | Puerto Madryn | PMY-110P M Y - 1 1 0
An UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Valdes Peninsula is one of the world's great wildlife preserves. Travel to a shallow lagoon where elephant seals bask on the shore while guanacos - South American camels - roam the beach. Visit the sea lion colony at Puerto Piramide, where right whales often frolic offshore between June and December.
Calling nature lovers, photographers and outdoor enthusiasts -- take a Zodiac cruise along the shoreline in search of sea lions and dolphins, flocks of seabirds, shipwrecks and Punta Loma Nature Reserve. And learn the area's rich history (even a tale or two about local residents Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid!).
Grab your camera and put on your walking shoes for an amazing adventure to the high cliffs of Punta Ninfas. Among this rugged beauty you'll have a front-row seat to the penguin colony and their nesting and feeding habits, as well as spectacular views and amazing wildlife.
Visit one of the largest penguin rookeries in the world at Punta Tombo Natural Reserve with just a small group of passengers in a private van. You'll see hundreds of Magellanic penguins who return to court, mate and hatch a brood of chicks. For a change of pace, complete your moderate full-day tour with a traditional Welsh tea in charming Gaiman.
Valdes Peninsula, Estancia San Lorenzo & Punta Norte
8 hours | Puerto Madryn | PMY-105P M Y - 1 0 5
Experience the rugged beauty of Patagonia. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Valdes Peninsula is one of the world's great wildlife preserves. See the sea lion and elephant seal colonies at Punta Norte. Take a tour at Estancia San Lorenzo Natural Reserve and travel to the world's largest nesting colony for Magellanic penguins with more than 600,000 penguins, and travel to a vast rookery of Magellanic penguins.
Hop into a kayak and glide among the playful South American sea lions that make their home in the sparkling waters off Golfo Nuevo. As you paddle in the waters of Valdes Peninsula, you'll be amazed at the colonies of these adorable creatures, as well as the menagerie of birdlife.
Snorkel with sea lions in the turquoise waters of Punta Loma Nature Reserve, natural habitat to hundreds of these playful creatures. After an expert guide provides proper instruction and equipment, you'll dip below the waves and watch sea lions dive and dart effortlessly through the water.