Puerto Madryn Argentina – Sea Life Watching + Photos

Puerto Madryn is a town on the Valdes peninsula of Argentina, perfect for watching sea life.  Things to do in Puerto Madryn include;

  • Central Puerto Madryn
  • Valdes Peninsula
  • Punta Tombo (Magellanic penguins)
  • Whale watching

If you stay over in Puerto Madryn there are lots of hotels, some are excellent value.  There are a few restaurants but not much more to the town.  The majority of tourists visit Puerto Madryn to view the sea life.

Valdes Peninsula

Puerto Madryn - Elephant seals, Valdes Peninsula

On the complete Valdes Peninsula tour you’re guaranteed to see elephant seals, magellanic penguins, rheas, guanacos, armadillos, maras and sea lions.  I strongly recommend you take a camera with decent zoom because you view the wildlife from on top of the cliff and most of them are on the beach below.  If you carry a DSLR camera, the size of the zoom lens you’d have to carry would be huge to get close up shots of the wildlife.  The huge lens would attract unwanted attention in Argentina too.  I used a Canon bridge camera for this Elephant Seal shot (above) and they were at least 200 meters away.  These cameras have decent picture quality (even at 1200mm zoom) and are not bulky at all.  I recommend them in countries which are too dangerous to carry around expensive camera equipment.

Punta Tombo – Magellanic Penguins

Puerto Madryn - Magellanic penguins, Punta Tombo

On Punta Tombo you’ll see hundreds of Magellanic penguins.  I was fortunate enough to capture a group of the penguins worshiping the preacher in the middle.  This was like a scene from the Happy Feet movie!  Additionally, If you wish to see the Rockhopper penguins, then you must visit Stanley Falkland Islands.  Finally, a few Magellanic penguins climb up to the viewing platform so you should be able to photograph these guys close up.

Punta Loma

Puerto Madryn - Sea Lion, Punta Loma, Argentina
I was at Peninsula Valdes in February / March.  At this time of year expect to see lots of baby sea lions which are called pups.  I took the shot (above) from on top of a cliff, again I have to stress you need a camera with good zoom here.  A lot of people get excited about seeing an Orca but there’s only a small chance you’ll see one on Peninsula Valdes.  The perfect situation would be for an Orca to swim close the beach and take a sea lion, again a camera with good zoom would be recommended here.

How to get from Puerto Madryn Cruise Port to Montevideo

2 desserts on Celebrity Infinity

Did you know that during your evening meal on a cruise you can order as many desserts as you like (and main courses).  After a day of viewing and taking photos of the sea life it can be a hard decision choosing between a cheesecake or a chocolate cake, so why not have both!  The next stop on the Antarctica cruise is Montevideo, Uruguay.

Montevideo to Buenos Aires

2019-01-15T18:21:33+00:00October 24th, 2016|Argentina, South America|16 Comments


  1. Nicole Anderson April 6, 2017 at 3:49 am - Reply

    The quality of your photos is just excellent. I can well appreciate what you mean about needing a good zoom to properly capture the wildlife without being too intrusive in the process. The entire region looks quite pristine from your post and from other publications I have read and seeing all of this on a cruise with double desserts…well that must be the life indeed! Great adventure and lovely documentation of this wonderful area. Looking forward to reading your next post.

  2. Zinara April 6, 2017 at 4:08 am - Reply

    I’m so in love with your Argentina posts and your photos are so beautiful. Being close to Magellanic penguins and Elephant seals sounds like a wonderful and once in a lifetime experience. Look forward to other blog posts from you of the region.

  3. Jen April 6, 2017 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Seal, Penguins, and sea lions – on my! What a great spot for watching the cute wildlife. Cruises are such a cool way to see a little bit, and leaves you wanting more, for another trip.

  4. Bridget April 6, 2017 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Love your photos! Argentina has been on my bucket list for a while and you just make me want to move it up the list! Love the elephant seals and all the wildlife! Looks like an amazing area for photographers and wildlife watchers!

  5. Leah April 7, 2017 at 2:10 am - Reply

    I lived in Chile for two years but sadly didn’t have the time to explore this area! Looks like I’ll have to get back down to South America sometime soon 🙂 All of the animal pictures made me so happy!

  6. Rosie Benton April 7, 2017 at 2:41 am - Reply

    This is my dream! The wildlife looks incredible and your photos are awesome, love the shots of the Elephant Seals. We are heading to SA later this year so I hope we make it here, my partner would be in his element with his camera!

  7. Theo April 7, 2017 at 2:49 am - Reply

    What an amazing cruise! We would love to do this. All those animals are so awesome. You got some great shots too. They look clear even with the super zoom.

  8. Rashmi and Chalukya April 7, 2017 at 4:42 am - Reply

    Valdes Peninsula tour sounds amazing with spotting those exotic animals. The picture of Penguin is a brilliant shot. Those cakes look yummy and what better treat could be with unlimited desserts. Argentina is high on list hope to make it very soon.

  9. Swati April 7, 2017 at 4:59 am - Reply

    Love your pictures and you have been to so many countries … I envy you … I always wanted to visit a place where I can penguins in the wild. 🙂 Argentina is also added to my list now 🙂

  10. Jaynie Wall April 13, 2017 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    The Valdes Peninsula sounds amazing. I would love to see penguins up close. I haven’t been to Argentina yet, but hopefully one day!

  11. Katriza April 14, 2017 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Wow, this looks like an amazing experience! What a fun place to visit!

  12. Sabina April 15, 2017 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    That looks like such an amazing place to visit and experience! You captured the wildlife so beautifully! I’d love to visit, hopefully in the near future! 🙂

  13. Yeu Doi April 16, 2017 at 4:53 am - Reply

    Sounds like you had a great time. I learned a lot and will consider doing a similar trip. Great photos too!

  14. Brian April 26, 2017 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    I remember taking the Burquebus from BA to Montevideo on New Year’s Day 2008. Love you wildlife pics!

  15. Kate April 27, 2017 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Those penguins and seals alone would make it worth the trip. So cute!

  16. Cat April 28, 2017 at 4:08 am - Reply

    Wow you got to see so much wildlife upclose! Puerto Madryn seems like a great place for animal lovers!

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