ROL Cruise recommends…
1. Explore the coastal city
Puerto Madryn is a relatively small city, though you’ll need to catch a shuttle bus or taxi from the cruise terminal to discover what it has to offer. Enjoy a walk on the beach or boulevard, stroll along the pier or visit the Natural Science and Oceanographic Museum to discover the area’s history. If souvenir shopping is on your agenda, a selection of shops and malls sell leather goods, Patagonian wool products and wildlife-adorned gifts. Stop off at a friendly café or ice-cream parlour to pick up a mouth-watering bite to eat.
2. Prepare to be educated
On the outskirts of the city, facing the deep water Golfo Nuevo, you’ll find the quaint and informative EcoCentro. Step inside to learn about the area’s unique marine ecosystem and to view photography, artefacts and exhibits that celebrate its beauty and importance. Listen to the sounds of the ocean in the whale song room, get up close with sea creatures in the touch-friendly tide pool or bring your binoculars to look out for whales from the top-floor library.
3. Discover the wildlife sanctuary
The Valdes Peninsula is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its geography and wildlife. Rocky cliffs, salt water lakes and vast headlands make it an extremely bio-diverse hub where marine life and nature lovers flock. Visit from June and December to see Southern right whales in the waters and seals, sea lions and a variety of birds occupying the barren shores. Don’t miss the small visitor centre for an insight into the species of flora and fauna you can observe here.
4. Rub shoulders with penguins
Take a trip to the Punta Tombo National Reserve; the awe-inspiring habitat of the world’s largest nesting Magellanic penguin colony. It attracts wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists from around the world and is found on an Atlantic peninsula a couple of hours drive from Puerto Madryn. Head here between September and April to witness around 400,000 birds as they breed and raise their chicks. Set walking routes ensure plenty of opportunities for you to view the charismatic little penguins while experienced guides astound you with fascinating titbits of information.
5. Be surprised by its Welsh roots
Visit the Museo del Desembarco to discover stories from the first Welsh immigrants in Puerto Madryn. Learn about their amazing achievements, as well as the struggles they faced, after arriving aboard the Mimosa. If you have time to travel further afield, enjoy a traditional Welsh tea in charming Gaiman or visit Trelew, where a Museum of Paleontology is much-loved attraction.