Puerto Madryn is on Gulfo Nuevo’s shores, a great deep water bay of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. The town is a favorite summer destination for its seaside. The beaches are excellent though the water can be icy and the wind penetrating.
Puerto Madryn is the second-largest fishing port in Argentina and home to Aluar, Argentina’s premier aluminum plant, constructed in 1974 CE. A remote port facing Golfo Nuevo, Puerto Madryn was established by Welsh settlers in 1886 CE. Statues of Tehuelche and immigrants near the shoreline pay tribute to its rich history.
Here are the top attractions in Puerto Madryn.
EcoCentro: Honoring the region’s unusual marine ecosystem, this gem brings an exquisite sensitivity to scientific research. There are displays on dolphin sounds, the breeding habits of right whales, and southern-elephant-seal harems, a tide pool, and more. The structure includes a library and three-story tower, featuring comfy couches for reading with glass walls. Don’t forget to carry your binoculars. You could spot whales from here.
Reserva Faunística Punta Loma: Housing a cormorant rookery and permanent sea-lion colony, the Reserva Faunística Punta Loma is 20km southeast of Puerto Madryn via a decent but winding gravel road. The overlook is about 20m from the animals, best explored during low tide days.
Observatorio Punta Flecha: Operated by Fundación Patagonia Natural, this amusing whale-watching observatory sits 16km north of Puerto Madryn on the neighboring Playa el Doradillo. It offers tourist information and opens at high tide when visitors and whales are at the beach.
Museo Oceanográfico y de Ciencias Naturales: Feeling strands of algae and ogling an octopus gives a hands-on museum exhibition here. The 1917 CE Chalet Pujol features marine-and-land mammal displays, collections, and preserved specimens of Welsh wares.
Top Things to do in Puerto Madryn
- Whale watching: The Southern Right Whale utilizes the beaches of Gulfo Nuevo for giving birth and breeding. They are clearly seen from the pier and shore. Whale watching boats move from Puerto Pyramides situated on Peninsula Valdes. This is an adventure worth experiencing.
- Kiteboarding and windsurfing: Due to decent wind conditions, Puerto Madryn is incredibly popular with adventure seekers who flock to beaches for kiteboarding and windsurfing adventures. Prebook your experience in advance online to avoid spot surges in cost.
- Horse riding: Horse riding is a fun activity popular with children. You can enjoy that on beaches in Puerto Madryn.
- Orca watching: The fancy excursion to Punto Norte is relatively expensive and drives you inside a cab. You spend all day in the vehicle and will only see mammals from a distance. If you want to observe killer whales, try to explore another way of getting to Punto Norte early in the morning and stay there until killer whale shows up or you have to get back.
- Snorkeling with sea lions: It is perhaps the most exciting thing to do here, as you get to snorkel with sea lions close to the port. The tours take you on a boat to a nearby island. There, you could see sea lions playing. Feed the sea lions is not allowed, and you are not permitted too close to the colony. However, sea lions are clumsy, adorable, and curious, so they show up to play with you.