Home to a vast array of wildlife and some of the most stunning scenery in the world; Argentina is a favourite destination for all wildlife lovers. This trip centres around the amazing behaviour which a small population of orcas have developed in central Patagonia. This behaviour was immortalised by the BBC during the series The Trails of Life where they filmed the orca beaching themselves in order to catch the southern sea lion pups in the surf. It is just unbelievable sight which we aim to see here. But in addition to the orcas we will spend some time at the largest colony of Megallanic penguins in the world, enjoy a dolphin watching cruise, some world class birding and excellent mammal watching inland. All in all this tour is an excellent way to get the best of the Patagonian wildlife whilst sampling the best that Argentina culture and hospitality has to offer.
Visit the Punta Tombo penguin colony
Up to 10 species of marine mammal
Spot hunting orcas on Punta Notre
Follow Charles Darwin to Puerto Deseado
Expert local guides throughout
Rare Patagonian birds
Southern sea lion
Southern elephant seal
Tour Dates: 25/3/2021 – 1/4/2021
Duration: 8 nights
Type / Focus: Orcas Hunting
On arrival in Buenos Aires you will be met at the airport by your guide. You will then be taken to the accommodation, level – 3-4* (local hotel); where we will have lunch and unpack. In the afternoon we will enjoy a short journey to the Costanera Sur Nature Reserve. Here you will get a glimpse of some of the wildlife which inhabits the north of Argentina before we head south in the open pampas. We have a good chance of spotting coypu, Pampas cavy, Hillarys side-necked turtle, black tegu lizards as well as many bird species like chalk-browed mockingbirds, great Pampa-finch, black-and-rufous warbling finch, spectacled tyrant and many many more. We will then head back to the accommodation where we will have a welcome to Argentina meal.
Today after our breakfast we will catch a flight south from Buenos Aires to Trelew which is well and truly in Patagonia. We will be transferred to our accommodation, level 3-4* (local hotel). After some lunch we will leave to pay the Punta Tombo penguin colony a visit. This is a huge colony and the largest Magellan penguin colony in the world. At this time of the year the moulting season is just ending and most of the penguins are leaving or have already left but there is still a good chance of finding plenty around here as we walk in between the old nest sites. We will have our evening meal back at the accommodation.
Over the next couple of days we will be searching for the orca which make this peninsula so famous. In March and April the orca are here to prey on the sea lion pups which are entering the water the first time. But it is the hunting technique they use which is absolutely amazing. Immortalised in the BBC series The Trails of Life the scenes of orca rushing the shoreline and temporally beaching themselves in order to catch the sea lions in the surf is exactly what we are looking for here. We will visit Punta Norte, Puerto Piramides and Caleta Valdes over the next two days to try and see this behaviour. However it is very much luck if we see any orcas making an attack. There are plenty of other animals here though and the guanaco, mara, southern elephant seals, southern sea lions, Argentine grey foxes, hairy armadillos, Darwins rhea, elegant-crested tinamou, Magellanic oystercatchers and many other species should keep us well entertained. We will probably have a packed lunch before heading back to the accommodation, level 3-4* (local hotel) for our evening meal.
Today we will visit any areas of Peninsula Valdes that we did not visit yesterday as we continue are search for the orca and hope to be witness to their amazing hunting behaviours. We will probably have a packed lunch again and head back to the accommodation, level 3-4* (local hotel) for our evening meal.
After breakfast we will leave Peninsula Valdes and head further south along the spectacular Patagonian coastline until we reach Bahia Bustamante and our accommodation, level – guest house / cottages; we will have lunch and then the rest of the afternoon is for you to explore the surrounding areas. This is one of the smallest and most beautiful of all Patagonias towns and you will enjoy the relaxing atmosphere as well as the wealth of life around here from steamer ducks, Magellanic penguins, southern sea lions, southern giant petrels, orca, as well as another 70 plus bird species which are regularly seen. We will have our evening meal in a local guest house or restaurant.
After breakfast we will enjoy some birding, along the Patagonian coastline before being transferred further south to Puerto Deseado where we will check into our accommodation, level – guest house. This afternoon will be at your leisure as you can scan the sea for more orca, southern right whales, Commersons dolphins, southern elephant seals, snowy sheathbills, dolphin gulls, Royal terns, black-browed albatross and many other marine birds and mammals. We will enjoy our evening meal in our accommodation or a nearby restaurant.
After breakfast we will explore some of this coastline which Charles Darwin visited himself during the voyage of the Beagle. We will take a boat trip out to try and get up close to some of the marine mammals and birds of the area such as Commersons dolphins, southern sea lions, Magellanic cormorants, Megallanic penguins, red-legged cormorants and possibly orca. We will have our well deserved and last Patagonian meal in our guest house or a local restaurant.
Today we will catch a flight back to the Argentine capital after breakfast. Once we get to Buenos Aires we will check into our hotel, level 3-4* (local hotel) and the rest of the afternoon will be for you to explore the city and its many sights. This is one of the most atmospheric cities in the whole world and an hour or two exploring its many streets is a magical experience. Our last meal will be served in our accommodation.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your return 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 vehicles to be transferred around in. This will be driven by our local guides. All boat trips and park fees are included.
We recommend that you bring your own binoculars or scope as well as suitable clothing which would be cool, light clothing as well as warmer clothes as the weather can be unpredictable and long hours on exposed beaches can get windy. Water proofs and a wind-breaker are also recommended. 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 as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for 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 local condition 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. 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.
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.gob.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.
J.B. Poulter, Lancashire
Somen Tchikto, London
K.H. Sangakara, Birmingham