Puerto Madryn is the gateway to the Península Valdés, (see Valdés Peninsula, Patagonia from space,) a wildlife sanctuary for birds and marine species, including rheas, oystercatchers, flamingos, egrets, whales, sea elephants, sea lions, Magellanic penguins, cormorants, petrels and many other species of wildlife. See this map of Puerto Madryn and Península Valdés.
In addition, Puerto Madryn has an interesting history. Long after Spanish explorers landed, this area was also settled by Welsh colonists who left Great Britain seeking autonomy for their culture and language. The original settlers came ashore in July 1865 and named their first settlement Porth Madryn in honor of Baron Madryn of Wales. Over time, the colonists spread and founded other towns, maintaining their language, customs and architectural styles.
While other cities in the province retain much of their Welsh heritage, in Puerto Madryn, only the street names remain.
- Though Puerto Madryn has its own airport, most passengers arrive and depart from the Trelew airport 39 mi (65 km) south. An interesting feature in the Trelew airport is the plaque honoring Antoine de Saint Exupéry who was the first person to fly over the Valdes Peninsula.
- Flights arrive and depart daily from Trelew to other Argentine cities.
- Check flights from your area.
- National route 3 connects Trelew and Puerto Madryn, and then continues north to other Argentine cities.
- Bus service from the Terminal de Omnibus goes to Trelew, Río Gallegos, Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and other cities.
- Taxis and car rental. Rental cars are useful for seeing Peninsula de Valdés at leisure rather than keeping to a tour schedule.
- Puerto Madryn is a cruise ship port of call as well as a commercial seaport
- Stroll the coastal boulevard for sea views, shops, restaurants, beach activity, lodgings
- Climb the promontory to the Tehuelche monument for a panoramic view of the city and environs
- Tour the Ecocentro to learn about Patagonian marine ecosystems
- Visit the Provincial Oceanographic and Natural Sciences Museum and Egidio Feruglio Paleontological Museum for the fossilized fauna and flora exhibits
- The protected waters of the gulf offer good swimming at the beaches
- Punta Delgada and Punta Loma for sea lion colonies
- Caleta Valdés and Punta Norte Wild Life Reserve and for the sea elephants
- Puerto Pirámide for Lobería of Puerto Pirámide to see the single hair sea lions
- During the drive you may see guanacos, Patagonian gray foxes, armadillos called piches and peludos, lesser rheas, or ostriches, called choiques, and the Patagonian rabbit calles maras.
- Puerto Pirámide (photos) is the only town on the peninsula, with restaurants, lodgings and tourism facilities. Boat tours to see The Whales of Patagonia, Argentina leave from here.
- Punta Pardelas beach for fishing, snorkeling and diving. The Puerto Madryn area is Argentina's prime scuba diving area.
- Trekking and biking are popular on the peninsula.
- Gaiman, southwest of Trelew, is still strongly Welsh, with tea houses, traditional buildings like the brick and wood Bethel Chapel, and where you might stay at the Gwesty Tywi-Welsh Guest House.
- Punta Tomba, south of Trelew, for the Magellanic penguin colony, where you can walk among, but not touch, the penguins in this fauna reservation.
- Florentino Ameghino Dam south of Punta Tomba offers rafting, rock climbing, hiking, photographic safaris, and trout fishing.
- Shopping for handicrafts, sports gear, nautical equipment
- While Argentina as a whole is known for beef, lamb is preferred in Patagonia, as in this recipe for Bittersweet Baby Lamb
- Tea at a Welsh tea house might include this typical Welsh cake
Have you been to Puerto Madryn, the Península Valdés or the area? Tell us what you think in a review.
Photos of Puerto Madryn displayed with the kind permission of Patagonia Argentina who provide excellent information and tours in Patagonia.