All About the Orca (Exclusive Tour)
If you watched in stunned awe at the incredible shots of orcas rushing towards a beach before running aground, grabbing sea lions before thrashing back into the ocean filmed by the BBC Natural History Unit; we would like to invite you to enjoy this experience for yourself. We have exclusive access to the same beach the orca use to hunt as well as a boat trip out among the hunting orca which is trusly exceptional. As well as this we offer you the chance to view some of the most spectacular glaciers in the world as we travel south through Patagonia. So become one of the very people to ever see the beaching orcas of Punta Norte up close on this amazing guided tour.
See the hunting orca from the water
Expert local guides throughout
Walk on beautiful glaciers
Access the private beach where orca hunt
Patagonian endemic species
Up to 10 species of marine mammals
- Southern sea lion
- Southern elephant seal
- Magellanic penguin
- Andean Condor
- Commersons dolphin
17/3/2014 - 25/3/2014
Type / Focus:
£3990 per person
£995 per person
4 persons (total) before tour runs
On arrival at Buenos Aires airport you will be transferred via (pre-paid) taxis to the domestic airport in time to catch our flight to Trelew in Patagonia. Once you arrive here you will be met by our local guides who will take you in our private 4x4 vehicles to Peninsula Valdes (3 hours). When you arrive in the coastal village of Puerto Piramides you will be shown your accommodation, level – 3* (Posada Piramides). You will enjoy a well deserved welcome to Argentina meal here whilst admiring the view over the Golfo Nuevo.
Today you will have an early morning boat trip in order to try and find some of the marine mammals which live around here as well as the orca on a morning patrol. There are no fewer than five species of dolphin to try and see not including the orca or their larger cousin the southern right whale. In addition there are southern sea lions, southern elephant seals, Magellanic penguins and southern giant petrels and many more birds. You will come back for some lunch and the rest of the afternoon you can spend tracking down some of the animals which live near the town such as hairy armadillos, various caracaras whilst keeping your eyes peeled for the long black dorsal fins of orca in the Golfo Nuevo. You can enjoy your evening meal in the accommodation, level – 3* (Posada Piramides) or a local restaurant.
This morning after breakfast you will head northwards towards the famous beach at Punta Norte. You will be staying in the same accommodation, level – private estancia (Argentine ranch) which the BBC film crew stayed in when they first filmed the now legendary shots of the orca beaching themselves to snatch the sea lion pups from the surf. As you drive through the barren Peninsula Valdes you will stop off when ever you see some of the curious animals around here such as guanacos, Megallanic penguins, Darwins rhea, hairy armadillos and more. You will met the estancia owners and as you settle into the private ranch you can explore the area and get your first glimpse of the beach and hopefully orcas patrolling. The estancia owners will show us where to stay to get the best chance of spotting an attack and if requested you can use hides directly on the beach itself. You will enjoy the rest of the day here either at the beach or exploring inland to find many other animals like guanaco, mara, elegant-crested tinamou as well as various species of raptor. You will have both lunch and dinner here.
Today will be spent on the ranch and what you decide to do will be completely up to you. You can spend the entire day on the beach watching the southern sea lions, southern fur seals, the occasional southern elephant seal as the orca cruise past and hopefully witness many attacks; you can also explore inland with the local guide to find the terrestrial mammals and birds or travel to Caleta Valdes which is an area of the coastline the orcas sometimes use to practise their hunting techniques early in the season. You will have all our meals in the accommodation, level – private estancia (Argentine ranch).
Today you will once again have the full day to stake out the orcas on their hunt and you also have the option of going out to see on the estancias private boat for up close views of the orca at sea. This is an amazing experience as the curious predators often come very close and allow for brilliant photographs. Once again your evening meals will be at the accommodation, level – private estancia (Argentine ranch).
Los Glaciares National Park
This morning after your breakfast you will leave Punta Notre and the Peninsula Valdes and travel back to Trelew for our flight further south to the Andes and in particular Calafate. Once you arrive here you will be transferred to your accommodation, level – 3-4* (Hosteria la Estepa). You will have the rest of the day at leisure here and just enjoy the stunning views. The hotel is perched high above the town of Calafate and provides amazing views of the glacial lake below.
Los Glaciares National Park
Today you will have an early breakfast as at around 07:00am you will be picked up for a catamaran trip around some of the most impressive glaciers in the world, including Upsala the largest in South America. Seeing the glaciers from the water is truly unforgettable and there is the chance of finding some interesting animals here such as Andean condors and other Patagonia specialities like Humboldt’s hog-nosed skunk, gray foxes, Andean ruddy duck, Magellanic woodpeckers and Austral parakeets to name a few. You will have the opportunity to walk through the pristine nothofagus forests to see the glaciers up close. You will have our evening meal back at your accommodation, level – 3-4* (Hosteria la Estepa).
los Glaciares National Park
Today you will spend the morning on a small nature reserve located in marshland. This area is home to Chilean flamingos, five species of raptor, numerous mammals such as puma if you are very lucky and many other bird species. After lunch you will leave the marshland and travel to some Patagonian bluffs where you will have a chance of spotting Andean condors on their roosting sites as well as visiting the famous Perito Moreno glacier. Your evening meal will be back at the accommodation.
After an early breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your return flight to Buenos Aires in time for you connecting flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
The weather in Patagonia at this time of year is warm, the temperature stays between 20-30 degrees C and there is very little rain as this is the summer in the Southern Hemisphere
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). There will be an amount of bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private air conditioned 4x4 vehicles to be transferred around in. This will be driven by our local guides. All boat trips and park fees are included as well as access to the private estancia where the hunting beach is located in Punta Norte.
We recommend that you bring your own binoculars or scope as well as suitable clothing which would be a mix of cool, light clothing as well as warm winter clothes as the weather can be unpredicatble and long hours on exposed beaches can get windy. Water proofs and a wind-breaker are also recommeneded. Comfortable walking shoes are a must as there is a must. A sunhat, sun cream and insect repellent are also recommended. Cameras, film and memory cards are a must along with any other items of a personal nature which you will require whilst away.
We provide a comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting. There is usually a spare pair of binoculars but in a group of 4-6 people these do not stretch too far. We also provide a spot light for nocturnal viewing (this is subject to availability of the spotlight and local conditions when we arrive). Camera Traps will also be used to try and capture hard to see wildlife in the dead of night.
Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the three main meals, any drinks other than the bottled water provided and of course any tips, souvenirs or other items of a personal nature. If you wish to trek along on of the glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park this can be arranged with full crampons and glacier trekking gear but the cost is extra and only payable on the day as the weather makes this activity very variable. Any applicable departure taxes and not included (but maybe included in the cost of your flights). Please check before departure.
As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport
We recommend Air France as a good airline for flights to Buenos Aires. One of the best websites to search for the best fares is www.kayak.co.uk. They provide links direct to the airline so you book can book securely online with the airline direct.
Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the any links you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.
As on our final day we catch a flight from Patagonia to Buenos Aires it is very imprtant to make your return flight as late in the day as possible so you will have time to fly from Patagonia to Buenos Aires.
Visas and Health Information
All UK passport holders are not required to have a visa for Argentina. However things change so the easiest way to find information is by visiting www.argentina.gov.ar (be aware that this link leaves our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for information on the site).
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Argentina. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Argentina as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Our tour was amazing! Although this is not a peak time to see most of the wildlife (orcas aside), we were very fortunate. We had a wonderful English- speaking tour guide...
The Bairds, London
March 19, 2010